We’wha (1849–1896) was a Zuni Native American from New Mexico, a notable fiber artist, weaver and potter. As the most famous lhamana on record, We’wha served as a cultural ambassador for Native Americans in general, and the Zuni in particular, serving as a contact point and educator for many European-American settlers, teachers, soldiers, missionaries, and anthropologists. In 1886, We’wha was part of the Zuni delegation to Washington, D.C.; during that visit, We’wha met President Grover Cleveland.

1879, UK

M. Forster (1879 – 1970) is born in London. After his brilliant novel A Passage to India in 1924, he produced no new works. His gay novel Maurice was written in 1914, but not published until after his death. For 50 years his lover was a married London police officer named Bob Buckingham.

1886, UK

English Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885 takes effect. “Indecencies” between adult males in private become crimes punishable by up to two years imprisonment.



Ellis Island in New York harbor opens. Over 20 million new arrivals to America were processed until its closing in 1954. It is unknown how many of the new immigrants were gay or lesbians. Some estimates are as high as one million.



Edgar Hoover (1 January 1895 – 2 May 1972) is born in Washington. He was an American detective and the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States where he remained director until his death in 1972 at the age of 77. Hoover has been credited with building the FBI into a larger crime-fighting agency than it was at its inception and with instituting a number of modernizations to police technology, such as a centralized fingerprint file and forensic laboratories. From the 1940s, rumors circulated that Hoover, who was still living with his mother, was homosexual. His ever-constant companion and fellow FBI man Clyde Tolson was speculated to have been his lover. Hoover described Tolson as his alter ego. The men worked closely together during the day and, both single, frequently took meals, went to night clubs, and vacationed together. There are numerous stories of Hoover appearing in drag in New York, usually in a red dress. He liked to be called “Mary.”


Imre: A Memorandum is published. It is one of the first gay American novels with a happy ending, about two gay men in Budapest. Written by Edward Prime-Stevenson (1858-1942), it was republished in 2003.

1933, UK

John Kingsley (1 January 1933 – 9 August 1967) was born in Leicester, England. Writing under the name Joe Orton he became one of Britain’s most popular comic playwrights. He was murdered by his lover, actor Kenneth Halliwell (23 June 1926 – 9 August 1967) who then committed suicide in the London flat they had occupied for 15 years. In 1967, Orton had written in his diary “I have high hopes of dying in my prime.”

1933, Germany

Lovers Erika Mann (November 9, 1905 – August 27, 1969) and Therese Giehse (6 March 1898 – 3 March 1975) write and direct the anti-fascist Cabaret in Germany. The Nazis shut it down on Jan. 30th. It re-opened in Zurich and became a rallying point for exiles. Mann was a German actress and writer. She was the eldest daughter of the novelist Thomas Mann. Giehse was a German actress.


James Hormel (born January 1, 1933) is born. In 1999, he became the first openly gay U.S. ambassador, appointed by President Bill Clinton. This was around the time then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) compared homosexuality to alcoholism, kleptomania and sex addiction. Hormel is a noted LGBT activist.


Fidel Castro seizes power in Cuba after leading a revolution that drove out dictator Fulgencio Batista. Castro then established a Communist dictatorship. Although homosexuality was illegal under the Batista government, the laws were largely ignored in fun loving Cuba. Under Castro, tens of thousands of gays were rounded up and imprisoned.


Illinois repeals its sodomy laws, becoming the first U.S. state to decriminalize homosexuality.


Luis Alfaro (born Jan. 1, 1963) in Los Angeles, California) is a Chicano performance artist, writer, theater director, and social activist. Alfaro has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the MacArthur “Genius” Foundation Fellowship in 1997, and the 1998 National Hispanic Playwriting Competition Prize. In 2013, he began a three-year term as the Playwright in Residence at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival through the National Playwright Residency Program, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by Howl Round. In 2016, the grant was renewed for an additional three years.


Gays and lesbians are arrested at the New Year’s Day Mardi Gras Ball in San Francisco. The ball was a fundraiser for the Council on Religion and the Homosexual at California Hall. The event galvanizes the local gay and lesbian community.


Dr. Harry Benjamin (January 12, 1885 – August 24, 1986) publishes the first book devoted to a treatment of transsexuals, a term he also coined. The Transsexual Phenomenon becomes an influential voice in defense of that community.


The Los Angeles Police Department raid the New Year’s Eve parties at two gay bars, the Black Cat Tavern and New Faces. Several patrons were injured and a bartender was hospitalized with a fractured skull. Several hundred people spontaneously demonstrate on Sunset Boulevard and picket outside the Black Cat. The raids prompted a series of protests that began on January 5th.


P.R.I.D.E. (Personal Rights in Defense and Education) was the first use of the term “Pride” that came to be associated with LGBTQ rights and fuels the formation of gay rights groups in California.


Chinese-American bisexual singer, songwriter, painter, educator, inventor and poet Magdalen Hsu-Li (born Jan. 1, 1970) is born. She would create Chickpop Records.


First issue of The Empty Closet is published. It was a free newspaper originally published by the University of Rochester Gay Liberation Front, It is now published by the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley based in Rochester, New York. In February, 2011, the New York State Senate passed Resolution K130-2011 “Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of The Empty Closet,” noting the contributions of the newspaper to creating an atmosphere of social tolerance in the Rochester region.


Colorado and Oregon decriminalize private consensual adult homosexual acts.


Science Magazine publishes a report that suggests male homosexuality may be determined in the womb due to chemical and/or hormonal stress of the pregnant woman.


Hawaii decriminalizes private consensual adult homosexual acts.


Maryland becomes the first state to statutorily ban same-sex marriage.


Ohio repeals its sodomy laws and decriminalizes private consensual adult homosexual acts.


New Mexico decriminalizes private consensual adult homosexual acts.


Iowa decriminalizes private consensual adult homosexual acts.


Vermont decriminalizes private consensual adult homosexual acts.


Harvey Milk (May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978) takes office. He 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. Although he was 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. Milk served almost eleven months in office and was responsible for passing a stringent gay rights ordinance for San Francisco. On November 27, 1978, Milk was assassinated. Milk was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 by President Obama.


The first lesbian mystery novel in America, Angel Dance by Mary F. Beal (1937), is published.


Good Housekeeping readers name anti-gay Anita Bryant “The Most Admired Woman in America.”


North Dakota decriminalizes private consensual adult homosexual acts.


Arizona decriminalizes private consensual adult homosexual acts.

1989, France

Adèle Haenel (born 1 January 1989) is a French actress. She has been nominated twice for the César Award for Most Promising Actress; in 2008 for her performance in Water Lilies (2007), and in 2012 for House of Tolerance (2011). In 2014, Haenel began a romantic relationship with the director Céline Sciamma whom she met on the set of Water Lilies. Haenel publicly acknowledged their relationship in her acceptance speech for her César award in 2014.

1990, Iran

The government of Iran beheads three gay men and stones two lesbians to death as part of an intensified campaign against “vice.”


The World Health Organization officially deletes “homosexuality” from its list of “diseases.”

1998, Turkmenistan

Article 135 of the new criminal code takes effect making male-male sex punishable by imprisonment.


Phat Family Records, an organization of LGBT hip-hop artists and fans, releases the groundbreaking CD Phat Family Volume 2: Down 4 the Swerve, featuring 14 tracks by gay, lesbian and bisexual hip-hop artists from across the U.S. and Europe, including Rainbow Flava, Tori Fixx, Miss Money, Tim’m T. West and others.


The Arizona LGBTQ Storytelling Project is founded by Jamie Ann Lee. The purpose of the project is to teach LGBTQ communities media production skills.

2009, Norway

Same-sex marriage becomes legal making Norway the first Scandinavian country and sixth country world-wide to legalize same-sex marriage.


The U. S. Department of Labor and the State Department, under orders from the White House, removed LGBT content from their websites.




Alexander Henry and David Thompson make an entry in their journal titled Exploration and Adventure among the Indians on the Red, Saskatchewan, Missouri, and Colombia Rivers describe a Native American known as Berdache, son of Sucrie, who is a “curious compound between a man and a woman.”


Martha Carey Thomas (January 2, 1857 – December 2, 1935) is born in Baltimore, Maryland. She was an American educator and suffragist, later the dean and then president of Bryn Mawr University. She is also credited as the founder of the Johns Hopkins Medical School. Thomas lives for many years in a relationship with Mamie Gwinn (February 2, 1860 – Nov. 11, 1940). After Gwinn left Thomas in 1904 to marry (a love triangle fictionalized in Gertrude Stein’s “Fernhurst”), Thomas starts another relationship with Mary Garrett (March 5, 1854 – April 3, 1915). They share the campus presidential home, living together until Garrett’s death. Miss Garrett, who had been prominent in suffrage work and a benefactor of Bryn Mawr, left Martha $15,000,000 to be disposed of as she saw fit.


Actor Billy Haines (January 2, 1900 – December 26, 1973) is born. He was the first celebrity to come out as openly gay, in 1933. He was an American film actor and interior designer. Haines was discovered by a talent scout and signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) in 1922. His career gained momentum when he was lent to Columbia Pictures, where he received favorable reviews for his role in The Midnight Express. Haines returned to MGM and was cast in the 1926 film Brown of Harvard. The role solidified his screen persona as a wisecracking, arrogant leading man. By the end of the 1920s, Haines had appeared in a string of successful films and was a popular box-office draw. His career was cut short by the 1930s due to his refusal to deny his homosexuality. Haines quit acting in 1935 and started a successful interior design business with his partner Jimmie Shields, and was supported by friends in Hollywood. Haines died of lung cancer in December, 1973, at the age of 73.


Charles Beaumont (January 2, 1929 – February 21, 1967) is born Charles Leroy Nutt. He was an American author of speculative fiction, including short stories in the horror and science fiction subgenres. In 1954, Playboy magazine selected his story “Black Country.” Playboy has been loved by straight men for decades but it was this gay short story that built its reputation. Hugh Hefner was the only one to accept a science fiction story about heterosexuals being the minority against homosexuals. When letters poured in, he said: ‘If it was wrong to persecute heterosexuals in a homosexual society, then the reverse was wrong too.’


Lynn Ann Conway (born January 2, 1938) is an American computer scientist, electrical engineer, inventor, and transgender activist. Conway is notable for a number of pioneering achievements, including the Mead & Conway revolution in VLSI design, which incubated an emerging electronic design automation industry. She worked at IBM in the 1960s and is credited with the invention of generalized dynamic instruction handling, a key advance used in out-of-order execution, used by most modern computer processors to improve performance.


Bonnie Bleskachek became the first openly lesbian fire chief of a major city, Minneapolis. She was demoted two years later amid claims of harassment and discrimination, but returned to the department as a staff captain. She co-founded the Minnesota Women Fire Fighters Association.


Christopher Conwell is arrested for killing Taysia Elzy (1975-2009) and Michael Hunt in their apartment because Taysia, though male, presents as female.


1752, Switzerland

Swiss historian Johannes Von Muller (3 January 1752 – 29 May 1809) is born in Neunkirch. He spent 40 years writing a history of his homeland, but more interesting are his love letters to Charles Victor de Bonstetten (3 September 1745 – 3 February 1832), a handsome young Swiss writer. Outed by Goethe, Muller’s poems to Bonstetten were not published until 1835, long after his death.


Dorothy Emma Arzner (January 3, 1897 – October 1, 1979) was an American film director whose career in feature films spanned from the silent era of the late 1920s into the early 1940s. In fact, Dorothy Arzner was the only female director working in the 1930s in the United States. She was one of the very few women who established a name for herself as a director in the American film industry during this time. Arzner had been linked romantically with a number of actresses, including Alla Nazimova (May 22, 1879 – July 13, 1945) a Russian actress who immigrated to the United States in 1905, and Billie Burke (August 7, 1884 – May 14, 1970), an American actress who was famous on Broadway, but lived the last 40 years of her life with her companion, choreographer Marion Morgan (January 4, 1881, New Jersey – November 10, 1971). Arzner died at age 82 in La Quinta, California. Her ashes were scattered by the Chapel of the Desert over her home at 49-800 Avenida Obregon in La Quinta.


Dr. Alfred Kinsey publishes the landmark report Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, stating that 10% of all men are homosexual for at least three consecutive years. He uses a scale from zero (exclusively heterosexual) to six (exclusively homosexual). His research, very flawed by today’s standards, was nevertheless the first ever widely published and discussed research to explore such taboos as masturbation and same-sex sexual behavior.


Illinois decriminalizes same-sex acts between consenting adults.


Ti-Grace Atkinson (born November 9, 1938) advocates political lesbianism which is a total and exclusive commitment to women that may or may not include sex; at a Daughters of Bilitis New York meeting.


Barney Frank (born March 31, 1940) is elected to congress. He is the first US congressperson to come out. He is re-elected consecutively until he retires in 2013.


1750, France

Bruno Lenoir and Jean Diot are caught having sex in public for which they are arrested. A year later they are executed. There was general surprise in France at the severity of their sentence. Their execution was the last in France for consensual sodomy.


