Musings of an Aging Lesbian

I saw the movie Bombshell last night. It was a powerful film of the take-down of Roger Ailles and Bill O’Reilly by Gretchen Carlson and Megan Kelly. The most poignant moment for me was when a young woman who was being harassed by Ailles became angry at Megan Kelly for not charging Ailles sooner., implying that if she had, other young women like herself would have been saved from him. And THAT’s why we all do what we do: to save the younger generation from the pain and horribleness that we experienced. Great film. A must-see…and Kate McKinnon was terrific!

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!


1909, Sweden – Selma Lagerlof (20 November 1858 – 16 March 1940)  is the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. In 1992 her love letters to Sophie Elkan (3 January 1853, Gothenburg –5 April 1921) are published which reveal a romantic relationship between the two women from 1894 until Elkan’s death in 1921.. A Swedish writer of Jewish origin, Elkan became her friend and companion and their letters suggest Lagerlöf fell deeply in love with her. Over many years, Elkan and Lagerlöf critiqued each other’s work. Lagerlöf wrote of Elkan’s strong influence on her work, often disagreeing sharply with the direction Lagerlöf wanted to take in her books. Selma’s letters to Sophie were published in 1993, titled Du lär mig att bli fri.

1945 – John Preston (December 11, 1945 – April 28, 1994) is born. He was an author of gay erotica and an editor of gay nonfiction anthologies. In addition, Preston wrote men’s adventure novels under the pseudonyms of Mike McCray, Preston MacAdam, and Jack Hilt (pen names that he shared with other authors). Taking what he had learned from authoring those books, he wrote the “Alex Kane” adventure novels about gay characters. These books, which included “Sweet Dreams,” “Golden Years,” and “Deadly Lies,” combined action-story plots with an exploration of issues such as the problems facing gay youth. Preston was among the first writers to popularize the genre of safe sex stories, editing a safe sex anthology entitled Hot Living in 1985. He helped to found the AIDS Project of Southern Maine. In the late 1980s, he discovered that he himself was HIV positive. He died of AIDS complications on April 28, 1994, aged 48, at his home in Portland. His papers are held in the Preston Archive at Brown University.

1973 – Activist Mark Segal interrupts a live broadcast of CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite to protest biased stories about homosexuals on CBS. He walks in front of the camera carrying a sign which read “GAYS PROTEST CBS BIGOTRY.” It resulted in his fourth arrest. He is an American journalist. He is the president of the National Gay Newspaper Guild and the founder and publisher of Philadelphia Gay News. 1973 – Mark Allan Segal (born 1953) is an American journalist. He is the president of the National Gay Newspaper Guild and the founder and publisher of Philadelphia Gay News, one of the two oldest LGBT weekly publications in the United States, and the largest on the East Coast. By 1973, Segal, along with Harry Langhorne, calling themselves Gay Raiders, had zapped “The Tonight Show,” “Today,” “The Mike Douglas Show” and then the “CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite,” that time holding a sign saying “Gays Protests CBS Prejudice.”  On December 11, 1973, he broke through security and “zapped” the Walter Cronkite news program to protest an anti-gay presentation.

1980, Canada – In Ottawa, representatives of the Canadian Association of Lesbians and Gay Men (CALGM) appear before the Joint Senate/House Committee on the Constitution to argue for inclusion of “sexual orientation” in the entrenched Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

1982 – San Francisco Mayor Diane Feinstein vetoes a domestic partnership bill.

1986 – Austin, Texas passes an ordinance prohibiting discrimination against people with AIDS.

1990 – In Newark, New Jersey an inmate with AIDS files suit against the Department of Corrections, saying they moved him out of a private cell and assigned him to labor which could endanger his health. He claimed the action was taken because he spoke to a reporter about AIDS in New Jersey prisons.

1998 – At a meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in Denver, a resolution was passed rejecting reparative therapy. It stated that attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation can cause depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behaviour. A similar resolution was passed by the American Psychological Association in August, 1997. Dr. Nada Stotland, head of the association’s public affairs committee, told the Denver Post that the very existence of reparative therapy spreads the idea that homosexuality is a disease or is evil and has a dehumanizing effect resulting in an increase in discrimination, harassment, and violence against gays, lesbians, and bisexuals.

1998 – The mother of Tyra Hunter (1970 – August 7, 1995) is awarded $2.9 million in a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Washington DC. Hunter, a pre-operative transsexual, died of injuries sustained in a car accident in 1995. Emergency medical technicians at the scene were abusive and withheld treatment, and a doctor at DC General Hospital failed to follow nationally accepted standards of care.

1998 – A Suffolk Superior Court judge struck down Boston’s health plan for same-sex partners of city workers. 

Stand up, speak out, share your story!



(Historical information obtained from a variety of sources including QUIST at,, #LavenderEffect,, #ArronsGayInfo, #AllThingsQueer, #RSLevinson, #AmaraDasWilhelm,, #SafeSchoolsCoalition, 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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