Musings of an Aging Lesbian

It’s Christmas morning. Kelly and Dooney are still asleep. I have the tree lights turned on as I write in the dark of early morning. Our dinner party last night was a great success and the kitchen is nearly put back together. Today will be sweet: presents, breakfast, the movie Cats, two noon parties to attend, then to a different theater to see Star Wars. Cool and clear, the day to be spend with friends from all around Palm Springs.

Sarah Hurwitz shared eight Jewish social justice values to celebrate each night of Chanukah which was published by the American Jewish World Service. I will share one a day for the eight days of Chanukah. Today at Sunday begins Day 4, THE INFINITE WORTH OF EACH HUMAN LIFE: One who destroys a life, Jewish tradition tells us, is considered to have destroyed the entire world; one who saves a life has saved the entire world. A person is not a statistic or a unit of GDP, but a boundlessly precious being who has an entire universe of potential. This may seem obvious, but how many of us have walked right by a homeless person on the street who asked for our help? If that person had been a celebrity, would we have stopped? If we had seen a laptop lying on the street, would we have stopped?

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!


1886 – Sarah Bigelow, 18, and Lizzie Hart, 19, commit suicide in Massachusetts. Lizzie was apparently so bereft due to her mother’s death that she wanted to die. On her deathbed, Sarah said she loved Lizzie so much that she “would not let her die without me.”

1908, UK – Quentin Crisp (25 December 1908 – 21 November 1999)  is born. Named Denis Charles Pratt, Crisp becomes a gay icon in the 1970s after publication of his memoir, The Naked Civil Servant, detailing his life in homophobic British Society. When the book was adapted for television, Crisp began a new career as a performer and lecturer. From a conventional suburban background, Crisp enjoyed wearing make-up and painting his nails, and worked as a rent-boy in his teens. He then spent thirty years as a professional model for life-classes in art colleges. The interviews he gave about his unusual life attracted increasing public curiosity and he was soon sought after for his highly individual views on social manners and the cultivating of style. His one-man stage show was a long-running hit both in Britain and America and he also appeared in films and on TV. In 1995 he was among the many people interviewed for The Celluloid Closet, an historical documentary addressing how Hollywood films have depicted homosexuality. In his third volume of memoirs Resident Alien published in the same year, Crisp stated that he was close to the end of his life, though he continued to make public appearances and in June of that year he was one of the guest entertainers at the second Pride Scotland festival in Glasgow.

1950 – Time magazine runs its first article on homosexuality, saying that homosexuals should not work in government jobs because they are a security risk. 

1989, Germany – Leonard Bernstein (August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) conducts Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in East Berlin’s Schauspielhaus as part of the country’s celebration of the fall of the Berlin Wall. He had conducted the same piece in West Berlin the previous day. Bernstein was an American composerconductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist who was bisexual. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the US to receive worldwide acclaim. According to music critic Donal Henahan, he was “one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history.

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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