Musings of an Aging Lesbian

Today I’m remembering the AIDS WALK in Jacksonville, FL, perhaps because I saw a Facebook post rom someone I knew back then. I left Jacksonville in 1994 but I walked in each of the early AIDS WALKs there. Today I am grateful for the sweet memories of Tony O’Connor, David Jones, Mark Oswald, Ron Davis, Tasha Butler, and way too many more. Tony is one of those angels who has always sat on my shoulder as a special guide… I miss them. As the Maroon 5 song says: memories bring back memories bring back memories of you.

Gratitude Day 19

 Today I’m grateful for the memories, the good and the bad, that remind me that I’ve lived a very full life.

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!


1933 – Christa Winsloe’s (23 December 1888 – 10 June 1944) book “The Child Manuela” is reviewed in the New York Times. It was a translation from a German book about a lesbian relationship in a school for girls. The reviewer referred to it as “a social document that is moving and eloquent.” Winsloe was a 20th-century German-Hungarian novelistplaywright and sculptor. Winsloe wrote Das Mädchen Manuela (“The Child Manuela”), a short novel based on her experiences at Kaiserin-Augusta. Winsloe was involved in a relationship with newspaper reporter Dorothy Thompson, probably before World War II when Thompson was reporting from Berlin.  She moved to France in the late 1930s, fleeing the Nazis. During World War II, she joined the French Resistance. Contrary to what is often stated, she was not executed by the Nazis. Instead, on June 10, 1944, Winsloe and her French partner, Simone Gentet, were shot and killed by four Frenchmen in a forest near the country town of Cluny. The men said that they had thought the women were Nazi spies and later acquitted of murder.

1922, Canada – Canadian immigration authorities allowed the Irish lover of a Canadian citizen to immigrate legally. This was the first time in North America that a same-sex relationship was used as the basis for immigration.

1934 – Political activist Jim Foster  (November 19, 1934– October 31, 1990) is born. He founded the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club in 1972, the country’s first gay Democratic political club. Foster co-founded the Society for Individual Rights (SIR), an early homophile organization, in 1964. In 1971, Foster, along with Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, transformed the SIR Political Action Committee into the Alice B. Toklas Memorial Democratic Club. The first U.S. gay community center opens, in San Francisco, led by The Society for Individual Rights.

1942 – Bisexual Clothing designer Calvin Klein (November 19, 1942) is born.

1982 – Marilyn Barnett files a palimony suit against Billie Jean King (November 22, 1943) but it’s thrown out of court. in 1971, King began an intimate relationship with her secretary, Marilyn Barnett (born January 28, 1948). King acknowledged the relationship when it became public in a May 1981 ‘palimony‘ lawsuit filed by Barnett, making King the first prominent professional female athlete to come out as a lesbian. Feeling she could not admit to the extent of the relationship, King publicly called it a fling and a mistake. She was still married to her husband Larry. The lawsuit caused King to lose an estimated $2 million in endorsements and forced her to prolong her tennis career to pay attorneys. Billie Jean and Larry remained married through the palimony suit fallout. The marriage ended in 1987 after Billie Jean fell in love with her doubles partner, Ilana Kloss.

1993, Romania – Marius Aitai, Ovidiu Chetea, and Cosmin Hutanu are sentenced to up to two and a half years in prison for same-sex acts in private. Amnesty International calls for their immediate release and protests the imprisonment of 54 other people on similar charges, as well as the reportedly widespread torture and sexual abuse of persons arrested on suspicion of homosexuality.

1997 – In Spanish Fork, Utah, during a meeting of the Nebo County Board of Education, supporters of lesbian teacher Wendy Weaver and those demanding her resignation presented their cases. A month earlier Weaver was dismissed from her position as volleyball coach and ordered not to discuss her sexual orientation with anyone, in or out of school.

2009 – The New York Court of Appeals rules that state officials have the authority to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages although the court declines to rule on whether same-sex couples may legally marry in the New York.

2012 – Transgender Pride flag flies from the Castro (San Francisco) flag pole for the first time. The flag was created by Monica Helms in 1999 and first shown at the Phoenix, AZ, pride parade in 2000. Helms is a transgender activist, author, and veteran of the United States Navy

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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