American author and novelist Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) is born in New York City. He was an American novelist, short story writer, and poet of the American Renaissance period. His best-known works include Typee(1846), a romantic account of his experiences in Polynesian life, and his whaling novel Moby Dick (1851). His novella Billy Budd, left unfinished at his death, was published in 1924. Despite his marriage and children, recently scholars have begun to examine the homosexual undertones of Melville’s work and question the sexuality of the author.
Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) wrote to Lewis K. Brown, “Your letters and your love for me are very precious to me, and I give you the like in return.” Whitman was an American poet, essayist, and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition be-tween transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. His work was very controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass, which was described as obscene for its overt sexuality.
Fashion icon Yves Saint-Laurent (1 August 1936 – 1 June 2008) is born in Oran, Algeria. After working under Christian Dior, Laurent assumed control of Dior’s house of fashion in 1957 upon Dior’s death. While his homosexuality was widely known in the fashion world, it was not until 1991 that Laurent spoke publicly about it.
Frances V. Rummell (a.k.a Diana Frederics) (1907-1969) published an autobiography called Diana: A Strange Autobiography. It was the first explicitly lesbian autobiography in which two women end up happy together. Rummell was an educator and a teacher of French at Stephens College. This autobiography was published with a note saying, “The publishers wish it expressly understood that this is a true story, the first of its kind ever offered to the general reading public.”
Sixteen men attend the first meeting of the Mattachine Society in Washington D.C. at the Haywood-Adams Hotel. The FBI learned of the meeting and began tracking the group.
Three years before Stonewall, gay and transgender customers rioted at Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco in response to continued police harassment. It was one of the first recorded LGBT-related riots in United States history, preceding the more famous 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City. It also marked the beginning of transgender activism in San Francisco. The 1960s was a critical time period for sexual, gender, and ethnic minorities—social movements which honed in on civil rights and sexual liberation came into fruition, and even churches such as the Glide Memorial Methodist Church in San Francisco, began reaching out to the transgender community. Still, many police officers resisted this change and continued to abuse and ostracize transgender people. This simultaneous rise in support for transgender rights on one side, and the unwillingness to accept these new ideas on the other, created the strain that would fuel the riot at Compton’s Cafeteria in the summer of 1966 in which a transgender woman resisted arrest by throwing coffee at a police officer. Drag queens poured into the streets, fighting back with their high heels and heavy bags.
UCLA releases a study that finds that lesbian mothers’ sexual orientations do not influence the sexual orientations of their children.
Vancouver Mayor Mike Harcourt, fulfilling an election promise, proclaims Gay Unity Week.
The U.S. House of Representatives holds hearings on the government’s response to AIDS. They conclude that the Reagan administration has been negligent and that funding has been inadequate.
New York governor Mario Cuomo blasts the Republican-controlled state senate during a news conference for excluding sexual orientation from a hate-crimes bill. “Gays make a stronger case than anybody in terms of need for this legislation, based on episodes – ugly, cruel, violent, dangerous episodes.”
The Library Board of Trustees votes to allow the book Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden to remain on the shelves of the Rockingham County, N.C. libraries. The book is about a lesbian relationship between two seven-teen-year-olds.
The first issue of Queer Reality, a magazine produced by the UK organization OutRage, is published.
UCLA researchers Dr. Laura Allen and Dr. Robert Gorski publish their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that the anterior commissure, a group of nerve cells in the brain, is larger in gay men than in women or heterosexual men.
After refusing to allow the Gay and Lesbian Association of Zimbabwe to exhibit at a human rights book fair, President Robert Mugabe opens the fair with an attack on lesbians and gay men, saying they are alien to African traditions and that he doesn’t believe “they have any rights at all.”
Representative Jim Kolbe (born June 28, 1942) of Arizona becomes the fourth congressman and second Republican to come out after an e-mail campaign launched by San Francisco activist Michael Petrelis and others who protest his support of the Defense of Marriage Act. He divorces his wife in 1992. In 2013, he marries his partner Hector Alfonso. In 2013, Kolbe was a signatory to an amicus curiae brief submitted to the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage during the Hollingsworth v. Perry case.
Angelika and Gudrun Pannier, dressed in black tuxedos and white bow ties, exchanged rings and sealed Germany’s first legal homosexual union with a kiss. The new Partnership Law allows inheritance and health insurance rights but does not give gay partnerships the same tax privileges as heterosexual marriages.
The California Supreme Court rules that country clubs must offer gay members who register as domestic partners the same discounts given to married ones, a decision that could apply to other businesses such as insurance companies and mortgage lenders.
The American Academy of Pediatrics journal publishes “Consensus Statement on Management of Intersex Disorders,” recommending new approaches, emphasizing caution with using surgeries. Intersex people are individuals born with any of several variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals that, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, “do not fit the typical definitions for male or female bodies” Such variations may involve genital ambiguity and combinations of chromosomal genotype and sexual phenotype other than XY-male and XX-female.
Carla Barbano and Joy Spring, of Middletown, NY, were among the first out-of-staters married in Provincetown, Massachusetts. A state study estimated that more than 30,000 out-of-state gay couples, most from New York, wed in Massachusetts over the next three years, boosting the state’s economy by $111 million.
A masked gunman kills two and injures 15 at the gay youth center in Tel Aviv. The next day 20,000 people hold a spontaneous rally against homophobia in Tel Aviv. President Shimon Peres was one of the speakers. The killer was indicted in 2013.
The Suquamish tribe of Washington legalizes same-sex marriage following a unanimous vote by the Suquamish Tribal Council. At least one member of a same-sex couple has to be an enrolled member of the tribe to be able to marry in the jurisdiction. The Suquamish are a Lushootseed-speaking Native American people, located in present-day Washington in the United States. They are a southern Coast Salish people. Today, most Suquamish people are enrolled in the federally recognized Suquamish Tribe, a signatory to the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott. Chief Seattle, the famous leader of the Suquamish and Duwamish Tribes for which the City of Seattle is named, signed the Point Elliot Treaty on behalf of both Tribes. The Suquamish Tribe owns the Port Madison Indian Reservation.
Gay African American author James Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) is born in Harlem. He was a best-selling author and a respected voice in both the Civil Rights movement and, as an openly gay man, the movement for gay rights as well. Baldwin challenged both the racial (Fire Next Time, 1963) and sexual (Giovanni’s Room, 1956) stereotypes of his day. He argued against mandatory heterosexuality in society. By the time of his death, Baldwin had written over twenty books including essays, fiction, drama, and poetry.
Conservative Republican ex-Congressman Robert Bauman (born April 4, 1937) comes out and urges the American Bar Association to support gay rights legislation. Three years earlier he had been arrested for soliciting a 16-year-old male prostitute and lost his bid for re-election as a result. He wrote an autobiography, The Gentleman from Maryland: The Conscience of a Gay Conservative which was published in 1986.
Barbara Deming (July 23, 1917 – August 2, 1984) dies on this day. She was an American feminist and advocate of nonviolent social change. At sixteen, she had fallen in love with a woman her mother’s age, thereafter she was openly lesbian. She was the romantic partner of writer and artist Mary Meigs (April 27, 1917 – November 15, 2002) from 1954 to 1972. Their relationship eventually floundered, partially due to Meigs’s timid attitude and Deming’s unrelenting political activism. In 1976, Deming moved to Florida with her partner artist Jane Verlaine. Verlaine painted, did figure drawings and illustrated several books written by Deming. Verlaine was a tireless advocate for abused women. Deming openly believed that it was often those whom we loved that oppressed us, and that it was necessary to re-invent non-violent struggle every day. It is said that she created a body of non-violent theory, based on action and personal experience, that centered on the potential of non-violent struggle in its application to the women’s movement. In 1975, Deming founded The Money for Women Fund to support the work of feminist artists. Deming helped administer the Fund with support from Mary Meigs. After Deming’s death in 1984, the organization was renamed as The Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. Today the foundation is the “oldest ongoing feminist granting agency” which “gives encouragement and grants to in-dividual feminists in the arts (writers, and visual artists).”
Attorney Roy Cohn (February 20, 1927 – August 2, 1986), one of history’s best known gay Jews who was both homophobic and anti-Semitic, dies of complications from AIDS in Bethesda, Maryland. He had assisted Senator Joseph McCarthy during the House UnAmerican Activities hearings. Earlier in 1986, Cohn had been disbarred by the State of New York for unethical and unprofessional conduct. At one point, Barbara Walters served as his beard. He was also known for being a U.S. Department of Justice prosecutor at the espionage trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and later for representing Donald Trump during his early business career.
Arizona governor Evan Meecham announces during a radio call-in show that students at Arizona State University do not have the right to organize a gay and lesbian student organization. He said the existence of such organizations is a cause of homosexuality.
The Madison, Wisconsin Common Council approves a bill to provide sick time and bereavement benefits to city employees who designate a family partner, and rejects a proposal forbidding discrimination against non-traditional families in public accommodations.
The Ft. Collins, Colorado City Council votes to allow voters to decide if sexual orientation should be added to the city’s anti-discrimination code. It fails. It was opposed by hate-monger Rev. Pete Peters who advocated capital punishment for homosexuals.
Ronald Balin ( 1935-August 2, 1988) dies of complications from AIDS at age 53. He had been the founder of the Washington D.C. chapter of The Mattachine Society and was among the first group to picket in front of the White House in 1965.
U.S. President Bill Clinton signs Executive Order 12968 which bans discrimination based on sexual orientation as it establishes uniform policies for allowing government employees access to classified information. It was the first time a U.S. president signed an executive order that contained the words “sexual orientation.”
The Gill Foundation announces that activist Donna Red Wing (1951 – April 16, 2018), who had been a field director for The Human Rights Campaign and a senior consultant for The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, would be joining its staff as director of the OutGiving Project. In the early 1990s Red Wing headed up Oregon’s Lesbian Community Project where she led efforts to defeat the state’s Measure 9, a ballot initiative that would have amended the Oregon constitution to ban gay-inclusive civil rights laws. Red Wing was executive director of One Iowa from 2012 to 2016 after having worked for numerous national organizations. She had served as national field director at both GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign, and policy director at the Gill Foundation. She was co-chair of the Obama for America 2008 LGBT Leadership Council and Howard Dean’s outreach liaison to the LGBT community when he ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004. It was during the Dean campaign that the Christian Coalition called her “the most dangerous woman in America,” a description she reportedly wore with pride. Red Wing was “fearless, passionate and no-nonsense,” and “a true activist by heart.” She was a “force for civil rights and human rights in all areas.” Red Wing, a native of Massachusetts, is survived by her wife and partner for more than 30 years, Sumitra.
The Minuteman Council, comprised of 330 Scout troops and 18,000 Boy Scouts in Greater Boston, one of largest Boy Scout councils in Massachusetts, agrees to allow gay scoutmasters under a new “don’t ask-don’t tell” policy despite the national organization’s ban on homosexuals.
Sir Roger Casement (September 1, 1864 – August 3, 1916) was hanged for treason, specifically for a German/Irish plot during World War I to bring an uprising to Dublin. The evidence against him had been so weak that there were pleas from all over the world asking for clemency, including from U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. To stop the demands, the British government released entries from Casement’s diary showing that he was a homosexual. As a result, calls for a reprieve came to an abrupt halt, and he was executed. In 1965 Casement’s remains were returned to Dublin and afforded a state funeral; they were then re-interred in Dublin.
The body of William T. Simpson, 27, an Eastern Airlines flight attendant, was found in North Miami, Florida. Four days later two suspects were arrested and charged with first-degree murder. They told police they shot him in self-defense after he made a pass at them. This caused a homophobic panic that led to police harassment of gay men and lesbians in the city for the following month. The murderers were eventually convicted of a lesser charge of manslaughter and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The first issue of Gay Tide is published by GATE in Vancouver.
Twenty-eight-year-old gay Atlantan Michael Hardwick (born 1954) is arrested on sodomy charges after police show up, enter his home, and find him in bed performing fellatio on a male companion. The police were trying to serve a warrant for a minor traffic violation. The case set up the federal sodomy laws (Bowers v. Hardwick) which was repealed in 2003.
Nyla Rose (born August 3, 1982) is an American actress and professional wrestler signed to All Elite Wrestling, where she held the AEW Women’s World Championship. She also starred in the 2016 Canadian television series The Switch. Rose became the first openly transgender wrestler in history to sign with a major American promotion, in 2019. She is also the first trans wrestler to win a title in a major American promotion when she won the AEW Women’s World Championship the following year.
After ignoring the first six years of the AIDS epidemic, and with a recommendation of a 13-member President’s Commission on the HIV Epidemic, President Ronald Reagan reluctantly bans discrimination in the workplace. Vice President George Bush fully endorses the commission’s recommendations.
The Episcopal Church’s House of Deputies further paved the way for the Rev. V. Gene Robinson (born May 29, 1947) to become the church’s first openly gay elected bishop, approving him on a 2-1 vote. Robinson was elected bishop coadjutor in 2003 and succeeded as diocesan bishop in March 2004. Before becoming bishop, he served as Canon to the Ordinary to the VIII Bishop of New Hampshire.
A ruling striking down as unconstitutional Oklahoma’s refusal to recognize adoptions by same-sex couples was upheld by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Rudolf Brazda (26 June 1913 – 3 August 2011) dies at the age of 98. He was the last known homosexual holocaust survivor, having spent nearly three years in Buchenwald concentration camp where he was branded with the distinct pink triangle that the Nazis used to mark gay men. After the liberation of Buchenwald, Brazda settled in Alsace, northeastern France, in May, 1945, and lived there for the rest of his life. Although other gay men who survived the Holocaust are still alive, they were not known to the Nazis as homosexuals and were not deported as pink triangle internees. At least two gay men who were interned as Jews, for instance, have spoken publicly of their experiences.
David J. Glawe (born January 13, 1970) was confirmed on August 3, 2017, by the U. S. Senate and sworn in by President Trump. He became the highest ranking out gay official in United States history as the Under Secretary for Intelligence at the Department of Homeland Security. He reported directly to both the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence. On June 28, 2017, during his televised Senate confirmation hearing, he introduced his husband and two children. On June 1, 2020, David Glawe became the president and CEO of the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
Thomas A. McKenny writes a letter describing the men-women of the Chippeway tribe. “…so completely do they succeed, and even to the voice, as to make it impossible to distinguish them from the women.”
Danish singer, actor, storyteller and playwright Hans Christian Andersen (April 2, 1805 – August 4, 1875) dies at age 70. Andersen authored, among many other works, The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor’s New Clothes and The Princess and the Pea. Many believe that rather than being heterosexual or homosexual, Andersen had romantic feelings for both genders but probably remained celibate his whole life.
The British House of Commons votes 148 to 53 to penalize lesbians in the same way as male homosexuals. The bill is sent to the House of Lords where it is rejected.
In France, the age of consent for same-sex acts is lowered from 21 to 15, the same as for heterosexual acts.
The 8th Annual National Reno Gay Rodeo opens despite threats that snipers would shoot at spectators, and claims by the Pro-Family Christian Coalition that the event was an orgy riddled with disease and that gays are un-American. 20,000 people attended the opening ceremonies.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors votes unanimously to expand the use of involuntary detention for people with AIDS who knowingly expose others to infection. The vote was in response to a man who gave blood knowing he was infected with HIV.
Governor Mario Cuomo of New York announces a program establishing anonymous confidential HIV testing as an effort to get an idea of the prevalence of HIV infection in New York.
A sold-out gospel show organized by Dionne Warwick and Rev. Carl Bean draws 6,500 people and raises $150,000 for the Los Angeles Minority AIDS Project. Performers included Al Jarreau and Patti LaBelle.
Gay Rights National Lobby (GRNL) executive director Steven Endean (August 6, 1948 – August 4, 1993) dies of AIDS related illnesses. GRNL and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) were among the earliest organizations to engage in lobbying legislators for lesbian and gay rights. Steve Endean is credited with establishing the Human Rights Campaign Fund (now the Human Rights Campaign) in 1980 and served as its first Executive Director. In 1971, Endean founded the Minnesota Committee for Gay Rights (later Gay Rights Legislative Committee), and became the first gay and lesbian rights lobbyist in Minnesota a year later. In the 1970s, he served as co-chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Gay Task Force.
U.S. President Bill Clinton signs an executive order forbidding the federal government from denying security clearances on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation. Administration spokespersons advise reporters, however, that individuals ought still be denied clearance if they are in the closet and fear exposure to family or friends.
Accountant Keith Durbin became Tennessee’s first out gay elected official by winning a seat on the Nashville City Council.
Rome marks the opening of its first “Gay Street” with flags, banners and pro-tests amid a row over a male couple who claimed they were detained by police for kissing near the Colosseum. Campaigners welcomed a 325-yard zone in the center of the city, filled with shops and bars, as an area where gays can “feel at ease,” after days of heated debate in predominantly Roman Catholic Italy over the kissing incident.
Mexico’s Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of same-sex marriage in an 8-2 vote
Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker (born 1944) served as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California from 1989 to 2011. Walker presided over the original trial in Hollingsworth v. Perry, where he found California’s Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional because it violates the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause and is unconstitutional. On September 29, 2010, Walker announced he would retire and return to private practice. He retired at the end of February 2011. On April 6, 2011, Walker told reporters that he is gay and has been in a relationship with a male doctor for about ten years. He was the first known gay person to serve as a United States federal judge, though he did not publicly confirm his sexual orientation until after retiring from the federal bench.
California’s Proposition 8 is declared unconstitutional in federal district court.
After a performance of The Prom at Broadway’s Longacre Theatre, Broadway’s first-known onstage wedding occurred on that stage; it was between two women. After a performance of the show on Saturday, Armelle Kay Harper, a script coordinator on the show, and Jody Kay Smith (an actor and singer who recently worked with The Prom‘s musical director) said their “I dos.” The ceremony, for which audience members were invited to stay to witness and become a part of history, was officiated by The Prom’s co-book writer Bob Martin.
Valentinian, Arcadius, and Theodosius wrote to the Roman city vicar that they cannot tolerate Rome “being stained any longer by the contamination of male effeminacy…” They call for death by fire.
The Plymouth, Massachusetts court finds John Allexander and Thomas Roberts guilty of “often spending their seed one upon the other” though they are not charged with sodomy. Both were severely whipped, and Alexander was branded on the shoulder and banished from the colony. Although the colony had made sodomy punishable by death the previous year, it required penetration that was not proven in this case. On August 6, 1673 Plymouth Colony convicted two men of “Lewd Behavior and Unclean Carriage.” John Allexander [was] found to have been “formerly notoriously guilty that way,” alluring others. He was sentenced by the Court to be severely whipped, and burnt in the shoulder with a hot iron, and to be perpetually banished from New Plymouth. Thomas Roberts was severely whipped and returned to his master. Though Allexander and Roberts had long histories of sodomy in Plymouth, they were spared capital punishment. Allexander, a property-owning man, and Roberts, an indentured servant, not only violated sexual morals, but also transgressed class distinctions. Their punishment, banishment for Allexander and the denial of future land ownership for Roberts, was approximately the same as that of people who participated in illicit sexual acts between men and women.
