Musings of an Aging Lesbian
Yesterday I wrote a bit about silence and how hard it used to be for me to just sit silently and meditate, contemplate. Today, in Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, I read courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen. It seemed (and maybe still seems at times) that I get silent when I show up, or at least when I’m in a gathering. Today I try to be engaged in positive ways, to ask people about themselves, to not talk about my so much. I’ve always been uncomfortable in gatherings of any kind unless I was there for a purpose, work, my documentary or plays, something about which I could safely talk and not really be visible. But I’ve come to learn that being visible, letting myself be me as I learn about others, may be scarier at first but it always leads to lovely conversations and connections. I may never get entirely comfortable with gatherings but I will show up and be myself…even at this ripe old age of 72.
Rudyard Kipling said: If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten. The snippets of LGBTQ history here are the stories of our lives, the stories of the giants on whose shoulders we all stand. Learn about them then tell the stories and remember…
Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!
Today in LGBT History – OCTOBER 7
1940 – Althea Garrison (born October 7, 1940) is born. She is an American politician from Boston, Massachusetts who was elected as a Republican to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1992 and served one term from 1993 to 1995. Both before and after Garrison’s successful bid for office, she ran unsuccessfully in multiple elections for the state legislature and Boston City Council, as a Republican, Democrat, or independent, which has resulted in her being described in the media as a “perennial candidate.” Garrison is also known as the first transgender or transsexual person to be elected to a state legislature in the United States.
1943 – Famed author Marguerite Radclyffe Hall (12 August 1880 – 7 October 1943) passes away. Hall’s novel The Well of Loneliness was banned in several countries because of lesbian content.
1959 – Russell Wolden, running for mayor of San Francisco as a Democrat, accuses the incumbent of welcoming and collaborating with the city’s “sex deviates.” His tactic backfires: the city’s newspapers accuse him of irresponsible mudslinging, and he loses in the next month’s elections.
1959 – Pillow Talk, starring Doris Day, the closeted gay actor Rock Hudson (November 17, 1925 – October 2, 1985), and the straight actor everyone thought was gay Tony Randall, opens in theaters and becomes the 2nd highest grossing film of the 1950’s.
1964 – Walter Jenkins (March 23, 1918 – November 23, 1985), Lyndon B. Johnson’s top aide, was arrested for having sex in the men’s bathroom of his local YMCA just blocks from the White House. Jenkins who was married, had 6 children, and was never divorced from his wife.
1967 – The Advocate begins publication. The magazine is the oldest and largest LGBT publication in the United States and the only surviving one of its kind that was founded before the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City, an incident that is generally credited as the beginning of the LGBT rights movement.
1975 – Musician Elton John (born March 25, 1947) said he was bisexual in Rolling Stone magazine. He is an English singer, pianist, and composer, and has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriting partner since 1967; they have collaborated on more than 30 albums to date. He has received five Grammy Awards, five Brit Awards – winning two awards for Outstanding Contribution to Music and the first Brits Icon in 2013 for his “lasting impact on British culture“, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Tony Award, a Disney Legends award, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004. He has been heavily involved in the fight against AIDS since the late 1980s. He has been openly gay since 1988, entered into a civil partnership with David Furnish on 21 December 2005, and after same-sex marriage became legal in England and Wales in 2014, wed Furnish on 21 December 2014. He continues to be a champion for LGBT social movements worldwide.
1981, Canada – In Toronto, a Dykes in the Street march, sponsored by Lesbians Against the Right, becomes the first lesbian pride march in the city.
1983 – The first explicitly LGBT internet newsgroup was founded by Steve Dyer called soc.motss. The abbreviation “motss” stood for “members of the same sex,” an unflashy acronym that would make it less of a potential target for censorship. University of Colorado–Boulder professor Amy Goodloe, who started many lesbian Usenet groups as well as found and run lesbian.org in 1995, calls soc.motss the first explicitly LGBTQ newsgroup—and possibly the first explicitly LGBTQ international space of any kind.
1986 – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors outlaws the sale and use of “poppers” (amyl nitrate).
1987 – A US Justice Department report declared the most frequent victims of hate crimes are gays, lesbians, and bisexuals.
1993 – A protest, complete with a book burning, was held to object to a donation of two gay-themed books, Annie on My Mind and All-American Boys to 42 Kansas City Missouri high schools.
1993 – The AFL-CIO unanimously approves a resolution to actively oppose attempts to repeal gay rights laws. The vote was held at the labor union’s biennial convention in San Francisco.
1996 – 250 students in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania walked out of class to protest the school board’s passage of a “pro-family” resolution which banned positive discussion of homosexuality.
2014, Kenya – Transgender activist Audrey Mbugua (born 1984) wins a landmark case against the Kenya National Examinations Council who had refused to change her name and gender marker on her academic diploma. She is a Kenyan transgender activist who has been involved in legal actions in the High Court of Kenya to fight for the rights of transgender people.
Stand up, speak out, share your story!
(Historical information obtained from a variety of sources including QUIST at facebook.com/quistapp, Back2Stonewall.com, #LavenderEffect, DataLounge.com, #ArronsGayInfo, #AllThingsQueer, #RSLevinson, #AmaraDasWilhelm, out.com, #SafeSchoolsCoalition, and/or Wikipedia. If you wish to edit an item or add an item, please send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!)