Musings of an Aging Lesbian
Madisyn Taylor wrote: It can be easy sometimes to buy into the illusion of our own insignificance (especially as we’re aging). We may see large corporations or institutions, celebrities or successful people in our community, and compare ourselves to them, thinking that their fame or material power affirm how little our own lives amount to. But nothing could be further from the truth. Every single one of us matters–tremendously. Our very existence affects countless people in countless ways. And because we are each essentially a microcosm of the larger universe, our internal experiences affect the whole of life more than we could ever imagine. The world simply could not exist as it does now if you, or any one of us, were not in it.
You matter. So do I.
Gratitude Day 9
One of the things I’ve always appreciated about myself is my optimism. (If there’s a pile of poop, there MUST be a pony!) Even in the darkest of times, I survived when I didn’t think I would or could, deep in poop, looking for that damned pony. Today I feel surrounded by the poop and I’m not finding the pony anywhere, and that makes me sad. My sadness comes from the giant WHY, from the fear I read on Facebook posts, and from the history I just researched for my book “The Soldier, the Avatar, and the Holocaust.” I know that my family has been “here” before. We saw what happened the last time and so we’re forewarned. In my sadness and as I write, I feel my optimism seeping back into my heart. There is another set of work we need to do now, so let’s roll up our sleeves, hang on to one another tight, and move fiercely into our future. Today I’m grateful for – and stand with – my LGBT sisters and brothers, for those who came before us to ensure our safety, and for those who will guide us now as we move forward together into our future…
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!
THIS DAY IN LGBT HISTORY – NOVEMBER 9
1928, UK – Obscenity trial for the classic novel The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall (12 August 1880 – 7 October 1943) begins. The book portrays lesbianism as natural. The star witness for the defense, Norman Haire, testifies that one could not become homosexual by reading books any more than one “could become syphillic by reading about syphilis.”
1947 – Kate Clinton (born November 9, 1947) is an American comedian specializing in political commentary from a gay/lesbian point of view. She began her stand-up career in 1981 using her lesbianism, Catholicism and current politics for her jokes. Clinton is a self-described “fumerist,” or feminist humorist. She has lived in New York City and Provincetown, Massachusetts, with her partner Urvashi Vaid (born 8 October 1958) since 1988.
1952 – John Megna (November 9, 1952 – September 4, 1995) was an American actor. His best known role is that of “Dill” in the film To Kill A Mockingbird. Megna died from AIDS-related complications in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 42.
1955 – Actor Rock Hudson (November 17, 1925 – October 2, 1985) marries his agent’s secretary Phyllis Gates to squelch rumors about his sexual orientation, rumors which were unknown to Gates. Suspicious, Gates hired private eye Fred Otash. Hudson was an American actor, generally known for his turns as a leading man during the 1950s and 1960s. Viewed as a prominent “heartthrob” of the Hollywood Golden Age, he achieved stardom with roles in films such as Magnificent Obsession (1954), All That Heaven Allows(1955) and Giant (1956), for which he received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor, and found continued success with a string of romantic comedies co-starring Doris Day in Pillow Talk (1959), Lover Come Back (1961) and Send Me No Flowers (1964). After appearing in films including Seconds (1966), Tobruk (1967) and Ice Station Zebra(1968) during the late 1960s, Hudson began a second career in television through the 1970s and 1980s, starring in the popular mystery series McMillan & Wife and the primetime ABC soap opera Dynasty. In 1955, Confidential magazine threatened to publish an exposé about Hudson’s secret homosexuality. Willson stalled this by disclosing information about two of his other clients. Willson provided information about Rory Calhoun‘s (August 8, 1922 – April 28, 1999) years in prison and the arrest of Tab Hunter (July 11, 1931 – July 8, 2018) at a party in 1950. According to some colleagues, Hudson’s homosexual activity was well known in Hollywood throughout his career, and former co-stars Elizabeth Taylor and Susan Saint James claimed that they knew of his homosexuality, as did Carol Burnett. Shortly before his death from AIDS-related complications, Hudson made the first direct contribution, $250,000, to amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, helping launch the non-profit organization dedicated to AIDS/HIV research and prevention; it was formed by a merger of a Los Angeles organization founded by Dr. Michael S. Gottlieb, Hudson’s physician, and Elizabeth Taylor, his friend and onetime co-star, and a New York-based group.
1975, Canada – The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission rules that “sex” in the Human Rights Act includes sexual orientation and begins formal proceeding against University of Saskatchewan for discriminating against teacher Doug Wilson who had been fired after coming out.
1985 – Openly gay Terry Sweeney (born March 23, 1950) joins the cast of Saturday Night Live. Terry Sweeney’s partner is Lanier Laney (born March 18, 1956), a comedy writer who also wrote for SNL in the 1985–1986 season. According to a 2000 magazine article, they first met as members of a sketch comedy troupe called the “Bess Truman Players” before joining SNL. Laney and Sweeney were also writing partners for Saturday Night Live during the 1985–1986 season, the film Shag, and the Syfy Channel cartoon Tripping The Rift. As of 2012, the couple reside in Beaufort, South Carolina.
2016 – Kate Brown (born June 21, 1960) is sworn in as governor of Oregon, the day after she was officially elected to the office. She is bisexual and is the country’s first openly bisexual statewide officeholder and first openly bisexual governor. Brown took over the governorship in February, 2016, without an election after Democrat John Kitzhaber resigned amidst a criminal investigation. She is the 38th and current Governor of Oregon. Brown, a Democrat and an attorney, previously served as Oregon Secretary of State and as majority leader of the Oregon State Senate, where she represented portions of Milwaukie and of Northeast and Southeast Portland. Brown lives in Portland, with her husband Dan Little. She has two stepchildren, Dylan and Jessie. Brown was re-elected to a full term as governor on Nov. 6, 2018.
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!)