Albert Cashier (December 25, 1843 – October 10, 1915) enlists in the 95th Illinois Infantry and is assigned to Company G of the Union Army. Jennie Hodgers adopted the identity of a man before enlisting and maintained it for most of the remainder of her life. She became famous as one of a number of women who served as men during the Civil War, although the consistent and long-term commitment to the male identity has prompted some contemporary scholars to suggest that Cashier was a trans man. In 1911, a physician discovered the secret during a hospital stay but did not disclose the information. On May 5, 1911, because Cashier was moved to the Soldiers and Sailors Home in Quincy, Illinois. During this stay, Albert was visit-ed by many of fellow soldiers from 95th Regiment. Cashier was moved to the Watertown State Hospital for the Insane in March, 1914. Attendants at the Watertown State Hospital discovered that Albert was female during a bath, at which point –at age 70 – Cashier was made to wear women’s clothes again after fifty years. Cashier’s tombstone reads “Albert D. J. Cashier, Co. G, 95 Ill. Inf.” Cashier’s birth name of Jennie Hodgers was discovered nine years later. A second tombstone with both names was placed beside the original.
Florida revises its sodomy law, making sodomy punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
British Parliament votes to make homosexual acts a criminal offense.
Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld (May 14, 1868 – May 14, 1935) was an outspoken advocate for sexual minorities. He crusaded for the repeal of sodomy laws in Germany and founded two organizations for homosexuals, one of which was the Scientific Humanitarian Committee. On this day he spoke at the International Medical Conference in London and met with British gays to discuss forming a London branch of the Scientific Humanitarian Committee. Hirschfeld was a German Jewish physician and sexologist educated primarily in Germany. He based his practice in Berlin-Charlottenburg. Historian Dustin Goltz characterized the Scientific Humanitarian Committee as having carried out “the first advocacy for homosexual and transgender rights.”
Andy Warhol (August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987) is born. He was an American artist, director and producer who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture, and advertising that flourished by the 1960s, and span a variety of media, including painting, silk-screening, photography, film, and sculpture. Some of his best known works include the silkscreen paintings Campbell’s Soup Cans (1962) and Marilyn Diptych (1962), the experimental film Chelsea Girls (1966), and the multimedia events known as the Exploding Plastic Inevitable (1966–67). Warhol’s lovers included poet John Giorno (born December 4, 1936), photographer Billy Name (February 22, 1940 – July 18, 2016), production de-signer Charles Lisanby (January 22, 1924 – August 23, 2013), and Jon Gould. His boyfriend of 12 years was Jed Johnson (December 30, 1948 – July 17, 1996) whom he met in 1968 and who later achieved fame as an interior designer.
Author and GLBT historian Martin Duberman (born August 6, 1930) is born on this date. He is an American historian, biographer, playwright, and gay rights activist, and Professor of History Emeritus at Herbert Lehman College. In 1968, he signed the “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” pledge, vowing to refuse tax payments in protest against the Vietnam War, and was jailed, as a member of REDRESS, for a sit-in protest on the floor of the U.S. Senate. His numerous essays The Black Struggle, The Crisis of the Universities, American Foreign Policy, and Gender and Sexuality have been collected in two volumes of his essays: The Uncompleted Past and Left Out: The Politics of Exclusion, 1964-1999. He came out as a gay man in an essay (December 10, 1972) in The New York Times. A founder and keynote speaker of the Gay Academic Union (1973), he later founded and served as first director (1986-1996) of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the CUNY Graduate School. In 1997 he edited two volumes, A Queer World and Queer Representations containing selections from the Center’s conferences. He was also a member of the founding boards of the National Lesbian and Gay Task Force, Lambda Legal Defense Fund, and Queers for Economic Justice. Duberman’s most recent novel, Jews Queers Germans, was published by Seven Stories Press in March, 2017.
Mark Weston (born Mary Louise Edith Weston, March 30, 1905 – January 29, 1978), nicknamed “the Devonshire Wonder,” was one of the best British field athletes of the 1920s. He was a national champion in the women’s javelin throw and discus throw in 1929 and won the women’s shotput title in 1925, 1928 and 1929. At the 1926 Women’s World Games he finished sixth in the two-handed shot put, where the final result was a sum of two best throws with the right hand and with the left hand. On this day, the interview article The Girl who Became a Bridegroom is published. Weston had a genital abnormality and was assigned as female at birth and raised as a girl. In April–May 1936, Weston underwent a series of gender changing operations at the Charing Cross Hospital. He changed his first name to Mark, retired from competitions and later worked as a masseur. In July, 1936, Weston married Alberta Matilda Bray and they had three children. Following his example, his elder sibling Harry (previously Hilda) also changed his gender and name in the 1930s. Harry hanged himself during a depression in 1942. Mark Weston died in the Freedom Fields Hospital in Plymouth in 1978.
Out actor and director Paul Bartel (August 6, 1938 – May 13, 2000) is born in Brooklyn, New York. After working as a unit director for Roger Corman, Bartel broke out on his own, directing horror/camp classics such as Deathrace 2000 (1975) and Eating Raoul (1982).
Stephen Robert “Steve” Endean (August 6, 1948 – August 4, 1993) is born. He was an American gay rights activist, first in Minnesota, then nationally. He was born in Davenport, Iowa, and came to Minnesota to attend the University of Minnesota from 1968-1972, majoring in political science. In 1971, Endean founded the Minnesota Committee for Gay Rights (later Gay Rights Legislative Committee), and became the first gay and lesbian rights lobbyist in Minnesota a year later. Along with the Minnesota Committee for Gay Rights and Democratic legislators, Endean opposed trans-inclusion and public accommodations in a statewide gay rights bill, giving as their reason the belief that the bill would not pass with such inclusion. In the 1970s, he served as co-chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Gay Task Force (later NGLTF). In 1978, he became the director of the Gay Rights National Lobby. In 1980, he started the Human Rights Campaign Fund (later just HRC) and served as its first Executive Director. In 1985, Endean was diagnosed with AIDS. After this, increasing health problems led to semi-retirement. In 1991, he created the National Endorsement Campaign, an effort to get straight political leaders and media figures to endorse LGBT rights. Also in 1991, he published his memoir, Into the Mainstream. In 1993, he was present in a wheelchair at the Minnesota State Capitol when the Legislature passed the Minnesota Human Rights Act, which banned LGBT discrimination in housing, employment, and education. Endean died of AIDS-related complications on August 4, 1993.
James Edward McGreevey (born August 6, 1957) is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party who served as the 52nd Governor of New Jersey from 2002 until his resignation in 2004. In early 2002, McGreevey was criticized for appointing his secret lover, Israeli national Golan Cipel, as homeland security adviser even though Cipel lacked experience or other qualifications for the position. Cipel resigned but threats from his lawyers about sexual harassment lawsuits prompted McGreevey to announce on August 12, 2004, that he was gay and would resign the governorship, effective November 15, 2004. This made McGreevey the first openly gay governor in United States history. His partner is financier Mark O’Donnell (born 2005).
The Ontario Court of Appeals issues a ruling that voided the Canadian military’s ban on gays and lesbians.
The Japanese-American Citizens League votes 50-38 at its meeting in San Francisco in favor of supporting same-sex marriage.
The Labouchere Amendment is passed in England. Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885, commonly known as the Labouchere Amendment, made “gross indecency” a crime in the United Kingdom. In practice, the law was used broadly to prosecute male homosexuals where actual sodomy (meaning, in this context, anal intercourse) could not be proven. The penalty of life imprisonment for sodomy (until 1861 it had been death) was also so harsh that successful prosecutions were rare. The new law was much more enforceable. It was also meant to raise the age of consent for heterosexual intercourse. It was repealed by the Sexual Offences Act 1967, which partially decriminalized homosexual behavior. It was used in 1895 to convict Oscar Wilde which sent him for two years’ hard labor in prison.
Clyde Hicks (September 5, 1910 – December 5, 1993) of North Carolina was stationed in Hawaii, arrested on sodomy charges and sentenced to six years in prison. He was transferred to Alcatraz where he was put into solitary confinement for passing a note to another man. He was released in 1935. He died in Durham, North Carolina, on December 5, 1993.
Black and White Men Together members begin weekly demonstrations outside the Ice Palace, a popular disco in New York City, in protest of the club’s allegedly racist door policies. The National Association of Black and White Men Together, Inc. (NABWMT) – a multiracial organization for all people – has a network of chapters across the United States focused on LGBT and racial equality. It was founded in May, 1980, in San Francisco as a consciousness-raising organization and support group for gay men in multiracial relationships. NABWMT has two major goals: combating racism within the LGBT community and combating homophobia in the general public. Its founder was Michael Smith.
Katie Sowers (born August 7, 1986) is an American football assistant coach. She was an offensive assistant coach with the San Francisco 49ers from 2017 to 2021. Sowers began her American football career playing in the Women’s Football Alliance. Upon her retirement, Sowers joined the National Football League in 2016 as a coach for the Atlanta Falcons training camp. Before the start of the 2017 NFL season, Sowers came out publicly as a lesbian and became the first openly LGBT coach in the National Football League. Sowers was refused a volunteer coaching position at Goshen College in 2009 because of her sexual orientation; in 2020 the president of the college apologized to her for rejecting her. In 2021, she became the first female and first openly gay offensive assistant in a Super Bowl.
A law prohibiting insurance companies in Washington, D.C. from discriminating against people who test positive for HIV goes into effect.
Over 100 gay men and lesbians gather at Piccadilly Square in London for a kiss-in to protest at Piccadilly Circus in defiance of the Sexual Offences Act, which decriminalized private sex acts between consenting adults but left public displays of same-sex affection a misdemeanor.
Whispers, a gay bar, opens in Saginaw, Michigan. The owners soon faced challenges such as rocks thrown through the windows, derogatory terms spray painted on the building, bomb threats, death threats, and vandalism of patrons’ cars. The owner was forced to close because of the attacks.
Ronald Reagan did not say the word AIDS until this day in 1987. By then, 37,000 Americans had been diagnosed and 21,000 Americans had died.
Rallies are held in 21 American cities for Free Sharon Kowalski day. Kowalski was severely disabled in a car accident in 1983. Her parents barred her lover, Karen Thompson, from visiting her, but Karen sued and won. In re Guardianship of Kowalski, 478 N.W.2d 790 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991) is a Minnesota Court of Appeals case that established a lesbian‘s partner as her legal guardian after Sharon Kowalski became incapacitated. Because the case was contested by Kowalski’s parents and family and initially resulted in the partner being excluded for several years from visiting Kowalski, the gay community celebrated the final resolution in favor of the partner as a victory for gay rights.
Under the headline “Peek-a-Boo,” New York’s Outweek magazine publishes a list of 66 celebrities and public figures who are allegedly gay but closeted. The article marks the beginning of controversial “outing” by some gay activists.
A New York City federal judge rejects a request to dismiss a lawsuit against three Drug Enforcement agents for an anti-gay assault against two men. DEA attorneys argue that the bias-related portions should be dismissed because the constitution does not forbid anti-gay harassment or discrimination.
Two daily newspapers in York, Pennsylvania repeal a policy of refusing to run same-sex personal ads one week after the policy was implemented.
Victoria police raided the Tasty Nightclub in Melbourne, strip-searching and brutalizing 463 patrons. On this day in 2014, exactly twenty years later, the Victoria Police formally apologize.
African American transgender hairstylist Tyra Hunter (1970 – August 7, 1995) dies due to withheld medical care after a hit and run accident. Paramedics in Washington, D.C. began treating the injured Tyra when they discovered that she was a pre-op trans woman. They withdrew medical care and made transphobic remarks. The ER staff at DC General Hospital subsequently provided dilatory and inadequate care. Evidence shows Tyra would have survived had the medical care not been withdrawn. On December 11, 1998, a jury awarded Hunter’s mother, Margie, $2.9 million after finding the District of Columbia, through its employees in the D.C. Fire Department and doctors at D.C. General, liable under the D.C. Human Rights Act and for negligence and medical malpractice for causing Tyra’s death.
The Northampton County (North Carolina) board of commissioners vote to pass a resolution describing homosexuality as incompatible with community standards.
The U.S. House of Representatives votes 227-192 to prevent unmarried couples, including same-sex couples, from adopting children in Washington, DC.
Hate-monger Rev. Jerry Falwell announces that he is putting aside everything to devote his time to the passage of a constitutional ban on gay marriage.
Singapore’s Gay Pride event is expanded to three days. The event was named Nation 03. This was the final year that the event was held in Singapore. The government officially banned the Pride celebration.
Iran banned a leading daily newspaper for the second time within a year for publishing an interview with a woman alleged to be a lesbian activist.
Three LGBT activists were protesting the anti-LGBT policies of President Andrzej Duda by hanging pride flags off statues of Christ at the Basilica of the Holy Cross, the astronomer Copernicus and the famous Warsaw mermaid statue. Polish police charged them with desecrating monuments and “offending religious feelings.” President Duda said LGBT rights was more harmful than communism.
Rudolf “Rudi” Gernreich (August 8, 1922 – April 21, 1985) is born. He was an Austrian-born American fashion designer whose avant-garde clothing designs are generally regarded as the most innovative and dynamic fashion of the 1960s. He purposefully used fashion design as a social statement to advance sexual freedom, producing clothes that followed the natural form of the female body, freeing them from the constraints of high fashion. He consciously pushed the boundaries of acceptable fashion and used his designs as an opportunity to comment on social issues and to expand society’s perception of what was acceptable. Gernreich became a U.S. citizen in 1943. He met Harry Hay (April 7, 1912 – October 24, 2002) in July 1950, and the two became lovers. They were founding members of the early activities of the Society. In 1951 Gernreich was arrested and convicted in a police homosexual entrapment case, which was common in Southern California at that time. In 1953, Gernreich met Oreste Pucciani (April 7, 1916 – April 28, 1999), future chair of the UCLA French department, who was a key figure in bringing Jean-Paul Sartre to the attention of American educators. Oreste Pucciani (April 7, 1916 – April 28, 1999) was also a pivotal figure in the gay rights movement. The two men kept their relationship private as Gernreich believed public acknowledgment of his homosexuality would negatively affect his fashion business. Oreste Pucciani, Gernreich’s partner for 31 years, endowed a trust in their name for the American Civil Liberties Union in 1988.
Die Freundin magazine (The Girlfriend) was a popular Weimar-era German lesbian magazine published from 1924 to 1933. The magazine was published in Berlin by the Bund für Menschenrecht (translated variously as League for Human Rights or Federation for Human Rights and abbreviated as BfM), run by gay activist and publisher Friedrich Radszuweit (15 April 1876 – 15 March 1932). The Bund was an organization for homosexuals and had a membership of 48,000 in the 1920s.This magazine, together with other lesbian magazines of that era such as Frauenliebe (Love of Women), represented a part-educational and part-political perspective, and were assimilated within the local culture. Die Freundin published short stories and novellas. Renowned contributors were pioneers of the lesbian movement like writer and activist Selli Engler (28 September 1899 – 1982) and “transvestite” and lesbian activist Lotte Hahm (1890-1967). The magazine also published advertisements of lesbian nightspots, and women could place their personal advertisements for meeting other lesbians. Women’s groups related to the Bund für Menschenrecht and Die Freundin which offered a culture of readings, performances, and discussions as alternative to the bars. This magazine was usually critical of women for what they viewed as “attending only to pleasure”, with a 1929 article urging women “Don’t go to your entertainments while thousands of our sisters mourn their lives in gloomy despair.” Die Freundin, along with other gay and lesbian periodicals, was shut down by the Nazis after they came to power in 1933. But even before the rise of the Nazis, the magazine faced legal troubles during the Weimar Republic. From 1928 to 1929, the magazine was shut down by the government under a law that was supposed to protect youth from “trashy and obscene” literature. During these years, the magazine operated under the title Ledige Frauen (Single Women).
Randy Shilts (August 8, 1951 – February 17, 1994) is born. He was an American journalist and author. He worked as a reporter for both The Advocate and the San Francisco Chronicle as well as for San Francisco Bay Area television stations, becoming the first openly gay reporter with a gay ‘beat’ in the American mainstream press. Shilts wrote three best-selling, widely acclaimed books. The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk (1982), And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic (1987), and Conduct Unbecoming: Gays and Lesbians in the US Military from Vietnam to the Persian Gulf(1993) which examined discrimination against lesbians and gays in the military. Shilts bequeathed 170 cartons of papers, notes, and research files to the local history section of the San Francisco Public Library. Shilts died of complications from AIDS on February 17, 1994.
The American Bar Association passes a resolution urging the repeal of sodomy laws.
Representatives of 17 gay (predominantly male) and European organizations from 14 countries found the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) at a meeting hosted by the English Campaign for Homosexual Equality in Coventry, England. The ILGA is an international organization bringing together more than 750 LGBTI groups from around the world. It continues to be active in campaigning for LGBT rights and intersex human rights on the international human rights and civil rights scene, and regularly petitions the United Nations and governments. ILGA is represented in 110+ countries across the world. ILGA is accredited by the United Nations and has been granted NGO consultative status. It was originally called the International Gay Association; the name was changed in 1986.
The General Council of the United Church of Canada, the largest Protestant denomination in country, meets in Halifax and gives approval to the “In God’s Image… Male and Female,” study document which advocates acceptance of gays and lesbians into ministry and which says premarital and extramarital sex are acceptable under certain circumstances.
Bobbi Campbell became known as the “KS Poster Boy.” He appears with his partner on the cover of Newsweek on August 8, 1983. Robert Boyle “Bobbi” Campbell Jr., January 28, 1952 – August 15, 1984) was a public health nurse and an early AIDS activist. In September 1981, Campbell became the 16th person in San Francisco to be diagnosed with Kaposi’s sarcoma when that was a proxy for an AIDS diagnosis. He was the first to come out publicly as a person living with what was to become known as AIDS. In 1983, he co-wrote the Denver Principles, the defining manifesto of the People with AIDS Self-Empowerment Movement, which he had co-founded the previous year. Appearing on the cover of Newsweek and being interviewed on nation-al news reports, Campbell raised the national profile of the AIDS crisis among heterosexuals and provided a recognizable, optimistic, human face of the epidemic for affected communities.
Greg Louganis (born January 29, 1960) wins his first Olympic gold medal for the Men’s 3-meter springboard in Los Angeles. A few days later he wins gold for the 10-meter platform. He does it again in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. He has been called both “the greatest American diver” and “probably the greatest diver in history”. He doesn’t speak about being gay until a 1995 interview with Oprah Winfrey.
A group of people who tried to collect signatures for the recall of Durham, N.C. mayor Wib Gulley for declaring June 22-June 29 Anti-Discrimination Week admitted that they were short by 6,500 signatures.
