George Cecil Ives (1 October 1867 – 4 June 1950) is born. He was a German-English poet, writer, penal reformer and early homosexual law reform campaigner. He founded the Order of Chaerona, an underground society for gays and lesbians, as a way for members of sexual minorities to communicate and support one another. Ives stressed that the Order was to be an ascetic movement, not to be used as a forum for men to meet men for sex although he accepted a degree of ‘passionate sensuality’ could take place. He also believed that love and sex between men was a way to undermine the rigid class system as a true form of democracy. The society is named after the location of the battle where the Sacred Band of Thebes was finally annihilated in 338 BC. In 1914, Ives, together with Edward Carpenter, Magnus Hirschfeld, Laurence Housman and others, founded the British Society for the Study of Sex Psychology. At his death in 1950, George Ives left a large archive covering his life and work between 1874 and 1949. The papers were bought in 1977 by the Harry Ransom Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
Francisco Franco is proclaimed Generalissimo and Head of State. His dictatorship lasts 40 years during which thousands of homo-sexuals are jailed, put in camps, or locked up in mental institutions for breaking the Vagrancy Act.
Klaus Wowereit (born 1 October 1953) is an openly gay German politician, member of the SPD (Social Democratic Party), and was the Governing Mayor of Berlin from October 2001 to December 2014. He served as President of the Bundesrat (the fourth highest office in Germany) in 2001-02. His SPD-led coalition was re-elected in the 2006 elections. He was also sometimes mentioned as a possible SPD candidate for the Chancellorship of Germany (Kanzlerkandidatur) in the next German federal election, but that never materialized. Wowereit’s civil partner, Jörn Kubicki, is a neurosurgeon. They have been in a relationship since 1993.
Connecticut becomes the second state to abolish its laws prohibiting homosexual acts by consenting adults.
African Americans Donna Burkett, 25, and Manonia Evans, 21, apply for a marriage license in Wisconsin but the application is refused by the clerk. The two women file a lawsuit but the suit is dismissed. They have a wedding without a license on December 25, 1971.
The U.S. House of Representatives fails to pass a bill that would decriminalize homosexual acts between consenting adults in the District of Columbia.
The first issue of The Newsletter for lesbian and bisexual women is published in North Carolina.
Glenn Burke (November 16, 1952 – May 30, 1995) comes out in an interview in Inside Sports. He was a Major League Baseball (MLB) player for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Oakland Athletics from 1976 to 1979. Burke was the first and only MLB player to come out as gay to teammates and team owners during his professional career and the first to publicly acknowledge it. He died from AIDS-related causes in 1995.
The Roman Catholic Church issues Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons.” In the document, Ratzinger clarifies the Church’s condemnation of the “homosexual inclination” as a “tendency toward an intrinsic moral evil” and an “objective disorder,” and criticizes Catholics who have been guilty of “an overly benign interpretation of the homosexual condition.”
The U.S. Senate votes 75-23 to allow the former hospital at Presidio Army base to be used for a regional AIDS treatment facility to meet the projected needs of San Francisco. President Reagan said if the bill were passed by the House of Representatives, he would veto it.
ACT-UP disrupts evangelist Pat Robertson’s formal announcement of his candidacy for the Republican nomination for U.S. President.
Axil (3 April 1915 – 29 October 2011) and Eigil Axgil (24 April 1922 – 22 September 1995) become the first gay couple to be legally married in Copenhagen. They had been together for 40 years, 32 of which were under a common last name. Ten other couples were married the same day. In 1989, Denmark became the first nation in the world to recognize registered partnerships for same-sex couples, nearly equal to (opposite-sex) marriage. (They do not include rights to adoption, artificial insemination, or religious wedding ceremonies in state Lutheran Churches.) On 1 October 1989 the Axgils and ten other Danish couples were married by Tom Ahlberg, the deputy mayor of Copenhagen, in the city hall, accompanied by worldwide media attention. In 2013, Axel Axgil was named by Equality Forum as one of their 31 Icons of the LGBT History Month.
U.S. freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy (born October 1, 1991) is born. He is an openly gay American freestyle skier.