Marsden Hartley (January 4, 1877 – September 2, 1943), an American Modernist painter, poet, and essayist, is born in Lewiston, Maine. Hartley was in Paris at the creation of the cubist movement. His many gay friends were William Sloan Kennedy (1850–1929) who was one of Whitman’s most devoted friends and admirers; Thomas Bird Mosher (1852–1923) who was a publisher out of Portland, Maine and notable for his contributions to the private press movement in the United States; author Oscar Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900); and Gertrude Stein (February 3, 1874 – July 27, 1946), to name a few. The love of Hartley’s life was Karl von Freyburg (15 July 1889 – 7 October 1914), a young German soldier who was killed in battle in 1914.

1977, Canada

The first issue of After Stonewall: A Critical Journal of Gay Liberation is published in Winnipeg. The magazine continued into the early 1980s. In 1977 to 1980, After Stonewall was a unique entry into a crowded field of western queer newsletters and small periodicals. It was created by George Edin, Mark Kaluk, John Allec, Walter Davis, and Bill Fields. When After Stonewall launched its “critical journal of gay liberation” in 1977, the collective had modest goals and a wry self-deprecating sense of humor about its enterprise. It anticipated readers might question the need for “yet another left publication,” this time by “critical faggots” from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Inspired by Boston’s Fag Rag, the collective’s goal was to offer a queer journalistic forum intended to stimulate discussion amongst gay men and lesbians.

2010, Austria

Same sex couples may now marry in Vienna under the new civil union bill but do not have the right to adopt children or use artificial insemination.


1833, Italy

Giacomo Leopardi (29 June 1798 – 14 June 1837) consoles Antonio Ranieri (8 September 1806 – 4 June, 1888) in one of their many love letters. Giacomo was an Italian philosopher, poet, essayist, and philologist. He is widely seen as one of the most radical and challenging thinkers of the 19th century.


Alvin Ailey (January 5, 1931 – December 1, 1989) was an African American choreographer and activist who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City. He is credited with popularizing modern dance and revolutionizing African American participation in 20th-century concert dance. Ailey died on December 1, 1989 at the age of 58. To spare his mother the social stigma of his death from HIV/AIDS, he asked his doctor to announce that he had died of terminal blood dyscrasia. Despite his professional success, Ailey’s personal life was beset with difficulties. Though his proclivities were an open secret, he rarely spoke of his personal relationships and seemed ill at ease with his sexuality. In the mid-1960s, he was in a romantic relationship with a young white schoolteacher who helped manage the dance company, but this ended after a couple of years. Thereafter, Ailey spent his time socializing in gay bars and hanging out with street people, and had numerous short-term liaisons with young men who his friends felt took advantage of his generosity. Ailey suffered from bipolar disorder which worsened over time as did his drinking and drug use. In 1980, he was arrested for causing a disturbance at the Columbia University residence of a former paramour which landed him in Bellevue hospital.


Pride, a Los Angeles homophile group, mobilizes a crowd of several hundred demonstrators on Sunset Boulevard to protest police raids on gay bars.

1974, Canada

Four lesbians–Adrienne Potts, Pat Murphy, Sue Wells, and Heather (Beyer) Elizabeth–are told to leave the Brunswick tavern in Toronto. They refuse and are arrested for obstruction of justice. As they exit, they sang, “I enjoy being a dyke!” They’re known as the Brunswick Four.

1977, Canada

The Lesbian Organization of Toronto moves to a new center at 342 Jarvis Street, sharing with feminist publication The Other Woman and coffeehouse called Three of Cups.


Raleigh, North Carolina enacts a gay rights ordinance. Raleigh is the hometown of the famous homophobe Jesse Helms.


1412, France

Joan of Arc (6 January c. 1412– 30 May 1431) is born in Domremy, France. She is considered a heroine of France for her role during the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years’ War and was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint. She was a soldier who on May 23, 1430, was captured at Compiègne by the Burgundian faction which was allied with the English. She was later handed over to the English and tried for heresy. She was burned at the stake on May 30, 1431, dying at about nineteen years of age. There’s no evidence of St. Joan’s sexual orientation, but she was male in her gender expression, living as a soldier and leader of men in a time when women didn’t serve in the military, dressed in men’s clothes, and wore her hair short. In 1920, Joan of Arc was canonized a saint by the Roman Catholic church.


New York City’s Civil Service Commission makes public its year-old policy of allowing city agencies to hire and employ lesbians and gay men. The new policy comes partly in response to the lobbying efforts of the Mattachine Society of New York.

1977, Canada

The first issue of the gay magazine Directions is published. It lasts one year.


Kate McKinnon (born January 6, 1984) is born. She is an American actress, comedian and impressionist who is best known as a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live. McKinnon is known for her celebrity impressions of Hillary Clinton, Kellyanne Conway, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Jeff Sessions. She has been nominated for five Primetime Emmy Awards; one for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics and four for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, winning in 2016 and 2017. McKinnon is SNL’s first openly lesbian cast member as well as the series’ third known LGBTQ cast member after Terry Sweeney (born March 23, 1950) and Danitra Vance (July 13, 1954 – August 21, 1994). Kate’s girlfriend is actor and photographer Jackie Abbott. They came out as a couple at the 2017 Emmys.

2015 – Florida recognizes same-sex marriages.




Zora Neale Hurston (January 7, 1891– January 28, 1960) was an African American novelist, short story writer, folklorist, and anthropologist. Of Hurston’s four novels and more than 50 published short stories, plays, and essays, she is best known for her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. Living in Harlem in the 1920s, Hurston befriended the likes of Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967) and Countee Cullen (May 30, 1903 – January 9, 1946), among others. Her apartment, according to some accounts, was a popular spot for social gatherings. During a period of financial and medical difficulties, Hurston was forced to enter St. Lucie County Welfare Home, where she suffered a stroke. She died of hyper-tensive heart disease on January 28, 1960, and was buried at the Garden of Heavenly Rest in Fort Pierce, Florida. Her remains were in an unmarked grave until 1973. Novelist Alice Walker (born February 9, 1944) and literary scholar Charlotte D. Hunt found an unmarked grave in the general area where Hurston had been buried, and decided to mark it as hers. There were rumors that Zora was lesbian or at least bisexual.


Jann Simon Wenner (born January 7, 1946) is the co-founder and publisher of the popular culture bi-weekly magazine Rolling Stone, and former owner of Men’s Journal magazine. Since 1995, Wenner’s domestic partner has been Matt Nye, a fashion designer. Together, Wenner and Nye have three adopted children.


The board of directors of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) approves a national policy statement asserting that laws against sodomy and federal restrictions on employment of lesbians and gay men are constitutional.


Jack Baker (born 1942) adopts his partner Mike McConnell (born 1942) in Minnesota for tax benefits. Baker was the president of the University of Minnesota student body. They had applied for a marriage license in 1970 but were denied. They are still together as of this publication.


Blaine Elswood writes about experimental AIDS drugs. Elswood founded the Guerilla Clinic in San Francisco, an underground group for AIDS activists who sold experimental AIDS drugs to those who wanted them.

1994, UK

The first-ever televised lesbian kiss in the UK airs on this day. Brookside is a British soap opera set in Liverpool, England. The series began on the launch night of Channel 4 on November 2, 1982, and ran for 21 years until November 4, 2003. The kiss was between Beth Jordache and Margaret Clemence.


Six former students–Alana Flores and five others—from Morgan Hill School district (in California) settle a lawsuit against the district for $1.1 million. “[The settlement also] requires the school district to implement mandatory annual training regarding harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity for administrators, teachers, middle school and high school students, and staff. The settlement ends five years of wrangling during which a state law was passed—with the Morgan Hill students’ input—prohibiting anti-gay harassment of students. The case also prompted a U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in April that stated public school administrators who fail to take effective steps to counter anti-gay harassment could be violating the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection—even if they have an anti-discrimination policy in place. That ruling covered districts in California and eight other Western states and, according to plaintiffs’ attorneys, finally brought district officials to the negotiating table, according to the L.A. Times.

2015, India

Transgender Mandu Bai Kinnar (born 1980), who was expelled from their family, is elected mayor of Raigarh in the state of Chhattisgarh.


1544, Italy

Cecchino de Bracci (died 1544), a teenage pupil of Michelangelo (6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564) and nephew and lover of Luigi del Riccio, dies. His death inspires Michelangelo to write 48 funeral epigrams.

1907, Germany

Karl M. Baer (20 May 1885 – 26 June 1956) was a German-Israeli author, social worker, reformer, suffragette and Zionist. Assigned female at birth and named Martha Baer, Karl became one of the first people to undergo sex-change surgery, and one of the first, on this day in 1907, to gain full legal recognition of his gender identity and to have a new birth certificate issued reflecting his new gender, confirmed by the German courts. Baer also gained the right to marry and did so in October 1907.He began living as a man in 1905 and underwent multistage rudimentary sex-change surgery in October of 1906. He was released from the hospital that December with a medical certificate certifying his male identity. From 1908 to 1911 Baer was an insurance sales agent. On January 1, 1911 he took up a post as Consul for Jewish Life in Berlin. In December 1920, he became director of the Berlin section of the loge B’nai B’rith, a post he held until the Section’s forcible closure by the Gestapo on April 19, 1937. Baer was by then an important figure in Jewish society, and his influence on cultural life brought him into conflict with the Nazi administration. He was allowed to emigrate with his wife in June, 1938, to Palestine, later to become Israel, where he worked between 1942 and 1950 as an accountant. By 1950 he was going blind and had to give up his job. Nothing more is documented about him up to his death in 1956. He is buried in the Kiryat-Shaul cemetery in Tel Aviv under the name Karl Meir Baer.

1947, UK

David Bowie (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016) is born David Jones in London. The enfante terrible of punk, he was an English singer, songwriter and actor. He was a figure in popular music for over five decades, becoming acclaimed by critics and other musicians for his innovative work, and marked by reinvention and visual presentation, his music and stagecraft significantly influencing popular music. During his lifetime, his record sales, estimated at 140 million albums worldwide, made him one of the world’s best-selling music artists. Though married to women twice, Bowie declared himself gay in an interview with Michael Watts for a 1972 issue of Melody Maker, coinciding with his campaign for stardom as Ziggy Stardust. In a 1983 interview with Rolling Stone, Bowie said his public declaration of bisexuality was “the biggest mistake I ever made” and “I was always a closet heterosexual.” On January 10, 2016, two days after his 69th birthday and the release of the album Blackstar, Bowie died from liver cancer in his New York City apartment.


Pauli Murray (November 20, 1910 – July 1, 1985), a civil rights activist from North Carolina, becomes the first African American woman to be ordained as an Episcopal priest. She was an American civil activist, women’s rights activist, lawyer, Episcopal priest, and author. Drawn to the ministry, in 1977 Murray became the first black woman to be ordained as an Episcopal priest and she was among the first group of women to become priests in that church. U.S. President John F. Kennedy appointed Murray to the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women in 1961. In 1963 she became one of the first to criticize the sexism of the civil rights movement, in her speech “The Negro Woman and the Quest for Equality.” In 1966 she was a cofounder of the National Organization for Women (NOW) which she hoped could act as an NAACP for women’s rights. Although acknowledging the term “homosexual” in describing others, Murray preferred to describe herself as having an “inverted sex instinct” that caused her to “behave as a man attracted to women would.” She wanted a “monogamous married life” but one in which she was the masculine partner. The majority of her relationships were with women whom she described as “extremely feminine and heterosexual.” On July 1, 1985, the Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray died of pancreatic cancer in the house she owned with a lifelong friend, Maida Springer Kemp.


Harvey Milk (May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978) takes office on the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco, representing District 5. He 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. Although he was 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. On November 27, 1978, Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, who was another city supervisor. Milk was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.


Dante ‘Tex’ Gill (April 2, 1930 – January 8, 2003) dies. Tex was transgender and a pimp, gangster and massage parlor owner. Tex was sent to prison for 13 years for tax evasion but died in prison at the age of 72 after serving 7 years. Tex’s spouse was Cynthia Bruno.


U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is injured in a mass shooting in Arizona. Daniel Hernandez (born Jan. 25, 1990), Giffords’ openly gay intern, helps save her life then contacts her husband.



Carrie Lane Chapman (1859-1947) was born in Ripon, Wisconsin. Although there is nothing to suggest she was a lesbian, she was the women’s rights pioneer who founded the National League of Women Voters in 1919.


Richard Halliburton (January 9, 1900 – presumed dead after March 24, 1939) was an American travel writer and adventurer who swam the length of the Panama Canal and paid the lowest toll in its history—36 cents in 1928. He disappeared at sea while attempting to sail the Chinese junk Sea Dragon across the Pacific Ocean from Hong Kong to the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco, California. Halliburton never married. In his teens he dated several young women and, as revealed in letters to them, was infatuated with at least two of them. As an adult, his companions were chiefly male. Among those romantically linked to him were film star Ramón Novarro and philanthropist Noël Sullivan, both of whom enjoyed, as Halliburton, a bohemian lifestyle. Halliburton’s most enduring relationship was with freelance journalist Paul Mooney, with whom he often shared living quarters and who assisted him with his written work. French police reports, dated 1935, noted the famed traveler’s homosexual activity when in Paris at about the time of his planned crossing by elephant over the Alps: “Mr. Halliburton is a homosexual well known in some specialized establishments. He is in the habit of soliciting on Saint-Lazare Street” (near the station of the same name).


