Queer Places:
Memorial Kleykamp Bombing, Carnegieplein 4, 2517 KJ Den Haag, Netherlands

Joannes Henri François , called Henri , ( Dordrecht , July 8, 1884 - The Hague , December 7, 1948 ) was a Dutch writer and gay activist .

François was the son of the director of the Dordrecht gas and water company. After a depressing time as a young man in The Hague, he found solace in the Rein Levenbeweging , and committed itself to complete abstinence and purity in the sexual field. At the age of nineteen, he attended LSAM von Römer's lecture Unfamiliar, and he came home "as a reborn human being" because he finally realized that he was gay , and that there were thousands of others like him who could love man, just like any other. [1]

A short time later, he left for Semarang in the Dutch East Indies to begin an official career. He was going to love Indonesia, and also his people. He had an open eye for the injustice of the relations between the ruling Dutch, the Indians and the indigenous people. Back in The Hague in 1908, he started writing. Almost all of his fiction, six novels and nine short stories, are steeped in idealism and the pursuit of a just society....... François was a pacifist and vegetarian and fought for equal rights of homosexuals and Indos.

In 1909, he met the young writer MJJ Exler , who showed him the manuscript of his book Levensleed , a novel that sometimes reads like a lecture on homosexuality and then (in 1911) appeared with an introduction by the German sexologist and gay man, emancipator Magnus Hirschfeld . François favorably reviewed Levensleed in the literary magazine Den Gulden Winckel , and as a result he was approached by Jacob Schorer , who had just established the Dutch branch of Hirschfeld's Wissenschaftlich-humanitarian Committee , the first Dutch organization to deal with homosexuality. [2] From that moment until the abolition of the Dutch Scientific Humanitarian Committee (NWHK) in 1940 he remained Schorer's closest associate. At his request, he also reviewed the Bücher by Liebe van Sagitta, the pseudonym of the German poet John Henry Mackay . He later allowed his own name and address to be used to order Sagitta's work, when it was banned in Germany.

In the years before the First World War, he was heavily involved in the burgeoning struggle for an independent Indonesia; he joined the circle of Tjipto Mangoenkoesoemo and Ernest Douwes Dekker . François's most important works appeared in the period 1914-1922.d 1914- In 1914 his extensive novel Where the Gamelan Sounds was published, in which the world of the mundane The Hague and the world of Dutch-India are juxtaposed.

In 1916, at Schorer's request, he published the Open Letter to those who are different from the others, a work that was intended to comfort and support young homosexuals in particular. The Open Letter was distributed by the Schorer Committee until well into the 1930s. It is the very first Dutch expression of gay pride. François' first novel with a gay theme was Anders , published in 1918 under the pseudonym Charley van Heezen . The book has a certain didactic design, and ends well, which was very unusual for a book from those years with a homo theme. Four years later, under the same pseudonym he published Het Mask , a very recognizable key word for the homosexuals of that period. These two books, with the aforementioned Levensleed, are considered the 'gay trend novels' that were to form the image of the pre-war homosexual. But Het Mask is more than that; the book gives a startling atmospheric drawing of the distress of Dutch society and the impact of the so-called 'Hague Seed Scandal' of 1920.

In 1921, François returned to Indonesia, where he remained until 1935 with the Department of Education and Public Service.lic Ser In 1936, he made a trip to India, where he talked to Nehru and Gandhi about possible independence of Dutch-India and Java . In 1939, still in collaboration with Schorer, he wrote a brochure a brochure What the Indian Moral Crimes Have to Tell Us about the 1938-1939 gay scandal in the Dutch East Indies, involving hundreds of And on May 10, 1940, he assisted Schorer with Han Stijkel in the destruction of the extensive archive of the NWHK.

Little is known about how François got through the war years;e war y only that he showed personal courage by rescuing people from a burning building during the fire of Kleykamp in 1944. In 1946 he again explained in a brochure a brochure 37 years of Indonesian freedom movement that the Dutch owed the bloody struggle entirely to their own policies. There were also several translations of his hand, including a biography of N François was also involved in the very first developments around what would later become the COC . He was one of those who attended the first meeting of the readership 'Ons Leven' on January 14, 1940, and also wrote in the gay magazine Levensrecht that appeared in 1940 and 1946-1948.


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  1. https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joannes_Henri_Fran%C3%A7ois