Abby Stein (born October 1, 1991) is an American transgender activist, author, blogger, model, and speaker. She is the first openly transgender woman raised in a Hasidic community and is a direct descendant of Hasidic Judaism’s founder the Baal Shem Tov. In 2015, she founded the first support group nationwide for trans people of Orthodox Jewish background. Stein is also the first woman, and the first openly transgender woman, to have been ordained by an Orthodox institution, having received her rabbinical degree in 2011, before coming out as transgender. She has not worked as a rabbi since at least 2016.
An Ottawa court ordered the Canadian government to grant a gay federal worker spousal and bereavement benefits equal to those heterosexual employees receive.
National Public Radio in the U.S. announced it would offer domestic partner medical and dental benefits to employees in same-sex relationships. The policy also included unmarried heterosexual couples.
Rodney Wilson, a Missouri high school teacher, creates National LGBTQ history month. He gathers other teachers and community leaders who select October because public schools are in session and existing traditions, such as National Coming Out Day (October 11), occur that month.
Buenos Aires police begin a campaign of raids on gay and lesbian clubs and arrests of cross-dressing patrons and transsexuals in an apparent protest against impending gay and lesbian rights measures.
The first sexual orientation-related case presented to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights occurs. Marta Alvarez, a lesbian inmate, campaigns (beginning in 1994) for the right to same-sex conjugal visits.
The first transgender demonstration takes place in Paris. France later becomes the first county to declassify transsexuality as an illness, in 2009.
Explorer Frederick Forbes arrives in the Kingdom of Dahomey (1600-1894) where he saw thousands of Amazons. Amazon tribes have existed in multiple time periods and continents, characterized as female-bodied with traditionally male traits. The Dahomean state became widely known for its corps of female soldiers. Their origins are debated; they may have formed from a palace guard or from Ghezo (female hunting teams). They were organized around 1729 to fill out the army and make it look larger in battle, armed only with banners. The women reportedly behaved so courageously they became a permanent corp. In the beginning, the soldiers were criminals pressed into service rather than being executed. Eventually, however, the corps became respected enough that King Ghezo ordered every family to send him their daughters, with the fittest being chosen as soldiers
The Plymouth colony court found Sara White Norman guilty of lewd behavior on a bed with Mary Vincent Hammon. She was given a warning and ordered to publicly acknowledge her unchaste behavior. Their trial documents are the only known record of sex be-tween female English colonists in North America in the 17th century. Hammon was only admonished, perhaps because she was younger than sixteen, but in 1650 Norman was convicted and re-quired to acknowledge publicly her “unchaste behavior” with Hammon as well as warned against future offenses. This may be the only conviction for lesbianism in American history. Sarah White, of whom little is known, married Hugh Norman in 1639. That year, Mary Vincent, then about 15, married Benjamin Hamon, who had arrived from London in 1634. During the time of Sarah’s prosecution (1648-1650), her husband deserted her and returned to England, Mary and her husband later had a number of children. She was widowed in 1703.
Anna Lou “Annie” Leibovitz (born October 2, 1949) is an American portrait photographer. She photographed John Lennon on the day he was assassinated. Her work has been used on numerous album covers and magazines. She became the first woman to hold an exhibition at Washington’s National Portrait Gallery in 1991. Leibovitz’s partner was writer and essayist Susan Sontag from 1989 until Sontag’s death in 2004.
Paula Ettelbrick (Oct. 2, 1955-Oct. 5, 2011), who has died of ovarian cancer aged 56, was an internationally acclaimed U.S.-based lawyer and one of the pioneers of the movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. A fiery activist, she would fight in the courtroom, and with federal and state representatives—and more often than not would win. During her 25-year career as an advocate for the LGBT community which she began in 1986 at Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund as a staff lawyer, before progressing to become legal director, Ettelbrick held directorships in a number of high-profile lesbian and gay organizations. These included the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Empire State Pride Agenda, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. Ettelbrick was the first woman to lead the Stonewall Community Foundation.