Joan Baez (born January 9, 1941) is born. Baez, who is Mexican-American and describes herself as bisexual, is one of the most famous folk singers of all time. She is a songwriter, musician, and activist whose contemporary folk music often includes songs of protest or social justice. She sang at Martin Luther King’s 1963 March on Washington and stood with Cesar Chavez in the struggle for the rights of migrant farm workers. She protested the Viet Nam war and capital punishment and helped establish a west coast branch of Amnesty International. She’s been a vocal advocate of gay and lesbian civil rights.


Linda Villarosa is an American writer, editor, and author. In the early 1990s, while a senior editor at Essence Magazine, she wrote Coming Out. The article was written by her and her mother, from their own perspectives, what it felt like to be a lesbian and what it felt like to have a lesbian daughter. She is also the co-author of Body & Soul: The Black Woman’s Guide to Physical Health and Emotional Well-being. Her novel, Passing for Black (2008) was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. She has trained journalists from around the world to better cover the international HIV/AIDS epidemic. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her partner and their two children.


The Episcopal Church ordains Ellen Marie Barrett (born February 10, 1946). She was the first open lesbian to be ordained to the priesthood following the Episcopal Church’s General Convention approval of the ordination of women in 1977. Barrett’s candor about her homosexuality caused great controversy within the church. Even prior to her ordination, she was a prominent spokesperson for the rights of gays and lesbians in the church, especially regarding their ordination.


Sir John Gielgud, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and 26 other international celebrities take out a full-page ad in Time Magazine (Jan. 9, 1978, V.73) to protest the recent series of political backlashes against gays in the U.S. The ad was entitled “What’s Going on in America” and sponsored by the Stichting Vrije Relatierechten Foundation (Foundation for Free Human Partnership).

1988, UK

More than 10,000 lesbians and gay men demonstrate their opposition to Clause 28 in a march through central London. Clause 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 affected England, Wales and Scotland. The amendment was enacted on 24 May 1988, and stated that a local authority “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”.  It was repealed on 21 June 2000 in Scotland by the Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000, one of the first pieces of legislation enacted by the new Scottish Parliament, and on 18 November 2003 in the rest of the United Kingdom by section 122 of the Local Government Act 2003.

1991, UK

An unprecedented number of prominent gay and lesbian artists come out in a public forum. Wishing to “respectfully distance” themselves from Derek Jarman’s criticism of gay actor Ian McKellen’s (born 25 May 1939) acceptance of a knighthood from the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher, they publish a widely discussed statement in support of McKellen in the Guardian. Among the signees are Simon Callow, Michael Cashman, Nancy Diuguid, Simon Fanshawe, Stephen Fry, Philip Hedley, Bryony Lavery, Michael Leonard, David Lun, Tim Luscombe, Alec McCowen, Cameron Mackintosh, Pam St. Clement, John Schlesinger, Antony Sher, and Martin Sherm.

2009, Honduras

Prominent transgender activist Cynthia Nicole (1977-2009) is fatally shot in Comayagua. Human Rights Watch issues a statement saying that “Cynthia Nicole fought tirelessly to secure basic rights protections for transgender sex workers.”


When Hubert Edward Spires was twenty years old, he decided to serve his country by joining the military. Because he was a gay man in a very different time, though, he was removed through an “undesirable” discharge. On this day, the 91-year-old Connecticut man finally received the honorable discharge he was denied 68 years earlier. In 1946, he joined what was then called the U.S. Army Air Force and became a chaplain’s assistant at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. Spires quickly took to the work which included writing letters to families worried about their loved ones, playing organ during Catholic Mass and preparing the chapel for various services. Because of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in 2010, it became possible for Spires to apply to have the status of his discharge changed. The 91-year-old Spires filed a federal lawsuit seeking an honorable discharge so he can receive a military burial. The Air Force has changed the 91-year-old’s records to an honorable discharge. Spires said, “I can go to my grave with my head held high.”



Salvatore Mineo Jr. (January 10, 1939-February 12, 1976) was an American actor, singer, and director. He is best known for his role as John “Plato” Crawford in the drama film Rebel Without a Cause (1955), which earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor at age 17, making him the fifth-youngest nominee in the category. Mineo also starred in films such as Crime in the Streets, Giant (both 1956), Exodus (1960), for which he won a Golden Globe and received a second Academy Award nomination, The Longest Day (1962), John Ford’s final western Cheyenne Autumn, and Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971). In a 1972 interview with Boze Hadleigh, Mineo confirmed his bisexuality. Mineo met English-born actress Jill Haworth on the set of the film Exodus in 1960, in which they portrayed young lovers. Mineo and Haworth were together on-and-off for many years. They were engaged to be married at one point. According to Mineo biographer Michael Gregg Michaud, Haworth cancelled the engagement after she caught Mineo engaging in sexual relations with another man. The two remained very close friends until Mineo’s death. Mineo expressed disapproval of Haworth’s brief relationship with the much older television producer Aaron Spelling. One night, when Mineo found Haworth and Spelling at a private Beverly Hills nightclub, he punched Spelling in the face, yelling, “Do you know how old she is? What are you doing with her at your age?” At the time of his death, he was in a six-year relationship with male actor Courtney Burr III.


About 30 people attend the first public meeting of the Mattachine Society, at the Diplomat Hotel in New York City.


The Chicago Board of Education approves a plan that allows, for the first time, the city’s teachers to answer students’ questions about homosexuality.


Thirty-five men in Bethesda, MD, who are married to women and have attractions to men, meet and create the Gay Married Men’s Association. Now named the Gay and Married Men’s Association, for over thirty years, GAMMA has been offering support to men who are or have been involved in long-term heterosexual relationships and who are now coming to terms with their sexual attraction to other men.


The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence forms in San Francisco. They are a gay male “religious order” whose motto is “Give Up the Guilt.” Originally a form of Camp Street Theater, the controversial nuns later become highly visible promoters of safe(r) sex. It is a charity, protest, and street performance organization that uses drag and religious imagery to call attention to sexual intolerance and satirizes issues of gender and morality. At their inception in 1979, a small group of gay men in San Francisco began wearing the attire of nuns in visible situations using high camp to draw attention to social conflicts and problems in the Castro District.


U.S. Supreme Court turns down an appeal by Florida foster dads Steve Lofton and Roger Croteau, denying their children the right to be adopted by the parents who love them. Steve and Roger didn’t plan on having children. But in 1988, they were asked to take in an infant foster child with HIV from the hospital where Steve worked in pediatric AIDS. Within months, they had three babies in the house, all of whom had HIV. Because the kids’ medical needs were so intense, the state asked Steve to quit his job and care for the children full time, which he did without hesitation. The family was thrown into disarray when the state of Florida told them they had to give up one of their foster children, Bert, whom they had raised for 10 years. Lofton and Croteau want to adopt Bert, but under Florida law they can’t because they are gay. Until 2010, Florida was the only state to have a blanket statutory prohibition against gay adoption until a 2010 Third District Court of Appeals changed the ruling.

2005, Israel

The Israeli Supreme Court allows each partner of a lesbian couple to adopt the other’s children. The case involves Tal and Avital Yaros-Hakak who are raising three children conceived through donor insemination. Tal gave birth to two children, Avital to the third. They unsuccessfully sought to adopt each other’s children in the Family Court in Ramat Gan. The Supreme Court ruled that the Family Court should grant these adoptions if it were in the best interest of the children to do so. The ruling came at the end of a long legal battle, decided at the High Court. The Yaros-Hakak couple had lived together for16 years.



Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1757 – July 12, 1804) is born in Nevis, British West Indies and was probably at least bisexual. Rumor had it he was a “boy” to George Washington who called his young patriots his family; Hamilton was the favorite. Hamilton also exchanged love letters with another revolutionary, John Laurens (October 28, 1754 – August 27, 1782), an American soldier and statesman from South Carolina during the American Revolutionary War, best known for his criticism of slavery and his efforts to help recruit slaves to fight for their freedom as U.S. soldiers.


Bayard Taylor (January 11, 1825 – December 19, 1878) is born. He was an American poet, literary critic, translator, travel author, and diplomat. Though not gay, in 1870 he wrote and published Joseph and His Friend: A Story of Pennsylvania, which is possibly the first American novel about a homosexual relationship. It presented a special attachment between two men and discussed the nature and significance of such a relationship, romantic but not sexual. Critics are divided in interpreting Taylor’s novel as a political argument for gay relationships or an idealization of male spirituality.


An American Family, a documentary series focusing on the Loud family of Santa Barbara, CA, premieres on PBS. Not only does it pre-sage the era of reality TV, son Lance Loud (June 26, 1951 – December 22, 2001) comes out publicly on the show, characterizing himself as “Homo of the Year.” Lance Loud later died of liver failure as a result of hepatitis C and a co-infection with HIV/AIDS.


L’Association homophile de Montréal/Gay Montreal Association holds its first public meeting.


Paul Lynde (June 13, 1926 – January 11, 1982), known to many as “the Center Square” for his years on game show Hollywood Squares, and considered “openly closeted,” dies of a heart attack in Beverly Hills at age 55. He was an American comedian, actor, voice artist and TV personality. A noted character actor with a distinctively campy and snarky persona that often poked fun at his barely closeted homosexuality, Lynde was well known for his roles as Uncle Arthur on Bewitched and the befuddled father Harry MacAfee in Bye Bye Birdie.


The Wall Street Journal allows staff writers to now use the word “gay,” as a synonym for “homosexual” in article and headlines.


Britain lifts its ban on gays in the military.


The Mexican northern state of Coahuila passes a bill legalizing same-sex civil unions under the name Pacto Civil de Solidaridad (Civil Union Pact).


Stacy Offner becomes Rabbi of Temple Beth Tikvah in Madison, CT. Rabbi Offner had been fired from an associate rabbi position in 1987 when she came out as lesbian. She then helped found Shir Tikvah, a Reform congregation in Minneapolis. She was the first woman to be vice president of the Union for Reform Judaism. Rabbi Offner is married to Nancy Abramson who has extensive experience in the fields of mental health and non-profit management. Their daughter, Cantor Jill Abramson, is the Senior Cantor at Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, NY.


African American Marco McMillian (April 23, 1979 – February 26, 2013) is the first openly gay candidate for political office in Mississippi when he announces his candidacy for mayor of Clarksdale, MS. He is slain a month later.


1564, UK

Queen Elizabeth I reinstates the buggery law in England which makes sodomy illegal.

1597, Brussels

Martyred Flemish sculptor François Duquesnoy (January 12, 1597 – July 12, 1643) is born. He was a Baroque sculptor in Rome. His more idealized representations are often contrasted with the emotional character of Bernini’s works, while his style shows greater affinity to Algardi’s sculptures. He was regarded as one of the finest sculptors of the seventeenth century. In 1644, Duquesnoy was commissioned to create statues for the nave of the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula in Brussels, and the following year he was appointed architecte, statuaire et sculpteur de la Cour to Archduke Leopold William, Regent of the Netherlands. Some of his most famous works depicted strong, muscled male figures in the Hellenic tradition. In 1651, he became Court Architect and Sculptor, and in 1654 he went to Ghent to fulfill several commissions when he was accused of indecencies with his assistants. The Privy Council of Ghent convicted Duquesnoy of sodomy and sentenced him to death. He was bound to a stake in the Grain Market in the center of the city, strangled, and reduced to ashes. His reputation was destroyed and his memory repressed.


Grace Marion Frick (January 12, 1903 – November 18, 1979) was a translator and researcher for her lifelong partner French author Marguerite Yourcenar (June 8, 1903 – December 17, 1987). Grace Frick taught languages at U.S. colleges and was the second academic dean to be appointed to Hartford Junior College. Frick and Yourcenar lived together for forty years until Frick died of cancer on November 18, 1979. Together they bought a house, La Petite Plaisance, in 1943 in Northeast Harbor, Maine, on Mount Desert Island. They are both buried at Brookside Cemetery in Mount Desert. Buried alongside them is Jerry Wilson, the last companion of Yourcenar, who died of AIDS in 1986.


The Georgia Supreme Court rules that women cannot commit sodomy.

1976, Canada

In Vancouver a British Columbia Board of Inquiry rules in a case called Gay Tide vs Vancouver Sun that British Columbia human rights code provides protection for gays and lesbians.


The Advocate reveals that the CIA has been collecting information on some three hundred thousand people who had been arrested in the U.S. for committing homosexual acts.


Premiering on ABC, Dynasty features gay character Steven Carrington. Steven is noteworthy as one of the earliest gay main characters on American television. Despite identifying as homosexual, Steven has relationships with both men and women throughout the series. The role was originated by Al Corley in the show’s first episode in 1981; Corley left at the end of the second season in 1982 after complaining about Steven’s “ever-shifting sexual preferences” and wanting “to do other things.” The character was recast in 1983 with Jack Coleman, the change in appearance attributed to plastic surgery after an oil rig explosion. Coleman remained on the show until 1988, but Corley returned to the role of Steven for the 1991 miniseries Dynasty: The Reunion when Coleman was unavailable due to scheduling conflicts. In the 2017 reboot of the series, Steven is played by actor James Mackay.


Gay men in New York City gather at Larry Kramer’s (born June 25, 1935) apartment and agree to form the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in response to the escalating epidemic of fatal illnesses in their community.


The United Kingdom lifts its ban on lesbians and gay men serving in the armed forces.



