On this date the medieval poet BALDRIC OF DOL died (b. 1050). He was abbot of Bourgueil from 1079 to 1106, then bishop of Dol-en-Bretagne from 1107 until his death. Balderic's poetic oeuvre was written almost entirely while abbot at Bourgueil. The 256 extant poems are found almost exclusively in a single contemporary manuscript which is most likely an authorized copy. They consist of a wide range of poetic forms ranging from epitaphs, riddles and epistolary poems to longer pieces such as an interpretative defense of Greek mythology. In his collection My Dear Boy: Gay Love Letters through the Centuries, the scholar Rictor Norton publishes Baldric's many letters to male lovers....

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English fictional detective, born; What!? SHERLOCK HOLMES? Why include the famous, hawk-nosed detective, a figment of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fertile imagination, when today is also the birthday of the very real KING RICHARD II (b: 1367), whom even the staid Encyclopedia Britannica called “tall, handsome, and effeminate”?


Why? Because Sherlock, whom his creator almost named “Sherinford,” is simply more interesting. And, besides, almost anyone who has read Shakespeare knows about Richard, whereas almost no one realizes that Sherlock Holmes was Gay. He was, of course, the first consulting detective, a vocation he followed for 23 years. In January 1881, he was looking for someone to share his new digs at 221B Baker Street, and there being no personal ads in the Village Voice or The Advocate (remember those?) in those days, a friend introduced him to Dr. John H. Watson.


Before agreeing to share the flat, the two men, immediately attracted to one another, listed their respective character deficiencies. Holmes admitted to smoking a smelly pipe, although he didn’t mention that he was a frequent user of cocaine. Watson owned up to a peculiar habit of leaving his bed at odd hours of the night. “I have another set of vices,” he admitted, but, then, so did Sherlock.


The two became friends and roommates for the rest of their lives. For the sordid details of the famous marriage of true minds that followed, read Rex Stout’s astonishing “Watson Was Woman,” in which the famous creator of Nero Wolfe (himself hardly a paragon of butch studliness) reveals that Watson and Holmes were the most extraordinary Gay team in sleuthing history....

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On this date the French painter ANNE-LOUIS GIRODET DE ROUSSY-TRIOSON (also known as Anne-Louis Girodet de Roucy-Triosson, Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson) was born (d.1824). He was a pupil of the great Romantic painter Jacques-Louis David, famed for adding elements of eroticism through his paintings.


Girodet is remembered for his precise and clear style and for his paintings of members of the Napoleonic family. Girodet: Romantic Rebel at The Art Institute of Chicago (2006), was the first retrospective in the United States devoted to the works of Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson. The exhibition assembled more than 100 seminal works (about 60 paintings and 40 drawings) that demonstrated the artist’s range as a painter as well as a draftsman....

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LEONARDO DA VINCI unsuccessfully tests a flying machine. More on Leonardo on the anniversary of his birth, but for now, as an engineer, Leonardo conceived ideas vastly ahead of his own time, conceptualizing a helicopter, a tank, concentrated solar power, a calculator, and the double hull, and outlining a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics. Relatively few of his designs were constructed or even feasible during his lifetime, but some of his smaller inventions such as an automated bobbin winder and a machine for testing the tensile strength of wire entered the world of manufacturing unheralded. As a scientist, he greatly advanced the state of knowledge in the fields of anatomy, civil engineering, optics, and hydrodynamics.


Beyond friendship, Leonardo kept his private life secret. Within his own lifetime his extraordinary powers of invention, his "outstanding physical beauty", "infinite grace", "great strength and generosity", "regal spirit and tremendous breadth of mind" as described by Vasari  attracted the curiosity of others.


Many authors have speculated on various aspects of Leonardo's personality. His sexuality has often been the subject of study, analysis and speculation. This trend began in the mid 16th century and was revived in the 19th and 20th centuries, most notably by Sigmund Freud.


Leonardo's most intimate relationships were with his pupils Salai and Melzi, Melzi writing that Leonardo's feelings for him were both loving and passionate. It has been claimed since the 16th century that these relationships were of an erotic nature. Since that date much has been written about his presumed homosexuality and its role in his art, particularly in the androgyny and eroticism manifested in John the Baptist and Bacchus and more explicitly in a number of drawings....

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