A National Institute of Mental Health study chaired by UCLA’s Dr. Evelyn Hooker urges government bodies to decriminalize private sex acts between consenting adults.
Actor Rock Hudson (November 17, 1925–October 2, 1985) dies of complications from AIDS. His death resulted in greater attention to the AIDS epidemic. A movie star and matinée idol, Hudson, 59, dies in his home in Beverly Hills. His will includes a bequest that sets up the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR) with his friend Elizabeth Taylor as the founding chair.
Metropolitan police met with members of the London direct action group OutRage to discuss their concerns after several actions are directed at UK law enforcement agencies.
Variety magazine objected to the Motion Picture Association of America’s decision to give the movie Bentan an NC-17 rating, pointing out that the sex scenes were far less graphic than heterosexual sex scenes in movies which receive R ratings.
California governor Gray Davis signs three gay rights bills.
The first transgender bodybuilding competition in the U.S. is held during the FTM Fitness’ First Annual Conference in Atlanta. Shawn Stinson, a former Marine, is crowned the first winner.
Erik Belton Evers Bruhn (3 October 1928 – 1 April 1986) is born. He was a Danish dancer, choreographer, artistic director, actor, and author. Nureyev (17 March 1938 – 6 January 1993) and Bruhn were together off and on in a volatile relationship for 25 years until Bruhn’s death in 1986.
In Hollywood, the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA) announces a revision of its production code. “In keeping with the culture, the mores and the values of our time,” the revision advises, “homosexuality and other sexual aberrations may now be treated with care, discretion and restraint.” The new ruling paves the way for the release of films like The Children’s Hour and Advise and Consent, but the MPPDA later amends the revision to specify that “sexual aberration” may be “suggested but not actually spelled out.”
Bisexual singer Janis Joplin (January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970) dies. She was an American rock, soul and blues singer and song-writer, and one of the most successful and widely known female rock stars of her era. After releasing three albums, she died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27. A fourth album, Pearl, was released in January 1971, just over three months after her death. It reached number one on the Billboard charts. Joplin, highly respected for her charismatic performing ability, was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. Audiences and critics alike referred to her stage presence as “electric”. She remains one of the top-selling musicians in the United States, with Recording Industry Association of America certifications of 15.5 million albums sold. The film The Rose (1979) is loosely based on Joplin’s life. Originally planned to be titled Pearl—Joplin’s nickname and the title of her last album—the film was fictionalized after her family declined to allow the producers the rights to her story. Bette Midler earned a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the film.
Dr. Howard Brown (April 15, 1924–February 1, 1975) comes out. He was a founder of the National Gay Task Force (now the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force) and a former New York City Health Services Administrator and physician who helped change the image of gay men and lesbians in the United States by coming out publicly in 1973. Brown’s tenure as a gay activist proved brief. Plagued by coronary disease, he suffered a second heart attack on February 1, 1975 and died at the age of fifty. His estate published his autobiography, Familiar Faces, Hidden Lives, a book that also contains anecdotal stories of discrimination experienced by other gay men throughout America. In 1973, most Americans commonly viewed gay men as effeminate narcissists too disturbed to be respectable members of society. Brown helped change that image. The discovery that a distinguished public figure, the very epitome of respectability as a physician, could also be a homosexual gave the cause of gay liberation a tremendous boost. In 1974 an alternative health center, specializing in sexually transmitted diseases, and catering to gay men and lesbians, was opened in Chicago as the Howard Brown Memorial Clinic (now known as Howard Brown Health Center). It has since become the premier Midwest health center specializing in the medical and psychosocial needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.
U.S. Representative Robert Bauman (R-MD) (born April 4, 1937) was arrested in Washington D.C. for soliciting sex from a 16 year old male prostitute. Bauman was a supporter of the Moral Majority and a founding member of the American Conservative Union. His autobiography, The Gentleman from Maryland: The Conscience of a Gay Conservative, was published in 1986.
At the fourth annual Asian Lesbian and Gay Regional Conference in Manila, delegates voted to create the Global Alliance Lesbian and Gay Asia to promote solidarity among Asian sexual minorities.