Horatio Alger (January 13, 1832 – July 18, 1899) is born in Revere, Massachusetts. He was a prolific 19th-century American writer, best known for his many young adult novels about impoverished boys and their rise from humble backgrounds to lives of middle-class security and comfort through hard work, determination, courage, and honesty. His “rags-to-riches” narrative had a formative effect on America during the Age. As a Unitarian minister in Brewster, Mass, he often traveled to New York where he sought to improve the condition of street boys. His experiences became the fodder for over 100 books. But, back home in Brewster, a parish committee charged him with “gross immorality and a most heinous crime, a crime of no less magnitude than the abomination and revolting crime of unnatural familiarity with boys.” Alger denied nothing, admitted he had been imprudent, considered his association with the church dissolved, and left town. Alger sent Unitarian officials in Boston a letter of remorse, and his father assured them his son would never seek another post in the church. The officials were satisfied and decided no further action would be taken. Alger was known to have mentioned his homosexuality only once, in 1870.

1898, Germany

The Reichstag debates a petition urging the revocation of the anti-gay Paragraph 175. Promoted by Magnus Hirschfeld (14 May 1868 – 14 May 1935) and signed by dozens of prominent German opinion leaders, the motion is supported by only one political party in the Reichstag, the Social Democratic Party led by August Bebel. The Reichstag votes against reform. Hirschfeld was a German Jewish physician and sexologist educated primarily in Germany; he based his practice in Berlin-Charlottenburg. An outspoken advocate for sexual minorities, Hirschfeld founded the Scientific Humanitarian Committee. Historian Dustin Goltz characterized this group as having carried out “the first advocacy for homosexual and transgender rights.


In the landmark case One, Inc. v. Olesen, the United States Supreme Court unanimously reverses three lower court rulings and rules in favor of the First Amendment rights of One: The Homosexual Magazine. The Court unanimously reverses the lower court rulings thereby protecting the right to publish material about homosexuality. This was the first Supreme Court ruling on a gay issue. The Court’s affirmation of free speech for gay and lesbian writing opens the way for more widely distributed publications.


Masha Gessen (born 13 January 1967) is a Russian-American journalist, author, translator and activist who has been an outspoken critic of the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and the former President of the United States, Donald Trump. Gessen is nonbinary and trangenders and uses they/them pronouns. Gessen has written extensively on LGBT rights. Described as “Russia’s leading LGBT rights activist,” they have said that for many years they were “probably the only publicly out gay person in the whole country.” They now live in New York with their wife and children. Gessen writes primarily in English but also in their native Russian. In addition to being the author of several non-fiction books, they have been a prolific contributor to such publications as The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, New Statesman, Granta, Slate, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Magazine, The New Yorker, and U.S. News & World Report. Since 2017, they have been a staff writer for The New Yorker. Gessen married Svetlana Generalova, a Russian citizen who was also involved in the LGBT movement in Moscow, in 2004. The wedding took place in the U.S. Following divorce, by the time Gessen returned to the U.S. from Russia in December 2013, they were married to Darya Oreshkina.


A lesbian couple, Dr. Zandra Rolon and Deborah Johnson, are refused service when they try to sit in the romantic dining section of the posh Los Angeles restaurant Papa Choux. They are told that a city ordinance prohibits such seating, which is not true. They sue and win, but the restaurant removes the section rather than seat gay or lesbian couples, proclaiming “True romantic dining died on this date.”


Out Magazine begins publishing with a test issue. The first issue on the newsstands is dated Summer 1992.

2014, Nigeria

President Goodluck Johnathan signed the controversial Jail the Gays law that includes punishment for being LGBT of up to 14 years in jail. The law also bans and makes punishable by jail time a membership in any LGBT rights group.


1523, Italy

The famous artist Benvenuto Cellini (3 November 1500 – 13 February 1571) is sentenced – for the fourth time – of committing sodomy on both men and women. He was an Italian goldsmith, sculptor, draftsman, soldier, musician, and artist who also wrote a famous autobiography as well as poetry. He was one of the most important artists of Mannerism. He is remembered for his skill in making pieces such as the Cellini Salt Cellar and Perseus with the Head of Medusa.

1540, Italy

Pier Luigi Farnese (19 November 1503 – 10 September 1547) is the Duke of Parma and the son of Pope Paul II. He mounts a manhunt in search of a boy who had refused his sexual advances. In 1537, Farnese was accused of raping Cosimo Gheri, the young bishop of Fano who died shortly afterward.

1904, UK

Cecil Beaton (14 January 1904 – 18 January 1980) is born in London. He was an English fashion, portrait and war photographer, diarist, painter, interior designer and an Academy Award–winning stage and costume designer for films and the theatre. He was knighted in the 1972 New Year Honors. Beaton had relationships with various men: his last lover was former Olympic fencer and teacher Kinmont Hoitsma (April 10, 1934 – September 30, 2013).


Japanese poet-dramatist-novelist Yukio Mishima (January 14, 1925 – November 25, 1970) is born in Tokyo. An avid body builder, he tried to live the life of a samurai. In 1970, he committed ritual suicide outside the Japanese parliament with a young disciple and lover during a neo fascist demonstration.


Thomas Lester Tryon (January 14, 1926 – September 4, 1991) was an American actor and novelist. He is best known for playing the title role in the film The Cardinal (1963), featured roles in the war films The Longest Day (1962) and In Harm’s Way (1965) with John Wayne, and especially the Walt Disney television character Texas John Slaughter (1958–1961). He later turned to the writing of prose fiction and screenplays, and wrote several science fiction, horror and mystery novels. In 1955, Tryon married Ann L. Noyes, the daughter of stockbroker Joseph Leo Lilienthal and his wife, the former Edna Arnstein. The Tryons divorced in 1958. During the 1970s, he was in a romantic relationship with Clive Clerk, one of the original cast members of A Chorus Line and an interior designer who decorated Tryon’s apartment on Central Park West in New York City, which was featured in Architectural Digest. From 1973 to 1977, Tryon was in a relationship with porn actor Casey Donovan.


Holland Taylor (born January 14, 1943) is an American actress and playwright. She won the 1999 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Judge Roberta Kittleson on the ABC drama The Practice (1998–2003) and received another nomination the following year for her role as Evelyn Harper on the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men (2003–2015). Taylor’s other notable television roles include the sitcoms Bosom Buddies (1980–1982) and The Powers That Be (1992–1993). Her film appearances include One Fine Day (1996), George of the Jungle (1997), The Truman Show (1998), and Legally Blonde (2001). She also wrote and starred in the solo play Ann, based on the life and work of Ann Richards, and, for this role, Taylor was nominated for the 2013 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. In 2020, she received attention and critical praise for portraying Ellen Kincaid in the miniseries Hollywood for which she was nominated for her eighth Primetime Emmy Award. On November 30, 2015, while answering a question about marriage in a radio interview with WNYC, Taylor revealed that she was in a relationship with a younger woman and that most of her relationships have been with women. Her partner was later reported to be actress Sarah Paulson (born December 17, 1974) who is 32 years her junior. In March 2016, Taylor and Paulson’s relationship was confirmed when Paulson stated during an interview that they had been dating since early 2015. In August 2020, Taylor said she identifies as gay. Taylor has been a supporter of Aid for AIDS in Los Angeles, serving on their Honorary Board and as an ongoing participant in their largest annual fundraiser, Best in Drag Show, among other fundraising efforts.


Jim Kepner (1923 – 15 November 1997) and members of Mattachine in Los Angeles discuss the idea of publishing a magazine for the LGBT community. They named their organization ONE Inc. and put out the first issue in January, 1953. In 1956, ONE opened the Institute for Homophile Studies. Today, ONE Archives at the University of Southern California Libraries is the oldest remaining LGBT organization in the U.S. and the largest repository of LGBT materials in the world.


The first federal gay rights bill is introduced to address discrimination based on sexual orientation. The bill later goes to the Judiciary Committee but is never brought for consideration.


A rally and march is organized to protest the visit of Anita Bryant to Toronto. Her trip was sponsored by the fundamentalist group Renaissance Canada.

2001, Canada

Two couples, one gay, the other lesbian, were married in a double ceremony at Toronto’s Metropolitan Community Church after Rev. Brent Hawkes (born June 2, 1950), the pastor, discovered that the ancient Christian tradition of reading banns was still legal in Ontario and did not specify sexuality. The Ontario government refused to register the marriages citing federal law defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. Rev. Hawkes lives in Toronto with John Sproule, his partner of more than thirty years. They married on March 7, 2006.


1622, France

French writer Moliere (15 January 1622 – 17 February 1673) was born in Paris as Jean Baptiste Poquelin. He was a playwright and actor who is considered to be one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature. While it may be easy to dismiss some of the commentary about him as the ramblings of jealous rivals, it is known that Moliere fell in love with 15-year old Michel Baron (8 October 1653 – 22 December 1729) after taking him into his home and saving him from a troop of young actors of which he was the star. The romance ruined his marriage but Michel was with him until his death. Michel became a French actor and playwright.


The Vermont Republic is created out of the Province of New Hampshire and the Province of New York, thus legalizing same-sex intercourse.

1815, France

In the aftermath of the death of lesbian actress Françoise Marie Antoinette Saucerotte (3 March 1756 – 15 January 1815), known as Mlle Raucourt, her mourners rioted because clergy refuse to admit her body to St. Roch. She received considerable criticism for her relationships with women, the most famous of whom was Parisian opera singer Sophie Arnould (13 February 1740 – 18 October 1802).

1893, UK

British musical comedy performer Ivor Novello (15 January 1893 – 6 March 1951) was born in Cardiff Wales. He was a Welsh composer and actor who became one of the most popular British entertainers of the first half of the 20th century. It seemed everyone – except the millions of women of swooned over the star – knew he was gay. Novello wrote the famous World War I song “Keep the Home Fires Burning,” but it is not clear for which soldier he was keeping them burning. Even Winston Churchill admitted to having a one-night stand with Novello.


Maybelle Blair (born January 16, 1927) is a former All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player. Listed at 5′ 6″, 150 lb., she batted and threw right handed. Born in Inglewood, California, Blair was an efficient pitcher when she joined the league with the Peoria Redwings in its 1948 season, even though she appeared in only one game for the team, and then moved the next year to a professional softball league in Chicago to play for the Chicago Cardinals. She later played for the Jax Girls softball club of New Orleans. Afterwards, Blair attended Compton Junior College in California and then Los Angeles School of Physiotherapy. Following her graduation, she worked at a treatment center in Los Angeles before began a long 37-year career at Northrop Corporation, where she started as a chauffeur and ended up as the manager of highway transportation, being one of the three female managers the company employed in that period. Following her retirement, Blair became vice president of Center for Extended Learning for Seniors (CELS); an educational travel tours program provider for Elderhostel. In 2022, Blair publicly came out as a lesbian while promoting the TV series A League of their Own, saying that prior to her time in the AAGPBL, “I thought I was the only one in the world… I hid for 75, 85 years and this is actually, basically, the first time I’ve ever come out.”


The opera Vanessa, by American composer Samuel Barber (March 9, 1910 – January 23, 1981), is performed in New York for which Barber wins the Pulitzer. He was an American composer of orchestral, opera, choral, and piano music and is one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century. Barber’s life partner was Gian Carlo Menotti (July 7, 1911 – February 1, 2007), an Italian-American composer and librettist. Although he often referred to himself as an American composer, he kept his Italian citizenship. He wrote the classic Christmas opera Amahl and the Night Visitors, along with over two dozen other operas intended to appeal to popular taste.


At the Nurturing Place ranch outside of Tucson, straight women and lesbians come together to discuss and develop their feminist values. It becomes a haven for lesbian feminists.


The New York DMV bans “offensive” license plate combinations, including “DYK” and “FAG.”


After Dark magazine announces it will no longer allow the word “gay” to be included in any advertisements. Although popular with gay men for its art photographs of nude males at a time before there was gay porn, the magazine never admitted it was targeting a gay market. It used the subtle phrase, “The Magazine You Can Leave on Your Coffee Table When Your Mother Visits” to get the point across.

1975, Italy

The Vatican releases its “Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics” which includes a definition of homosexuality as “a serious depravity.”


On the syndicated Helen Gurley Brown Show, the host (and Cosmopolitan editor) asks National Gay Task Force director Lucia Valeska, “Is it true that gay people are sexier than non-gay people?”

2008, Australia

Transgender rights advocate Zoe Belle dies. The Zoe Belle Gender Collective in Victoria is named in her memory.


1847, Canada

Eliza McCormick of Ontario is arrested after posing as a man and proposing marriage to a woman. A Hartford, CT newspaper dubs her “a female Lothario” for living as a man. McCormick had taken on a male persona for two to three years and during this time had at least six courtships, three to whom she proposed and was accepted. One of these women, a dressmaker, even made her own wedding dress. According to The Transgender Foundation of America’s (TFA) Archive in Houston, Texas, social shame was used to force McCormick to conform to typical gender norms after McCormick was jailed.


George Kelly (16 January 1887 – 18 June 1974) was born in Philadelphia. He was an American playwright, screenwriter, director, and actor. He began his career in vaudeville as an actor and sketch writer. He became best known for his satiric comedies, including The Torch-Bearers (1922) and The Show-Off (1924). Kelly maintained a 55-year relationship with his lover William Ellsworth Weagley, Jr., (January 12, 1891 – November 25, 1975) until his death. Weagley was often referred to as Kelly’s valet. That Kelly was gay was a closely guarded secret and went unacknowledged by his family to the point of not inviting Weagley to his funeral, but Weagley slipped in and sat quietly on a back seat.