Tom Duane (born January 30, 1955), an openly gay candidate in a close race for a New York Ccity West Side Council seat, reveals he is HIV+. He served in the New York State Senate from 1999 to 2012. Duane was the first openly gay member of the New York State Senate and the only such member during his tenure there. He was also their only openly HIV+ member. Duane was the lead sponsor of same-sex union legislation in the New York State Senate. Duane’s partner of 25 years is actor Louis Webre.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis orders an AIDS prevention organization to vacate their office space in a church-run facility because they distributed condoms.
A BBC documentary airs which presents the case of a man who died in the 1960’s as a result of malpractice during aversion therapy to “cure” his homosexuality.
The U.S. Women’s Basketball League consistently distances itself from the topic of lesbians but Sue Wicks (born November 26, 1966), one of the first players to come out, says in this day’s Village Voice: “I can’t say how many players are gay, but it would be easier to count the straight ones.” Susan Joy “Sue” Wicks is a former basketball player in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) who played with the New York Liberty from 1997 to 2002. In July 2006, she became the Assistant Coach for the women’s basketball team at Saint Francis College in Brooklyn, New York. After leaving her assistant coaching position at Saint Francis College, Wicks said that she felt that being an out lesbian was an overwhelming liability in getting a job as a women’s basketball coach. She is one of only two Rutgers women’s basketball players to have her jersey retired.
Fridae.com (a major GLBT website in Singapore) organizes the country’s first large-scale LGBT event at Sentosa’s Fantasy Island. Sentosa is a popular island resort in Singapore, visited by some twenty million people a year. Attractions include a 2 km (1.2 mi) long sheltered beach, Fort Siloso, two golf courses, the Merlion, 14 hotels, and the Resorts World Sentosa, featuring the theme park Universal Studios Singapore.
New York City police reveal there had been nearly 100 hundred attacks on gays in the city during the summer of 2005.
1858, Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman Empire decriminalizes consensual homosexuality.
Raphael Gallenti, a sailor from Malta, is thought to be the first person to be arrested for sodomy in California. He served a five-year prison sentence and was released on this day.
Amanda Bearse (born August 9, 1958) is an American actress, director and comedian best known for her role as neighbor Marcy Rhoades (Seasons 1-5) and Marcy D’Arcy (Seasons 5-11) on Married… with Children, a sitcom that aired in the United States from 1987 to 1997, and for her performance in the 1985 horror film Fright Night opposite William Ragsdale. She has been publicly out as a lesbian since 1993 and has an adopted daughter.
Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer and actress, one of the best-selling recording artists of all time. Houston released seven studio albums and two soundtrack albums, all of which have been certified diamond, multi-platinum, platinum, or gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Her crossover appeal on the popular music charts as well as her prominence on MTV influenced several African American female artists. Houston’s pal and purported girlfriend, Robyn Crawford, said Houston was dogged by media speculation over her sexuality. Former husband Bobby Brown, however, wrote in his 2016 autobiography that he knew his wife was bisexual. Those claims were corroborated by Crawford herself in 2019’s A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston in which she revealed that she’d been in a relationship with The Bodyguard star in the early 1980s. Houston. Houston called off the romance after she signed with Arista Records in 1983, but the pair remained confidantes.
English playwright Joe Orton is murdered by his lover Kenneth Halliwell. John Kingsley “Joe” Orton (1 January 1933 – 9 August 1967) was an English playwright and author. His public career was short but prolific, lasting from 1964 until his death three years later. During this brief period he shocked, outraged, and amused audiences with his scandalous black comedies. The adjective Ortonesque is sometimes used to refer to work characterized by a similarly dark yet farcical cynicism. On August 9, 1967, Kenneth Halliwell bludgeoned 34-year-old Orton to death at their home at 25 Noel Road, Islington, London, with nine hammer blows to the head, and then died by suicide with an overdose of 22 Nembutal tablets washed down with the juice from canned grapefruit. Investigators determined that Halliwell had died first because Orton’s sheets were still warm.
Sharon Afek (born August 10, 1970) became the Israel Defense Forces’ first openly gay major general, making him the first member of high command and the most senior Israeli military officer to come out.
The Ohio Secretary of State refuses to grant articles of incorporation to the Greater Cincinnati Gay Society. Two years later, the Ohio Supreme Court upholds the decision, stating that even though homosexual acts are now legal in Ohio, “the promotion of homosexuality as a valid lifestyle is contrary to the public policy of the State of Ohio.”
Donald Cawley, New York City police commissioner, issues a directive prohibiting police officers from using derogatory terms to refer to homosexuals.
Gay Games II opened in San Francisco on this day. The games ran until August 17, 1986. The games were billed as “3482 Athletes (40% women), from 251 cities in 17 countries, participating in 17 sporting events.”
Sarah McBride is the first transgender state senator elected in the United States. Sarah McBride (born August 9, 1990) is an American activist and politician who is a Democratic member of the Delaware Senate since January 2021. She is currently the National Press Secretary of the Human Rights Campaign. After winning the September 15, 2020 Democratic primary in the safely-Democratic 1st Delaware State Senate district, she won in the November 2020 election. She is the first transgender state senator in the country, making her the highest-ranking transgender official in United States history. McBride is largely credited with the passage of legislation in Delaware banning discrimination on the basis of gender identity in employment, housing, insurance, and public accommodations. In July 2016, she was a speaker at the Democratic National Convention, becoming the first openly transgender person to address a major party convention in American history. In 2018, McBride released the book Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality.
While attending a June demonstration against racial inequality and police brutality in New Orleans, Justice Smith (born August 9, 1995), the Pokemon: Detective Pikachu star came out as queer. The actor posted a video on Instagram showing him at the protest with his boyfriend, Queen Sugar actor Nicholas Ashe. “As a Black queer man myself, I was disappointed to see certain people eager to say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ but hold their tongue when Trans/Queer was added,” he wrote in the accompanying caption. “I want to reiterate this sentiment. If your revolution does not include Black Queer voices, it is anti-Black.”
Oregon judge Stephen Gallagher Jr. rules that the state must offer benefits to the partners of gay state employees. Lon Mabon, director of the anti-gay Oregon Citizens Alliance which challenges the governor’s executive order to grant benefits, said the ruling aids in the systematic destruction of the whole notion of family.
Dr. George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, issues an apology to GLB Anglicans for the pain they experienced as a result of the Lambeth Conference of Bishops’ resolution against homosexuality.
Dr. Saul Levin was appointed president of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA). GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality is an international organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and ally (LGBT) healthcare professionals and students of all disciplines including physicians, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, nurses, behavioral health specialists, researchers and academicians, and their supporters in the United States and internationally. Founded in 1981 as the American Association of Physicians for Human Rights, GLMA “came out of the closet” and changed its name in 1994 to the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. GLMA changed its name again in 2012 to GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality.
A domestic partner registry opens in Miami Beach, Florida.
Nepal police begin rounding up transsexuals in a sweep of the capital, Katmandu.
Democrat presidential candidates appear at a forum sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign. It was televised on LOGO and streamed online. Most candidates said they approved civil unions but not same-sex marriage. Six Democrats participate in the forum including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama while all Republican candidates decline.
Rene Crevel (August 10, 1900 – June 18, 1935) is born in Paris. He was a French writer involved with the surrealist movement. The only out bisexual member of the Dada movement of artists, he was the founder of a number of short-lived literary magazines. His poetry was filled with death and castration themes. He told anyone who would listen he had been mutilated as an infant by being circumcised.
A Florida Enchantment, written by Archibald Clavering Gunter (October 25, 1847 –February 24, 1907), was a silent film depicting homosexuality and cross-dressing,. It was released on this day. The film is based on the 1891 novel and 1896 play (now lost) of the same name. The film is also known for its use of blackface antics, an aspect carefully dissected in Siobhan Somerville’s Queering the Color Line. Since its inclusion in Vito Russo’s The Celluloid Closet, the film has increasingly been seen as one of the earliest film representations of homosexuality and cross-dressing in American culture.
1986, New Zealand
The Homosexual Law Reform Act goes into effect decriminalizing consensual sex between homosexual men.
Keith Haring (May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990) reveals he is HIV positive. Prices for his art soar as collectors anticipate his death. He was an American artist and social activist whose work responded to the New York City street culture of the 1980s by expressing concepts of birth, death, sexuality, and war. In 2006, Haring was named by Equality Forum as one of their 31 Icons of LGBT History Month.
2011, Czech Republic
Several thousand people march through Prague in the Czech capital’s first gay pride festival. The event was peaceful though there were some 300 vocal opponents.
Sarah Bernhardt (October 23, 1844 – March 26, 1923) makes her acting debut as a French stage actress who stars in some of the most popular French plays of the late 19th and early 20th century, including La Dame Aux Camelias by Alexandre Dumas, Ruy Blas by Victor Hugo, Fédora and La Tosca by Victorien Sardou, and L’Aiglon by Edmond Rostand. She also plays male roles, including Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Rostand called her “the queen of the pose and the princess of the gesture” while Hugo praised her “golden voice.” She made several theatrical tours around the world and was one of the first prominent actresses to make sound recordings and to act in motion pictures. While she had many male lovers, she had a 25-year relationship with Louise Abbéma (1853–1927), a French impressionist painter some nine years her junior. In 1990, a painting by Abbém depicting the two on a boat ride on the lake in the bois de Boulogne was donated to the Comédie-Française. The accompanying letter stated that the painting was “Peint par Louise Abbéma, le jour anniversaire de leur liaison amoureuse”(loosely translated: “Painted by Louise Abbéma on the anniversary of their love affair”).
The play The March Hare opens. It includes several same-sex innuendoes, both male and female. The March Hare is a lost 1921 American silent comedy romance film produced and distributed by Adolph Zukor‘s Realart Pictures Corporation. It stared Bebe Daniels.
The Austin (Texas) City Council voted 4-3 to accept a Fair Housing Ordinance that does not include lesbians and gays.
A rally in Vancouver, British Columbia, protests police inaction in dealing with street violence against gays.
Larry Kramer (born June 25, 1935–May 27, 2020), whose 1978 novel Faggots takes gay men to task for promiscuity in pre-AIDS New York, calls a meeting of concerned men in his Greenwich Village apartment. It is a precursor to the organization that will become the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Kramer is an American playwright, author, public health advocate, and LGBT rights activist. He began his career rewriting scripts while working for Columbia Pictures which led him to London where he worked with United Artists. There he wrote the screenplay for the 1969 film Women in Love (1969) and earned an Academy Award nomination for his work. Kramer introduced a controversial and confrontational style in his Faggots which earned mixed reviews and emphatic denunciations from elements within the gay community for Kramer’s one-sided portrayal of shallow, promiscuous gay relationships in the 1970s.
The American Bar Association’s House of Delegates votes 318 to 123 to grant affiliate status to the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association.
During a television interview, President George H. W. Bush said that if one of his grandchildren were gay he would love the child but tell him homosexuality is not normal and discourage him from working for gay rights.
The government of Colombia issues a protest against the display of a painting by Chilean artist Juan Davila in London. The painting presents nineteenth-century South American independence hero Simon Bolivar as a transgender.
1995, South Korea
South Korea marks its first Pride Celebration with a march and other events in Seoul.
Robert H. Eichberg (1945-August 12, 1995) was a psychologist, activist and author who helped establish National Coming Out Day, a day of observance encouraging gay and lesbian people to reveal their homosexuality, Dr. Eichberg died of complications from AIDS. In 1990, a book by Dr. Eichberg entitled Coming Out: An Act of Love was published by E. P. Dutton & Company. He and his partner, Jon Landstrom, and Jean O’Leary (March 4, 1948 – June 4, 2005) co-founded National Coming Out Day in 1988. O’Leary was an openly lesbian political leader and long-time activist from New York, and was at the time the head of the National Gay Rights Advocates in Los Angeles. LGBT activists, including Eichberg and O’Leary, did not want to respond defensively to anti-LGBT action because they believed it would be predictable. This caused them to found NCOD in order to maintain positivity and celebrate coming out. The date of October 11 was chosen because it was the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. In 1978, Eichberg founded The Experience, a community-based workshop that inspired people to reveal their homosexuality to family and friends.
The United Methodist Judicial Council rules that the Social Principles rule prohibiting Methodist ministers from officiating at same-sex unions would have the force of church law.
The Raleigh News and Observer runs an article on the ex-gay debate. Psychiatrist Dr. William Byne points out that after three decades of therapy, castration, hormone injections, shock treatment, and brain surgery, if it were possible to reverse sexual orientation, it would have happened.
Degrassi: The Next Generation introduces its first transgender character. Jordan Todosey stars as Adam Torres.
A protest is held in reaction to 36 men being subjected to an examination of the anus to see if penetration has occurred (which is discredited as inaccurate). The men had been arrested at a porn cinema and were forced to pay for the test. At the time, this was the largest LGBT protest in the Arab world.
Henri Coiffier de Ruzé, Marquis of Cinq Mars is beheaded for treason at Lyon. Cardinal Richelieu introduced King Louis XIII (September 27, 1601 – May 14, 1643) to the Marquis. Louis took him as his lover. The Marquis plotted against the king and was executed when the king discovered his plans. Louis XIII was married to Anne of Austria, daughter of Philip III of Spain. There is no evidence that Louis kept mistresses (a distinction that earned him the title “Louis the Chaste“), but persistent rumors insinuated that he may have been homosexual or at least bisexual. His interests as a teenager increasingly focused on his male courtiers, and he quickly developed an intense emotional attachment to his favorite, Charles d’Albert, although there is no clear evidence of a physical sexual relationship. Gédéon Tallemant des Réaux, drawing from rumors told to him by a critic of the King (the Marquise de Rambouillet), explicitly speculated in his Historiettes about what happened in the king’s bed. A further liaison with an equerry, François de Baradas, ended when the latter lost favor fighting a duel after duelling had been forbidden by royal decree. Louis XIII was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who ruled as King of France from 1610 to 1643 and King of Navarre (as Louis II) from 1610 to 1620, when the crown of Navarre was merged with the French crown. Shortly before his ninth birthday, Louis became king of France and Navarre after his father Henry IV was assassinated. His mother, Marie de’ Medici, acted as regent during his minority.
Captain Nicholas Nicholls, 50, is sentenced to death on a charge of sodomy. A newspaper said, “Captain Henry Nicholas Nicholls, who was one of the unnatural gang to which the late Captain Beauclerk belonged, (and which the latter gentleman put an end to his existence), was convicted on the clearest evidence at Croydon, on Saturday last, of the capital offence of Sodomy; the prisoner was perfectly calm and unmoved throughout the trial, and even when sentence of death was passed upon him.”
Lesbian Katharine Lee Bates, (August 12, 1859 – March 28, 1929), an American poet, is born. She is remembered as the author of the words to the anthem America the Beautiful. She had graduated from Wellesley then became a professor there. Bates was a prolific author of many volumes of poetry, travel books, and children’s books. She popularized Mrs. Claus in her poem Goody Santa Claus on a Sleigh Ride from the collection Sunshine and other Verses for Children (1889). Bates never married. She lived in Wellesley with Katharine Coman who was a history and political economy teacher and founder of the Wellesley College School Economics department. The pair lived together for twenty-five years until Coman’s death in 1915. Bates was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970. In 2012, she was named by Equality Forum as one of their 31 Icons of the 2015 LGBT History Month.
Radclyffe Hall (August 12, 1880 – October 7, 1943) is born in Bournemouth, England. She was an English poet and author and is best known for the novel The Well of Loneliness, a groundbreaking work in lesbian literature. In 1915 Hall fell in love with Una Troubridge (1887–1963), a sculptor who was the wife of Vice-Admiral Ernest Troubridge, and the mother of a young daughter. In 1917 Radclyffe Hall and Una Troubridge began living together. The relationship lasted until Hall’s death though Hall was involved in affairs with other women throughout the years. In 1934 Hall fell in love with Russian émigrée and poet Evguenia Souline and embarked upon a long-term affair with her which Troubridge painfully tolerated.
Blues singer Gladys Bentley is born (August 12, 1907 – January 18, 1960) to a Trinidadian mother and an African American father. She was an American blues singer, pianist and entertainer during the Harlem Renaissance. Her career skyrocketed when she appeared at Harry Hansberry’s Clam House in New York in the 1920s, as a black lesbian cross-dressing performer. She headlined in the early 1930s at Harlem’s Ubangi Club where she was backed up by a chorus line of drag queens. She dressed in men’s clothes (including a signature tuxedo and top hat), played piano, and sang her own raunchy lyrics to popular tunes of the day in a deep, growling voice while flirting with women in the audience. She relocated to southern California where she was billed as “America’s Greatest Sepia Piano Player” and the “Brown Bomber of Sophisticated Songs.” She was frequently harassed for wearing men’s clothing. She tried to continue her musical career but did not achieve as much success as she had had in the past. Bentley was openly lesbian early in her career (a “bulldagger” in the parlance of the day) and even once told a gossip columnist she had married a white woman (whose identity remains unknown) in New York. However, during the McCarthy Era she started wearing dresses and married Mr. J. T. Gipson who died in 1952,the same year in which she married Charles Roberts, a cook in Los Angeles; they were married in Santa Barbara, California, and went on a honeymoon in Mexico. (Roberts denied ever marrying her.) Bentley died of pneumonia in Los Angeles in 1960, aged 52.
1968, August 12-17
The North American Conference of Homophile Organizations, nicknamed NACHO, made up of delegates from 26 groups, convenes in Chicago to discuss goals and strategy. Although delegates fail to form a unified national organization, they pass a five-point “Homosexual Bill of Rights” and resolve to make “Gay Is Good” the slogan of the movement.
The Fraternal Order of Police in Rhode Island pass a resolution discouraging the hiring of lesbian or gay police officers.
Sharon McCracken becomes the first openly lesbian person to be licensed as a foster parent in Florida.
The Kansas City, Missouri City Council votes 11-1 to approve a hate crimes bill that includes anti-gay crimes.
Federal district court judge William Bassler of Newark, New Jersey rejects a challenge to the state gay rights law.
Mary Fisher (born April 6, 1948) addresses the Republican convention in San Diego to remind them that AIDS is caused by infection, not immorality. She is an American political activist, artist and author. After contracting HIV from her second husband, she had become an outspoken HIV/AIDS activist for the prevention and education and for the compassionate treatment of people with HIV and AIDS. She is particularly noted for speeches before two Republican Conventions: Houston in 1992 and San Diego in 1996. The 1992 speech has been hailed as “one of the best American speeches of the 20th Century.” She is founder of a non-profit organization to fund HIV/AIDS re-search and education, the Mary Fisher Clinical AIDS Re-search and Education (CARE) Fund. Since May 2006, she has been a global emissary for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
“I am a gay American.” New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey (born August 6, 1957) told a news conference that he is gay, appointed his lover, Golan Cipel, to a high government office for which he was not qualified, then re-igned from office.
