Simon Nkoli

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Simon Nkoli | SDGLN | 14148

LGBTQ Nation reminds us of the life and achievements of Simon Nkoli, a South African anti-apartheid, gay rights and AIDS activist who is seen as the founder of South Africa’s black gay movement.

An activist in the 1970s, Nkoli was arrested in the student uprisings against apartheid. In 1979, he joined the Congress of South African Students and the United Democratic Front. In 1983, Nkoli founded the Saturday Group, South Africa’s first regional gay black organization.

Updated 13 Nov 2014: Missing photo replaced.

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Tracing gay Palm Springs’ past

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Brian Blueskye | 14149

Palm Springs is known for its large, vibrant gay population and has its own gay history tour.

Lois Kellogg, a Chicago socialite rumored to be a lesbian, arrived in Palm Springs in 1914 or so and built a large home that once occupied an area which now includes a Rite Aid store. The home had a Moroccan-Persian-style exterior and a large swimming pool, as well as a stable and guest quarters.

The Warm Sands area ws a family-friendly area during the ’50s and ’60s, before disintegrating into a high-crime area in the 1970s, and then being revived as a gay-resort area. Howard Hughes once owned El Mirasol Villas, as well as the Vista Grande, which became one of the first gay resorts in Palm Springs.

Liberace owned a number of homes in Palm Springs. The home on Kaweah Road (pictured) has a sign that reads “Plazza de Liberace.” A miniature piano and piano stool serves as the mailbox for the home. Another former home on Belardo Road, where Liberace died in 1987, is currently being renovated to restore it to the state it was in when Liberace purchased it. Liberace had a large candelabra on the home, as well as a gate with a big “L” and a music note on it. Those markings are gone, and the home currently is a construction zone. It’s behind Our Lady of Solitude, the church that was shown in the funeral scene in Behind the Candelabra.

Doug Wilson

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Soug Wilson | On Campus News | 15150

Douglas “Doug” Wilson was a grad student in Canada during the 1970s who placed an ad in the student newspaper because he wanted to start a gay group on campus, but was expelled when the department found out about it. Wilson filed a human rights complaint, but he lost because sexual orientation was not covered under the human rights code at the time. He went on to be a prominent gay activist, and the first openly gay politician to run for the Canadian Parliament. He was also a book publisher, and published his partner Peter McGehee’s novels, Boys Like Us (1991) and Sweetheart (1992). Mr Wilson remained a champion of gay rights until he died on September 26, 1992 of AIDS-related pneumonia.

In March 2009, Stubblejumper, (link opens press report) a film about Doug Wilson directed by David Geiss was screened in venues across Saskatchewan, while in honour of his role as a significant builder of LGBT culture and history in Canada, a portrait of Wilson by artist Alfred Ng is held in the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives’ National Portrait Collection.

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