New York City politician Murray Hall (1841 – January 16, 1901) dies of cancer. He was a New York City bail bondsman and Tammany Hall politician. A poker-playing, whiskey-drinking man-about-town, after his death, the fact that he was biologically female is revealed by the coroner, astonishing and confounding his daughter and his associates. Born in Govan, Scotland as Mary Anderson, Hall lived as a man for nearly 25 years, able to work as a politician and vote in a time when women were denied such rights. At the time of his death, he resided with his second wife and their adopted daughter.

1929, UK

The first edition of the BBC’s The Listener is published and stays in print until 1991. Joe Randolph “J. R.” Ackerley (4 November 1896 – 4 June 1967), who was openly gay despite homosexuality being illegal at the time, was its literary editor from 1935 until 1959. Ackerley was a British writer and editor. Starting with the BBC the year after its founding in 1927, he was promoted to literary editor of The Listener, its weekly magazine, where he served for more than two decades. He published many emerging poets and writers who became influential in Great Britain. He was openly homosexual, a rarity in his time when homosexuality was forbidden by law and socially ostracized.


Susan Sontag (January 16, 1933 – December 28, 2004) was an American writer, filmmaker, teacher, and political activist. She mostly wrote essays but also published novels; she published her first major work, the essay “Notes on ‘Camp’”, in 1964. Her best-known works include On Photography, Against Interpretation, Styles of Radical Will, The Way We Live Now, Illness as Metaphor, Regarding the Pain of Others, In America. Sontag was active in writing and speaking about, or travelling to, areas of conflict, including during the Vietnam War and the Siege of Sarajevo. She wrote extensively about photography, culture and media, AIDS and illness, human rights, and communism and leftist ideology. Although her essays and speeches sometimes drew controversy, she has been described as “one of the most influential critics of her generation.”  Sontag lived with ‘H’, the writer and model Harriet Sohmers Zwerling (March 26, 1928 – June 21, 2019) whom she first met at U. C. Berkeley, from 1958 to 1959. Afterwards, Sontag was the partner of María Irene Fornés (born May 14, 1930), a Cuban-American avant garde playwright and director. Upon splitting with Fornes, she was involved with an Italian aristocrat, Carlotta Del Pezzo, and the German academic Eva Kollisch. Sontag was also romantically involved with the American artists Jasper Johns, Paul Thek, and writer Joseph Brodsky. During the early 1970s, Sontag lived with Nicole Stéphane, a Rothschild banking heiress turned movie actress, and, later, the choreographer Lucinda Childs. With Annie Leibovitz (born October 2, 1949), Sontag maintained a relationship stretching from the later 1980s until her final years.


Julie Anne Peters (born January 16, 1952) is an American author of young adult fiction. Peters has published over 20 works, mostly novels, geared toward children and adolescents, many of which feature LGBT characters. In addition to the United States, Peters’s books have been published in numerous countries, including South Korea, China, Croatia, Germany, France, Italy, Indonesia, Turkey and Brazil. Her 2004 book Luna was the first young-adult novel with a transgender character to be released by a mainstream publisher.


The Louisiana Supreme Court rules that the state’s statutory ban on “unnatural carnal copulation” applies to women engaged in oral sex with other women, making lesbian sexual contact is illegal.


The first conference in the eastern U.S. for Black Lesbians opens in Brooklyn, New York. It was called “Becoming Visible: Survival for Black Lesbians. The first “Becoming Visible” conference in the country, though, was in San Francisco in October, 1980. The First Black Lesbian Conference was an outgrowth from the First National Third World Lesbian and Gay Conference by the National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays which was held in 1979, in Washington, D.C. Although there had been previous conferences supporting both lesbians and gays, the First Black Lesbian Conference was the first in the United States with the mission to hold a conference with the sole focus of supporting African American lesbians. In the decades leading to the conference, it was not uncommon for other various organizations to push African American lesbian women out, as a result of the lack of knowledge surrounding diversity of sexual orientation and race. Prominent activists in the African American Lesbian Liberation Movement were keynote speakers for the First Black Lesbian Conference. These speakers included Andrea Ruth Canaan and Pat Norman. The First Black Lesbian Conference was coordinated by eight individuals: Rani Eversley, Kenya Johnson, Rose Mitchell, Marie Renfro, Janna Rickerson, Elizabeth Summers, and Patricia Tilley.


1558, France – Cardinal Charles de Lorraine requests that the French Ambassador to Rome report scandals involving Cardinal Carlo Carafa (29 March 1517 – 6 March 1561) and Giovanni Carafa (died 5 March 1561), Duke of Paliano to Pope Paul VI. They had engaged in “that sin so loathsome in which there is no longer a distinction between the male and female sex.” They are first exiled then sentenced to death.

1886, UK

British novelist Ronald Firbank (17 January 1886 – 21 May 1926) is born in London. He was an innovative English novelist whose eight short novels, partly inspired by the London aesthetes of the 1890s, especially Oscar Wilde, consist largely of dialogue, with references to religion, social-climbing, and sexuality. His best novels are Caprice (1917) and Concerning the Eccentricities of Cardinal Pirelli (1926). Firbank was not without his own eccentricities. He wore two dressing gowns at once, painted his nails, lived in an apartment painted black, and owned only books bound in blue leather. Openly gay and chronically shy, he was an enthusiastic consumer of alcohol and cannabis. He died of lung disease in Rome at age 40. Susan Sontag named his novels as part of “the canon of camp” in her 1964 essay “Notes on Camp.”


Dale McCormick (born January 17, 1947) is an American politician from the state of Maine who currently serves on the city council of Augusta. McCormick was the first openly gay member of the Maine State Legislature, having been elected in 1990 to the first of three terms in the Maine Senate.


Novelist Merle Miller (May 17, 1919 – June 10, 1986) comes out in a New York Times Magazine essay entitled “On Being Different: What it Means to Be a Homosexual.” He was an American writer, novelist, and author who is perhaps best remembered for his best-selling biography of Harry S. Truman, and as a pioneer in the movement. He later says, “I don’t see any great rush of people lining up to declare themselves as homosexual. Who is to say they should do so? I think, however, it is rather important. For one thing, you cannot demand your rights, civil or otherwise, if you are unwilling to say what you are.” The response of over 2,000 letters to the article (more than ever received by that newspaper) led to a book publication later that year.


Austin, TX voters reject a ballot proposal by almost two-to-one that would have allowed housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.


Transgender Robert Eads (December 18, 1945 – January 17, 1999) dies of ovarian cancer. More than two dozen doctors in Georgia refused to treat Eads on the grounds that doing so would harm their practice. Eads’ story is documented in the award-winning documentary Southern Comfort. Eads transitioned from female to male later in life. He was diagnosed with ovarian in 1996, but as an example of the social stigma faced by gender variant individuals, more than a dozen doctors refused to medically treat him. When he was finally accepted for treatment by the Medical College of Georgia hospital in 1997, the cancer had already metastasized to other parts of the body, rendering any further treatments futile.


1726, Germany

The man who might have been the first gay King of America was born in Berlin. Prince Heinrich of Prussia was the brother of Frederick the Great who tried have him made King of America. The fledgling U.S. even considered it during the period ruing the Article of Confederation, but, by the time the fickle prince agreed, the equally fickle American public had opted for the Constitution and a republic.


Betty Berzon (January 18, 1928 – January 24, 2006) is born. She was an American author and psychotherapist known for her work with the gay and lesbian communities. She was among the first psychotherapists to assist gay clients. After coming out as lesbian in 1968, she began providing therapy to gays and lesbians. In 1971, during a UCLA conference called “The Homosexual in America,” Berzon became the first psychotherapist in the country to come out as gay to the public. Also in 1971, she organized the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center as well as an organization of gays and lesbians within the American Psychiatric Association (the Gay Psychological Association, now known as the Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues); the APA declassified homosexuality as a mental illness two years later. She is survived by Teresa DeCrescenzo, the president of Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services, whom Berzon met in 1973 and married during a mass wedding ceremony at the 1993 March on Washington. In 2007, Ventura Place in Studio City was renamed Dr. Betty Berzon Place in her honor, making it the first street ever officially dedicated to a known lesbian in California. Also in 2007, the LGBT magazine The Advocate named Berzon one of 40 “heroes.” The Betty Berzon Papers (1928-2006) are at the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives.


Rev. James Lewis Stoll (January 18, 1936 – December 8, 1994) is born. In 1969, he becomes the first ordained minister of an established denomination to come out as gay. He led the effort that convinced the Unitarian Universalist Association to pass their first gay rights resolution.


Marci Lee Bowers (born January 18, 1958) is a U.S. gynecologist and surgeon who specializes in gender confirmation surgeries. Dr. Bowers’ practice is at the San Mateo Surgery Center in Burlingame, California. From 2003 to 2010, she practiced in Trinidad, Colorado, where she had studied under Stanley Biber before his retirement. Bowers married eleven years prior to her surgery and remains married to her female spouse.


Viewers of An American Family, a 12-part television documentary shown on PBS about the lives of an “average” American family, the Louds, discover that son Lance (June 26, 1951 – December 22, 2001) is living as an openly gay man in New York City. Lance was an American television personality, magazine columnist and new wave rock-n-roll performer. He died of liver failure as a result of hepatitis C and a co-infection with HIV. He was 50 years old.

1975, Canada

The founding conference of the Coalition for Gay Rights in Ontario (CGRO) opens at Don Vale Community Center in Toronto.


In Miami, Florida, Anita Bryant, a former beauty queen, launches a nationwide crusade against gay and lesbian rights in response to Dade County’s new municipal rights ordinance forbidding housing and employment discrimination against lesbians and gay men. Accusing lesbians and gay men of corrupting the nation’s youth, Bryant dubs her crusade the “Save Our Children” campaign. Miami-Dade County commissioners passed the ordinance with a vote of 5-3. Anita Bryant vowed to defeat the ordinance at the ballot box. On June 7, 1977, Bryant’s promise is fulfilled. Nearly 70 percent of voters opted to repeal the ordinance.


The wedding of Ross’s ex-wife Carol and her girlfriend Susan airs on Friends. Candace Gingrich (born June 2, 1966) guest stars as the minister. Candace is an American LGBT rights activist at the Human Rights Campaign. She is the half-sister of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich who is more than 20 years her senior.

1999, Zimbabwe

The first president of Zimbabwe, Canaan Sodindo Banana (5 March 1936 – 10 November 2003), already retired from the post, is convicted on 11 counts of sodomy. At the time, president Mugabe was scapegoating homosexuals as the reason for Zimbabwe’s ills. Banana serves six months of a 10-year sentence and moves to the UK for political asylum.


The L Word premieres on Showtime. The L Word is an American/Canadian drama series portraying the lives of a group of lesbians and their friends, connections, family, and lovers in the trendy Greater Los Angeles, California city of West Hollywood. The series originally ran on Showtime from January 18, 2004 to March 8, 2009, and subsequently in syndication on Logo and through on-demand services. On July 11, 2017, it was announced a sequel season was in the works with Showtime. The show was created by executive producer Ilene Chaiken (born June 30, 1957). Chaiken has been married to LouAnne Brickhouse, a former executive at Disney, since 2013.



The New York Times reports the story of FTM politician Murray Hall (1841 – January 16, 1901). Murray lived as a male for decades, married women twice, and was found to be female-bodied only after he died of breast cancer. Murray Hall was a New York City bail bondsman and Tammany Hall politician. The headline reads: “Murray Hall Fooled Many Shrewd Men – How for Years She Masqueraded in Male Attire – Had Married Two Women.”


Patricia Highsmith (January 19, 1921 – February 4, 1995) was an American novelist and short story writer best known for her psychological thrillers, including her series of five novels based on the character of Tom Ripley. She wrote 22 novels and numerous short stories throughout her career, and her work has led to more than two dozen film adaptations. Her writing derived influence from existentialist literature, and questioned notions of identity and popular morality. She was dubbed “the poet of apprehension” by novelist Graham Greene. Her first novel, Strangers on a Train, has been adapted for stage and screen numerous times, notably by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951. Her 1955 novel The Talented Mr. Ripley has been adapted numerous times for film, theatre, and radio. Writing under the pseudonym “Claire Morgan,” Highsmith published the first lesbian novel with a happy ending, The Price of Salt, republished 38 years later as Carol under her own name and later adapted into a 2015 film. She was considered by some as “a lesbian with a misogynist streak.” As an adult, Patricia Highsmith’s sexual relationships were predominantly with women. In 1943, Highsmith had an affair with artist Allela Cornell who, despondent over unrequited love from another woman, committed suicide in 1946 by drinking nitric acid. Ann Smith, a painter and designer with a previous métier as a Vogue fashion model and Highsmith became involved. In early September, 1951, Highsmith began an affair with sociologist Ellen Blumenthal Hill, traveling back and forth to Europe to meet with her. Between 1959 and 1961, Highsmith was in love with author Marijane Meaker. Meaker wrote lesbian stories under the pseudonym “Ann Aldrich” and mystery/suspense fiction as “Vin Packer,” and later wrote young adult fiction as “M.E. Kerr.” An intensely private person, Highsmith was remarkably open and outspoken about her sexuality. She told Meaker: “the only difference between us and heterosexuals is what we do in bed.” Patricia Highsmith, aged 74, died on February 4, 1995.