Paul Bradford Cain, a 26 year-old champion kickboxer, was sentenced to 25 years to life for the murder of gay scientist Dr. Stanley Keith Runcorn (19 November 1922 – 5 December 1995). In a statement before his sentencing, Cain claimed he was the true victim because Runcorn made a pass at him. The judge disagreed, saying to Cain “I hope you rot in hell because what you did was callous and cruel.” Runcorn was a British physicist whose paleomagnetic reconstruction of the relative motions of Europe and America revived the theory of continental drift and was a major contribution to plate tectonics.
An Ontario court rules that the province’s Insurance Act had to in-clude same-sex couples in the definition of spouse.
Gay historian and Shakespeare scholar A. L. Rowse (4 December 1903 – 3 October 1997) dies at age 93 in southwest England. He had suffered a stroke the year before. He was a British author and historian. Diary excerpts published in 2003 reveal that “he was an overt even rather proud homosexual in a pre-Wolfenden age, fascinated by young policemen and sailors, obsessively speculating on the sexual proclivities of everyone he meets.” His most controversial book (at the time of publication) was on the subject of human sexuality: Homosexuals in History (1977).
Hans Christian Andersen (2 April 1805 – 4 August 1875) was a Danish author. Although a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems, Andersen is best remembered for his fairy tales. Andersen’s popularity is not limited to children; his stories, called eventyr in Danish, express themes that transcend age and nationality. He wrote to the Hereditary Grand-duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, “I love you as a man can only love the noblest and best. This time I felt that you were still more ardent, more affectionate to me. Every little trait is preserved in my heart.”
Dr. Alan L. Hart, (October 4, 1890 – July 1, 1962), an American tuberculosis specialist, becomes one of the first female-to-male transsexuals to undergo hysterectomy and gonadectomy for the relief of gender dysphoria. Named Alberta Lucille Hart at birth, Hart lived the rest of his life as a man following the surgery.
- M. Forster(1 January 1879 – 7 June 1970) finished writing his novel Mauricewhich is about a young man coming to terms with his homosexuality. It would not be published until 1971, after Forster’s death, at the request of the author. It was published by W.W. Norton.
The AFL-CIO votes to support gay rights legislation.
West Germany elects its first openly gay parliament member. Herbert Rusche (born May 6, 1952), a member of the Green Party, founded the first gay organization in Heidelberg in 1972 called Homo Heidelbergensis.
The Labour Party Annual Conference approves a resolution calling for the end of all legal discrimination against lesbians and gay men.
Graham Chapman (8 January 1941 – 4 October 1989), co-founder of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, dies of throat cancer at the age of 48. Chapman came out in his book A Liar’s Autobiography. He is survived by his lover of 23 years, David Sherlock, and John Tomiczek who the couple adopted as a teenager in 1971.
2012, Puerto Rico
Professional boxer Orlando Cruz (born July 1, 1981), comes out as gay. Cruz became the first boxer to out as gay while still active professionally, stating that “I have and will always be a proud Puerto Rican. I have always been and always will be a proud gay man.”
Spanish conquistador Vasco Nunez de Balboa discovers a community of cross-dressing males in present-day Panama and, according to reports, feeds at least 40 of them to his dogs.
Diplomat, spy and soldier Chevalier d’Eon (5 October 1728 – 21 May 1810), who lived his first 49 years as a man and her last 33 years as a woman, is born in Tonnerre Burgundy, France. Doctors who examined d’Éon’s body after death discovered “male organs in every respect perfectly formed” but also feminine characteristics.
John Addington Symonds (5 October 1840 – 19 April 1893) is born. He is one of the earliest scholars of gay and lesbian issues. Symonds assisted Havelock Ellis in the writing of Sexual Inversion. A cultural historian, he was known for his work on the Renaissance, as well as numerous biographies of writers and artists. Although he married and had a family, he was an early advocate of male love (homosexuality) which he believed could include pederastic as well as egalitarian relationships, referring to it as l’amour de l’impossible (love of the impossible). He also wrote much poetry inspired by his homosexual affairs. Although the Oxford English Dictionary credits the medical writer C.G. Chaddock for introducing “homosexual” into the English language in 1892, Symonds had already used the word in A Problem in Greek Ethics.