Kanako Otsuji (December 16, 1974), an assemblywoman, is the first politician to come out in Japan. She is a Japanese LGBT rights activist and former member of the House of Councilors of the National Diet of Japan. She was also a member of the Osaka Prefectural Assembly (April 2003–April 2007). One of only seven women in the 110-member Osaka Assembly, Otsuji represented the Sakaiku, Sakai City constituency. In May 2013, after her party member of the House resigned, Otsuji became the nation’s first openly homosexual member of the Diet but her term in office expired in July.
Harvey Milk (May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978) is posthumously awarded the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by President Barack Obama. Harvey Milk was an American politician and the first openly gay elected official in the history of California where he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Despite being the most pro-LGBT politician in the United States at the time, politics and activism were not his early interests; he was neither open about his sexuality nor civically active until he was 40, after his experiences in the counterculture movement of the 1960s. He and San Francisco Mayor Mascone were assassinated on Nov. 27, 1978. In July 2016, U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus named the second ship of the Military Sealift Command‘s John Lewis-class oilers, the USNS Harvey Milk.
The first Pride parade in Uganda is held. The Grand Marshall is Maurice Tomlinson (born 1971), an LGBT activist from Jamaica. Police raid the event and detain participants but they are released without charges. Tomlinson is a Jamaican Attorney-at-Law and law lecturer. He has been a leading Gay Rights and HIV activist in the Caribbean for over 20 years and is one of the only Jamaican LGBTI human rights advocates to challenge the country’s 1864 British colonially imposed anti-gay Sodomy Law (known as the Buggery Law). This law predominantly affects men who have sex with men (MSM) and carries a jail sentence of up to ten years imprisonment with hard labor. Maurice was married to his best female friend in 1999 in an attempt to “cure” his homosexuality. The couple divorced four years later and they had one son who now lives with his mother. He now teaches Canadian Human Rights and other law courses at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa, Canada and is also a Senior Policy Analyst for the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, where he focuses on challenging homophobia and HIV in the Caribbean. In 2013, Maurice became a founding member of Dwayne’s House, Jamaica’s first charity which focuses exclusively on providing food and basic services to homeless LGBTI youth who have been forced to live in the sewers of the capital, Kingston. In December 2011, Maurice was awarded the inaugural “David Kato Vision and Voice Award” which was created to honor the memory of slain Ugandan LGBTI activist, David Kato (1964 – 26 January 2011) who was a Ugandan teacher and LGBT rights activist, considered a father of Uganda’s gay rights movement and described as “Uganda’s first openly gay man.” He served as advocacy officer for Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG). Kato was murdered in 2011 allegedly by a male sex worker, shortly after winning a law-suit against a magazine which had published his name and photograph identifying him as gay and calling for him to be executed.
The New York Times runs a story saying that New York City police were compiling a list of known sex criminals, and that the list already consisted of over 300 names, most of whom were gay men.
Herb Ritts (August 13, 1952 – December 26, 2002) is born. He was a gay American fashion photographer who concentrated on black-and-white photography and portraits often in the style of classical sculpture. He received the GLAAD Media Pioneer Award posthumously in 2008.
Domenico Dolce (born August 1958) is born. He is a co-founders of the fashion house Dolce & Gabbana with Stefano Gabbana (born 14 November 1962). Since founding D&G in 1985, Dolce has become one of the world’s most influential fashion designers and an industry icon. Dolce and Gabbana were an open couple for many years. Following their success, they lived in a 19th-century villa in Milan and owned several properties on the French Riviera. They ended their relationship in 2003, but the pair still work together at D&G.
The Advocate calls 1975 the Year of the Disco. Across the U.S. and around the world, discos changed the face of the gay and lesbian subculture.
Gay writer Randy Shilts (August 8, 1951 – February 17, 1994) made his debut in The Advocate with the story Candy Jar Politics–The Oregon Gay Rights Story.
The Australian government agrees to grant refugee status to people from other nations who are persecuted because of their sexual orientation.
Homophobes Jimmy Swaggart, Phyllis Schlafley, and Jerry Falwell spoke to a Republican Party committee, urging a platform opposed to gay rights.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approves funding for The National Task Force on AIDS Prevention (NTFAP). NTFAP originated as a program of the National Association of Black and White Men Together (NABWMT), a multi-racial gay organization. The first NTFAP meeting was held on August 13-14, 1988. Reggie Williams (1951-1999), longtime community activist and member of BWMT, was the Executive Director of NTFAP from its birth until his retirement in February of 1994. Williams also served on the boards of the NABWMT, the AIDS Action Council in Washington D.C., and numerous other organizations related to African Americans, lesbians and gay men, and AIDS.
Nicaragua president Violeta Chamorro signed into law legislation that criminalized consensual same-sex sodomy. The maximum sentence was set at eight years but could be as high as twenty years for someone who was in a position of authority over minors such as a teacher.
Senator Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ) calls on the Pentagon to end the ban on gay and lesbian service personnel unless an independent study could provide a rational basis for it.
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission reports that lesbians and gay men are still jailed though Russia had legalized homosexual acts between consenting adults earlier in the year.
San Francisco’s Bay Area Reporter, a gay and lesbian newspaper, published its first issue in seventeen years with no AIDS-related obituaries.
Julien Green (September 6, 1900 – August 13, 1998), a novelist who chronicled his struggle with his homosexuality, dies in Paris at age 97. He was an American writer who authored several novels (The Dark Journey, The Closed Garden, Moira, Each Man in His Darkness, the Dixie Trilogy, etc.), a four-volume autobiography (The Green Paradise, The War at Sixteen, Love in America and Restless Youth) and his famous Diary (in nineteen volumes, 1919–1998). He wrote primarily in French and was the first non-French nationals to be elected to the Académie Française. For many years Green was the companion of Robert de Saint-Jean, a journalist, whom he had met in the 1920s.In his later years Green formally adopted gay fiction writer Éric Jourdan.
The Pentagon officially revises “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” requiring mandatory anti-harassment training for all troops.
The California Supreme Court rules that the San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom overstepped his authority by issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, voiding thousands of marriages sanctioned in San Francisco earlier this year.
Politicians who supported gay rights were banned from speaking at Catholic churches in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.
Radio talk show host Stephanie Miller (born September 29, 1961) comes out on air, saying she was inspired by singer Chely Wright (born October 25, 1970). Stephanie is the daughter of U.S. Rep. William Miller who was Barry Goldwater’s running mate. She is an American political commentator, comedian, and host of The Stephanie Miller Show, a liberal talk radio program produced in Los Angeles by WYD Media Management and syndicated syndicated nationally by Westwood One. In 2012, Talkers magazine ranked her the 11th most important radio talk show host out of 13 syndicated radio programs broadcast in America. Since 2011, Miller’s live Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour has periodically toured the country to sold out houses and high acclaim. After Trump became president, the tour was renamed the Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour.
Karine Jean-Pierre became the first openly gay woman to serve as a vice presidential chief of staff. Karine Jean-Pierre (born August 13, 1977 is an American political campaign organizer, activist, political commentator, author serving as White House Deputy Press Secretary to Jen Psaki since January 2021. She is a former lecturer in international and public affairs at Columbia University. She was previously the senior advisor and national spokeswoman for MoveOn.org and a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. She served as the chief of staff for Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris on the Joe Biden 2020 presidential campaign. President Joe Biden selected Jean-Pierre to serve as Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary.
384 BC, Greece
Demosthenes (Aug. 14, 384 – October 12, 322 BC) is born in Athens. He was a Greek statesman and orator. His orations constituted a significant expression of contemporary Athenian intellectual prowess and provided an insight into the politics and culture of ancient Greece during the 4th century B.C. Demosthenes learned rhetoric by studying the speeches of previous great orators. In Aeschines’s speeches, he uses the pederastic relations of Demosthenes as a means to attack him.
Dr. Randolph Winslow wrote of an “epidemic of gonorrhea contracted through rectal coition” at a boys’ reform school near Baltimore, Maryland. The outbreak lasted from 1883-1885 and was brought under control by keeping a strict watch on the boys and inflicting severe corporeal punishment on anyone caught in the act.
Composer Piotr “Peter” Ilyich Tchaikovsky (April 7, 1840 –November 6, 1893) wrote to his nephew Vladimir “Bob” Davidov, “It had to be this little incident which made me feel again how strong my love for you is. Oh God! How I want to see you!” Tchaikovsky was a Russian composer of the romantic period, some of whose works are among the most popular music in the classical repertoire. He was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally, bolstered by his appearances as a guest conductor in Europe and the United States. Tchaikovsky was honored in 1884 by Emperor Alexander III and awarded a lifetime pension. Discussion of Tchaikovsky’s personal life, especially his sexuality, has perhaps been the most extensive of any composer in the 19th century and certainly of any Russian composer of his time. While there have been Soviet efforts to expunge all references to same-sex attraction, biographers have generally agreed that Tchaikovsky was homosexual.
In Germany, a publication of the Community of the Special includes an article called Uranians of the World Unite! It urged the formation of a world-wide homosexual organization.
Dade County, Florida sheriff’s deputies raided eleven gay bars in Miami and Miami Beach under the pretext of checking for venereal disease. Fifty-three men were brought in, and nineteen were held over the weekend pending a medical examination.
Police raid the Tay-Bush Inn, the largest gay bar raid in San Francisco history. One hundred and three patrons are arrested on ‘lewd behavior’ charges. The arrested include actors, actresses, dancers, a state hospital psychologist, a bank manager, an artist and an Air Force officer.
After a three-year battle, Gay Community Services Center Los Angeles wins tax-exempt status.
Black gay activist Melvin “Mel” Boozer (June 21, 1945 – March 6, 1987) is recommended for Vice President at the Democratic National Convention in New York City. In a speech to the convention he said, “I know what it’s like to be called nigger, and I know what it’s like to be called faggot. I can sum up the difference in one word – none!” Boozer also told the convention that “bigotry is bigotry” and that homophobia “dishonors our way of life just as much” as racism, before withdrawing his nomination in favor of Walter Mondale. He was a university professor and activist for African American, LGBT and HIV/AIDS issues. He was active in both the Democratic Party and Socialist Party USA, and president of the Gay Activists Alliance.
Gwen Craig, a delegate at the Democratic National Convention, carried a sign that read “Black Lesbian Feminist.”
Los Angeles is the first U.S. city to ban discrimination against people with AIDS in employment, housing, education, and health care.
Members of the American Psychological Association vote to limit attempts to cure homosexuality and agreed to require the reading of a statement to gay patients affirming that being gay is normal and healthy. Homophobe Charles Socarides, president of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), said it was an attempt to brainwash people and called homosexuality “a purple menace that threatens proper gender distinction.” His openly gay son, Richard Socarides (born November 8, 1954), was the White House liaison to the gay community. Richard was the founding president of Equality Matters in 2011.
David Gilmore fights public radio station KUAZ for syndication of the nationally awarded program Outright Radio. Outright Radio is the leading nationally syndicated radio show featuring the extraordinary true stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people, distributed by Public Radio International and broadcast on nearly 100 stations across the US. Outright Radio is a recipient of the 2003 Edward R. Murrow Award.
Andre Boisclair (born April 14, 1966), the first openly gay Canadian politician, becomes the leader of Parti Quebecois in Quebec. In November 2012, he was named as the new provincial delegate-general in New York City.
Journalist Anna Rüling, (August 15, 1880 – May 8, 1953) is born. In 1904 she gave a speech to the Scientific Humanitarian Committee in Berlin, the first known public statement of the socio-legal problems faced by lesbians. Her actual name was Theodora “Theo” Anna Sprüngli. One of the first modern women to come out as homosexual, she has been described as “the first known lesbian activist“.
The New York Times Book Review features Either is Love by Elisabeth Craigin. It was a first-person narrative of a woman who was happily married but also in love with a woman.
Strom Thurmond tries to disrupt plans for the March on Washington by announcing in the Senate that Bayard Rustin (March 17, 1912 – August 24, 1987), Dr. Martin Luther King’s right-hand man and planner of the March, is a sex pervert. The tactic didn’t work and the March was a success.
Nineteen-year-old Mark Segal was arrested for barging into the studio of WPVI in Philadelphia and attempting to announce his grievance against the station on the air. Earlier in the month he and a male friend had been kicked out of a dance sponsored by the station for dancing together. It would be his first arrest of four.
Stefan Maysztowicz creates the micro-nation of the Gay Parallel Republic (GPR) on 308 square miles near Quebec, centered on the city of Sherbrooke.
The Quebec Human Rights Commission reconsiders an earlier decision and now agrees that the Montreal Catholic School Commission could refuse to rent premises to a gay group.
Returning to his district for the first time since his House censure, Representative Gerry E. Studds (D-Mass.) (May 12, 1937 – October 14, 2006) receives three standing ovations from supporters. He was an American Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts who served from 1973 until 1997 and the first openly gay member of Congress. In 1983 he was censured by the U.S. House of Representatives after he admitted to an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old page. Studds and partner Dean T. Hara (his companion since 1991) were married in Boston on May 24, 2004, one week after Massachusetts became the first state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage. Studds died on October 14, 2006, in Boston, at age 69, several days after suffering a pulmonary embolism. Due to the federal ban on same-sex marriage, Hara was not eligible, upon Studds’ death, to receive the pension provided to surviving spouses of former members of Congress. Hara later joined a federal lawsuit, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, that successfully challenged the constitutionality of section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act.
People magazine publishes an “expose” of Rock Hudson’s (November 17, 1925 – October 2, 1985) homosexuality and AIDS.
Right Step Recovery Program, a Portland, Oregon, drug and alcohol treatment facility for gays and lesbians, closes due to financial problems.
The National Center for Health Statistics announces that in 1987 AIDS was the 15th leading cause of death in America.
According to an article in The Advocate, nearly eight out of ten victims of anti-gay hate crimes do not report it to the police. Reasons include fear of job loss if employers learned of the reason for the attack and fear of abuse from the police. The article includes a report of a Philadelphia man who said that after a police officer interrupted an attack, the officer allowed the attacker to leave, and refused to take the victim to the hospital. The officer asked the victim, “Are you a faggot?”
Over 100 people gathered to protest a sentence by district court judge David Young on David Thacker who plead guilty to killing a gay man because of his sexual orientation. He was sentenced to six years rather than the maxi-mum sentence of fifteen years.
Rich Tafel of the Log Cabin Republicans announces that the organization would support Bob Dole for president on the homophobic Republican ticket.
After a three-year legal battle, Sharon Bottoms withdrew her petition to re-gain custody of her five-year-old son Tyler Doustou. A Virginia judge had ruled that her lesbianism made her an unfit mother. She was granted visitation but ordered to keep her girlfriend away from her son. Bottoms v. Bottoms was a landmark child custody case in Virginia that awarded custody of the child to the grandmother instead of the mother, primarily because the mother was a lesbian. In April 1993, Kay Bottoms sued her daughter, Sharon Bottoms, for custody of Sharon Bottoms’ son Tyler. On April 5, 1993, judge Buford Parsons ruled that Sharon Bottoms was an unfit parent and Kay Bottoms was awarded custody of her grandson. Sharon Bottoms was allowed visitation rights two days a week but Tyler was not allowed in his mother’s home or to have any contact with his mother’s partner.
A new edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church says that homosexuals have deep-seated tendencies and are “objectively disorder. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity…”
Episcopal Bishops who supported Rev. Gene Robinson (May 29, 1947) to be bishop of New Hampshire began receiving hate mail.
The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) launches an education program to teach straight reporters how to cover LGBT issues.
WWE wrestler Frederick Douglas Rosser III, better known as Darren Young (born November 2, 1983) comes out. While WWE wrestlers Pat Patterson, Chris Kanyon, and Orlando Jordan (bisexual) came out after either leaving the company or retiring, Rosser is the first professional wrestler to publicly come out while still signed to a major promotion. WWE released a statement in support of Rosser for being open about his sexuality, and various fellow wrestlers tweeted their support for him. Rosser has been in a relationship with his boyfriend, Nick, since 2011. On April 26, 2017, Rosser disclosed that his mother is also gay during his interview with the Afterbuzz TV.
Sweden issues the first family-based visa for a same-sex partner’s spouse. It is a direct result of the June 2013 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to expand recognition of same-sex marriage to the federal level. This allows the husband of Ambassador Mark Bezezinski (born April 7, 1965) to now travel to the United States as a fully recognized spouse. Brzezinski is an American lawyer who served as the United States Ambassador to Sweden from 2011–2015.
Jacques Chausson (1618 – December 29, 1661) was a French ex-customs manager and writer. He was arrested on August 16, 1661, and charged with attempted rape of a young nobleman, Octave des Valons. He was convicted of sodomy and sentenced to death. His tongue was cut out and he was burned at the stake (without being suffocated first, the more common and “merciful” practice).
Bessie Foust, 19, and Maud Hoffnagle, 20, of Philadelphia, died by suicide because they loved one another “like man and woman.” They jumped from a ferryboat into the Delaware river. Both took the leap to death together, hand in hand, and were drowned before they could be rescued. The double suicide was evidently prearranged. A note was found in a pocketbook they had left behind, signed by both, and consisted of a quotation from a melancholy poem and the words, “We find we are utterly unfit for this world and will try another.”
Alix Dobkin is born (August 16, 1940-May 18, 2021) into a Jewish Communist family. She is a singer, songwriter, and feminist activist in New York City. In 1965 she married Sam Hood who ran the Gaslight Cafe in Greenwich Village. They moved to Miami and opened The Gaslight South Cafe but moved back to New York in 1968. Their daughter Adrian was born two years later. The following year the marriage broke up. A few months later, Dobkin came out as a lesbian which was uncommon for a public personality to do at the time. In 1977, she became an associate of the American nonprofit publishing organization Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press (WIFP). Dobkin is a member of the OLOC (Old Lesbians Organizing for Change) Steering Committee. Dobkin has been a highly vocal proponent of women-only space through her consistent exclusion of males. Her controversial criticisms of postmodernism, sadomasochism, transgenderism and other issues appeared in several of her written columns. Her article The Emperor’s New Gender appeared in the feminist journal off our backs in 2000. The Erasure of Lesbians, co-authored with Sally Tatnall, was published in the legislation and case law website Gender Identity Watch in 2015 (transgender activists consider the site anti-transgender). Dobkin has been called a “women’s music legend” by Spin Magazine, “pithy” by The Village Voice, and “a troublemaker” by the FBI. She gained some unexpected fame in the 1980s when comedians such as David Letterman and Howard Stern tracked down her land-mark Lavender Jane Loves Women album, and began playing phrases from the song “View From Gay Head” on the air.
Dennis Altman (born 16 August 1943) is an Australian academic and pioneering gay rights activist. Altman was born in Sydney, New South Wales to Jewish immigrant parents, and spent most of his childhood in Hobart, Tasmania. In 1964 he won a Fulbright scholarship to Cornell University where he began working with leading American gay activists. Returning to Australia in 1969, he taught politics at the University of Sydney, and in 1971 he published his first book, Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation, considered an important intellectual contribution to the ideas that shaped gay liberation movements in the English-speaking world. Altman is a longtime patron of the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives. In March 2013 Altman wrote about the death of his partner of 22 years, Anthony Smith, who died from lung cancer in November 2012.
