Thursday, April 6, 2017

April 6

With a side of swimwear:


Atherton twins

Identical twins Andrew and Kevin Atherton are Cirque du Soleil regulars, currently performing in Paramour on Broadway at the Lyric Theatre.

Muscle men:


Karl-Maria Kertbeny 
Austro-Hungarian coined the term homosexual

Austrian born writer Karl-Maria Kertbeny (1824-1882) was traumatized early in his career when a gay close friend of his in Budapest killed himself after an extortionist threatened to expose his sexuality. Afterwards Kertbeny toiled ardently to counter this injustice.

Born in Vienna with the name Karl-Maria Benkert, his family relocated to Budapest when he was a child. He legally changed his name from Benkert to Károly Mária Kertbeny, a Hungarian name with aristocratic associations. When he later settled in Berlin, he used the name Karl-Maria Kertbeny. He was equally at home in Germany, Austria and Hungary and found success in translating the writings of prominent Hungarian authors into German.

Kertbeny also began to publish pamphlets anonymously in defense of fledgling gay rights, which were under attack by the Prussian government's sodomy laws. At this time he began corresponding with Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, an Austrian gay-rights activist who was brave enough to be openly gay – quite courageous at the time.

In 1868 he wrote to Ulrichs with his best efforts to correctly term the varying sexualities he was able to identify at the time, thus inventing the terms "heterosexuals" and "homosexuals," the latter as a replacement for the pejorative terms "sodomite" and "pederast" that were used in the German- and French-speaking world of his time. The next year, 1869, Kertbeny put these terms before the public in a pamphlet published in Budapest. These terms were taken up by researchers and prominent gay writers and have been in use ever since.

Although Kertbeny never openly admitted to his own homosexuality, his private writings suggest that he was himself gay. For example, when Ulrichs was arrested, Kertbeny burned all their correspondence. More tellingly, his diaries revealed a self-censored string of encounters with young men (“young barber lad" – "very much in love with the lad" – "I have done it").  Regardless, he worked to advance progressive but fledgling sociological concepts – that homosexuality may have causes grounded in science as opposed to being a choice, and that private sexual acts between 

consenting adults need not be publicly criminalized.

Never married, Kertbeny died in Budapest at age 58.  His gravesite was traced in 2001 by sociologist Judit Takács, who conducted extensive research on his life. Located in Kerepesi Cemetery in Budapest, it is the final resting place of numerous prominent Hungarians of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The gay community erected a new tombstone on it, and to this day it has been a recurring event at Hungarian gay festivals to place a wreath at Kertbeny’s grave.

Dan Heching for Out Magazine

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