Musings of an Aging Lesbian

 Yesterday, as we continued south to Palm Springs, we stopped (and stayed) at the home of one of my old college roommates, Bobbi. We saw one another every now and then over the years, the last time being 20 year ago. Bobbi is the very first person to whom I admitted I was a lesbian and the first woman I ever kissed in “that” way. It was at homecoming in Gainesville in 1978 when my husband and children and I were the for the festivities. Bobbi is married to Scott now, a wonderful man I we just met and who is fun, smart, and engaging. I’m so happy for this reconnection (thank you, FaceBook) and look forward to seeing Bobbi and Scott in the future…far sooner than 20 years from now!

 Gratitude Day 6

We arrived back to our home in Palm Springs for the winter. In February we’ll spend a week in Puerto Vallarta with friends then head back up to Sequim in April. I’ve travelled a great deal since I retired and I’m deeply grateful for these opportunities to see the world. It’s more than just travel: it’s meeting people, seeing architecture and art, learning the history that was not in US history books, and eating amazing food. I’m grateful for the adventures I’ve already taken and those yet to come. As long as this ol’ bod holds out, I’m on the road (or in the air or on the water!). Finally, I’m grateful, too, for my travel partners, my wife, my family, my friends with whom I get to share these amazing times.

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!


1624 – In the Virginia Colony, Richard Cornish was hanged for sodomy. His execution was the first of its kind to be recorded in the American colonies.

1658, Mexico – One hundred men are indicted for sodomy in the Mexican Inquisition under the Duke of Albuquerque. Fourteen are burned to death. Another, because he was young, was lashed 200 times and sold to a bricklayer.

1730, Prussia – Hans Hermann von Katte  (28 February 1704 – 6 November 1730) is executed in Prussia. Frederick the Great (Fredrick II of Prussia) was thought to be lovers with Katte. They planned to escape Prussia together, but were discovered. The court sentenced Katte to life in prison but refused to judge the prince. Fredrick’s father thought this too lenient and ordered Katte executed and Fredrick imprisoned. Frederick was awakened at 5:00 AM and told to look out his prison window at the execution of Katte. He called out to him “My dear Katte, a thousand pardons.” Katte called back, “My prince, there is nothing to apologize for” just before he was beheaded.

1939 – Arthur Bell (November 6, 1939 – June 2, 1984) is born. He was a journalist and activist, one of the founding members of the Gay Activists Alliance. Bell wrote his first piece for the Village Voice in 1969, an account of the Stonewall riots, a confrontation between police and the patrons of a gay bar called the Stonewall Inn that became a flashpoint of the Gay Liberation movement. Bell died at the age of 44 from complications related to diabetes.

1971 – An anti-Vietnam march in New York includes a gay contingent. The Student Mobilization Committee’s Gay Task Force joined the protest to draw attention to parallels between America’s oppression of gays and the racism of Vietnam.

1975, Canada – A Special Joint Committee on Canada’s Immigration Policy recommends that homosexuals no longer be prohibited from entering Canada under the revised Immigration Act.

1976 – Patrick Dennis (May 18, 1921 – November 6, 1976) dies at the age of 55 in New York City. His novel Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade (1955) was one of the best-selling American books of the 20th century. On December 30, 1948, Dennis married Louise Stickney, with whom he had two children. He led a double life as a conventional husband and father, and as a bisexual, in later life becoming a well-known participant in Greenwich Village‘s gay scene.

1984 – Voters decide to turn a previously unincorporated portion of Los Angeles into the nation’s first “Gay City,” West Hollywood. They elect a gay majority for their new city council.

1990-San Francisco voters approve a domestic partners referendum and elect two lesbians to the Board of Supervisors.

1990 – Deborah Glick (born December 24, 1950) becomes the first openly gay or lesbian individual elected to the legislature  of New York. Her political activity began in college and her involvement in grass roots organizing continues today. She has focused on areas relating to civil rightsreproductive freedomlesbian and gay rights (LGBT rights), environmental improvement and preservation, and the arts.

1990 – By a margin of two to one, voters in Tacoma, Washington reject a ballot initiative which would have reinstated a gay civil rights law repealed by voters in November 1989.

1990 – Voters in Seattle reject Initiative 35 which would have repealed an ordinance granting domestic partnership rights for medical leave and bereavement leave.

2012 – Voters in Maine approve a constitutional amendment overturning a voter-approved 2009 ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage in the state.

2012 – Maryland voters also approve Question 6 in response to the enactment of the Civil Marriage Protection Act on March 1, 2012, thus allowing same-sex couples to obtain a civil marriage license after January 1, 2013 and also protecting clergy from having to perform any particular marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs.

2012 – Minnesota voters reject Amendment 1 that would have constitutionally defined marriage as one man and one woman

2012 – Washington State voters approve Referendum 74 legalizing same-sex marriage

2012 – Spain’s highest court upholds same-sex marriage laws

2012 – Tammy Baldwin (born February 11, 1962) becomes the first openly gay or lesbian politician and the first Wisconsin woman, elected to the US Senate. She previously served as the Representative from Wisconsin’s 2nd congressional district from 1999 to 2013, as well as serving three terms in the Wisconsin Assembly representing the 78th district.

2017 – America’s first all-LGBT city council was elected in Palm Springs, consisting of three gay men, a transgender woman and a bisexual woman.

2018 – Jared Polis (born May 12, 1975) is an American politician, entrepreneur and philanthropist serving as the U.S. Representative for Colorado’s 2nd congressional district since 2009. He was elected Governor of Colorado on Nov. 6, 2018, making him the first openly gay governor to be elected in the history of the United States, as well as the first Jewish governor of Colorado.

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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