New York City’s Gay Liberation Front sponsored the first “Coming Out” dance at Alternate U. to give gays and lesbians the opportunity to support their own organizations rather than what they said were mafia-owned bars. Alternate U was a free counterculture school and leftist political organizing center in Greenwich Village for many of its activities through 1970. It was founded around 1966 by Tom Wodetski. It had several classrooms in a former dance studio on the second floor of 69 West 14th Street, at the corner of Sixth Avenue.
Blue Earth County, Minnesota issues a marriage license to two men, Jack Baker (born 1942) and Mike McConnell (born 1942) when Jack changed his name to Pat. Michael McConnell and Jack Baker are pioneering advocates of marriage rights for gay couples. Jack Baker was a stage name used by Richard John Baker in the 1970s to promote full equality for gay men and women. He and Michael McConnell originally applied in Hennepin County for a license to marry which was denied. They appealed the denial to the Minnesota Supreme Court which dismissed the claim. “Under the law at the time (since repealed) governing the [U.S.] Supreme Court’s jurisdiction over appeals from state-court decisions, Baker v. Nelson reached the justices as a mandatory appeal.” The State argued that the marriage license issued previously in Blue Earth County proved that the “questions raised by this appeal are moot.” Baker and McConnell were legally married in 2019.
The chairwoman of the Mississippi Gay Alliance attempted to place an ad in The Reflector, the student newspaper of Mississippi State University. The editor refused to accept the ad. The ad announced hours and services offered by MGA, an unrecognized student organization.
Dr. Paul Volberding, Chief of Medical Oncology and Director of AIDS Activities at San Francisco General Hospital, writes a “breakthrough letter” to Blaine Elswood, founder of the Guerilla Clinic, about obtaining currently unapproved experimental drugs mostly from Mexico. In 1983, Volberding founded the first inpatient ward for persons with AIDS in the San Francisco General Hospital. He worked on early clinical trials to evaluate antiretroviral therapy in HIV infection, and has served on the two major guidelines panels for antiretroviral therapy, addressing issues such as the optimal timing of treatment in early HIV infection when no symptoms are evident. In 2001 Volberding left the SF General Hospital to become chief medical officer at the San Francisco VA Medical Center at which time he also became vice chairman of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He became co-director of the Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) at UCSF and the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology. In February 2012, he became the director of UCSF’s AIDS Research Institute, and director of research for UCSF Institute for Global Health Sciences. He is widely considered one of the world’s leading AIDS experts.
The General Council of the United Church of Canada, meeting in Victoria, B.C., became the first mainstream church in the world to accept gay ordination without imposing celibacy.
The British action group OutRage demonstrates outside Scotland Yard to call for an end to police entrapment and an increase in efforts to solve anti-gay murders.
New Jersey governor James Florio issues an executive order prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination in the public sector.
In an address to the Huntington, West Virginia chamber of commerce, chamber president Richard Bolen states that the enactment of an ordinance banning anti-gay discrimination would be good for business.
In Largo, Florida, a video store clerk was found not guilty of obscenity charges for renting a gay porn video to an undercover police officer.
At a volunteer campaign training conference in Chicago sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign, President Clinton said through a videotaped address, “I’m especially proud to be the first president to endorse a civil rights bill that specifically includes gay and lesbian Americans. I support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act because I believe in the fundamental values of fairness and equality.”
New South Wales announced it would review the “homosexual panic” defense in murder trials to determine the effect it has on the prejudice of a jury.
The United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS voices concern about the arrests and reported mistreatment of 39 gay men in Nepal.
Portia DeRossi (January 31, 1973) and Ellen DeGeneres (January 26, 1958) marry. Portia de Rossi is an Australian-American actress, model, and philanthropist. She appeared as a regular cast member on the American political thriller television series Scandal in the role of Elizabeth North from 2014 to 2017. Ellen DeGeneres is a talk show host, comedian, and activist.
German monarch Frederick II (January 24, 1712 – August 17, 1786) dies. He was King of Prussia from 1740 until 1786, the longest reign of any Hohenzollern king, and named himself Frederick the Great. Recent major biographers of Frederick are unequivocal that he was predominantly homosexual, and that his sexuality was central to his life and character.
Mae West is born. Mary Jane “Mae” West (August 17, 1893 – November 22, 1980) was an American actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter, comedian, and sex symbol whose entertainment career spanned seven decades. In 1927, she wrote a play about homosexuality called The Drag, and alluded to the work of Karl Heinrich Ulrichs. It was a box-office success. West regarded talking about sex as a basic human rights issue, and was also an early advocate of gay rights. With the return of conservatism in the 1930s, the public grew intolerant of homosexuality, and gay actors were forced to choose between retiring or agreeing to hide their sexuality.
The third national planning conference of Homophile Organizations was held in Washington, D.C.
An Atlanta art theatre was raided during a showing of Andy Warhol’s (Au-gust 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987) film Lonesome Cowboys saying it was a hotbed of homosexuality. Police photographed everyone in attendance as reference material for the vice squad. Written by Paul Morrissey, the film is a satire of Hollywood westerns. It won the Best Film Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival.
In Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Ottawa, Gay Pride Week becomes a national celebration.
In Toronto, a Gay Pride March converges on Queen’s Park. For the first time, the daily newspapers cover the march.
Texas’s sodomy law was repealed by Federal Judge Jerry Buchmeyer who declared it unconstitutional. A new law was passed three years later and approved by the federal bench because it outlawed only homosexual acts.
City commissioner John Markl of Traverse City, Michigan, during a debate on the sale of condoms within city limits, states that homosexuals are the cause of AIDS and that a quick cut of the scalpel would prevent them from spreading it. He also said that homosexuals were mentally unbalanced.
Loc Minh Truong of Orange County, California, filed a lawsuit against Jeffrey Raines and Christopher Cribbens who assaulted him because they assumed he was gay (he was not). He was beaten so severely that doctors could not determine his race and did not expect him to live. The amount of the suit was $25,000 to cover medical expenses and lost wages. Ten men who watched the attack but did nothing to intervene and were also identified in the suit.
Newsweek runs a cover article on the ex-gay debate. The headline reads “Gay for Life? Going Straight: The Uproar over Sexual Conversion.”
Indiana Governor Joseph Kernan issues an executive order banning gender identity discrimination in the public sector.
Eugene Lange College in New York City is named the most gay-positive school in America by the Princeton Review.
The FBI said mafia kingpin James (Whitey) Bulger, sought for 30 years, was thought to be hiding in a gay neighborhood somewhere in the U.S. or Europe.
The Hollywood Reporter pulls a Ray Richmond column entitled Merv Griffin (March 16, 1925 – August 12, 2007) died a closeted homosexual. Several hours later, it was back online with a different title: Griffin Never Revealed the Man Behind the Curtain. Griffin was an American television host and media mogul. He began his career as a radio and big band singer who went on to appear in film and on Broadway. From 1965 to 1986, Griffin hosted his own talk show, The Merv Griffin Show. He also created the internationally popular game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune through his television production companies, Merv Griffin Enterprises and Merv Griffin Entertainment. During his lifetime, Griffin was considered an entertainment business magnate. In 1991, he was sued by Deney Terrio (born June 15, 1950), the host of Dance Fever, another show Griffin created, alleging sexual harassment. The same year, Brent Plott, a longtime employee who worked as a bodyguard, horse trainer and driver, filed a $200 million palimony law-suit against Griffin. Griffin characterized both lawsuits as extortion. Ultimately, both suits were dismissed.
ParaNorman, a 3D animated comedy film produced by Laika and distributed by Focus Features, is the first mainstream children’s film with an explicit non-adult LGBTQ character. The film has drawn some attention for the revelation in its final scenes that Mitch is gay, making him the first openly gay character in a mainstream animated film. Nancy French of the National Review Online suggested that the film could lead parents “to answer unwanted questions about sex and homosexuality on the way home from the movie theater.” Conversely, Mike Ryan of The Huffington Post cited Mitch’s inclusion as one of the reasons why ParaNorman is “remarkable”. Co-director Chris Butler said that the character was explicitly connected with the film’s message: “If we’re saying to anyone that watches this movie don’t judge other people, then we’ve got to have the strength of our convictions.” In 2013 GLAAD nominated ParaNorman as its first-ever PG-rated movie for its annual GLAAD Media Awards.
The U.S. charity organization Planting Peace launched a rainbow flag as a symbolic gesture to “make space LGBTQ-friendly.” The flag was launched using a high-altitude balloon with a GoPro camera attached and went as high as 21.1 miles over the Earth’s surface, remaining airborne for over three hours.
Catherina Margaretha Linck (died 1721) is executed for female sodomy. She was a Prussian woman who for most of her adult life presented as a man named Anastasius Lagrantius Rosenstengel. She married 18-year-old Catharina Margaretha Mühlhahn, and, based on their sexual activity together (court records detail their sexual activities), was convicted of sodomy and executed by order of King Frederick William I. Linck’s execution was the last for lesbian sexual activity in Europe and an anomaly for its time. Linck’s story was the subject of a play, Executed for Sodomy: The Life of Catharina Linck, performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2013.
The New York Times publishes a review of Gale Wilhelm’s (April 26, 1908 – July 11, 1991) lesbian novel We Too Are Drifting. The reviewer refers to reading about “Sapphic intimacy” as chilling and said that while the author had a poetic style and was clearly talented, the subject matter was the book’s major fault. Wilhelm lived with Helen Hope Rudolph Page in San Francisco from 1938 until Page’s death in the late 1940s. Barbara Grier (November 4, 1933 – November 10, 2011), owner of Naiad Press, spent several years attempting to locate Wilhelm. The 1984 Naiad Press edition of We Too Are Drifting included a foreword by Grier describing Wilhelm’s life and pleading for any assistance from anyone who knew any information on the whereabouts of Wilhelm. By the time Naiad published Torchlight to Valhalla in 1985, it contained a foreword by Wilhelm herself, information given to Grier by an anonymous source. Grier speculated that Wilhelm stopped writing before she turned 40 years old because “the world would not let her write the books she wanted.” Wilhelm lived with Kathleen Huebner from 1953 until Wilhelm’s death in 1991 of cancer.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that syphilis and hepatitis B among gay men decreased dramatically since 1982 but had increased among heterosexuals.
President George H. W. Bush signs the Ryan White Care Act, a federally funded program for people living with AIDS. Ryan White (December 6, 1971 – April 8, 1990), an Indiana teenager, contracted AIDS in 1984 through a hemophilia treatment. After being barred from attending high school because of his HIV-positive status, Ryan White becomes a well-known activist for AIDS research.
Rocky Mountain Regional United Methodist Church bishop Roy Sano urges Colorado Methodist ministers to oppose Amendment 2 which sought to ban laws against anti-gay discrimination.
Giuseppe Mandanici, 33, was shot three times but survived the attack. Police believed it to be an act of random violence until they discovered that his father had paid a hit man $1 million lire (approx. $700 US) to kill his son because he could not come to terms with his son’s homosexuality.
Hackers re-routed hate monger Fred Phelps’ anti-gay web site, godhatesfags.com to godlovesfags.com.
Lateisha Green, a transgender woman, was killed in 2008. Her killer was found guilty of manslaughter in the first degree as a hate crime, the second person in the U.S. to be convicted of a hate crime for killing a transgender person.
In Munich, Karl Heinrich Ulrichs (28 August 1825 – 14 July 1895) is jeered when he attempts to persuade jurists that same-sex love should be tolerated rather than persecuted. He is probably the first to come out publicly in defense of what he calls “Uranism” (homosexuality). Ulrichs coined various terms to describe different sexual orientations, including Urning for a man who desires men (English “Uranian”) and Dioning for one who desires women. These terms are in reference to a section of Plato‘s Symposium in which two kinds of love are discussed, symbolized by an Aphrodite who is born from a male (Uranos) and an Aphrodite who is born from a female (Dione). Ulrichs also coined words for the female counterparts (Urningin and Dioningin) and for bisexuals and intersexual persons. Ulrichs is likely the first true gay activist and is seen today as the pioneer of the modern gay rights movement. Published in 1870, Ulrich’s Araxes: A Call to Free the Nature of the Urning from Penal Law is remarkable for its similarity to the discourse of the modern gay rights movement. In it “the Urning, too, is a person. He, too, therefore, has inalienable rights. His sexual orientation is a right established by nature. Legislators have no right to veto nature; no right to persecute nature in the course of its work; no right to torture living creatures who are subject to those drives nature gave them. The Urning is also a citizen. He, too, has civil rights; and according to these rights, the state has certain duties to fulfill as well. The state does not have the right to act on whimsy or for the sheer love of persecution. The state is not authorized, as in the past, to treat Urnings as outside the pale of the law.”
In response to a letter received from John Addington Symonds, American poet Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) denies that “Calamus” from Leaves of Grass was homoerotic. Whitman’s work was very controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass which was described as obscene for its overt sexuality. Though biographers continue to debate Whitman’s sexuality, he is usually described as either homosexual or bisexual in his feelings and attractions.
President Ronald Reagan issues a statement saying his administration would fight governmental endorsement of homosexuality.
The Ann Arbor, Michigan, city council votes 8-1 to extend health benefits to same sex partners of city employees.
Over 250 gay and lesbian couples submit marriage applications in over fifty German cities as part of an attempted mass wedding. About 75% of the couples were male, and over 100 of the applications were submitted in Berlin. The demonstration, organized by the Gay League of Germany, receives widespread media attention. Lesben und Schwulenverband in Deutschland(LSVD), German for the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany, is the largest non-governmental LGBT rights organization in Germany. It was founded in 1990 and is part of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association (ILGA). Manfred Bruns, Volker Beck, Eduard Stapel, Günter Dworek and Halina Bendkowski were prominent persons in the Board of Directors. People from the arts, like comic-designer Ralf König, comedian Hella von Sinnen, director Rosa von Praunheim, and from politics and from science like sexologist Rolf Gindorf and others are prominent individual members of the organization.
California’s state senate kills a bill banning same-sex marriage after Democrats attach a provision to establish a domestic partner registry.
In Spokane, Washington, the family of Curtis Babcock files a lawsuit against county coroner Dexter Amend. Babcock’s memorial service had to be delayed because Amend ordered an autopsy to link his AIDS-related death to sodomy.
The school board of Wayne-Westland, a suburb of Detroit, votes 6-1 to repeal sexual orientation protection for students and staff.
DC Comics orders the Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts Gallery in New York to remove an exhibit of watercolors showing Batman and Robin in a variety of romantic poses. DC threatened both artist and the Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts gallery with legal action if they did not cease selling the works and demanded all remaining art as well as any profits derived from them. Homosexual interpretations have been part of the academic study of the Batman franchise at least since psychiatrist Fredric Wertham asserted in his 1954 book Seduction of the Innocent that “Batman stories are psychologically homosexual.” Wertham, as well as parodies, fans, and other independent parties, have described Batman and his sidekick Robin as homosexual, possibly in a relationship with each other. DC Comics has never indicated Batman or any of his male allies to be gay but several characters in the Modern Age Batman comic books are expressly gay, lesbian, or bisexual.
The Arizona Queer Archives is founded by Jamie A. Lee with support from Susan Stryker. The Arizona Queer Archives is the state of Arizona’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex (LGBTQI) collecting archives of the Institute for LGBT Studies at the University of Arizona.
Jacques de Molay (1243 – March 18, 1314), the leader of the Knights Templar, who denied sexual relations with two of his servants, finally admits to it. He was the 23rd and last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, leading the Order from April 20, 1292 until it was dissolved by order of Pope Clement V in 1307. Though little is known of his actual life and deeds except for his last years as Grand Master, de Molay is one of the best known Templars.
Dr. E.C. Spitzka of New York presents the case of Edward Hyde, Viscount Cornbury (Nov. 28, 1661 – March 31, 1723), the colonial governor of New York and New Jersey in the early 1700’s, in a Chicago medical journal. Cornbury frequently appeared in public wearing female clothing. Spitzka describes Cornbury as a sexual pervert, “a degraded, hypocritical and utterly immoral being.”
The New York Times publishes a review of Edward Carpenter’s (August 29, 1844 – June 28, 1929) autobiography. Carpenter’s book was among the earliest in which an author self-identified as homosexual. He was an English socialist poet, philosopher, anthologist, and early activist for rights for homosexuals.
Staircase, a film in which Rex Harrison and Richard Burton play lovers, has its world premiere. The film, like the play, is about an aging gay couple who own a barber shop in the East End of London. One of them is a part-time actor about to go on trial for propositioning a police officer. The action takes place over the course of one night as they discuss their loving but often volatile past together and possible future without each other. It was panned by most critics, including Roger Ebert, who gave it one star in his review and called it “an unpleasant exercise in bad taste. Rarely seen on television, the film was broadcast by Turner Classic Movies during its June 2007 tribute to gay cinema.
Syndicated columnist Mike Royko includes anti-gay Anita Bryant on a list of the ten most obnoxious people in America.
Ronald Reagan announces his opposition to the Anita Bryant Briggs Initiative in California which sought to ban homosexuals or anyone who was supportive of gay rights from being employed as a public-school teacher. The Briggs Initiative, on the ballot as Prop 6, failed.
Seven men staged Gay Sit-in for Justice in the office of Ontario Attorney General Roy McMurtry to demand a meeting about police and legal harassment of the gay community.
At the Sarnia, Ontario/Port Huron, the Michigan international bridge, lesbians on their way to the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival were harassed or turned back by U.S. Immigration officials. Formal complaints were made on behalf of Canadian women by the National Gay Task Force (NGLTF).
The New York State Consumer Protection Board announces that a one-month supply of AZT costs consumers anywhere from $900 to $3,000, depending on where it was purchased.
More than 90 gay men were arrested at a private party in Iran. Under Iranian law, homosexuals can be sentenced to death with the testimony of four men.
A federal judge rules that Florida’s law banning lesbians and gays from adopting children is valid, saying the state has a legitimate interest in allowing only married heterosexual couples to adopt. The law is considered the nation’s toughest ban on gay adoptions, prohibiting adoptions by any gay or lesbian individual or couple. Anita Bryant’s hate-based Save Our Children campaign in Dade County branded all gays as pedophiles.
