On This Gay Day: FannyAnn Eddy is murdered

On This Gay Day: LGBTI rights activist Fanny Ann Eddy is murdered

Fanny Ann Eddy was an LGBTI rights activist in her homeland of Sierra Leonne and throughout Africa. In 2002 she formed the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association, the first LGBTI rights organisation in the war torn African nation. Eddy travelled widely, speaking to groups around the world, and addressed the United Nations.

On September 29th 2004 she was murdered when a group of at least three men broke into the offices of the association. She is survived by her son, who was 10 years old at the time of her death, and her partner Esther Chikalipa. FannyAnn Eddy was 30 years old at the time of her death.

In early 2004, Eddy attended the annual session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. She spoke at the event, which included a delegation from her own country, and highlighted the harassment LGBTI+ people were subjected to.

“We face constant harassment and violence from neighbors and others,” she told the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. “Their homophobic attacks go unpunished by authorities, further encouraging their discriminatory and violent treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”

Her organisation began documenting cases where people were treated unfairly by the authorities. In 2005, a man was arrested in relation to her murder, he later escaped from custody before the case was taken to court.

Poet W.H. Auden died on this day in 1973

British poet W.H. Auden died on this day in 1973 aged 66. Auden collaborated with composer Benjamin Britten and author Christopher Isherwood, who he had a long friendship with. The two friends moved to America in 1939, Isherwood eventually settled in California while Auden remained in the New York area. Over the following decades he would continually travel and spend time living in Italy, and Austria.

Over his career he published over 400 poems, some of them were book length. He also wrote many essays discussing literature, politics, religion and history. In the 1990’s he became more widely known when one of his poems Funeral Blues was featured in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral. 

Paul Jabara died on this day in 1992

Musician Paul Jabara died on this day in 1992. Aged just 44 he is one of the many people from the entertainment industry lost to HIV/AIDS.

Jabara recorded several albums of disco music but his greatest success was writing songs for other artists. He penned Last Dance for Donna Summer and also wrote No More Tears (Enough is Enough) her anthemic duet with Barbra Streisand. He’d go on to write songs for Diana Ross and Bette Midler too.

His tune Somethings Missing (In My Life) was originally recorded as a duet with Donna Summer, but it became a massive hit in Australia in 1979 when it was re-recorded by Marcia Hines. In 1983 he released an album Paul Jabara and Friends which featured one of the very first recordings by Whitney Houston.

Jabara’s greatest success came in 1983 with It’s Raining Men. The song was turned down by Donna Summer, Barbra Streisand, Cher and Diana Ross, but it became a massive hit for The Weather Girls.

OIP Staff


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