Musings of an Aging Lesbian

 I was interviewed by a grad student yesterday. Among other things, he asked this question: What advice would I give people working in higher education today about LGBTQ people.  My response was that I cannot give such advice beyond loving on all students. The reality is that I’m 72. I have little in common beyond a shared history with young folks. They get to live lives about which I could only have hoped back in the day. While I was/am smart, courageous, and fearless, so are they in such dramatic and badass ways. I’m deeply proud of my former students and my own young grandchildren, and I will always stand up and stand with them. But I can no longer teach others about who they are. They are doing that quite well…

Gratitude Day 16

 Today I’m grateful for the music of the women such as Cris Williamson, Meg Christian, Holly Near, and Tret Fure, that still speaks to my heart and captures the spirit I feel so deep inside my soul. I’m grateful that Kelly and I still listen to those passionate, loving, women-rising songs.

 I invite you to add that for which you are grateful today.

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!


1502, Italy – Sandro Botticelli (c. 1445 – May 17, 1510) is accused of sodomy but the charges were dropped. Botticelli was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance. He belonged to the Florentine School under the patronage of Lorenzo de’ Medici. Botticelli’s posthumous reputation suffered until the late 19th century; since then, his work has been seen to represent the linear grace of Early Renaissance painting.

1928, UK – “The Well of Loneliness” by Radclyffe Hall (12 August 1880 – 7 October 1943) is declared obscene. Hall is best known for this groundbreaking work in lesbian literature.

1964 – Randy Wicker (born February 3, 1938) is a guest on “The Les Crane Show,” becoming the first openly gay person to appear on national television. Following the show, Wicker is barraged by hundreds of letters from isolated lesbians and gay men across the country. He is an American author, activist and blogger. After involvement in the early homophile and gay liberation movements, Wicker became active around the issue of human cloning.

1970, UK – The London Gay Liberation Front attends a demonstration in support of the National Union of Students.

1971 – Bruce Voeller (May 12, 1934 – February 13, 1994), chair of the Gay Activist Alliance State and Federal Affairs Committee, questions Sen. Ted Kennedy. Kennedy said he would support efforts to end policies which deny homosexuals the right to work gainfully in their professions.

1979 – Martin Sherman’s (born December 22, 1938)  “Bent,” about the Nazi persecution of homosexuals, starring Richard Gere and David Dukes, begins previews on Broadway. Sherman is an American dramatist and screenwriter best known for his 20 stage plays which have been produced in over 55 countries. He rose to fame in 1979 with the production of his Pulitzer Prize-nominated play Bent, which explores the persecution of homosexuals during the Holocaust

1984, Germany – The West German government announces it will attempt to pass legislation making it a crime for a person with AIDS to have sex.

1989, Germany – The Center for Homosexual Lifestyles was established in Berlin. It was the first time in Germany that a public office was established specifically to deal with the concerns of lesbians and gay men. Called the Referat fur Gleichgeschlectliche Lebensweisen (Center for Homosexual Lifestyles), the state-level office works to eliminate discrimination and promote understanding of gay men and lesbians.

1995, Canada – A directive was issued by the Canadian Government allowing workers in same-sex relationships to take time off in the event of a partner’s illness or death.

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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