Frances Ann Wood (August 21, 1826 – November 10, 1901) was an American educator. She was the founder of the Mount Carroll Seminary which later became Shimer College in Mount Carroll, Illinois. She was also the sole proprietress of the school from 1870 to her retirement in 1896. Turns out Frances and her woman companion, Cinderella Gregory, left up-state NY in 1800s to go out west looking for land to “start a woman’s seminary.” They found it in Mt. Carroll and established Shimer. They moved into a house in Mt. Carroll and lived there for years. When they were in middle age Frances “married” a local townsman named Shimer who moved into the house with them. From 1853 to 1870, Frances Shimer operated the Mount Carroll Seminary as a partnership with Cinderella Gregory who served as the chief academic officer while Shimer handled finances and other non-academic operations. Shimer and Gregory purchased the school from the discouraged incorporators in 1855 when it still occupied only a single building. The subsequent expansion of the seminary to a 25-acre campus with four connected buildings and numerous outbuildings was attributed largely to Shimer’s industry and careful management of finances.
Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) wrote to Peter Doyle on this date: “My love for you is indestructible, and since that night and morning has returned more than before.”
Aubrey Beardsley (August 21, 1872 – March 16, 1898) was born in Brighton, England. More than any other artist of his time, Beardsley epitomized the Art Nouveau style. As a young man he would walk down the boulevards of Paris arm in arm with his mother, his makeup far more dazzling than hers. Although Beardsley was associated with the homosexual clique that included Oscar Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) and other English aesthetes, the details of his sexuality remain in question. He was generally regarded as asexual. His association with Oscar Wilde ruined him and he died of tuberculosis three years after Wilde was sentenced to prison.
James “John” Finley Gruber (August 21, 1928 – February 27, 2011) was an American teacher and early LGBT rights activist. Gruber helped to document the early LGBT movement through interviews with historians, participating in a panel discussion in San Francisco in 2000 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the founding of Mattachine and appearing in the 2001 documentary film Hope Along the Wind about the life of Harry Hay (April 7, 1912 – October 24, 2002). Growing up Gruber considered himself bisexual and was involved with both men and women. His father, a former vaudevillian turned music teacher, relocated the family to Los Angeles in 1936. Gruber enlisted in the U. S. Marine Corps in 1946 at the age of 18 and was honorably discharged in 1949. Using his G.I. Bill benefits, Gruber studied English literature at Occidental College in Los Angeles. Gruber suffered increasingly ill health for several years before his death on February 27, 2011, at his home in Santa Clara.
Bisexual Frida Kahlo (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954) marries Diego Rivera. She was a Mexican painter, who mostly painted self-portraits. Inspired by Mexican popular culture, she employed a naïve folk art style to explore questions of identity, post colonialism, gender, class, and race in Mexican society. Her work has been celebrated internationally as emblematic of Mexican national and indigenous traditions, and by feminists for what is seen as its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form. Kahlo was mainly known as Rivera’s wife until the late 1970s when her work was re-discovered by art historians and political activists. By the early 1990s, she had become not only a recognized figure in art history, but also regarded as an icon for Chicanos, the Feminism movement, and the LGBTQ movement. Kahlo’s work has been celebrated internationally as emblematic of Mexican national and Indigenous traditions, and by feminists for what is seen as its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form.
Luisa Isabel Alvarez de Toledo y Maura, 21st Duchess of Medina Sidonia, Grandee of Spain (August 21, 1936 – March 7, 2008) was nickname La Duquesa Rojaor The Red Duchess. She was the 21st Duchess of the ducal family of Medina-Sidonia, one of the most prestigious noble families and Grandees of Spain. Eleven hours before her death, on March 7, 2008, Luisa Isabel married her longtime partner and secretary since 1983, Liliana Maria Dahlmann in a civil ceremony on her deathbed. Today, the Dowager Duchess Liliana Maria, her legal widow, serves as life-president of the Fundación Casa Medina Sidonia.
Felice Schragenheim (March 9, 1922 – December 31, 1944), a young Jewish resistance fighter in Germany, was sent to a concentration camp in Poland on this date. Her love story with Lilly Wust, a German wife of a Nazi, is portrayed in the 1999 film Aimee & Jaguar and in a book of the same name by Erica Fischer. It is also the subject of the 1997 documentary Love Story: Berlin 1942.
Huey Newton, co-founder of the Black Panthers, publicly announces his support of gay rights, stating his “solidarity” with the “Gay Power” movement.
In Ottawa, We Demand, a brief prepared by the Toronto Gay Action and sponsored by Canadian gay groups, is presented to the federal government. It calls for law reform and changes to public policy relating to homosexuals.
The musical version of La Cage Aux Folles opens on Broadway to rave reviews and $4 million in advance ticket sales. With a book written by Harvey Fierstein (born June 6, 1954) and lyrics and music by Jerry Herman (born July 10, 1931 – December 26, 2019), La Cage is a romantic musical comedy based on a popular French film about two male lovers, the manager and the leading star of a nightclub featuring female impersonators.
The National Association of State Boards of Education reports that only twenty-four states require AIDS education in schools, and eighteen of those suggest abstinence as the only method of avoiding the disease. Only three programs require teachers to discuss the use of condoms in their programs.
Lucie McKinney, the widow of Congressman Stewart McKinney (R-CT) (January 30, 1931 – May 7, 1987), the first congressman to die of complications from AIDS, challenges his will in court because he left a car and a 40% share of his Washington, D.C. house to his lover Arnold Dennison. McKinney’s physician speculated that McKinney became infected with HIV in 1979 as the result of blood transfusions during heart surgery. McKinney was known by friends to be bisexual, though his family said this was not the case, which raised the issue of how he had contracted the disease. Anti-gay prejudice at the time of McKinney’s death in 1987 may have promoted a disingenuous approach to speculations on the cause of McKinney’s HIV infection. Arnold Denson, the man with whom McKinney had been living in Washington, said that he had been McKinney’s lover, and that he believed McKinney was already infected when Denson met him.
Rikki Streicher (1922 – Aug. 21,1994) dies of cancer at age 68 in San Francisco. She opened Maud’s, America’s oldest continuously operating lesbian bar, in 1966 and Amanda’s, a lesbian dance club that opened in 1978. Maud’s closed in 1989 because of financial problems. Streicher also helped organize the Gay Games in San Francisco in 1986. Streicher was born in 1922. She served in the military and lived in Los Angeles in the 1940s where she spent time in the gay bars of that city. She also frequented the gay bars of North Beach in San Francisco. Butch-femme roles were very fixed at that time. Streicher, then identified as butch, was photographed in 1945 in a widely published image, sitting in Oakland‘s Claremont Resort with other lesbians, wearing a suit and tie. In 1966, Streicher opened Maud’s, originally called “Maud’s Study”, or “The Study”, a lesbian bar on Cole St. in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. The following year, the Haight-Ashbury would become the epicenter of the hippie movement during the 1967 Summer of Love. Maud’s, said one historian, served to “bridge the gap between San Francisco’s lesbian community and its hippie generation.” Because women were not allowed to be employed as bartenders in San Francisco until 1971, Streicher had to either tend bar herself or hire male bartenders. The bar quickly became a popular gathering place for San Francisco lesbians and bisexual women. One notable customer of Maud’s was singer Janis Joplin (January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970). Activists Del Martin (May 5, 1921 – August 27, 2008) and Phyllis Lyon (born November 10, 1924) were also early patrons of Maud’s. In 1978, at the height of the disco era, Streicher opened a more spacious bar and dance club on Valencia Street in San Francisco’s Mission District called Amelia’s, named after Amelia Earhart. Streicher died of cancer in 1994, and was survived by her partner, Mary Sager.
Intel announces that the company will begin offering domestic partner benefits.
Denver Colorado’s Career Service Authority votes 5-0 to extend health insurance benefits to the partners and children of gay and lesbian city employees. The plan did not cover unmarried heterosexual couples. Mayor Wellington Webb announced that he would approve the plan which had the support of the majority of the city council.
Irving Cooperberg, (1932 – Aug. 21, 1997), co-founder of the New York City Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center, dies of complications from AIDS at age 65. Mr. Cooperberg, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, quit college in 1951, joined the Army and served in Korea. Real estate investments in Manhattan and Fire Island Pines, beginning in the early 1960’s, made him wealthy. In 1973, he attended a service at the embryonic gay and lesbian synagogue, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah in Greenwich Village. He soon volunteered to serve on its board. Because of his role at the synagogue, Mr. Cooperberg was drawn into the effort in the early 1980s to establish a citywide lesbian and gay center with a full complement of services. One of the first of its kind in the country, it was to occupy the former Food and Maritime High School at 208 West 13th Street. Mr. Cooperberg was elected the center’s first president in July 1983 and served until May 1987. He is survived by his companion, Lou Rittmaster.
According to a survey by the Arizona Department of Public Safety, hate crimes in the first part of 1998 were down 15% but gay males were the second most commonly targeted group with twenty incidents. Ten incidents against lesbians were reported.
Elton Jackson was found guilty by a jury in Virginia of the murder of Andrew Smith. He was given a sentence of life in prison. Police suspected him in the murder of twelve gay men.
Twenty lesbian and gay survivors whose partners died in the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center were told they would receive workers’ compensation under a new state law.
Former Georgia representative Bob Barr, the man who wrote the Defense of Marriage Act that prevents same-sex couples from receiving federal benefits, said it would be a mistake to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage.
A Louisiana state judge rules that the proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages and civil unions was unconstitutional and must be taken off the September 18 ballot.
The Coquille Indian Tribe in Oregon legalizes same-sex marriage which is not recognized by the state.
Hallmark Greeting Cards based in Kansas City introduces line of same-sex wedding cards.
A bill was signed into law designating the LGBTQ Veterans Memorial in Desert Memorial Park in Palm Springs as California’s official LGBTQ veterans memorial. California becomes the first state in the nation to officially recognize LGBTQ military veterans.
A leader of the Mexican Inquisition sent a letter to his supervisors complaining that the severe punishments given to sodomites had been ineffective. He noted that over 100 had been indicted, that a large number of the offenders were clergy, and that torture had been used to extract confessions.
Willem Arondeus (August 22, 1894 – July 1, 1943) is born. He was a Dutch artist and author who joined the Dutch anti-Nazi resistance movement during World War II. He participated in the bombing of the Amsterdam public records office to hinder the Nazi German effort to identify Dutch Jews. Arondeus was caught and executed soon after his arrest. He defiantly asserted his sexuality before his execution. In his last message before his execution, Arondeus, who had lived openly as a gay man before the war, asked his lawyer to “Let it be known that homosexuals are not cowards!”
László Ede Almásy de Zsadány et Törökszentmiklós (August 22, – March 22, 1951) is born. He was a Hungarian aristocrat, desert explorer, aviator, scout leader and sportsman who served as the basis for the protagonist in both Michael Ondaatje‘s novel The English Patient (1992)and the movie adaptation of the same name (1996). Letters discovered in 2010 in Germany written by Almásy prove that, unlike the fictionalized character of the film, he was in fact gay. His lover was a young soldier named Hans Entholt who was an officer in the Wehrmacht and who was killed by stepping on a landmine. A staff member of the Heinrich Barth Institute for African Studies where the letters are located also confirmed that “Egyptian princes were among Almásy’s lovers.” The letters confirmed that Almásy died from amoebic dysentery in 1951.
Violette Morris (April 18, 1893 – April 26, 1944) marries a man on this day. She won two gold and one silver medals at the Women’s World Games in 1921–1922. Starting in 1936 she worked with the Gestapo during World War II. She was killed in 1944 in a Resistance-led ambush as a traitor to the French state. Morris was a gifted athlete, becoming the first French woman to excel at shot put and discus, and playing on two separate women’s football teams. She played for Fémina Sports from 1917 until 1919 and for Olympique de Paris from 1920 to 1926. Both teams were based in Paris. She also played on the French women’s national team. She was refused license renewal by the Fédération Française sportive Féminine (FFSF – French Women’s Athletic Federation) amid complaints of her bisexual lifestyle and was therefore barred from participating in the 1928 Summer Olympics. The agency cited her lack of morals, especially in light of the fact that one of her lovers, Raoul Paoli, made public her bisexuality. Paoli had recently left Morris after she had initially decided to undergo an elective mastectomy in order to fit into racing cars more easily. At the end of December 1935, Morris was recruited by the Sicherheitsdienst (Security Service), a wing of the infamous SS of Nazi Germany. She was invited, with honor, to attend the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin at the personal behest of Adolf Hitler. She was killed along a country road by members of a French resistance group on April 26,1944 at the age of 51 while out driving with friends who were also collaborators.
British actor Hugh Paddick (August 22, 1915 – November 9, 2000) is born in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire. He was an English actor whose most notable role was in the 1960s BBC radio show Round the Horne, in sketches such as Charles and Fiona (as Charles) and Julian and Sandy (as Julian). Paddick was gay and lived for over thirty years with his partner Francis. He was distantly related to Brian Paddick (born 24 April 1958), Britain’s first openly gay police commander. Paddick died in November 2000, at age 85.
James Kirkwood, Jr. (August 22, 1924 – April 21, 1989) is born in Los Angeles. He was an American playwright, author and actor. In 1976 he received the Tony Award, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the Broadway hit A Chorus Line.
David Peter Reimer is born (August 22, 1965 – May 4, 2004). He was a Canadian man born biologically male but who was reassigned as female by Dr. John Money after his penis was destroyed in infancy by a botched circumcision. He died by suicide in 2004. In 1955, Money (1921-2006), a sexologist and psychologist, introduced the concept of ‘gender role’ into the transsexual debate. Money later was heavily criticized over Reimer’s suicide. David Reimer, an identical twin, was mutilated at eight months old in a botched circumcision and then surgically reassigned as female by Money and raised as a girl. But he never felt female on the inside (even though his parents followed Money’s advice and hid the fact of his birth sex from him), despite Money’s claims to the contrary. His life, especially at school, was sheer hell because others never really perceived him to be a girl either, despite his girl drag. By age 16, Reimer underwent a second reassignment at his own insistence so that he could live as the boy he knew himself to be. In the meantime, however, Money had convinced the medical establishment and the lay public, despite growing evidence to the contrary in his “girl” twin, that babies could be arbitrarily assigned a gender with no psychological consequences. Today, still, five children a day are surgically “corrected” at birth because of this one “case study” and Money’s defense of his handling of David’s life. With the help of Drs. Milton Diamond and H.K. Sigmundson, Reimer would finally tell the medical establishment the truth about his life in 1997 in the Archives of Adolescent and Pediatric Medicine, [“Sex reassignment at birth. Long-term review and clinical implications” Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, Mar 1997; 151: 298 – 304.], challenging the firmly established medical and popular myth that gender was mostly a function of nurture rather than nature. Later that year, Reimer would work with author John Colapinto to tell his story to the lay public, first under a pseudonym, in Rolling Stone.
John Wojtowicz (March 9, 1945 – January 2, 2006) and Sal Naturale attempt to rob the Chase Manhattan Bank in Brooklyn to get money for Wojtowicz’s lover’s sex change operation. Naturale was shot to death. The incident became the subject of the 1975 movie Dog Day Afternoon with Al Pacino. Wojtowicz was sentenced to 20 years.
Stephan “Steve” Joseph Kornacki (born August 22, 1979) is an American political journalist, writer, and television host. Kornacki is a national political correspondent for NBC News. He has written articles for Salon, The New York Observer, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, New York Daily News, the New York Post, The Boston Globe, and The Daily Beast. Kornacki was the multimedia anchor and data analyst for much of MSNBC’s The Place for Politics campaign coverage, airing throughout 2016. On May 1, 2021, Kornacki was part of the NBC broadcast team for the Kentucky Derby, bringing his “big board” to Louisville’s Churchill Downs. Kornacki is gay and publicly came out in 2011 through a column in Salon. He resides in the East Village of Manhattan
Organizers of a Washington march marking the 20th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech announce that no representatives from gay or lesbian rights groups will be allowed to speak. A group of lesbians and gay men stage a sit-in at the organizers’ office in response. Bayard Rustin (March 17, 1912 – August 24, 1987), an openly gay man, was one of the primary organizers of the 1963 March.
In an interview publishes by the St. Petersburg Times (Florida, not Russia), openly gay Rep. Barney Frank (born March 31, 1940) said the outing of hypocrites was justified.
Gov. Kirk Fordice of Mississippi signs an executive order banning same-sex marriage.
Hundreds picket at the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church to protest the Truth in Love newspaper ad campaign which claimed gays and lesbians can be “cured” by becoming Christians. The church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is a major player in spreading hatred for the gay community.
U.S. Census figures showed that same-sex couples head nearly 600,000 homes in U.S., with a same-sex couple in nearly every county.
The Village Voice, a New York newsstand staple since its 1955 inception, discontinued its print edition. The left-leaning weekly, co-founded by the late Norman Mailer is now digital-only.
Charles Busch (August 23, 1954) is born. He is an American actor, screenwriter, playwright and female impersonator known for his appearances on stage in his own camp style plays and in film and television. He wrote and starred in his early plays off-off-Broadway beginning in 1978, generally in drag roles, and also acted in the works of other playwrights. He wrote for television and began to act in films and on television in the late 1990s. His best-known play is The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife (2000), which was a success on Broadway.
Newsweek magazine publishes an article entitled “The Militant Homosexual.”
The federal government acts to overturn Tasmania’s anti-sodomy law. Tasmania is the last Australian state to penalize same sex relations.
Mount Vesuvius erupts, burying Pompeii and preserving the city. In a macabre way, it was fortunate for it saved the homoerotic frescos that Christianity would no doubt have destroyed. It also saved the graffiti found centuries later by archaeologists. When the artwork was first discovered, people found it so scandalous that much of it was locked away in the National Museum of Naples where it remained hidden from view for over 100 years. In 2000, the art was finally made viewable to the public, but minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Five Nazis are convicted of political murder on August 22nd. On this day, Edmund Heines (July 21, 1897, Munich –June 30, 1934), a Nazi leader, organizes a protest against their death sentence. Less than two years later, Heines is discovered naked in bed, by Hitler himself, with another man. Hitler orders Heines to be shot. Hitler’s chauffeur Erich Kempka claimed in a 1946 interview that Edmund Heines was caught in bed with an unidentified 18-year-old male when he was arrested during the Night of the Long Knives, although Kempka did not actually witness it. The boy was later identified as Heines’ young driver Erich Schiewek. According to Kempka, Heines refused to cooperate and get dressed. When the SS detectives reported this to Hitler, he went to Heines’ room and ordered him to get dressed within five minutes or risk being shot. After five minutes had passed by, Heines still had not complied with the order. As a result, Hitler became so furious that he ordered some SS men to take Heines and the boy outside to be executed.
The summary of Kinsey’s Sexual Behavior in the Human Female is published in Time magazine. The study includes lesbian behavior.
The Wolfenden Committee is appointed to investigate laws in Britain relating to homosexual offenses.
Actor Stephen Fry (August 24, 1957), most famous for playing Oscar Wilde in Wilde, was born in Hampstead, London. In addition to his numerous film credits, Fry is also the author of The Liar (1991), The Hippopotamus (1994), and Making History(1996).
The fourth annual North American Conference of Homophile Organizations opens in Kansas City. It includes twenty-four independent gay liberation organizations.
