Today in LGBT History – July 3

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.—Elie Wiesel

Learning our history IS resistance! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!

Today in LGBT History – July 3

1783 – Deborah Sampson Gannett (December 17, 1760 – April 29, 1827), was a woman who disguised herself as a man in order to serve in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. She is one of a small number of women with a documented record of military combat experience in that war.She served 17 months in the army under the name Robert Shirtliff of Uxbridge, Massachusetts.  During her first battle, on July 3, 1782, outside Tarrytown, New York, she took two musket balls in her thigh and a cut on her forehead. She begged her fellow soldiers to let her die and not take her to a doctor, but a soldier put her on his horse and took her to a hospital. The doctors treated her head wound, but she left the hospital before they could attend to her leg. Fearful that her identity would be discovered, she removed one of the balls herself with a penknifeand sewing needle, but the other one was too deep for her to reach. Her leg never fully healed. On April 1, 1783, she was reassigned to new duties, and spent seven months serving as a waiter to General John Paterson. On this day, Sampson was wounded in 1782, and was honorably discharged at West Point, New York in 1783. During the summer of 1783, Sampson became ill in Philadelphia and was cared for by Doctor Barnabas Binney(1751-1787). He removed her clothes to treat her and discovered the cloth she used to bind her breasts. Without revealing his discovery to army authorities, he took her to his house, where his wife, daughters, and a nurse took care of her. She was discharged at West Point, New York, on October 25, 1783, after a year and a half of service. In January 1792, Sampson petitioned the Massachusetts State Legislature for pay which the army had withheld from her because she was a woman. The legislature granted her petition and Governor John Hancock signed it. The legislature awarded her 34 pounds plus interest back to her discharge in 1783. An Official Record of Deborah Gannet’s service as “Robert Shirtliff” from May 20, 1782 to Oct 25, 1783 appears in the “Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War” series. During World War II the Liberty Ship S.S. Deborah Gannett (2620) was named in her honor. It was laid down March 10, 1944, launched April 10, 1944 and scrapped in 1962. As of 2001, the town flag of Plymptonincorporates Sampson as the Official Heroine of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Meryl Streep named Deborah Sampson as one of the women who made history in her speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention on July 26, 2016

1975 – In a change of policy, the U.S. Civil Service Commission decides to consider applications by lesbians and gay men on a case-by-case basis. Previously, homosexuality was grounds for automatic disqualification.

1981 – AIDS is first mentioned in the press in The New York Times article entitled “Rare cancer seen in 41 Homosexuals…” It’s the first story of a rare pneumonia and skin cancer called Kaposi’s sarcoma found in 41 gay men in New York and California. The CDC initially refers to the disease as GRID – Gay Related Immune Deficiency Disorder.

1989 – Andy Lippincott, a fictional character in the cartoon strip “Doonesbury,” was hospitalized with AIDS. The character first appears in January 1976, in a law library. Joanie Caucus becomes attracted to him while working before Lippincott confesses he is gay. Joanie is heartbroken, and takes some time to recover. Lippincott contributes position papers to Virginia Slade’s failed run for Congress in 1976. He disappears from the strip for a few years after this storyline. In 1982, the character reappears as an organizer for the Bay Area Gay Alliance and contributes to the congressional re-election of Lacey Davenport. In 1989 he returns to the strip again when he is diagnosed with AIDS. Over the course of the next year, Lippincott’s battles with the disease, and eventual death from it, helped bring the AIDS crisis into popular culture. Ultimately, he is shown dying to the sound of the Beach Boys‘ song “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.” This storyline led to a Pulitzer Prize nomination for Garry Trudeau, but three newspapers of the 900 carrying the strip refused to publish it as being in bad taste. Andy Lippincott may be the only fictional characterwith a panel on the AIDS quilt and hangs in The NAMES Project Foundation‘s offices in Atlanta, though it was not actually sewn into a block of The AIDS Memorial Quilt.

1992, Buenos Aires – An estimated 300 lesbians and gay men march in Argentina’s first-ever Pride Celebration. While same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults in private had been legal since 1887, there were no civil rights laws designed to protect LGBT people, and public opinion tended to look down upon LGBT people. While not given official recognition until 1992, the Comunidad Homosexual Argentina publicly campaigned for the human rights of LGBT people. Since 1987 the rights of gay and bisexual women have been defended by Cuadernos de Existencia Lesbiana. Significant legal and social progress began to be seen in the 1990s.

2000 — Arthur “JR” Warren, Jr.  (1974 – July 3, 2000) is murdered. Warren, 26, who was African American and gay, was beaten and then run over by a car. One of the two teens who killed him had been sexually involved with him and claimed he felt humiliated when rumors of their relationship began to spread.  Warren lived with learning disabilities and a birth defect that caused him to be born with several fingers missing on one hand. He was widely regarded in his community as a “soft spoken” young man. At 16, he came out to his mother and the minister at his church, and found acceptance and support with both. After his death, his mother Brenda Warren addressed a hate crimes rally in Washington, D.C. and lobbied for the inclusion of sexual orientation in West Virginia’s hate crimes law. Arthur Warren’s funeral was held on July 8, 2000, at his family’s church, and was attended by hundreds of mourners. His parents insisted that the coffin be open for viewing. “We want people to see what they did to my son,” said Brenda Warren. The Warrens later told CNN during an interview that they hoped the suspects would be tried as adults and the murder treated as a hate crime.

2003, Spain – The first gay hotel, the Axel, opens in Barcelona. The Axel company created a cosmopolitan and tolerant environment where atmosphere, diversity and respect are valued. The construction of Axel Hotel Barcelona, opened in 2003, was the beginning of a project that is now a chain. In 2007, Axel opened its first hotel in South America, the Axel Hotel Buenos Aires, and two years later, in 2009, Axel Hotel Berlin. 

2005, Spain – Same-sex marriage is legalized. In 2004, the nation’s newly elected Socialist Party (PSOE)Government, led by Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, begins a campaign for its legalization, including the right of adoption by same-sex couples. The law took on this day, making Spain the third country in the world to allow same-sex couples to marry across the entire country, after the Netherlands and Belgium, and 17 days ahead of the right being extended across all of Canada.

Stand up, speak out, share your story!




(Historical information obtained from a variety of sources including QUIST at,, Lavender Effect,, Arron’s Gay Info, All Things Queer, RS Levinson, Amara Das Wilhelm,, Safe Schools Coalition, and/or Wikipedia. If you wish to edit an item or add an item, please send an email to me at Thanks!)


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