March 18th People

March 18th

03-18-1928 – 04-30-2002 Charlotte von Mahlsdorf (born Lothar Berfelde) – Born in Berlin-Mahlsdorf, Germany. Biologically a male, even as a child she identified as a girl and preferred girl’s clothing. She also liked to play with “junk” rather than toys. Preferring the term “transvestite” to “transsexual” since she felt no aversion to her male genitals, Mahlsdorf declared that, “In my soul, I feel like a woman”. Her father was a violent man who rose in the ranks of the Nazi party. In 1942, he forced her to join the Hitler Youth, even though she despised the Nazis and resented their treatment of Jewish friends and neighbors. Mahlsdorf’s mother was a nurturing woman that accepted Lothar’s feminine interests. Lothar also found acceptance from a lesbian aunt, who cross-dressed in male clothing and who gave Lothar the book The Transvestites (1910) by Magnus Hirschfeld. In 1944, her mother announced that she was getting a divorce. Her father threatened to kill the entire family. In response, Mahlsdorf killed him with a rolling pin while he slept. She spent several weeks in a psychiatric institution and was sentenced by the court in Berlin to four years detention as an anti-social juvenile delinquent. She didn’t serve the full term because the jails were opened at the end of the war. After WWII ended, she began to collect household items, saving historical every-day items from bombed-out houses. Her collection evolved into the Gründerzeit Museum, which became well known in cinematic, artistic, and gay circles. From 1970 on, the East Berlin gay scene often had meetings and celebrations in the museum. In 1992, she published her autobiography, I Am My Own Wife. Her book not only tells her own life story lived under extreme conditions, but also that of a whole generation of East German LGBT people, who faced persecution first from the Nazis and then from the Communists. In 1997, Mahlsdorf left Germany for Sweden. The city of Berlin took over her museum and it’s still operating today. On April 30, 2002, during a visit to Berlin, she died of heart failure. Doug Wright’s play, I Am My Own Wife, which opened on Broadway in 2003, went on to win the Tony Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Lambda Literary Award.

03-18-1961 – 09-13-2017 Grant Hart – Born in South Saint Paul, Minnesota. He was an American musician, best known as the drummer and co-songwriter for the band Hüsker Dü. When the band broke up in 1988, he formed the band Nova Mob, and played guitar and sang lead. His solo career began in 1997 with the break up of Nova Mob. Hart was openly bisexual. He became addicted to heroin. On September 13, 2017, Hart died from complications from liver cancer and Hepatitis C. He is survived by his wife Brigid McGough and his son.

03-18-1960 Kevin Grant Hague – Born in Aldershot, England. He is a member of the New Zealand Parliament representing the Green Party. He was first elected in 2008. Prior to his election, he was the Chief Executive of the West Coast District Health Board. He is also an author, long time gay rights activist, and former executive director of the New Zealand AIDS Foundation. He is openly gay. He has represented New Zealand at the United Nations, UNESCO, and Commonwealth conferences on apartheid and on AIDS.

 

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