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Gay History celebrates the lives of famous gay men, gay celebrities and gay icons from the worlds of Film/TV, Art, Design, Music, Literature, Business and Politics. 200+ Intimate Profiles - Tchaikovsky to George Michael, Oscar Wilde to Truman Capote, Salvador Dali to David Hockney, Yves St Laurent to Gianni Versace, Rock Hudson to Stephen Fry to name but a few - they form a vast and exciting part of gay history.
Edwin Cameron
Life Span: Born 1953, Pretoria, South Africa
Star Sign: Unknown
Famous As: High Court judge

Childhood: His mother was an Afrikaner, and his father was a first-generation Scottish-South African. Unlike other white families in South Africa at the time they were comparatively poor. When he was six his mother put him and his sister into a children's home.

Education: He went to eight different schools but ended up at a very good high school. He then went to study law and Latin at Stellenbosch University. He won a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford where he went in 1976 to take a BA in jurisprudence. While at Oxford he won its highest prize for law, the Vinerian. He graduated with a first class honours degree. He then took an LLB at the University of South Africa, with an award for best law graduate.

Work: He was at the general bar for three years and then moved to the Human Rights Institute at the Witwatersrand University Centre for Applied Legal Studies.
He did legal work for the ANC and the trade union COSATU. He defended captured guerrillas.
He founded a gay lawyers group which took over the law reform trust which was held by the Gay Association of South Africa (GASA).
He worked with members of GASA, including Kevin Botha, to lobby for the inclusion of sexual orientation in the new South African constitution. Cameron believed that he became infected with HIV in the 1980s but on the advice of colleagues decided that there was no need to reveal the fact.
In 1993/4 he was part of the drafting team for the development of the South African national AIDS policy. At the end of 1997 he fell ill and started combination therapy. When he was interviewed for a seat on the South African Constitutional Court he decided that he had to make a statement about his health. In April 1999 he confirmed publicly that he was living with AIDS.

Greatest Achievements: He became a High Court judge in 1995 aged 42. On 10th July 2000 he gave the Jonathan Mann memorial lecture at the 13th. International AIDS conference which South Africa was hosting in Durban. His criticism of the way that President Thabo Mbeki had been handling the HIV/AIDS crisis was reported on radio and television that day, and in the press the following day.

Friends & Relationships: He divorced his wife when he realised that he was gay.

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