Lani Ka’ahumanu (born October 5, 1943) is a bisexual and feminist writer and activist and a frequent speaker on sexuality issue. She is the co-author of the book Bi Any Other Name. Lani serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Bisexuality.
The movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s, written by openly gay Truman Capote (September 30, 1924 – August 25, 1984) and adapted for the screen by George Axelrod, opens in theaters.
The Washington Blade publishes its first issue. At that time it was called The Gay Blade and contained hard hitting journalism and gay activism.
Traverse City, Michigan, votes unanimously to repeal a law banning the sale of condoms in city limits.
Dennis Barrie, director of the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, was acquitted of obscenity charges after displaying a Robert Mapplethorpe (November 4, 1946 – March 9, 1989) exhibit.
The U.S. Congress killed an amendment by Rep Frank Riggs (R-CA) which would have barred San Francisco from using federal housing money to implement its domestic partner ordinance.
African scholar Ali Mazrui criticizes Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni for targeting gay and lesbian citizens for harassment and arrest.
France was the first Western European country to decriminalize homosexual acts.
Charity Bryant (May 22, 1777 – October 6, 1851) dies and is interred with her lover of 44 years, Sylvia Drake, in Weybridge Hill Cemetery, Addison County, Vermont. This couple is most strongly documented in historian Rachel Hope Cleves’ 2014 book Charity and Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America. Charity was an American business owner and writer. She was a diarist and wrote acrostic poetry. Because there is extensive documentation for the shared lives of Bryant and her partner, Sylvia Drake, their diaries, letters and business papers have become an important part of the archive in documenting the history of same-sex couples.
The New York Times reported that George Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells had protested the seizure of the lesbian novel by Radclyffe Hall, The Well of Loneliness, by English customs agents. The novel had been published in France and was being imported into England.
Judy Garland sings with Barbra Streisand on Judy’s variety show. It is their one and only performance together. Neither are lesbian but both are gay icons.
Metropolitan Community Church is founded in Los Angeles by Rev. Troy Perry (born July 27, 1940) in the living room of his home. Perry founded the church with a primary outreach to the GLBT community.
Antonio Molina (c. 1939–1991) and William “Billie” Ert (c. 1942–1976) marry in Houston. Ert, a drag queen, and Molina, a shipping clerk, received the license through having Ert dress in drag; the county clerk’s office did not ask for their genders and issued them a marriage license, which they used to marry one day later. At that time, homosexuality was illegal in Texas. Although it was later declared null and void by the Texas Attorney General after a long le-gal battle, the union made international headlines and became a media sensation. The failed lawsuit sparked Texas legislation that specifically defined marriage as between a man and a woman, which it had not yet done, and was seen as a large setback for LGBT rights in the United States. After the wedding, Ert was fired from his job as a wig salesman but continued to perform full-time as Mr. Vikki Carr in local nightclubs. The media storm prompted the real Vikki Carr to meet Ert and Molina on CBS in Houston in November 1972, with Ert in drag.
In Quebec City the first pan-Canadian conference of gay organiza-tions is hosted by Centre humanitaire d’aide de liberation.
Just two years after its first public showing, the AIDS Quilt returns to Washington, D.C. with 10,848 panels. At its premiere it had only 1,920 panels.
The Permanent Revolution Circle ZYANYA of Lesbian Feminists organizes this first three-day forum at the School of Economics at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
In reaction to a small, peaceful protest against federal neglect of people with AIDS, 200 San Francisco police officers rioted in the Castro neighborhood, beating protesters and passersby, sweeping seven city blocks of all pedestrians, and placing thousands in homes and business under house arrest for the duration.
Annie Proulx’s short story Brokeback Mountain is published in this week’s issue of The New Yorker. The story, later turned into a hit movie, depicts the complex romantic and sexual relationship between two men in the American West from 1963 to 1981. In 2007, the composer Charles Wuorinen approached Proulx with the idea of turning her short story “Brokeback Mountain” into an opera. The opera of the same name with a libretto by Proulx herself premiered January 28, 2014 at the Teatro Real in Madrid to mixed reviews.