Janis Joplin (January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970) is born in Port Arthur, Texas. She was an American rock singer and songwriter and one of the biggest female rock stars of her era. Bisexual, she did her best to sleep with as many people as she could in the 1960s. The official cause of death was a heroin overdose, possibly compounded by alcohol. On August 8, 2014, the United States Postal Service revealed a commemorative stamp honoring Janis Joplin as part of its Music Icons Forever Stamp series during a first-day-of-issue ceremony at the Outside Lands Music Festival a Golden Gate Park.

1974, Canada

A Lesbian Conference is organized by Gay Women’s Collective and held at the Montreal Women’s Center. The small group of women who take part agree to hold a major conference for lesbians in North America the following year.


Campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination, former Vice President Hubert Humphrey becomes one of the first nationally known politicians to endorse gay and lesbian rights.


1900, France

Actor Colin Clive (20 January 1900 – 25 June 1937) is born in Saint-Malo. Clive studied acting, and replaced Laurence Olivier in the stage play Journey’s End in 1927. James Whale (22 July 1889 – 29 May 1957)  was the director. The two struck up an intimate relationship, and Clive played the lead in Journey’s End when it moved to the Savoy Theater in London in 1928. Clive was embraced by Whale’s theatrical friends including actress Elsa Lanchester. He followed Whale to New York City and Whale facilitated the casting of Clive in the movie version of the play. Journey’s End (1930) was Clive’s first of 18 feature films. Clive appeared on Broadway in Overture (1930-31). When the play closed, he went to London and starred with Elsa Lanchester in The Stronger Sex. Clive is perhaps best known for playing the role of Dr. Henry Frankenstein in the James Whale directed Frankenstein (1931) and in the Bride of Frankenstein(1935) with his friend Elsa Lanchester. Though Clive was gay, he married actress Jeanne de Casalis in 1929, but the marriage was one of convenience, and they separated a short time later. Clive was a member of the Brit ex-patriot actors in Hollywood that included Lanchester, Boris Karloff and Charles Laughton, and remained close with Whale. The actor struggled with his identity and suffered from alcoholism and depression from an early age. His drinking became more and more problematic professionally. He often came to work drunk and passed out on the set. He was even fired from a starring role in a film when he suffered a breakdown. Clive’s final film was in 1937, The Woman I Love. Colin Clive died on June 25, 1937, of tuberculosis complicated by chronic alcoholism. He was 37 years old. Actress Mae Clarke, one of his leading ladies, said, “Colin was the handsomest man I ever saw and also the saddest.”


Pat Parker (January 20, 1944 – June 19, 1989) was an African American lesbian feminist poet and activist. Parker worked from 1978 to 1988 as the executive director of the Oakland Feminist Women’s Health Center. She was also involved in the Black Panther Movement. In 1979 she toured with the “Varied Voices of Black Women,” a group of poets and musicians that included Linda Tillery, Mary Watkins and Gwen Avery. She founded the Black Women’s Revolutionary Council in 1980, and she contributed to the formation of the Women’s Press Collective, as well as being involved in wide-ranging activism in gay and lesbian organizing. Parker died on June 19, 1989, of breast cancer at the age of 45 in Oakland, California. The national lesbian-feminist community mourned her loss, and several things have been named after her, such as Pat Parker Place, a community center in Chicago. She was survived by her long-time partner, Marty Dunham, and her daughters Cassidy Brown and Anastasia Jean.


U.S. Court of Federal Claims overturns the Other Than Honorable discharge is issued by the Air Force to Fannie Mae Clackum (June 10, 1929 – August 16, 2014) for her alleged homosexuality. This is the first known instance of a homosexuality-related discharge being successfully fought, although the case turned on due process issues and did not affect the military’s policy of excluding homosexuals from service. Fannie Mae Clackum and Grace Garner served as U.S. Air Force Reservists in the late 1940s and early 1950s. When the Air Force suspected them of having a homosexual relationship, it arranged for a four-person overnight trip and motel stay. The U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations used those events as the basis of a series of interrogations in April, 1951. Clackum and Garner refused to accept the dishonorable discharges the Air Force offered them and demanded a court-martial. They were demoted from corporal to private, discharged in early 1952 and  spent eight years fighting their discharges claiming denial of due process when denied courts-martial and discharged administratively. They prevailed in 1960 when the court invalid-dated the discharges and awarded them their back military pay for the remainder of their enlistment periods.


Terrance McNally ’s (born November 3, 1938-– March 24, 2020) comedy The Ritz opens in New York. Cast member Rita Moreno wins a Tony Award for her performance as singer Googie Gomez. McNally is an American playwright, librettist, and screenwriter. He was partnered with Thomas Kirdahy (born 1963), a Broadway producer and a former civil rights attorney for not-for-profit AIDS organizations, following a civil union ceremony in Vermont on December 20, 2003. They subsequently married in Washington, D.C. on April 6, 2010. In celebration of the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states, they renewed their vows at New York City Hall with Mayor Bill de Blasio officiating on June 26, 2015.


The Washington State Supreme Court upholds the firing of Wilson High School (Tacoma, WA) teacher James Gaylord for being gay after he joined The Dorian Society, a Seattle support group for gay men. The court agreed with a lower court that “A teacher’s efficiency is determined by his relationship with students, their parents, fellow teachers and school administrators. In all of these areas the continued employment of appellant after he became known as a homosexual would result, had he not been discharged, in confusion, suspicion, fear, expressed parental concern and pressure upon the administration from students, parents and fellow teachers, all of which would impair appellant’s efficiency as a teacher and injure the school.” Gaylord testified, “I quite frankly find it rather galling to have sat through the school board hearing and once again through this trial and hear administrators say that I’m a good teacher, I’ve been a very good teacher, and yet to be without a job, particularly when I see other people who still hold their jobs who haven’t read a book or turned out a new lesson plan or come up with anything creative in years.” In his dissent, Judge Dolliver said, “Historically, the private lives of teachers have been controlled by the school districts in many ways. There was a time when a teacher could be fired for a marriage, a divorce, or for the use of liquor or tobacco … Although the practice of firing teachers for these reasons has ceased, there are undoubtedly those who could speculate that any of these practices would have a detrimental effect on a teacher’s classroom efficiency as well as cause adverse community reaction. I find such speculation to be an unacceptable method for justifying the dismissal of a teacher who has a flawless record of excellence in his classroom performance.”


Gloria Gaynor’s song “I Will Survive,” a gay anthem for the ages, begins its 17-week climb up Billboard’s Top 40.


Melissa Etheredge (born May 29, 1961) comes out as lesbian at the Triangle Ball, an LGBT-focused celebration of President Bill Clinton’s inauguration. She is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and activist. In October 2004, Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer, and under-went surgery and chemotherapy. At the 2005 Grammy Awards, she made a return to the stage and, although bald from chemotherapy, performed a tribute to Janis Joplin with the song “Piece of My Heart.” Etheridge had a long-term partnership with filmmaker Julie Cypher (born August 24, 1964). Their relationship received coverage in The Advocate when an interview with editor Judy Wieder was done in Amsterdam. “The Great Dyke Hope,” was released in July 1994. In 2002, Etheridge began dating actress Tammy Lynn Michaels (November 26, 1974). The two had a commitment ceremony on September 20, 2003. Etheridge married actress Linda Wallem (born May 29, 1961) on May 31, 2014 at San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, California, two days after they both turned 53.

1995, Albania

Albania decriminalizes same-sex acts.


The Lesbian and Gay Band Association is the first LGBT-represented contingent marching in a U.S. presidential inaugural parade. The parade on January 20th was in celebration of Barack Obama‘s incoming administration.


1885, Scotland

Artist Duncan Grant (21 January 1885 – 8 May 1978) was born in Rothiemurchus, Scotland. One of the last members of the Blooms-bury Group, he designed pottery, textiles, and theatre decor. Handsome and sexual, he was the toast of the gay artists group. Grant’s early affairs were exclusively homosexual. His lovers included his cousin, the writer Lytton Strachey (1 March 1880 – 21 January 1932), and the economist John Maynard Keynes (5 June 1883 – 21 April 1946), who at one time considered Grant the love of his life because of his good looks and the originality of his mind. In Grant’s later years, his lover, the poet Paul Roche (26 September 1916 – 30 October 2007) whom he had known since 1946, took care of him. Grant and Roche’s relationship was strong and lasted even during Roche’s marriage and five children he had by the late 1950s. Roche was made co-heir of Grant’s estate. Grant eventually died in Roche’s home in 1978.


Police conduct the first recorded raid on a gay bathhouse, the Ariston Hotel Baths in New York City. Twenty-six men are arrested and 12 are brought to trial on sodomy charges. Seven men received sentences ranging from 4 to 20 years in prison


Time Magazine publishes an unsigned two-page article, “The Homosexual in America” which includes statements such as “Homosexuality is a pathetic little second-rate substitute for reality, a pitiable flight from life… it deserves no encouragement . . . no pretense that it is anything but a pernicious sickness.” In that article was a reference about book The Gay Cookbook (1965) by Lou Rand Hogan (Louis Randall, 1910-1976). He also wrote The Gay Detective (1960).


Jazz artist Billy Tipton (December 29, 1914 – January 21, 1989) dies at age 74 of an ulcer. He was an American jazz musician and bandleader. Born female, Tipton lived as male from age 19. He married five times and adopted three sons. Early in his career, Tipton presented as a male only professionally, continuing to present as a woman otherwise. He spent those early years living with a woman named Nan Earl Harrell, in a relationship that other musicians thought of as lesbian. The relationship ended in 1942.


President Obama made the first mention of gay rights in a U.S. inaugural address. The text of President Obama’s Inauguration speech reads: “It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. [. . .] Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law –- (applause) — for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”


Helen Grace James (born 1928) grew up in Pennsylvania and enlisted in the U. S. Air Force in 1952. She had a fine service record and was promoted to Airman 2nd Class. But when she was stationed at Roslyn Air Force Base on Long Island, Airman James came under investigation by the Office of Special Investigation. One night in the winter of 1955, during the, she sat with a friend in her car to eat sandwiches when an officer shined a blinding light into her eyes and took her into custody. She was later interrogated for hours. Investigators told Helen Grace James that if she didn’t sign a statement they put in front of her, they would tell her family she was gay. Helen Grace James signed. She was discharged as “undesirable.” Sixty years later Helen Grace James received her honorable discharge this week after decades of fighting the government for recognition. “I’m still trying to process it,” she told NBC. “It was both joy and shock. It was really true. It was really going to be an ‘honorable discharge. The Air Force recognizes me as a full person in the military,” she said, having done “my job helping to take care of the country I love.”


Singer Kaye Ballard (November 20, 1925 – January 21, 2019) dies at the age of 93 in Rancho Mirage, CA. Ballard was born Catherine Gloria Balotta in Cleveland, Ohio. She is best known as a singer, actress and comedienne and starred as one of the meddling title characters on the 1960s NBC sitcom The Mothers-in-Law. Though little is known about her sexual orientation, Ballard never married and lived with one particular woman for 40 years.


1561, UK

Sir Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626) was born in London. He is best known for his philosophical works concerning the acquisition of knowledge: Novum Organum and The Advancement of Learning. His mother wrote a letter to him, which still survives, complaining about the long list of male “servants and envoys” who find their way to his bed. She refers to a gay Spanish envoy as “that bloody Perez and bed companion of my son.” We don’t know what she wrote to her other son, Roger, who was also gay.

1788, UK

George Gordon, Lord Byron (22 January 1788 – 19 April 1824), was born. He was an English nobleman, poet, peer, politician, and leading figure in the Romantic movement. He is regarded as one of the greatest British poets and remains widely read and influential. His memoir My Life and Adventures was burned being considered too scandalous for publication. A champion of freedom and an enemy of hypocrisy, he had a ravenous sexual appetite. His most enduring relationship was with John FitzGibbon, 2nd Earl of Clare. Scholars acknowledge a more or less important bisexual component in Byron’s very complex sentimental and sexual life.


Jim Kepner (1923 – 15 November 1997) and members of Mattachine discussed the idea of publishing a magazine for the LGBT community. They named their magazine ONE Inc. and put out the first issue in January 1953. In 1956, ONE opened the Institute for Homophile Studies. Today, ONE is the National Gay and Lesbian Archives at the University of Southern California  and the largest repository of LGBT materials in the world. Kepner was a journalist, author, historian, archivist and leader in the gay rights movement.

1957, Germany

Cabaret singer and open lesbian Claire Waldoff (21 October 1884 – 22 January 1957) dies. She was a famous cabaret singer and entertainer in Berlin during the 1910s and 1920s, chiefly known for performing ironic songs in the Berlinish dialect and with lesbian undertones and themes. After WWII, she lost her savings in the West German monetary reform of 1948 and from 1951 relied on monetary support by the Senate of Berlin. In 1953, she wrote her autobiography. Waldoff died aged 72 after a stroke. She and her partner of 40 years, Olga von Roeder (June 12, 1886-July 11, 1963), share a final resting place in Stuttgart. They lived in Germany their entire lives. Claire Waldoff has a star in Walk of Fame of Cabaret, in Mainz.


