Musings of an Aging Lesbian

A few days ago, Kelly and I were on the UCLA campus. We did a Kelly mystery-history tour, through the dental school, the medical center, sorority row, and classrooms. I loved hearing her UCLA story and of her shenanigans there. And as I heard her story, I remembered mine both at the University of Florida where I was an undergrad and at UCLA from where I retired. As the song says: memories bring back memories… Indeed.

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!


 1922 – James and Louise Hathaway were approached by Boston police regarding a possible attempted car theft. What followed was the unmasking of James’s true identity: James was actually Ethel Kimball of Allston. 

1928 – Having been published in Paris the previous July, Radclyffe Hall’s (12 August 1880 – 7 October 1943) “The Well of Loneliness,” the first major novel in English with an explicitly lesbian theme, is published in the U.S. Americans buy more than 20,000 copies of the book within the next month, making it a bestseller. Marguerite Radclyffe Hall was an English poet and author. She is best known for the novel The Well of Loneliness, a groundbreaking work in lesbian literature. Hall’s partner was Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge (8 March 1887 – 24 September 1963) who was a British sculptor and translator.

1950 – A U.S. Senate committee makes public its report on “The Employment of Homosexuals and Other Sex Perverts.” Asserting that homosexuals are a security risk not simply because they are liable to blackmail but also because homosexuality inevitably perverts “moral fibre,” the report recommends stringent measures be taken to root all lesbians and gay men out of government. The federal government had covertly investigated employees’ sexual orientation at the beginning of the Cold War. The report states since homosexuality is a mental illness, homosexuals “constitute security risks” to the nation because “those who engage in overt acts of perversion lack the emotional stability of normal persons.”

1959 – Mattachine officer Don Lucas (1926 – Sept. 24, 2003) writes Boston Mattachine founder Prescott Townsend (June 24, 1894 – May 23, 1973) asking him to not begin a campaign for Massachusetts sodomy law reform. Reflecting the cautious conservatism of the current homophile movement, Lucas believes the risk of a backlash is too great.

1967 – Laura M. Ricketts (born December 15, 1967) is co-owner of the Chicago Cubs. Ricketts is also a board member of Lambda Legal and the Housing Opportunities for Women organization. Ricketts’ ownership stake in the Cubs is uniquely noteworthy because it makes her the first openly gay owner of a major-league sports franchise.

1973 – The governing board of the American Psychiatric Association unanimously votes to change the classification of homosexuality and removes it from the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.” This followed three years of pressure from gay liberation movement. The board bases this decision on its finding that most lesbians and gay men are clearly satisfied with their sexual orientation and show no signs of mental illness. The APA declares that “by itself, homosexuality does not meet the criteria for being a psychiatric disorder.”

1973 – Christopher R. Barron (born December 15, 1973) is an American political activist best known as the cofounder of GOProud, a political organization representing gay conservatives. He is the president of CapSouth Consulting, a political consultingfirm, and previously the organizer of LGBT for Trump and the national political director for Log Cabin Republicans, where he directed the organization’s federal lobbying efforts and media relations. Barron lives in Washington, D.C. with his husband Shawn R. Gardner, to whom he has been legally married since 2010. He has stated that he served in the Air Force Reserve. Barron has written numerous opinion pieces for The Washington PostThe Huffington PostThe Boston GlobeRoll CallThe Hill, Politico, TheBlaze, The Daily Caller, and United Liberty. He has appeared on numerous national and local television channels, including MSNBCNBCCBSCNNCNN Headline NewsABC News Now, and Fox News, including being a frequent guest on Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld.

1977, Canada – The National Assembly, in quiet late-night session, amends the Quebec Charter of Human Rights to include sexual orientation. It becomes first province and largest political jurisdiction in North America to provide legal protection for homosexuals. 

1980 – Kortney Ryan Ziegler (born December 15, 1980) is an American filmmaker, visual artist, blogger, writer, and scholar based in Oakland, California. His artistic and academic work focuses on queer/trans issues, body image, racialized sexualities, gender, performance and black queer theory. Ziegler is also the first person to receive the PhD of African-American studiesfrom Northwestern University in 2011.

1988, Netherlands – The Free University of Amsterdam convenes the International Scientific Conference on Gay and Lesbian Studies. The highlight of the session is a heated debate inspired by the Constructionism VS. Essentialism controversy, entitled “Homosexuality, Which Homosexuality?”

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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