The U. S. Supreme Court refused to hear a case filed by Sandy Nelson, a reporter who was demoted because she refused to stop her off-duty campaigning in support of a gay rights initiative in Washington State. The Washington Supreme Court had ruled that a law barring discrimination in employment for political views did not apply to newspapers.
On this day, twenty-one year old gay college student Matthew Shepard (December 1, 1976 – October 12, 1998) of Wyoming was beaten, pistol whipped and tied to a fence in a field near Laramie. He would die of his injuries at a hospital in Ft Collins, Colorado on Oct. 12th. Perpetrators Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson were arrested shortly after the attack and charged with first degree murder following Shepard’s death. Significant media coverage was given to the killing and what role Shepard’s sexual orientation might have played as a motive in the commission of the crime. The prosecutor argued that McKinney’s murder of Shepard was premeditated and driven by greed. McKinney’s defense counsel countered that he had only intended to rob Shepard but had killed him in a rage when Shepard made a sexual advance towards him. McKinney’s girlfriend told police that he had been motivated by anti-gay sentiment but later recanted her statement, saying that she had lied because she thought it would help him. Both McKinney and Henderson were convicted of the murder and each sentenced to two consecutive life sentences.
The Ford Foundation gave a $100,000 grant to the United Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches for its programs targeting at-risk gay and lesbian youth.
Donna Brazile (born December 15, 1959), an out lesbian, becomes Al Gore’s campaign manager. She is an American author and political analyst. She is a member of the Democratic Party, briefly serving as the interim chairperson for the Democratic National Committee in spring 2011, and assumed that role again in July 2016, until February 2017. She was the first African American to direct a major presidential campaign, acting as campaign manager for Al Gore in 2000. She has also worked on several presidential campaigns for Democratic candidates, including Jesse Jackson and Walter Mondale–Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, and for Dick Gephardt in the 1988 Democratic primary. In 1999, The New York Times magazine described Brazile as an LGBT activist who served on the board of the Millennium March on Washington. The magazine said she is “highly protective of her privacy” and called her “openly ambiguous” about her sexual orientation. Brazile is described as “openly lesbian” in the 2002 book Gay and Lesbian Americans and Political Participation: A Reference Handbook.
The U. S. Supreme Court refuses to hear appeals on seven of the petitions arising from challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage. That meant that the lower-court decisions striking down bans in Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah, Oklahoma, and Virginia should go into effect, clearing the way for same-sex marriages in those states and any other state with similar bans in those circuits.
Althea Garrison (born October 7, 1940) is born. She is an Ameri-can politician from Boston, Massachusetts who was elected as a Republican to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1992 and served one term from 1993 to 1995. Both before and after Garrison’s successful bid for office, she ran unsuccessfully in multiple elections for the state legislature and Boston City Council, as a Re-publican, Democrat, or independent, which has resulted in her being described in the media as a “perennial candidate.” Garrison is also known as the first transgender or transsexual person to be elected to a state legislature in the United States.
Famed author Marguerite Radclyffe Hall (12 August 1880 – 7 October 1943) passes away. Hall’s novel The Well of Loneliness was banned in several countries because of lesbian content.
Russell Wolden, running for mayor of San Francisco as a Democrat, accuses the incumbent of welcoming and collaborating with the city’s “sex deviates.” His tactic backfires: the city’s newspapers accuse him of irresponsible mudslinging, and he loses in the next month’s elections.
Pillow Talk, starring Doris Day, the closeted gay actor Rock Hudson (November 17, 1925 – October 2, 1985), and the straight actor everyone thought was gay Tony Randall, opens in theaters and becomes the second highest grossing film of the 1950’s.
Walter Jenkins (March 23, 1918 – November 23, 1985), Lyndon B. Johnson’s top aide, was arrested for having sex in the men’s bathroom of his local YMCA just blocks from the White House. Jenkins who was married, had six children, and was never divorced from his wife.
