Today in LGBT History – July 8

My greatest disappointment is that I believe that those of us who went through the war and tried to write about it, about their experience, became messengers. We have given the message, and nothing changed. —Elie Wiesel

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

Today in LGBT History – July 8

1864 – Fred Holland Day (July 8, 1864 – November 12, 1933) is born. He was an American photographer and publisher, and the first to advocate that photography should be considered a fine art. Day’s life and works had long been controversial since his photographic subjects were often nude young men. Since the 1990s, Day’s works have been included in major exhibitions by museum curators, notably in the solo Day retrospective at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 2000/2001 and similar shows at the Royal Photographic Society in England and the Fuller Museum of Art. Art historians are once again taking an interest in Day, and there are now significant academic texts on Day’s homoerotic portraiture, and its similarities to the work of Walter Pater and Thomas Eakins.

1950 – Harry Hay (April 7, 1912 – October 24, 2002) and Rudi Gernreich (August 8, 1922 – April 21, 1985) meet on this day and later found the Mattachine Society, one of the earliest homophile organizations in the U.S. Hay was a prominent American gay rightsactivist, communist, labor advocate, and Native American civil rightscampaigner. He was a founder of the Mattachine Society, the first sustained gay rights group in the United States, as well as the Radical Faeries, a loosely affiliated gay spiritual movement. Gernreich was an Austrian-born American fashion designer whose avant-garde clothing designs are generally regarded as the most innovative and dynamic fashion of the 1960s. He purposefully used fashion design as a social statement to advance sexual freedom, producing clothes that followed the natural form of the female body, freeing them from the constraints of high fashion.

1978 – A group of men attack homosexuals in Central Park in New York City, injuring several with baseball bats, including former Olympic and world champion ice skater Dick Button (born July 18, 1929).

1980 – The Democratic Rules Committee states that it will not discriminate against homosexuals. At their National Convention on August 11-14, the Democrats become the first major political party to endorse a homosexual rights platform.

1981, Canada – In Montreal the owner of Sauna David is found guilty of keeping a common bawdyhouse. The charges were the result of a police raid on bathhouse April 26, 1980.

2010 –  U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Tauro in Massachusetts becomes the first to rule that a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

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!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.