Gay History Month – October 4th: E.M. Forester, Female Trouble and the Shocking Story of AIDS Patient Morgan MacDonald

Female Trouble

 

Did you know that on October 4th………

1913 – E.M. Forster finished writing his novel “Maurice” which is about a young man coming to terms with his homosexuality. It would not be published until 1971, after Forster’s death, at the request of the author.

Forster who was gay (openly to his close friends, but not to the public) and a lifelong bachelor developed a  long-term, loving relationship with Bob Buckingham, a married policeman

1974:  John Waters’ follow-up to Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, starring the late, great Divine opens in theaters.  The film is dedicated to Manson Family member Charles “Tex” Watson. Waters’ prison visits to Watson inspired the “crime is beauty” theme of the film and in the film’s opening credits, Waters includes a wooden toy helicopter that Watson made for him.

Movie critic and HUGE flaming queen Rex Reed wrote of the movie: “Where do these people come from? Where do they go when the sun goes down? Isn’t there a law or something?”

Remember Rexie: “Nice girls don’t wear cha-cha heels!” 

1983: In a landmark move, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) voted to support gay rights legislation. An excerpt from the resolution reads, “We in the labor movement don’t believe that civil rights is a special interest. It’s all our interest. It’s the interest of all of us to ensure that equality and freedom is extended to all the citizens of our country.”

1983:  Twenty-seven-year-old Morgan MacDonald had been treated at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida, since July for various infections because of AIDS. When his state Medicaid benefits ran out, the private teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Florida tried to find a nursing home to send him to, but none in the area would take him. So the hospital declared MacDonald “well enough to walk,” stuffed $300 into his pocket, loaded him onto a Lear Jet with a doctor and a nurse, and shipped him off to San Francisco and dumped him at the offices of the city’s AIDS Foundation. The nurse and doctor walked out and left the volunteer staff to figure out what to do with him. He’s condition was so bad, he was unable to lift his head. Foundation volunteers took MacDonald to San Francisco General Hospital which immediately admitted him.

A Shands Hospital spokeswoman claimed that MacDonald didn’t need hospital treatment, but outpatient treatment instead, and said that shipping him off to San Francisco — even though he came to them from Vero Beach, Florida and that it was the ” real humanitarian thing to do.”

San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein denounced Floridas “dumping” of McDonald and demanded that Florida Gov. Bob Graham investigate.  The state, however, found no evidence of legal wrongdoing. MacDonald died in San Francisco, a medical outcast, sixteen days later. San Francisco General sent Shands Hospital a bill for $6,627.12, which Shands Hospital refused to pay. – Source BTB.

1985: Herbert Rusche, a German politician and LGBT activist, became the first openly gay individual to be voted onto the German Parliament. A member of the Green Party, he would go on to serve for two years in the position. He also co-founded Homo Heidelbergensis in 1972, the first openly gay organization in the city.

1989: Graham Chapman, co-founder of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, died of throat cancer at the age of 48. Chapman came out in his book “A Liar’s Autobiography.” He was survived by his lover of 23 years, David Sherlock, and John Tomiczek, who the couple adopted as a teenager in 1971.

 

Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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