On This Gay Day: Annise Parker was born in Houston

US politician Annise Parker was born 

Politician Annise Parker was born on this day in 1956, today she celebrates her 65th birthday.

Parker was elected Mayor of Houston in late 2009, assuming office in 2010. She was one of the first LGBT people to elected to the position of Mayor of a US city, and at the time Houston was the largest city to date to elect a gay leader.

She served three terms as the city’s leader before being defeated in 2016.

Today Parker is the President and CEO of The LGBTQ Victory Fund, a political action committee dedicated to increasing the number of LGBTQ public officials in the United States.

During her time as Mayor of Houston, Parker visited Perth. The two cities have a ‘sister city’ relationship and share a lot of similarities as both have mining and resources as a major industries. While she was in Perth she met with member of the local LGBTIQ communities and shared her experiences in politics and public life.

Pink Flamingoes was released starring Divine

John Waters cult film Pink Flamingoes was released on this day in 1972.

The movie was the first of what Waters has labeled his ‘trash trilogy’ alongside Female Trouble (1974) and Desperate Living (1977).

In the film drag performer Divine plays Babs Johnson, who is proud to be the ‘filthiest person alive’. She lives in a caravan with her mother and her son, and her companion. When confronted by The Marbles a pair of criminals determined to take her crown as the filthiest person in the world, she goes on as mission to retain her position.

The film came with the tagline “An exercise in poor taste” and within it’s 92 minutes there is nudity, profanity, depictions of sodomy, exhibitionism, voyeurism, vomiting, sexual assault, cannibalism, fetishes, murder, and masturbation.

While the film was banned in many countries over the years, it has also become a cult classic. The film was not allowed to be screened in Australia until 1984, when it was released with an X rating which only allowed it to be sold in some states.

Homosexuality is removed from the World Health Organisation’s list of disorders

On this day in 1990 the World Health Organisation formally removed homosexuality from it’s list of mental disorders.

Since 2005 the anniversary has been celebrated as International Day Against Homophobia, with the name being expanded over the years to be more inclusive adding Biphopbia, Interphobia and Transphobia. Now know as IDAHOBIT it is marked by community groups, government and businesses around the world.

The day aims to raise awareness of violence, discrimination, and repression of LGBT communities worldwide, which in turn provides an opportunity to take action and engage in dialogue with the media, policymakers, public opinion, and wider civil society.

In 1997 Wong Kar-wai’s film ‘Happy Together’ was screened for the first time

At the Cannes film festival in 1997 Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai screened his film Happy Together for the first time. The film was subsequently nominated for the festival’s highest award the Palme d’Or, and Kar-wai won the Best Director award.

The film is considered one of the best movies of the ‘New Queer Cinema’ movement and went on to be an adored art-house film around the globe.

Starring Leslie Cheung and Tony Leung who play a gay couple from Hong Kong who have a tumultuous relationship, the film faced censorship issues over it’s overt depiction of a same sex relationship.

OIP Staff

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