Musings of an Aging Lesbian
I went to the dermatologist yesterday. I have a 30 year history of basal cell because I spent every waking moment working on my tan when I was younger…for decades. In 2007 I was diagnosed with melanoma. Luckily, it was caught fast and was rated as a 0. It was only .25 in diameter. I had surgery and it was gone. The bummer was in 2006 I bought a house in Palm Desert, bought a gorgeous Toyota convertible, and had a new girlfriend who had a house with a pool where we swam au naturale. And then melanoma. Scared the crap out of me. I was devastated, thinking my entire lifestyle was over. Soon, though, I learned about UPF clothing and sunscreen, so I stepped back outside again. Now, 12 years later, I had a biopsy on a ding on my nose. I won’t know the results for a few days, just enough time to allow me to brood, fret, and be fearful about what it could be. I need to change my attitude FAST and be grateful for my body and my health, as I am every other day, and know that all is as it’s supposed to be.
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 7
1682 – The Province of Pennsylvania, under a strong Quaker influence, repeals the capital sodomy law of 1676. The new law makes a first offence punishable by whipping, loss of 1/3 of one’s property, and six months hard labor. A second offence is punishable by life imprisonment. The revision makes the province one of only two where a man could not be put to death for sodomy at the time. In West New Jersey, also a Quaker colony, no sodomy law is in effect.
1873 – Author Willa Cather (December 7, 1873 – April 24, 1947) is born. She was an American writer who achieved recognition for her novels of frontier life on the Great Plains, including O Pioneers! (1913), The Song of the Lark (1915), and My Ántonia (1918). In 1923 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours (1922), a novel set during World War I. Cather wrote a number of short stories, including “Tommy, the Unsentimental,” about a Nebraskan girl with a boy’s name, who looks like a boy and saves her father’s bank business. Janis P. Stout calls this story one of several Cather works that “demonstrate the speciousness of rigid gender roles and give favorable treatment to characters who undermine conventions. As a student at the University of Nebraska in the early 1890s, Cather sometimes used the masculine nickname “William” and wore masculine clothing. Throughout Cather’s adult life, her most significant friendships were with women. These included her college friend Louise Pound; the Pittsburgh socialite Isabelle McClung, with whom Cather traveled to Europe and at whose Toronto home she stayed for prolonged visits; the opera singer Olive Fremstad; the pianist Yaltah Menuhin; and most notably, the editor Edith Lewis, with whom Cather lived the last 39 years of her life.
1916 – The manager of a New York City Turkish bathhouse for men committed suicide after vice police raided the establishment and arrested 37 men
1775 – Franciscan Chaplain Father Pedro Font describes two-spirit people among the Yuma in his diary entry: “Among the women I saw some men dressed like women with whom they go about regularly. The commander called them amaricados because the Yuma call effeminate men Americas.”
1946, Amsterdam – Said to be the oldest surviving organization for LGBT rights, Netherlands’ Center for Culture and Leisure (COC) was established in Amsterdam in 1946. The goals of the COC. were twofold: to contribute to social emancipation, and to offer culture and recreation for gay men and lesbians. The social emancipation focused on getting article 248-bis in the Wetboek van Strafrecht, the main code for Dutch criminal law, revoked. Originally named the “Shakespeare club,” the founders were gay men who were active with “Levensrecht” (Right To Live), a magazine founded a few months before the German invasion in 1940, and re-appeared after the war. The Shakespeare club was renamed in 1949 to “Cultuur-en Ontspanningscentrum” (C.O.C.). From its beginning in 1946 until 1962, the chair was Bob Angelo, a pseudonym of Niek Engelschman (November 12, 1913 – October 27, 1988).
1989, Turkey – Journalist Ibrehim Eren (born 1964) is imprisoned for protesting police harassment of gays. He was held for four months. In September, 2017, he was appointed the 17th director general of public broadcaster Turkish Radio and Television (TRT).
1993 – In Texas, Williamson County commissioners reversed a decision to deny Apple Computer tax breaks for a new facility in the county because of its policy of extending benefits to employees’ same-sex domestic partners. Several of the commissioners, however, continued to express condemnation of “the gay lifestyle.”
1997- Speaking before a Georgetown University audience of about 300, three Jesuits presented their different perspectives on how the church should regard and spiritually counsel gay men and lesbians. Cardinal James A Hickey objected to the debate because he felt that the conservative view on the wrongness of homosexuality would not get a fair hearing.
1999 – The school board in Orange California vote 7-0 to reject an application from students at El Modena High School to form a gay/straight alliance.
2015, Venezuela – Transgender woman Tamara Adrian (born 20 February 1954) is elected to the National Assembly. Prior to her election to the Venezuelan legislature, Adrián worked as a lawyer and LGBT activist, including serving on the board of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association and the organizing committee of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. She was forced to register her candidacy under her male birth name, as Venezuelan law does not currently permit a transgender person to legally change their name.
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!)