The first lesbian to appear on the cover of the lesbian magazine The Ladder with her face visible was Lilli Vincenz (born September 26, 1937). Lilli is a lesbian activist and the first lesbian member of the gay political activist effort, the Mattachine Society of Washington (MSW). She served as the editor of the organization’s newsletter and in 1969 along with Nancy Tucker created the independent newspaper, the Gay Blade, which later became the Washington Blade. She was the only self-identified lesbian to participate in the second White House picket with Frank Kameny (May 21, 1925 – October 11, 2011). In 2013 her papers, films and other memorabilia were donated to the Library of Congress.


Abortion became legal in the U.S. as the Supreme Court announced its decision in the case of Roe vs. Wade, striking down local state laws restricting abortions in the first six months of pregnancy. In more recent rulings (1989 and 1992), the Court upheld the power of individual states to impose some restrictions.  In 1994, Norma Leah McCorvey (aka “Jane Roe”) (September 22, 1947 – February 18, 2017) wrote of her sexual orientation in her memoir I Am Roe: My Life, Roe V. Wade, and Freedom of Choice. For many years, she had lived quietly in Dallas with her long-time partner, Connie Gonzales. A few years later she claimed that she converted to Christianity and was no longer a lesbian.


New York City Mayor Ed Koch issues Executive Order 50 which forbids discrimination against gay men and lesbians in municipal government.


Carl Wittman (February 23, 1943 – January 22, 1986) dies. Carl was a member of the national council of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and later an activist for LGBT rights. He co-authored “An Interracial Movement of the Poor?” (1963) with Tom Hayden and wrote A Gay Manifesto (1970). Wittman was denied hospital treatment for AIDS and committed suicide by drug overdose at home in North Carolina.



Franklin Pangborn (January 23, 1889 – July 20, 1958) is born in Newark, New Jersey. He was an American comedic character actor, famous for small but memorable roles with a comic flair. He appeared in many Preston Sturges movies as well as the W.C. Fields films International House, The Bank Dick, and Never Give a Sucker an Even Break. For his contributions to motion pictures, Pangborn received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1500 Vine Street on February 8, 1960. Pang-born lived in Laguna Beach, California in a house with his mother and his “occasional boyfriend” according to William Mann in Behind the Screen. He died on July 20, 1958.

1974, Canada

The first lobbying effort on the part of an alliance of Quebec gay groups to include sexual orientation in a proposed provincial human rights charter culminates in appearance before Justice Committee of Quebec’s National Assembly. It becomes the first appearance of the Canadian gay movement before a legislative body.

1976, Canada

Police raid the Club Baths of Montreal on the eve of the Montreal Olympics. Thirteen people are arrested and charged as found-ins in a common bawdyhouse, a charge usually reserved for prostitution in Canada.

2008, Azerbaijan, Iran

Hamzeh Chavi, 18, and Loghman Hamzehpour, 19, are arrested for homosexuality. They confessed that they were in love which prompted the court to charge them with “waging a war against God” and sodomy. An online petition garnered over 20,000 signatures calling for their release. It is likely they were executed. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in Iran face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. While people can legally change their assigned gender, sexual activity between members of the same sex is illegal.

2009, France

Roger Karoutchi (born 26 August 1951), French Secretary of State, comes out. He is the first openly gay member of the French government.


Gay meteorologist Joel Taylor (1980-Jan. 23, 2018) who starred on the Discovery series Storm Chasers died on this day while on an Atlantis cruise, from a drug overdose. Atlantis Events is the world’s largest producer of all-gay cruises and resort vacations.


41, Rome

Roman Emperor Caligula (31 August AD 12 – 24 January AD 41) is assassinated at the Palatine Games by his own officers after a reign of only four years. He was noted for his madness and cruelty including arbitrary murder and arbitrary sex encounters with men, women, and animals, including forcing his officers into regular sex bouts.

76, Spain

Roman Emperor Hadrian (24 January 76 – 10 July 138) is born near Seville Spain. Hadrian built the famous wall on the Northern fringe of the empire, in Britain, and put down the last serious uprising by the Jews. When his lover Antonius (27 November, c. 111 – 30 October 130) mysteriously drowned in the Nile, Hadrian went into a deep despair then put all of his wealth into building memorials to his lover, even building a city in his name. It said that the beautiful Antonius committed suicide before old age destroyed his looks. He was 21.

1712, Germany

Frederick the Great (24 January 1712 – 17 August 1786) is born in Berlin. He was King of Prussia from 1740 until 1786, the longest reign of any Hohenzollern king. Before he became king, Frederick fled with his lover Hans von Katte (28 February 1704 – 6 November 1730) but the pair was captured and Frederick was forced to watch von Katte’s execution. On his father’s death, when Frederick became emperor, he went to the palace of Sans-Souci at Potsdam and came into his own. He excluded women and surrounded himself with young men.

1965, UK

Winston Churchill (1874-1965) dies. He had been Britain’s wartime prime minister whose courageous leadership and defiant rhetoric had fortified the English during their long struggle against Hitler’s Germany. “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat,” he stated upon becoming prime minister at the beginning of the war. He called Hitler’s Reich a “monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime.” Following the war, he coined the term “Iron Curtain” to describe the barrier between areas in Eastern Europe under Soviet control and the free West. In his biography of (25 January 1874 – 16 December 1965), Ted Morgan writes that Maugham once asked Churchill if it were true as Churchill’s mother had claimed, that the statesman had affairs with men in his youth. “Not true!” Churchill replied. “But, I once went to bed with a man to see what it was like.” That man was British musical-comedy star Ivor Novello (15 January 1893 – 6 March 1951)” And, what was it like?” Maugham asked. “Musical,” Churchill replied.


The first international Lesbian Conference is held in Montreal. It was attended by more than 200 delegates from Canada and the US.


Norman Lear’s TV adaptation of Lanford Wilson’s Hot l Baltimore premieres on ABC. Though it features a diverse cast of characters, including two gay men and a latent lesbian, it lasts only five months.


Noted gay director George Cukor (July 7, 1899 – January 24, 1983) dies at age 83 in Los Angeles. He was an American film director. He mainly concentrated on comedies and literary adaptations. His career flourished at RKO when David O. Selznick, the studio’s Head of Production, assigned Cukor to direct several of RKO’s major films, including What Price Hollywood? (1932), A Bill of Divorcement (1932), Our Betters (1933), and Little Women (1933). When Selznick moved to MGM in 1933, Cukor followed and directed Dinner at Eight (1933) and David Copperfield (1935) for Selznick and Romeo and Juliet (1936) and Camille (1936) for Irving Thalberg. By the mid-1930s, Cukor was not only established as a prominent director but, socially, as an unofficial head of Hollywood’s gay subculture. In the late 1950s, Cukor became involved with a considerably younger man named George Towers.

1996, Singapore

Singapore grants gender recognition to post-operative transsexuals.


Secretary of Education Arne Duncan released a video on YouTube commemorating GSA Day and endorsing GSA clubs in schools. Gay–Straight Alliances (GSA) are school/student-led or community based organizations, found primarily in North American high schools, colleges and universities, that are intended to provide a safe, supportive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) youth (or those who are perceived as such) and their straight allies.



The Commonwealth of Virginia reduces the penalty for free peoples for committing buggery to one to ten years in prison, but did not reduce the death penalty for end people.

1874, France

Somerset Maugham (25 January 1874 – 16 December 1965) is born in Paris. He was a British playwright, novelist and short story writer. He was among the most popular writers of his era and reputedly the highest-paid author during the 1930s. He was 21 when Oscar Wilde was put on trial. It was enough to make him “publicly straight.” He later said that his biggest mistake was “I tried to persuade myself that I was three-quarters normal and that only quarter of me was queer — whereas it was the other way around.” Maugham has been described as both bisexual and homosexual. In addition to his 13-year marriage to Sylvie Wellcome, he had affairs with other women in his youth. In later life Maugham was exclusively homosexual. Despite his wealth, his fame, and his secretary-companion Gerald Haxton (1892 – November 7, 1944), Maugham died a bitter man.

1882, UK

Writer Virginia Woolfe (25 January 1882 – 28 March 1941) is born in London. She is considered one of the foremost modernists of the 20th-century and a pioneer in the use of stream of consciousness as a narrative device. The most celebrated of the Bloomsbury set, her writing is cerebral, and subtle. Woolfe’s greatest love was probably Vita-Sackville-West (9 March 1892 – 2 June 1962), an English poet, novelist, and garden designer. The fruit of the affair is the novel Orlando, considered to be the most beautiful love poem in the English language.


Aaron Fricke (born Jan. 25, 1962) is born in Providence, Rhode Island. He is a gay rights activist best known for the pivotal case in which he successfully sued Cumberland High School in Cumberland, Rhode Island, for not allowing him to bring his boyfriend to the senior prom. Aaron later wrote of his experience in a book, Reflections of a Rock Lobster: A Story about Growing Up Gay. He later collaborated with his father, Walter Fricke, on a book about their relationship and of the elder Fricke’s coming to terms with his son’s homosexuality. That book, Sudden Strangers: The Story of a Gay Son and His Father, was published shortly after Walter Fricke’s death from cancer in 1989.


Jonathan Larson (February 4, 1960 – January 25, 1996) dies. He was an American composer and playwright noted for exploring the social issues of multiculturalism, addiction, and homophobia in his work. Typical examples of his use of these themes are found in his works, Rent and tick, tick…BOOM! He received three posthumous Tony Awards and a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the rock musical Rent. Larson died unexpectedly the morning of Rent’s first preview performance Off Broad-way.


Alameda County, California’s Board of Supervisors votes 4–0 to prohibit discrimination in public-sector employment, services and facilities based on gender identity.


The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010 Summary Report is released. It’s the first LGBTQ-specific report of its kind. Sexual minority respondents report intimate partner violence at rates at least equal to those of heterosexuals.


Air Force Col. Ginger Wallace (born 1969), commander of the Air Force 517th Training Group and assistant commandant of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, becomes the first openly lesbian or gay member of the U.S. military to have a same-sex partner participate in the pinning ceremony tradition that had been reserved for spouses and family members. Her partner of over 10 years, Kathy Knopf, pinned her colonel wings. Knopf  participated in the ceremony after the lifting of the military’s gay ban known as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which came to an end on Sept. 20, 2011. The two sat in the First Lady’s gallery seats when President Obama delivered his State of the Union address in 2012.



Serbian Nikola Tesla (10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943) is issued nearly 300 patents in the U.S. for his ground-breaking career focusing on electricity. He was an inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist who is best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. Likely asexual, Tesla never married, explaining that his chastity was very helpful to his scientific abilities. Tesla chose to never pursue or engage in any known relationships, instead finding all the stimulation he needed in his work.


Comedian Ellen DeGeneres (born January 26, 1958) is born. DeGeneres is the first star of a television sitcom ever to come out (1997) to the public, an act many see as having dramatically improved the climate for LGBT actors, though she almost instantly lost her show. Her current success in daytime talk television was unforeseeable at the time and she had no reason to think she would not have to go back to stand-up comedy clubs forever at the time she risked her television career.  In 2008, she married her longtime girlfriend Portia de Rossi (born 31 January 1973), an Australian-American actress, model, and philanthropist.


Look Magazine includes a gay couple from Minnesota, Jack Baker and Mike McConnell, as part of that week’s cover article on The American Family. Baker and McConnell are also noteworthy as they are the first same-sex couple in the U.S. to be granted a marriage license.


Rent opens off Broadway in the New York Theater Workshop for a six-week run. The creator, Jonathan Larson (February 4, 1960 – January 25, 1996), died just before the premiere. Rent is a rock musical with music, lyrics, and book by Larson, loosely based on Giacomo Puccini‘s opera La Boehme. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and create a life in New York City’s East Village in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.

2011, Uganda

David Kato Kisule (c. 1964 – 26 January 2011), founding member of Sexual Minorities Uganda, is murdered. He was the founder and leader of the LGBT rights movement in Uganda where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death. He was a Ugandan teacher, considered 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 lawsuit against a magazine which had published his name and photograph identifying him as gay and calling for him to be executed.


International Holocaust Remembrance Day

1832, UK

Lewis Carroll (27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898) is born in Baresbury, England, named Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. He was an English writer, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon, and photographer. His most famous writings are Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, which includes the poem “Jabberwocky,” and the poem The Hunting of the Snark – all examples of the genre of literary nonsense. He is noted for his facility at word play, logic and fantasy. Carroll never married and his sexual identity is the subject of exploration by many historians and biographers.


