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Friday, November 9, 2012

「Portrait of Franklin Kameny」

「Portrait of Franklin Kameny」
Don Bachardy
Mariposa portrait series 
Human Sexuality Collection

According to Teresa Theophano who is one of the authors of <glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture>, Bachardy was ordered to paint a series of portraits of gay right activists in the late 1980s. It was Bruce Voeller of the Mariposa Education and Research Foundation who commissioned it. Among the series of portraits, there were studies of Elaine Noble, Frank Kameny, Phyllis Lyon, Del Martin, Morris Kight, Charles Bryden, James Foster, Bruce Voeller, David B. Goodstein, Jean O'Leary, Reverend Troy Perry, and Barbara Gittings. As the Mariposa foundation after Voeller died in 1995, this series was handed to the Human Sexuality Collection at Cornell University Library.
Cornell University Library introduces the series of portraits in the context of gay right movements. These are what it says; In the 1950s and 1960s, gay or homosexual women and men, bisexuals, and transgender people faced the problems of police raids on their bars and employment and housing discrimination. Not only was homosexuality criminalized in most states, but it was also considered a mental illness. Homophile groups worked to convince professions such as lawyers, ministers, doctors, psychologists, and journalists to adopt more positive views of homosexuals.
The model of this portrait, Franklin Kameny had been an astronomer for the Army Map Service before he was fired because of being gay. He filed a suit against the company for unfair dismissal but it was also dismissed by court. After that, he formed the Mattachine Society of Washington.

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