THIS DAY IN LGBT HISTORY – DECEMBER 16

Musings of an Aging Lesbian

We went on a fun 3-mile hike yesterday morning into Indian Canyon with four other women. The morning was glorious and the hike was so healing for my degenerative disc thing. Even this morning as I type, my back feels strong and healthy. Last evening we saw a film presented by the Palm Springs Film Institute called Uncut Gems. I would have walked out but we were in the middle seats of a long row. Whatever goes on is Scorsese’s head to make such worthless drek is beyond me. Absolutely no redeeming value whatsoever. Miss it if you get a chance.

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!


THIS DAY IN LGBT HISTORY – DECEMBER 16

 342, Italy – The Theodosian Code, a compilation of Roman Law authorized by Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius II, passes. It reads: When a man marries and is about to offer himself to men in womanly fashion, what does he wish, when sex has lost all of its significance; when the crime is one which it is not profitable to know; when Venus is changed to another form; when love is sought and not found?…Those infamous persons who are now or hereafter may be guilty may be subjected to exquisite punishment.

1899 – Noel Coward (16 December 1899 – 26 March 1973), writer & composer is born. He was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called “a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise”. Coward was homosexual but, following the convention of his times, this was never publicly mentioned. Coward’s most important relationship, which began in the mid-1940s and lasted until his death, was with the South African stage and film actor Graham Payn (25 April 1918 – 4 November 2005) .

1901 – Margaret Mead  (December 16, 1901 – November 15, 1978), anthropologist, is born. Mead was a respected and often controversial academic who popularized the insights of anthropology in modern American and Western culture. Her reports detailing the attitudes towards sex in South Pacific and Southeast Asian traditional cultures influenced the 1960s sexual revolution. She was a proponent of broadening sexual mores within a context of traditional Western religious life. Mead never openly identified herself as lesbian or bisexual. In her writings she proposed that it is to be expected that an individual’s sexual orientation may evolve throughout life. Mead also had an exceptionally close relationship with Ruth Benedict, one of her instructors. In her memoir about her parents, With a Daughter’s Eye, Mary Catherine Bateson implies that the relationship between Benedict and Mead was partly sexual. She spent her last years in a close personal and professional collaboration with anthropologist Rhoda Metraux, with whom she lived from 1955 until her death in 1978. Letters between the two published in 2006 with the permission of Mead’s daughter clearly express a romantic relationship. On January 19, 1979, President Jimmy Carter announced that he was awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously to Mead.

1978 – A protest march is held in Toronto over the raid of a bathhouse. It is the first major demonstration over a bathhouse rain in Toronto and attracts about 400 people.



1997, New Zealand – The New Zealand court of appeals rules unanimously against giving same-sex couples the right to marry under the Marriage Act of 1955. 

1983 – Mel Brook’s “To Be or Not To Be,” a remake of the Ernst Lubitsch classic, becomes the first mainstream Hollywood film to not just acknowledge Nazi persecution of homosexuals but makes it a key plot element.


Stand up, speak out, share your story!

Warmly,

Ronni

(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 ronnisanlo@gmail.com. Thanks!)

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