The New York Times runs a front-page story with the headline “Homosexuals in Revolt”. The article reports “a new mood now taking hold among the nation’s homosexuals. In growing numbers, they are publicly identifying themselves as homosexuals, taking a measure of pride in that identity and seeking militantly to end what they see as society’s persecution of them.”
The Greater Cincinnati Gay Society files suit to require the Secretary of State to grant them articles of incorporation. Their request was denied on the grounds that homosexual acts were illegal. The court agreed that the state was not required to grant incorporation to an organization that promotes the acceptance of homosexuality.
Bayard Rustin (March 17, 1912 – August 24, 1987), an African American gay man who organized the March on Washington for Civil Rights in 1964, dies of cardiac arrest in New York City. Bayard Rustin was a leader in social movements for civil rights, socialism, nonviolence, and gay rights. Rustin worked with A. Philip Randolph on the 1963 March on Washington Movement, in 1941, to press for an end to racial discrimination in employment. Rustin later organized Freedom Rides and helped to organize the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to strengthen King’s leadership and teaching King about nonviolence. Rustin became the head of the AFL–CIO’s A. Philip Randolph Institute which promoted the integration of formerly all-white unions and promoted the unionization of African Americans. During the 1970s and 1980s, Rustin served on many humanitarian missions, such as aiding refugees from Communist Vietnam and Cambodia. At the time of his death in 1987, he was on a humanitarian mission in Haiti. Rustin had been arrested early in his career for engaging in public sex though he was posthumously pardoned. In the 1980s, he became a public advocate on behalf of gay causes, speaking at events as an activist and supporter of human rights. On November 20, 2013, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Rustin the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Actor Leonard Frey (September 4, 1938 – August 24, 1988) dies of complications from AIDS at age 49. Frey received critical acclaim in 1968 for his performance as Harold in off-Broadway’s The Boys in the Band. He later appeared alongside the rest of the original cast in the 1970 film version, directed by William Friedkin. He is best remembered for his Academy Award-nominated performance in Fiddler on the Roof.
During a Holocaust remembrance, Oregon governor Barbara Roberts criticizes anti-gay ballot initiatives in the state.
A U.S. federal court of appeals rules that a Mexican transgender woman had reason to fear persecution in Mexico and was entitled to asylum.
Vice President Dick Cheney told a GOP rally in Davenport, Iowa, that gay marriage should be left up to the states, a reversal of his previous statement on the subject and a return to his original position while running in 2000. His daughter Liz Cheney is a lesbian.
Julie “JD” DiSalvatore (March 5, 1966 – August 24, 2017) died on this day. She was an American LGBT film and television producer/director and gay rights activist. She was also an animal rights activist. JD died of breast cancer at her home in Sherman Oaks, California, at the age of 51. DiSalvatore won a GLAAD Media Award for Shelter, for best feature film in limited release. In 2009, DiSalvatore was honored at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center’s An Evening With Women with a LACE (Lesbians and bisexual women Active in Community Empowerment) Award for her work in the community, and was featured in Go Magazine’s “100 Women We Love.”
The New York Times reported a complaint against astronaut Lieutenant Colonel Anne McClain, brought by her then wife Summer Worden through the Federal Trade Commission, accusing her of illegally accessing financial information while residing in the International Space Station. This accusation “outed” McClain as a lesbian, making her the first openly LGBT NASA astronaut and the third known lesbian astronaut after Sally Ride and Wendy B. Lawrence. McClain was a Flight Engineer for Expedition 58/59 to the International Space Station. McClain married Summer Worden in 2014 but divorced in 2017. On April 7, 2020, McClain was cleared of all charges while Worden faces a two-count indictment on charges of making false statements. McClain resides in suburban Houston, Texas.
Ludwig II (August 25, 1845 – June 13, 1886) is born in Nymphenburg, Bavaria. Louis Otto Frederick William was King of Bavaria from 1864 until his death in 1886. He is sometimes called the Swan King, Mad King Ludwig or Fairy Tale King. He built fairytale castles on the Rhine and filled them with young boys in revealing military uniforms. Crown Prince Ludwig had just turned 18 when his father died after a three-day illness, and he ascended the Bavarian throne. Although he was not prepared for high office, his youth and brooding good looks made him popular in Bavaria and elsewhere. Ludwig never married nor had any known mistresses. It is known from his diary (begun in the 1860s), private letters, and other surviving personal documents, that he had strong homosexual desires.
The Sacramento Daily Union reports that Ah Lee and Ah Joe both plead not guilty in California for “crimes against nature.” Ah Joe is sentence to three years in prison. Ah Lee’s fate is unknown.
Leonard Bernstein (August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) is born. He was an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the U.S. to receive worldwide acclaim. According to music critic Donal Henahan, he was “one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history.” His most famous work is probably the music for West Side Story. His lover, author John Gruen, died in July, 2016 at the age of 89.
Bob Hoy, an openly gay graduate student at North Carolina State University, runs for the Raleigh, N.C., City Council. He is defeated with only 3% of the vote after being attacked by the local press. Joe Herzenbeng (June 25, 1941 – October 28, 2007) was the first openly gay elected official in North Carolina, in Chapel Hill, in 1987.
Iran re-institutes Islamic sharia law, proscribing all same-sex acts. Punishments include 100 lashes of the whip, beheading, and stoning to death.
President Trump issues a Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security which prohibits transgender individuals from serving in the military.
English-American novelist Christopher Isherwood (August 26, 1904 – January 4, 1986) is born in Wyberslegh Hall, United Kingdom. His best-known works include The Berlin Stories (1935-39) and two semi-autobiographical novellas inspired by Isherwood’s time in Weimar Republic, Germany. These enhanced his postwar reputation when they were adapted first into the play I Am a Camera (1951), then the 1955 film of the same name. In 1966 I Am a Camera became the bravura stage musical Cabaret which was acclaimed on Broadway. His novel A Single Man was published in 1964. He began living with the photographer William “Bill” Caskey. In 1947, the two traveled to South America. Isherwood wrote the prose and Caskey took the photographs for a 1949 book about their journey entitled The Condor and the Cows. On Valentine’s Day 1953, at the age of 48, he met 18 year old Don Bachardy (born May 18, 1934) among a group of friends on the beach at Santa Monica. Despite the age difference, this meeting began a partnership that, though interrupted by affairs and separations, continued until the end of Isherwood’s life. Bachardy became a successful artist with an independent reputation, and his portraits of the dying Isherwood became well known after Isherwood’s death.
American photographer Mel Roberts (Aug. 26, 1923) is born in Toledo, Ohio. Roberts specialized in capturing the ideal California male in a series of images taken during the 1960s and 1970s. Like other photographers from his era, Roberts often used friends and former lovers as his models. Much of his work was published in The Wild Ones: California Boys: The Erotic Photography of Mel Roberts.
Chuck Renslow (August 26, 1929 – June 29, 2017) was an openly gay American businessperson known for pioneering homoerotic photography in the mid-20th-century and establishing many landmarks of late-20th-century gay male culture, especially in the Chicago area. His accomplishments included the founding of the Gold Coast bar, Man’s Country Baths, the International Mr. Leather competition, Chicago’s August White Party, and the magazines Triumph, Rawhide, and Mars. He was the partner and lover of erotica artist Dom Orejudos (July 1, 1933 – September 24, 1991), better known by his pen names Etienne and Stephen.
Actor Michael Jeter (August 26, 1952 – March 30, 2003) is born. He was an American actor of film, stage, and television. His television roles include Herman Stiles on Evening Shade from 1990 until 1994 and Mr. Noodle on Elmo’s World (Sesame Street) from 2000 until 2003. Jeter’s film roles include Zelig, The Fisher King, Waterworld, Air Bud, Patch Adams, The Green Mile, Jurassic Park III, Sister Act 2, and The Polar Express. Jeter was openly gay and met his partner Sean Blue in 1995; they were together from 1995 until Jeter’s death in 2003. Jeter was found dead in his Hollywood home at age 50. Although he was HIV positive, he had been in good health for many years. Blue stated publicly that Jeter died after suffering an epileptic seizure.
William Burroughs (February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997) was an American writer and artist. Burroughs was a primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author whose influence is considered to have affected a range of popular culture as well as literature. On this day he wrote to poet Allen Ginsberg (June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997) that he had fallen in love with his boyfriend Kiki. Their relationship lasted three years until a jealous former lover murdered Kiki. Burroughs found success with his confessional first novel Junkie (1953), but he is perhaps best known for his third novel Naked Lunch (1959), a highly controversial work that was the subject of a court case after it was challenged as being in violation of the U.S. sodomy laws. Much of Burroughs’s work is semi-autobiographical, primarily drawn from his experiences as a heroin addict. He lived through-out Mexico City, London, Paris and Tangier in Morocco as well as from his travels in the South American Amazon.
In Ottawa, amendments to the Canadian Criminal Code come into effect, legalizing sexual acts between two consenting adults in private who are 21 years of age or older. Neither sexual acts nor homosexuality per se were “legalized,” rather, “gross indecency” and “buggery” were decriminalized in certain circumstances.
The Lesbian Feminist Liberation demonstration at the American Museum of Natural History takes place. It is to demand the inclusion of matriarchies and women’s culture. Lesbian Feminist Liberation was a lesbian rights advocacy organization in New York City in 1972. It was originally the Lesbian Liberation Committee as part of the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA). In 1972, when the members felt the GAA was not giving enough focus to lesbian and feminist issues, they left GAA and formed the Lesbian Feminist Liberation. The departure was coordinated by Jean O’Leary (March 4, 1948 – June 4, 2005). The formation of Lesbian Feminist Liberation left the Radical Lesbians group with few members. The Lesbian Liberation Committee, and initially the Lesbian Feminist Liberation as well, met at an old Firehouse at 99 Wooster Street in SoHo in New York City. In 1974, the organization worked with New York Radical Feminists to increase the visibility of women at the New York City LGBT Pride March.
Transgender tennis player Dr. Renee Richards (born August 19, 1934), who had undergone sex reassignment surgery in 1975, is barred from the U.S. Open to play as a woman. Her first professional tennis match as a woman was a year later after a decision from the New York Supreme Court. After four years of playing tennis, she decided to return to her medical practice which she moved to Park Avenue in New York. She then became the surgeon director of ophthalmology and head of the eye-muscle clinic at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital. In addition she served on the editorial board of the Journal of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. She now lives in a small town north of New York City with her platonic companion Arleen Larzelere.
California Governor Jerry Brown appoints Mary C. Morgan to the San Francisco Municipal Court. She was the first openly lesbian judge in the U.S. She retired in 2011. At the time of her appointment to the San Francisco County Superior Court, Morgan’s partner was Roberta Achtenberg (born July 20, 1950) who served as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Clinton Administration. Senator Jesse Helms, who had referred to Achtenberg as “that damn lesbian,” had held up Achtenberg’s nomination and was particularly outraged at discovering that Achtenberg and Morgan had kissed during a gay pride parade.
Ryan White (December 6, 1971 – April 8, 1990), an Indiana boy with hemophilia and AIDS, is barred from attending public school. When a court decision allowed him to return, he was forced to use a separate restroom and eat with disposable utensils. His family was forced to move because of threats and violent acts directed toward them.
Jerry Smith (July 19, 1943 – October 15, 1986), former Washington Redskins tight end, is the first professional athlete to voluntarily acknowledge that he has AIDS. However, he never acknowledged his homosexuality though his teammates were aware and supported him. The Redskins logo, along with Jerry Smith’s uniform number 87, is part of the AIDS quilt. He was a professional American football tight end for the National Football League’s Washington Redskins from 1965–1977. By the time he retired he held the NFL record for most career touchdowns by a tight end. A 2014 documentary from the NFL Network’s A Football Life series profiles his career, as well as his “double life as a closeted gay man and a star athlete”
U.S. Secretary Defense Les Aspin releases a study saying the ban on lesbians and gays in the armed forces should be lifted. The study was conducted by the Rand Corp. and cost $1.3 million. It concluded that the ban could be dropped without damaging order and discipline. Several previous Pentagon studies had reached similar conclusions.
Federal district court judge Aldon Anderson of Utah announces that he would strike down a state law that prohibited people with AIDS from marrying.
Spokespersons for homophobic Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole announce that his campaign was returning a $1,000 donation from the Log Cabin Federation, saying the gay and lesbian Republican organization has “a specific political agenda that’s fundamentally at odds” with the senator’s.
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals rules in favor of former student Gavin Grimm in a more than four-year fight over restroom policies for transgender students. The ruling states that policies segregating transgender students from their peers is unconstitutional and violate federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in education. The decision relies in part on the Supreme Court’s decision in June 2020, stating that discrimination against people based on their gender identity or sexual orientation violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
John Laurens (October 28, 1754 – August 27, 1782) dies at the age of 28. He was an American soldier and statesman from South Carolina during the American Revolutionary War, best known for his criticism of slavery and efforts to help recruit slaves to fight for their freedom as U.S. soldiers. Though he was married, letters between Laurens and Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757 – July 12, 1804) indicate that the two men had an affair. From a young age, Laurens apparently exhibited a lack of interest in women. Laurens’ biographer Gregory D. Massey states that he “reserved his primary emotional commitments for other men.” Though he eventually married, a union born out of regret. While in London for his studies, Laurens impregnated Martha Manning and married her to preserve the legitimacy of their child. Laurens wrote to this uncle, “Pity has obliged me to marry.” Hamilton had “at the very least” an “adolescent crush” on Laurens. Chernow also states that “Hamilton did not form friendships easily and never again revealed his interior life to another man as he had to Laurens. […] After the death of John Laurens, Hamilton shut off some compartment of his emotions and never reopened it.”
Maud Allan (August 27, 1873 – October 7, 1956) was a pianist-turned-actress, dancer and choreographer who is remembered for her “impressionistic mood settings.” From the 1920s on, Allan taught dance and lived with her secretary and lover, Verna Aldrich. She died in Los Angeles.
California Supreme Court ruled that the mere congregation of homosexuals at the Black Cat Bar was not sufficient grounds for suspending the bar’s liquor license (Stoumen v. Reilly , 37 Cal.2d 713, [S. F. No. 18310. In Bank. Aug. 28, 1951.]). The Black Cat Bar or Black Cat Café was a bar in San Francisco, California that had originally opened in 1906 and closed in 1921. The Black Cat re-opened in 1933 and operated for another 30 years. During its second run of operation, it was a hangout for Beats and bohemians but over time began attracting more and more of a gay clientele. The Black Cat closed down for good in February of 1964. The site is now the location of Bocadillos, a tapas-style restaurant. On December 15, 2007, a plaque commemorating the Black Cat and its place in San Francisco history was placed at the site.
U.S.fashion designer and gay icon Tom Ford (August 27, 1961) is born. He is a film director, screenwriter, and film producer. He launched his luxury brand in 2006, having previously served as the creative director at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. Ford directed the Oscar-nominated films A Single Man (2009) and Nocturnal Animals (2016). Ford is married to Richard Buckley (born 1948), a journalist and former editor in chief of Vogue Hommes International; they have been in a relationship since meeting in 1986.
Brian Epstein (September 9, 1934 – August 27, 1967), the manager of The Beatles, dies of a drug overdose. Although John Lennon often made sarcastic comments about Epstein’s homosexuality to friends and to Epstein personally, no one outside the group’s inner circle was allowed to comment. Male homosexual activity was illegal in England and Wales until September 1967 when it was decriminalized; however, this was one month after Eptein’s death.
Erica Mann (November 9, 1905 – August 27, 1969) dies in Zurich. She was a German actress and writer and the eldest daughter of the novelist Thomas Mann and his wife Katia. In 1924, Erika Mann moved to Berlin where she lived a bohemian lifestyle and became a critic of National Socialism. She acted in, and wrote for, an anti-Nazi cabaret in Berlin. After Hitler came to power in 1933, Mann moved to Switzerland. She married gay poet W. H. Auden (February 21, 1907 – September 29,1973). The marriage was arranged in 1935 by Christopher Isherwood to help Mann get a British passport to flee Nazi Germany. Mann remained active in liberal causes and continued to attack Nazism in her writings, most notably with her 1938 book School for Barbarians which was a critique of the Nazi education system. Erika was in a relationship with actress Pamela Wedekind (December 12, 1906-April 9, 1986). She would later have relationships with actress Therese Giehse (6 March 1898 – 3 March 1975), author and photographer Annemarie Schwarzenbach (23 May 1908 – 15 November 1942) and dancer Betty Knox (10 May 1906 – 25 January 1963) with whom she served as a war correspondent during World War II.
In New York City the local 6th police precinct defeated the New York Matts in a softball game. Matts was short for Mattachines, a gay organization. It attracted approximately 1,000 spectators and raised $1,000 for mentally disabled children. Geraldo Rivera was the first base umpire.
Colorado Republican senate candidate Terry Considine refers to AIDS as a self-inflicted injury during a town meeting and equates AIDS with gun violence and drug abuse.
At the 16th Annual Gay and Lesbian Medical Association Symposium in Chicago, attorney Aaron Greenberg argues that if the gay gene is isolated, parents should have the right to abort a gay fetus or have its genetic makeup altered.
After a four-year absence, the Tokyo Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade is held in Japan. Beginning in 1996 as the First Les-Bi-Gay Pride March Sapporo, for the next two years it was the Sexual Minority Pride March, and from 1999 became the Rainbow March. It has become an annual public event of Sapporo and the longest, continuously run LGBT parade in Japan. The 1999 Rainbow Parade was also the first pride parade in Japan to feature floats. Called the Tokyo Lesbian & Gay Parade (TLGP), the event took place in 2000 in the form of a march around the Shibuya district. The Parade went on, taking place in late summer of the two subsequent years, 2001 and 2002, now attracting crowds of over 3,000.
Sen. John McCain announces that although he is opposed a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, he supports a state version in his home state of Arizona.
St. Augustine of Hippo (November 13, 354 – August 28, 430) dies. He was an early Christian theologian and philosopher whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. He was the bishop of Hippo Regius in north Africa and is viewed as one of the most important founders in Western Christianity for his writings in the Patristic Era. Among his most important works are The City of God and Confessions. Some of his writings in Confessions reveal his attraction to men.
During a trial Italian painter Caravaggio (September 29, 1571 – July 18, 1610) was charged with libel when Baglione testified that he had a male lover. Baglione’s painting of Divine Love has also been seen as a visual accusation of sodomy against Caravaggio. Caravaggio was an Italian painter active in Rome, Naples, Malta, and Sicily between 1592 (1595?) and 1610. His paintings combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, and they had a formative influence on Baroque painting. Since the 1970s both art scholars and historians have debated the inferences of homoeroticism in Caravaggio’s works as a way to better understand the man.
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (August 28, 1814 – February 7,1873) is born in Dublin. He wrote vampire fiction, predating Bram Stoker‘s Dracula (1897) by 26 years. His best known, written 25 years before Dracula, is Carmilla, a story of a lesbian vampire who preyed on young women.
