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Vandals Pull Down Historic Marker Dedicated To Ohio Born Lesbian Natalie Barney

07/09/10-by Bridgette P. LaVictoire
Natalie Barney was the daughter of Albert Clifford Barney and Alice Pike Barney. She was born in Dayton, OH in 1879. Author, literary patron and lesbian, Barney once stated “my queerness is not a vice, is not deliberate, and harms no one.” She believed that her being lesbian was natural. She spent most of her life in Paris where homosexuality was, at least, tolerated.

She had an historical marker in the town of her birth. Had being the operative word here since vandals decided to knock her memorial marker down. According to John Gantt, executive director of the Greater Dayton LGBT Center, the marker was knocked down some time during the night before Wednesday, 7 July. According to Gantt “A friend noticed it had been torn down and told me about it. I called police and they came and took a report.”

The metal plaque was cracked when it was torn off its pole, but it was not stolen. In all likelihood, this was a hate crime since apparently no other signs were damaged or destroyed and the sign was not stolen. Because it is metal, theft would have indicated someone desperate enough to try and sell it for money.

Gantt stated “It’s a hate crime because why would someone tear it down and not take it. They just left it there and no other sign was damaged.” The marker was put up in October 2009. There was an insurance policy on the marker because the center had feared vandalism.

In 1900, Barney published her first volume of lesbian love poems “Quelques Portraits-Sonnets de Femmes.”

Story and Photo via Source

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