Elmyr de Hory Part II

He spoke of his life [in Ibiza], saying:

“It was my kind of place. People seemed to live on terribly small incomes in those days. Anyone who had two hundred dollars a month was considered rich. I became friendly with some of the up-and-coming artists like Edith Sommer, Clifford Smith, and David Walsh. They had great talent, and I had a little more money at my disposal than they did-I wanted to help them, so I bought their work. That’s why I called myself an art collector. I myself, when I first arrived, kept working on my own paintings. I still had hopes that one day I would be a success. I made a series of watercolors of the port and some views of the Old City. But as I got more and more involved with Fernand and Réal, I more and more hid the fact that I was an artist. They were furious when I told them I’d spoken to Ivan Spence, the Englishman who ran the local art gallery, about having a show of my own. Finally, I stopped doing my own work altogether.”

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Elmyr de Hory Part I

This article contains mentions of the Holocaust and suicide.

When discussing queer people and the law, it isn't rare for the two to conflict. Not only because of the many queer identities that are or have been illegal throughout the world, but also because once you question the morality of one law, it is not a large leap to wonder at the morality of others. As we look at the life of one of the most famous art forgers in the world, that conflict becomes particularly relevant.

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Algernon Charles Swinburne

There is a demand of queer people to be respectable; to please the dominant society, to conform, to hide that which is seen as other. They draw contempt from inside and outside of the community. However, it is those queer people who abandon respectability who provoke change. Algernon Charles Swinburne was not one to hide who he was, nor was he quiet about his beliefs. Oscar Wilde called Swinburne “a braggart in matters of vice, who had done everything he could to convince his fellow citizens of his homosexuality and bestiality without being in the slightest degree a homosexual or a bestialiser.” While it’s true Swinburne often encouraged and even started rumours about himself, sometimes to draw attention and other times for humour, his sexuality was anything but.

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Victor Barker

Any time we look at the life of a transgender man throughout history, there are a number of hurdles we must first overcome. There are many reasons for a person assigned female at birth to wear clothes associated outside of that assigned gender. Historically, there is a precedent for women to dress as men to gain economic status or to more comfortably live in a relationship with another woman. It's important to untangle these threads in order to find the motivation. Victor Baker is a clear example of how these threads can weave a complete life story. If given access to our modern labels, we can see how he might have identified.

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Nils Asther

"Like Garbo, I have been given many labels by the newspapers, ‘Very nearly as handsome as Valentino' . . . 'the masculine version of that mysterious fascination with Garbo's.' [But] I am tired of being just a screen lover, and I hope someday to get a chance to be myself. I am rather like Greta in that I like to be alone. I love peace and quiet. Hollywood is really no place for me. I stagnate here . . . I only feel awake when the air is fresh and crisp as in my native Scandinavia.” — Nils Asther

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Elvira de la Fuente Chaudoir, A.K.A Agent Bronx

Queer people played a significant role in the winning of the second world war, from the famous story of Alan Turing to the hundreds of names behind the scenes. One of those names is Elvira de la Fuente Chaudoir. In any remembrance of this woman’s work, it must be noted that while her work was done below the radar, her life most certainly was not. The daughter of a Peruvian diplomat, she was a woman who loved parties and “favour[ed] the companionship of women who may not be careful of their virginity” according to Deputy Chief Constable Josef Goulder. She was not well-respected, but she was well-known. Considered to be a beautiful “good-time girl” who loved the spotlight and was dismissed because of this, her identity was only revealed years after the war had ended: Agent Bronx.

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Madame Satã: The Ultimate Queer Archetype

From the smoldering lands of the Northeastern coast of Brazil to the glamorous city of Rio de Janeiro, there’s no more appropriate itinerary for João Francisco dos Santos, better known by his drag persona Madame Satã, or Madam Satan. His fiery and controversial personality not only served as a muse but as a living and walking affirmation against oppression and those who want, without rest, to destroy beautiful things.

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Bayard Rustin: At the intersection of black and queer


Black. Gay. Activist. During an era when segregation and severe homophobia began rearing its ugly head in the U.S, an era when the AIDS crisis was just beginning to shake the world at its core Bayard Rustin was in the trenches fighting first for the civil rights of his fellow African American brothers and sisters, and later: the lesbian and gay community. Although Rustin faced harsh criticisms and scrutiny for his identity, his [queer] intervention concerned more than just the iconic mass march on Washington as he was an advocate and often silent leader in social movements for civil rights, socialism, nonviolence and gay rights. A man at the intersection of black and queer, devoted his life with purpose unlike any I’ve ever seen.

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Jeanette Schmid


We have covered a number of different professions throughout this project: writers, activists, actors, business owners, singers. There is more than enough proof that queer people can (and will) fill any role. So when we approach the subject of this article we aren’t confused by the fact a queer person held the role; we are surprised that this is a role that is held at all. Jeanette Schmid began as a female impersonator and ended up as a professional whistler.

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Lou Sullivan


To make a community is to come together. For queer folks, we often have to fight for that community. But what of those who are a part of multiple communities; those who do the work to bring communities together? For Lou Sullivan, pioneer of the grassroots FTM movement, it meant paving the way for himself and other gay trans men.

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Cássia Eller

To talk about an artist is all too often to talk about their work. An artist’s creations can say much more about the person creating than was ever intended and can give us insight into their minds that we would never have had access to otherwise. It becomes difficult when there is a language barrier between the artist and oneself. There are translations of course, but so many translations are robotic at best, literally so if google translate is the only option. Instead, we can look to the impact of their work, and the effect their art had on their community. This is what we will be doing as we look at Cássia Eller, a Brazilian rock and MPB musician.

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