Sarah Aldridge (January 27, 1911 in Rio de Janeiro – January 11, 2006), whose actual name was Anyda Marchant, is born. She was a writer of primarily lesbian popular fiction and a founding partner of Naiad Press in 1973 and A&M Books in 1995. Her first published work was a short story issued by The Ladder, the periodical released by the Daughters of Bilitis. The fourteen lesbian novels she wrote include All True Lovers, Tottie, A Flight of Angels, The Latecomer, and The Nesting Place. One of the first women to pass the bar in Washington D.C., she served at the World Bank as an attorney in the Legal Department for 18 years until retiring in 1972. She met legal secretary Muriel Inez Crawford (April 21, 1914 – June 7, 2006) in 1947 with whom she lived until Aldridge’s death. Aldridge died at her home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on January 11, 2006. She was 94. She was awarded the Golden Crown Literary Society Trailblazer Award posthumously in June 2007. Her first novel The Latecomer was reissued in 2009 in a 35th anniversary edition by A&M Books


American Olympic diver Greg Louganis (born January 29, 1960) is born. He won gold medals at the 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympics, on both the springboard and platform. He is the only male and the second diver in Olympic history to sweep the diving events in consecutive Olympic Games. He has been called both “the greatest American diver” and “probably the greatest diver in history.” Louganis’ ancestry is Samoan and European-American. He overcame a stutter as a child and struggled with dyslexia, asthma and depression.  Six months before the 1988 Olympics, Louganis was diagnosed with HIV. Louganis publicly came out as gay in a pre-taped announcement shown at the opening ceremony of the 1994 Gay Games. He announced his engagement to his partner, paralegal Johnny Chaillot, in People magazine, in June 2013. The two were married on October 12, 2013.


The New York City Council vetoes a proposed gay rights ordinance that would have prohibited discrimination against gay men and lesbians in employment, housing and public accommodations. The bill remained a hotly contested part of City Council politics for the next 14 years.


Deborah Batts (April 13, 1947 – February 3, 2020) becomes the first African American and openly lesbian or gay U.S. federal judge. On January 27, 1994, President Bill Clinton nominated Batts to a seat on the Southern District in New York. Batts was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 6, 1994, and received her commission on May 9, 1994. She took senior status on April 13, 2012.


At a press conference in Washington, D.C., the House majority whip, Dick Armey (R-Tex.), refers to Representative Barney Frank (born March 31, 1940) (D-Mass.) as “Barney Fag.” He later apologizes, insisting it was a slip of the tongue.


International Holocaust Remembrance Day is created by resolution of the United Nations General Assembly. On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism.


1833, UK

Charles George Gordon  (28 January 1833 – 26 January 1885) was born in Woolwich, England. A British military hero, he became a martyr at Khartoumn. The American historian Byron Farwell in his 1985 book Eminent Victorian Soldiers strongly implied that Gordon was gay, writing of Gordon’s “unwholesome” interest in the boys he took in to live with him at the Fort House and his fondness for the company of “handsome” young men. Always surrounded by boys and young men, he once told a friend he lacked the courage to act on his impulses because of his religious beliefs. He said he hoped to die in battle to prove his manhood. He got his wish. Gordon never married and is not known to have had a relationship with anyone of the opposite sex or of the same sex.

1873, France

The great French writer Gabrielle Sidonie Colette (28 January 1873 – 3 August 1954) is born in Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye. She was a French novelist nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. Her best known work, the novella Gigi (1944), was the basis for the film and Lerner and Loewe stage production of the same name. She was also a mime, an actress and a journalist. Her affairs with women are well documented as are her liaisons with men.


Momma Rose was born Rose Thompson (August 31, 1890 – January 28, 1954). She was the mother of two famous performing daughters: burlesque artist Gypsy Rose Lee and actress and dancer June Havoc. She was the inspiration for Rose, the lead character of the musical Gypsy. Rose was running a boarding house in New York, referred to by sources of the time as a “seedy boarding house for lesbians” where she also lived. During this time, Gypsy paid a visit to the house and for some reason a young woman who has been described as Momma Rose’s lover at the time didn’t know Gypsy was her daughter. The woman mistakenly thought Gypsy was making a pass at Rose. Rose and the woman reportedly had a vicious fight and Momma Rose shot her.


Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, (January 28, 1932 – September 25, 2020) best known for her “God of the Breasts” interpretation of El Shaddai, spent her 44-year professional career teaching college level English literature and language, but developed specializations in feminist theology and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender theology during the second half of that career. A democrat and trans-religious Christian, Mollenkott lived with her domestic partner Judith Suzannah Tilton at Cedar Crest Retirement Village until Judith’s death in February 2018; together they co-grandmothered Mollenkott’s three granddaughters. Ramey and Tilton got married in 2013 following the United States Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor, which overturned a law that denied federal benefits to same-sex couples. Ms. Tilton died in 2018.

1935, Iceland

Iceland becomes the first country to legalize abortion.


Brian McNaught (born January 28, 1948) is a corporate diversity and sensitivity coach and author who specializes in LGBT issues in the workplace. A conscientious objector to the war in Vietnam, McNaught did his alternative service at The Michigan Catholic, weekly newspaper of the Archdiocese of Detroit, where he worked as a writer and columnist from 1970 to 1974. In 1974, McNaught founded the Detroit chapter of Dignity, the national gay Catholic organization. When he came out in an article on Dignity in The Detroit News, the diocesan newspaper dropped his column. McNaught went on a water fast, which lasted 17 days, ending with a letter of support from Bishop Thomas Gumbleton. Following the fast, McNaught was fired by the newspaper, resulting in a civil rights suit, which was settled out of court. From 1982 to 1984, McNaught served as the Mayor of Boston’s Liaison to the Gay Community, the first such full time position in the country. With the permission of Mayor Kevin White, McNaught created the first city task force on AIDS. That task force influenced the screening process instituted by the American Red Cross. McNaught became a speaker and trainer on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues in the workplace, acting as a consultant to companies and discussion moderator. McNaught has written four books which offer advice for LGBT individuals and employers on dealing with the challenges faced by the LGBT community. Recommendations from his book Gay Issues in the Workplace are included in many corporate diversity policies. Brian’s husband is Ray Struble who was one of the first openly gay people on Wall Street, as Lehman Brothers’ Senior Managing Director of Global Equity Sales.


The formation of Gay American Indians (GAI) is reported in the Advocate. Founding members are Barbara May Cameron (May 22, 1954 – Feb. 12, 2002) and Randy Burns. GAI is the first Native gay and lesbian organization in the U.S. and contributed to the rise of the Two Spirit movement. By the end of the twentieth century, GAI had grown to over 600 members and spawned other gay American Indian groups in San Diego, Toronto and New York City under the name “Two-Spirit People.” GAI has documented berdache roles in over 130 Native American tribes. Burns’ own Northern Paiute tradition has traditional berdache roles: tuva’sa (male) moroni noho (female).

1977, Canada

Charges are dismissed against 16 of 22 men arrested as found-ins in Club Ottawa.


U.S. Defense Department declares gays and lesbians may not serve in the military, and all recruits will be asked about their sexual orientation.


1749, Denmark

Christian VII (29 January 1749 – 13 March 1808) is born in Copenhagen. He was rejected by his father as being effeminate. When he became king at 16, the nobles plied him with sex mates to curry favor. He married to produce an heir, but his queen became the mistress of the court doctor who then took control of the government and assigned Christian a lover. The lover locked him in a room. Christian was freed by the nobles, the queen was divorced, and the doctor and the lover were drawn and quartered.


Edward Irenaeus Prime-Stevenson (January 29, 1858 – July 23, 1942) is born. He was an American author who used the pseudonym of Xavier Mayne. In 1908, he published the first American defense of homosexuality entitled The Intersexes: A History of Similisexualism as a Problem in Social Life.


Minnesota governor Arne Carlson issues an executive order banning sexual orientation discrimination in the public sector.

2007, Israel

Israel registers its first same-sex couple. Binyamin and Avi Rose got married in Canada in 2006 then returned to Israel. The Israeli High Court ruled unanimously that couples married outside of Israel should be recognized by the state.



Edith Kathleen “Edie” Bendall Robison (January 30, 1879 – May 15, 1986) lived most of her life in Wellington. She has been romantically linked to short story writer Katherine Mansfield (14 October 1888 – 9 January 1923). She was an artist/cartoonist in Sydney. When Mansfield was still in New Zealand, together with Bendall, she had tried to publish a little illustrated book of children’s verse, but that venture also came to nothing.


Stewart Brett McKinney (January 30, 1931 – May 7, 1987) was an American politician who represented Connecticut’s 4th congressional district in the House of Representatives from 1971 until his death in 1987. He is perhaps best known for coining the phrase “too big to fail” in regard to large American financial institutions, and his struggle with, and eventual death from, AIDS. His death in 1987 was brought about by complications of AIDS. His 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, and to whom McKinney left property in his will, said that he had been McKinney’s lover, and that he believed McKinney was already infected when Denson met him. In 1987, Barney Frank became the first U.S. congressman to come out as gay of his own volition, and was inspired to do so in part by the death of McKinney.


A House Committee on Military Affairs panel reports on “Blue Discharges.” Blue discharges were commonly used against homosexuals and African Americans in the military who hadn’t transgressed but commanders wanted them out of their ranks. Blue discharges were neither honorable nor dishonorable but the soldiers were denied G.I. Bill benefits by the Veterans Administration. Service members holding a blue discharge were subjected to discrimination in civilian life, and had difficulty finding work because employers were aware of the negative connotations of a blue discharge. Following intense criticism in the press, especially the Black press because of the high percentage of African Americans who received blue discharges, Congress discontinued blue discharges in 1947, and replaced it with two new classifications: general and undesirable.

1948, India

Indian activist and leader Mahatma Gandhi (2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was assassinated in New Delhi, India, by a religious fanatic. Gandhi had ended British rule in India through nonviolent resistance. “Non-violence is not a garment to be put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our very being,” he stated in 1926. His teachings were used during many of the gay demonstrations of the 1960s and 1970s. Today, the LGBT non-denominational group Soul-force uses Gandhi’s non-violence practices in its demonstrations against churches which discriminate against LGBT people.



American actress Tallulah Brockman Bankhead (January 31, 1902 – December 12, 1968) was born in Huntsville, Alabama. She was an American actress of the stage and screen, known for her husky voice, outrageous personality, and devastating wit. Originating some of the 20th century theater’s preeminent roles in comedy and melodrama, she gained acclaim as an actress on both sides of the Atlantic. Bankhead became an icon of the tempestuous, flamboyant actress, and her unique voice and mannerisms are often subject to imitation and parody. In her personal life, Bankhead struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction, and was infamous for her uninhibited sex life. Rumors about Bankhead’s sex life have lingered for years, linked romantically with many notable female personalities of the day including Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Katherine Cornell, Eva Le Gallienne, Hope Williams, Beatrice Lillie, and Alla Nazimova, as well as writer Mercedes de Acosta and singer Billie Holiday. Actress Patsy Kelly confirmed she had a sexual relationship with Bankhead when she worked for her as a personal assistant. Bankhead never publicly described herself as being bisexual. She did, however, describe herself as “ambisextrous”.


Claudia Lavergne Brind-Woody (born January 31, 1955) is an American business executive. She is the Vice President and Managing Director of intellectual property at IBM. In 2011 she won the Out & Equal Trailblazer award and was named as one of GO‘s 100 women we love. In 2012 Brind-Woody was named in The Guardian‘s 100 most influential LGBT people of the year. In 2013, 2014, and 2015 she was named in the Financial Times’ Top 50 OUTstanding list, then in 2016 she entered in their hall of fame. In 2019 she was named one of the most powerful LGBTQ+ people in tech.  Brind-Woody is the Global Co-Chair for the LGBT Executive Taskforce at IBM. This taskforce has sponsored initiatives to make IBM a more welcoming place to LGBT employees. For example, IBM rolled out Straight Ally Training and Certification to 440,000 IBM employees worldwide. IBM was one of the founding members of the Stonewall Global Diversity Champions Programme and sponsors the Stonewall Leadership program.


The American Association for the Advancement of Science approves a resolution denouncing discrimination against lesbians and gay men.


In San Francisco, AIDS activists stage a protest on the Golden Gate Bridge, bringing morning rush-hour traffic to a standstill. Twenty-nine demonstrators are arrested.


Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire signs into law a bill prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. In a slightly convoluted way, state law defines “sexual orientation” as including “gender identity.” Thus, according to the Washington State Human Rights Commission, RCW 49.60 “makes discrimination unlawful on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, sex, sexual orientation, disability, familial status, marital status, and age. Discrimination based on sexual orientation, including gender identity, will be illegal in employment, housing, public accommodations [including schools], credit and lending, and insurance. All employers with eight or more employees, except tribes and religious non-profit institutions, are covered by the law.” It is still legal in 36 states to discriminate in employment or at school against someone perceived to be transgender. In 28 of those states it is still legal to discriminate against someone who is or perceived to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.


Zach Wahls (born July 15, 1991), the son of lesbian moms, addresses the Iowa House Judiciary Committee. His testimony brings national attention to the proposed constitutional ban on same sex marriage in Iowa and launches his role as a national activist. Zach was a candidate in the 2018 Iowa General Assembly election. He won the election and was sworn in on January 14, 2019.

2017, UK

Thousands of gay and bisexual men who were convicted of now-abolished sexual offenses in Britain have been posthumously pardoned under a new policing law, the Justice Ministry announced. The law, which received Royal Assent on this day, is named after British WWII codebreaker Alan Turing (23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954) who committed suicide following his conviction for gross indecency. He was posthumously pardoned by Queen Elizabeth in 2013. It also made it possible for living convicted gay men to seek pardons for offenses no longer on the statute book.


Historical information obtained from a variety of sources including:

Safe Schools Coalition

Back to Stonewall

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