Karl Heinrich Ulrichs (28 August 1825 – 14 July 1895), German jurist and activist, was born in Aurich, Germany. He would become one of the earliest activists in Germany to attempt to abolish the German sodomy law. In 1862, Ulrichs, a lawyer, theologian, and pioneer of the modern gay rights movement, described his own homosexuality as anima muliebris virili corpore inclusa– a female psyche confined in a male body. “I may have a beard, and manly limbs and body,” he writes in Latin “yet confined by these, I am and remain a woman.” Ulrichs’ fusion of gay and gender identities dominates discussion of transsexualism for almost a century.
The first post-WWI general membership meeting of the Scientific Humanitarian Committee passes a motion to establish connections with homosexual organizations in other countries.
Nancy Kulp (August 28, 1921 – February 3, 1991), famous for her role as Miss Jane Hathaway on The Beverly Hillbillies, is born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. After the show’s cancellation, Kulp ran unsuccessfully for state office in Pennsylvania. Kulp lived her life completely in the closet. After her retirement from acting and teaching, she moved first to a farm in Connecticut and later to Palm Springs, California, where she became involved in several charity organizations including the Humane Society of the Desert, the Desert Theatre League, and United Cerebral Palsy. Later in life, Kulp indicated to author Boze Hadleigh in a 1989 interview that she was a lesbian. “As long as you reproduce my reply word for word, and the question, you may use it…. I’d appreciate it if you’d let me phrase the question. There is more than one way. Here’s how I would ask it: ‘Do you think that opposites attract?’ My own reply would be that I’m the other sort – I find that birds of a feather flock together. That answers your question.” Her lesbianism was not publicly acknowledged until after her death from cancer in Palm Springs on February 3, 1991.
Gender-bending lesbian and Jewish folk/punk singer/songwriter Phranc (August 28, 1957) is born. Phranc is the stage name of Susan Gottlieb who began her performing career in the late 1970s and early 1980s punk scene in Los Angeles. She had a bleached blonde crewcut and wore male attire, creating an androgynous persona for her first band, Nervous Gender, which formed in 1978. She lives in Santa Monica, California with her partner and children.
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom takes place. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. gives his “I have a Dream” speech. Openly gay Bayard Rustin (March 17, 1912 – August 24, 1987) was the march’s prime organizer.
Keith Boykin (born August 28, 1965), African American activist and author, is born in St. Louis, Missouri. As if a forecast of his future activism, his birthday and Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream Speech” share the same day. Working in the Clinton Administration, Boykin held the positions of Special Assistant to the President and Director of News Analysis, and Director of Specialty Media. In 2001, Boykin founded the National Black Justice Coalition, the largest African American GLBT rights organization in America. Boykin has authored several books: One More River to Cross: Black and Gay in America (1996), Respecting the Soul: Daily Reflections for Black Lesbians and Gays (1999), Beyond the Down Low: Sex, Lies, and Denial in Black America (2005) and For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Still Not Enough (2012). He teaches politics at the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University in New York. From December 2003 until April 2006, Boykin served as president of the board of the National Black Justice Coalition, a Washington-based civil rights organization dedicated to fighting racism and homophobia which he co-founded.
Police in New York force their way into The Haven, a private, unisex non-alcohol gay club. It was the third of four raids on the club that would take place in a two-week period. Six were arrested, detained overnight, and released the next morning. Between these and other raids, over 300 homosexuals were arrested during the month of August. There were also cases of threats and harassment. New York City was sued for false arrest and harassment in three of the cases. All other cases were dismissed.
The Gay Liberation Front, Radicalesbians, and other gay activists hold a protest at NYU after the campus administration cancelled a series of dances at NYU’s Weinstein Hall when they learned a gay organization was sponsoring them. After a discussion with the dean they were allowed to use the property. The dean had been called by campus police who arrived to break up the demonstration.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) first announces a sudden, unusual increase in cases of Kaposi’s sarcoma, the first sign of the worldwide epidemic of what would eventually be called HIV/AIDS. The CDC formally recognizes AIDS as sn “epidemic”
The first “Gay Games” are held at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco. 1,600 people participated and 50,000 people attended. At that time, it was still called the “Gay Olympics” until the U. S. Olympic Committee sued for trademark infringement and won. Author Rita Mae Brown (born 28 November 1944) hosted the opening ceremonies. The Gay Games is the world’s largest sporting and cultural event specifically for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender athletes, artists and musicians, founded by Tom Waddell, Rikki Streicher and others.
A law took effect in Texas that requires that real estate agents tell potential buyers or tenants if the person who previously occupied a property had AIDS.
Keith Douglas Pruitt (October 12, 1961- November 12, 2008) and another gay man were attacked in Manhattan. Pruitt once played a part on the soap opera As the World Turns. Pruitt required 14 stitches in his head. Three men from New Jersey were arrested and charged with the attack.
In response to threats to out him after the city of Tempe, Arizona granted $1,500 in fee waivers to the annual gay pride festival, Mayor Neil Giuliano (born October 26, 1956) comes out in an interview with the Tempe Daily News Tribune. He was named to the OUT 100 by OUT Magazine, which notes the top 100 people in gay culture in the U.S. While he was Mayor in 2003, Tempe was named an “All American-City,” an award honoring local governments demonstrating success in problem solving. He was named Tempe Humanitarian of the year in 2014.
The Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado, a fund of the Gill Foundation, announces $195,950 in grants to 22 Colorado organizations.
Nevada teen Derek Henkle (born in 1983) settles a lawsuit (Henkle v. Gregory, 150 F. Supp.2d 1067 (D Nev. 2001) against the Washoe County School District for $451,000. The settlement is believed to be the largest pre-trial award ever in this kind of case. Derek’s suit alleged that administrators in three separate schools failed to protect him from years of being beaten, spat upon, called names and threatened with a lasso because he is gay.
The world learns that Republican U.S. Senator Larry Craig had been arrested for lewd conduct in the men’s bathroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on June 11, 2007 and entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct on August 8, 2007.
English writer Edward Carpenter (August 29, 1844 – June 28, 1929) was born in Brighton. He was an English socialist poet, philosopher, anthologist, and early activist for rights for homosexuals. On his return from India in 1891, he met George Merrill, a working-class man 22 years his junior, and the two men struck up a relationship, eventually cohabiting in 1898. Their relationship endured and they remained partners for the rest of their lives, a fact made all the more extraordinary by the hysteria about homosexuality generated by the Oscar Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) trial of 1895. An early advocate of sexual freedoms, Carpenter had an influence on both D. H. Lawrence (11 September 1885 – 2 March 1930) and Sri Aurobindo (15 August 1872 – 5 December 1950), and inspired E. M. Forster’s (1 January 1879 – 7 June 1970) novel Maurice.
Dancer and choreographer Mark Morris (August 29, 1956) is born in Seattle, Washington. He founded his own award-winning dance troupe. He is openly gay and lives in the Kips Bay neighborhood of Manhattan. On November 28, 1980, he got together a group of his friends and put on a concert of his own choreography and called them the Mark Morris Dance Group. For the first several years, the company gave just two annual performances – at On the Boards in Seattle, Washington, and at Dance Theater Workshop in New York. In 1986, the company was featured on the nationally televised Great Performances – Dance in America series on PBS. In 1990, Morris and Mikhail Baryshnikov established the White Oak Dance Project. He continued to create works for this company until 1995. In 2013, Morris was the first choreographer and dancer to be the Music Director of the Ojai (CA) Music Festival.
Me’Shell NdegéOcello is born Michelle Johnson (August 29, 1968). She became a widely respected, openly bisexual singer, songwriter, and bassist and the first female artist to be signed by Madonna’s Maverick label. Ndegeocello is bisexual and previously had a relationship with feminist author Rebecca Walker. Ndegeocello’s first son, Solomon, was born in 1989. As of 2011 she had been married to Alison Riley for five years, with whom she has a second son.
Local activists had had enough, so on Saturday August 29, 1970, the Gay Liberation Front, the Gay Activists’ Alliance, Radical Lesbians and other women’s groups organized a demonstration. About 250 people showed up at 8th Avenue and West 42nd Street near Times Square, and marched down 7th. Avenue to Sheridan Square in Greenwich Village. This action has since been known as “The Forgotten Riot.” The demonstration broke up around midnight, but the frustrations were still there. Some went on to march around the Women’s House of Detention at Greenwich Avenue and 6th Avenue. New York City Police arrived to break it up and the crowd ran toward Christopher Street. The crowd arrived just in time to witness the police raiding a bar called The Haven. As a mass of demonstrators gathered in front of the bar and the police called for reinforcements. A police bus arrived and was met with a shower of bottles. A running battle ensued over the next two hours as crowds set trash cans on fire and overturned at least one car. Eight were injured and approximately fifteen people were arrested.
The First National Conference of Lesbians is held in Guadalajara to unite the lesbian movement in Mexico in anticipation of Feminist Lesbians of Latin America and the Caribbean Conference. The result is the creation of the National Coordination of Lesbians.
Twenty-nine people stage a silent demonstration at St. James Cathedral in Brooklyn, N.Y. to protest Brooklyn Roman Catholic bishop Thomas Daily’s pastoral letter opposing anti-gay bias laws.
Jim McKnight discusses his research on the gay gene on the BBC program Science Now. His research group at the University of Western Sidney studied the families of homosexuals and discovered that evidence exists to suggest that homosexuality is an inherited trait.
The New York Times reports that U.S. publisher Alfred Knopf had purchased the American rights to Radclyffe Hall’s (12 August 1880 – 7 October 1943) novel about lesbianism, The Well of Loneliness.
American psychologist Evelyn Hooker, UCLA, shares her paper The Adjustment of the Male Overt Homosexual at the American Psychological Association Convention in Chicago. After administering psychological tests such as the Rorschach, to groups of homosexual and heterosexual males, Hooker’s research concludes homosexuality is not a clinical entity and that heterosexuals and homosexuals do not differ. Hooker’s experiment becomes very influential, changing clinical perceptions of homosexuality.
A National Institute of Mental Health study chaired by Dr. Evelyn Hooker of UCLA urges decriminalization of private sex acts between consenting adults.
The second national gay rights conference is held in Winnipeg. As part of the opening session, a gay rights march is in held in the city. it was the first major gay demonstration in the prairie provinces.
Toronto’s Cabbagetown Group Softball League hosts the fifth Gay Softball World Series. Players from eleven cities in U.S. and Canada participated. It was the first time the series was held in Canada. Gay Softball World Series, part of the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA), is the largest annual LGBT single-sport, week-long athletic competition in the world. Teams from the 46 Member Cities across North America compete to qualify and represent their city in one of five Divisions. Formed in 1977, NAGAAA is a 501c(3) international sports organization comprised of men and women dedicated to providing opportunity and access for the LGBT community to participate in organized softball competition in safe environments.
OutRage stages a zap against Amnesty International London over their failure to adopt lesbian and gay persons as prisoners of conscience.
Texas state health officials announce that they are investigating two cases of HIV transmission through female-female sex. However, in both cases other risk factors were present. In 2012, in another Texas case, the CDC said that HIV transmission through female-to-female sexual contact was reported, a rare female-to-female transmission of the virus which is “rarely reported and difficult to ascertain.” The two women in the 2012 case said they routinely had unprotected sexual contact and shared sex toys between them. At times, the contact was “rough to the point of inducing bleeding in either woman,” according to the CDC. The women said some of the unprotected sexual contact occurred during menstruation.
A panel of magistrates in London dismissed a paternity suit against singer Boy George (born June 14, 1961) for lack of evidence. By George is an English singer, songwriter, DJ, fashion designer and photographer. He is the lead singer of the Grammy and Brit Award-winning pop band Culture Club. At the height of the band’s fame, during the 1980s, they recorded global hit songs such as Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, Time (Clock of the Heart) and Karma Chameleon. George is known for his soulful voice and androgynous appearance. He was part of the English New Romantic movement which emerged in the late 1970s to the early 1980s. In his autobiography Take It Like a Man, George stated that he had secret relationships with punk rock singer Kirk Brandon and Club drummer Jon Moss (born 11 September 1957). He stated many of the songs he wrote for Culture Club were about his relationship with Moss.
Off-Broadway musical Naked Boys Singing! re-opens in Milwaukee after being closed by police on obscenity charges two weeks earlier. Naked Boys Singing! is a traditional American vaudeville-style musical revue, with book and direction by Robert Schrock, musical direction by Stephen Bates and choreography by Jeffry Denman, that features eight actors who sing and dance naked. This campy Off-Broadway musical comedy opened on July 22, 1999 at the Actors’ Playhouse in New York City. The show transferred to Theatre Four in March 2004, and again in 2005 to New World Stages Stage Four, until it closed on January 28, 2012. The show has no plot; it contains 15 songs, about various issues, such as gay life, male nudity, coming out, circumcision and love. The official Off Broadway Revival opened at Theatre Row’s Kirk Theatre on April 5, 2012 and is still enjoying a healthy run today.
Charlie Jane Anders, who identifies as genderqueer and a transwoman, wins the 2012 Hugo Award for her book Six Months, Three Days. She is an American writer and commentator. She has written several novels and is the publisher of other magazine, the “magazine of pop culture and politics for the new outcasts”. In 2005, she received the Lambda Literary Award for work in the transgender category, and in 2009, the Emperor Norton Award. In 2007, Anders brought attention to the policy of a San Francisco bisexual women’s organization called “The Chasing Amy Social Club” that she felt was discriminatory, as it specifically barred preoperative transgender women from membership. Since 2000, Anders has been the partner of author Annalee Newitz (born 1969). The couple co-founded Other magazine.
A gay combat medic who challenged the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy while serving in Iraq, dies in a car crash in New York. Darren Manzella (August 8, 1977 – August 29, 2013), a former U. S. Army sergeant, went on national television in 2007 to reveal his sexual orientation, becoming the face of gay servicemen and women before being discharged in 2008 for publicly discussing his sexual identity. The policy was repealed in 2011, and a friend said Manzella had recently signed on as a reservist. He was a United States Army Sergeant, Army medic and gay activist from Portland, New York, who was discharged under the Don’t ask, don’t tell policy. Manzella served in Iraq and Kuwait and was stationed in Fort Hood, Texas. Manzella married Javier Lapeira in Rochester on July 5, 2013. On August 29, 2013, Manzella was killed when an SUV hit him as he was in the act of pushing his disabled vehicle off the road in Pittsford, Monroe County, New York.
12 AD, Italy
Gaius Caesar Germanicus, better known as Caligula (August 31, 12 – January 24, 41) , is born in Anzio, Italy. He was violent and cruel. Bisexual, his male lovers included soldiers, actors and a priest. A soldier was said to have kicked him to death after sex, though more likely Caligula was assassinated as a result of a conspiracy by officers of the Praetorian Guard, senators, and courtiers. During his brief reign, Caligula worked to increase the unconstrained personal power of the emperor as opposed to countervailing powers within the principate. He directed much of his attention to ambitious construction projects and luxurious dwellings for himself. He also initiated the construction of two aqueducts in Rome: the Aqua Claudia and the Anio Novus. During his reign, the empire annexed the Kingdom of Mauretania as a province.
Jim Morris (August 31, 1935 – January 28, 2016) is born. He was an openly gay African American bodybuilder known for winning competitions over a thirty-year career. Among the titles Morris won are: Mr. USA (1972), AAU Mr. America (1973), Mr. International (1974), and Mr. Olympia Masters Over 60 (1996). At age 50, he became a vegetarian then vegan, a diet to which he credited much of his excellent health. He posed nude for a PETA ad in support of the vegan lifestyle. From 1974 to 1988 he was Elton John’s personal bodyguard. In March 2014 a short documentary-film starring Jim Morris entitled Jim Morris: Lifelong Fitness was released on YouTube. The film focuses on his life-long body building career, vegan lifestyle and Morris’ yearning to break stereotypes attached to the elderly. Morris died on January 28, 2016 at the age of 80.
The first English language film to use the word “homosexual” in a feature film is shown in the U.S. It was the British suspense film Victim. It was denied the motion picture code seal of approval. The film was directed by Basil Dearden and starred Dirk Bogarde and Sylvia Syms. It premiered in the UK on August 31,1961, and in the US the following February.
Jennifer Lynn Azzi (born August 31, 1968) is a former basketball coach, most recently the head coach of the women’s team at the University of San Francisco. Azzi is also a former collegiate and professional basketball player as well as an Olympic and FIBA world champion. Azzi was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009. On March 31, 2016, Azzi publicly came out as gay, announcing her marriage to University of San Francisco assistant Blair Hardiek while introducing Golden State Warriors president Rick Welts at the Anti-Defamation League’s Torch of Liberty Award ceremony at the Fairmont Hotel. About coming out, Azzi said, “I, too, lived a long time not being 100 percent honest. Kind of the don’t-ask-don’t-tell kinda of thing. And it’s so stupid. I don’t know why we do that, but we do that. I’m a college coach. Is it going to hurt me with recruiting? What are people going to think? And you are constantly worrying about those things. What I realized in watching Rick in his path and his journey is that there is nothing more powerful than living the truth. And the best thing I can do for my team is be authentic and true to myself” Azzi and her wife Blair have son and a daughter.
At the start of the Labor Day weekend at the Sri Ram Ashram near Benson, Arizona, the Spiritual Conference for Radical Fairies was organized as a ʺcall to gay brothersʺ by early gay rights advocates Harry Hay (April 7, 1912 – October 24, 2002), John Burnside (1916-2008), Don Kilhefner (born March 3, 1938), and Mitch Walker (born 1951). It becomes the birthplace of The Radical Faeries. The Radical Faeries is a loosely affiliated worldwide network and counter-cultural movement seeking to redefine queer consciousness through spirituality. Sometimes deemed a form of contemporary Paganism, it adopts elements from anarchism and environmentalism. Today Radical Faeries embody a wide range of genders, sexual orientations, and identities. All sanctuaries and most gatherings are open to all, though a decreasing minority of gatherings still focus on the particular spiritual experience of man-loving men co-creating temporary autonomous zones. Faerie sanctuaries adapt rural living and environmentally sustainable concepts to modern technologies as part of creative expression. Radical Faerie communities are generally inspired by indigenous, native or traditional spiritualties, especially those that incorporate genderqueer sensibilities.
The Canadian Human Rights tribunal rules in favor of prisons respecting sex reassignment.
June Eastwood became the first openly male-to-female transgender athlete to compete in NCAA Division I cross country; she competed for the University of Montana women’s team. On this day, she became the first transgender athlete to compete in DI cross country when she ran for the University of Montana in the women’s division at the Clash of the Inland Northwest meet. Assigned male at birth, Eastwood, a 22-year-old senior at the time, says she has identified as female since middle school and made the decision to transition during her third year competing on the men’s track team at Montana.
Actor and comedian Niecy Nash (born February 23, 1970) announced that she and Jessica Betts (born born 1972), a singer and songwriter, had gotten married.