The Advocate begins publication. The magazine is the oldest and largest LGBT publication in the United States and the only surviving one of its kind that was founded before the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City, an incident that is generally credited as the beginning of the LGBT rights movement.
Musician Elton John (born March 25, 1947) said he was bisexual in Rolling Stone magazine. He is an English singer, pianist, and composer, and has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his song-writing partner since 1967; they have collaborated on more than 30 albums to date. He has received five Grammy Awards, five Brit Awards, winning two awards for Outstanding Contribution to Music and the first Brits Icon in 2013 for his “lasting impact on British culture,” an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Tony Award, a Disney Legends award, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004. He has been heavily involved in the fight against AIDS since the late 1980s. He has been openly gay since 1988, entered into a civil partnership with David Furnish on 21 December 2005, and after same-sex marriage became legal in England and Wales in 2014, wed Furnish on 21 December 2014. He continues to be a champion for LGBT social movements worldwide.
In Toronto, a Dykes in the Street march, sponsored by Lesbians Against the Right, becomes the first lesbian pride march in the city.
The first explicitly LGBT internet newsgroup was founded by Steve Dyer called soc.motss. The abbreviation “motss” stood for “members of the same sex,” an unflashy acronym that would make it less of a potential target for censorship. University of Colorado–Boulder professor Amy Goodloe, who started many lesbian usenet groups as well as founded and ran lesbian.org in 1995, calls soc.motss the first explicitly LGBTQ newsgroup—and possibly the first explicitly LGBTQ international space of any kind.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors outlaws the sale and use of “poppers” (amyl nitrate).
A U. S. Justice Department report declared the most frequent vic-tims of hate crimes are gays, lesbians, and bisexuals.
A protest, complete with a book burning, was held to object to a donation of two gay-themed books, Annie on My Mind and All-American Boys to forty-two Kansas City Missouri high schools.
The AFL-CIO unanimously approves a resolution to actively op-pose attempts to repeal gay rights laws. The vote was held at the labor union’s biennial convention in San Francisco.
Two hundred and fifty students in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania walked out of class to protest the school board’s passage of a “pro-family” resolution which banned positive discussion of homosexuality.
Transgender activist Audrey Mbugua (born 1984) wins a landmark case against the Kenya National Examinations Council who had refused to change her name and gender marker on her academic diploma. She is a Kenyan transgender activist who has been involved in legal actions in the High Court of Kenya to fight for the rights of transgender people.
Esther Lape (8 October 1881-17 May 1981) was a well-known American journalist, researcher, and publicist. She was associated with the Women’s Trade Union League and was one of the founders of the League of Women Voters. Her life-partner, Elizabeth Read (1872 – December 13, 1943), was her personal attorney and financial advisor. Lape taught English at Swarthmore College, the University of Arizona, Columbia University, and Barnard College. Lape was the director of the American Foundation for Studies in Government of which Read was director of research. Together with Read, Lape published the journal City, State and Nation. Read and Lape lived in Greenwich Village, at 20 East 11th Street, where Eleanor Roosevelt lived when she was First Lady. The building was actually owned by Lape. Roosevelt rented an apartment for a time. Nearby, at 171 West 12th Street, lived other lesbian couples involved in the Woman’s Suffrage movement and were close-knit friends of Roosevelt: Marion Dickerman and Nancy Cook, Molly Dewson and Polly Porter, Grace Hutchins and Anna Rochester.
At a meeting of the Scientific Humanitarian Committee, one of the earliest gay organizations, women’s rights leader Anna Rueling (15 August 1880 – 8 May 1953) urges feminists to unite with “Uranian” (lesbian) women and men in the fight for social reform, citing concerns and goals common to both movements. She criticized the women’s movement for not taking an active role in ending the op-pression of lesbians. Anna was a German journalist whose speech was the first political speech to address the problems faced by lesbians. One of the first modern women to come out as homosexual, she has been described as “the first known lesbian activist”.
Urvashi Vaid (born October 8, 1958) is an Indian American LGBT rights activist. Vaid spent ten years working in global philanthropic organizations, serving as Executive Director of the Arcus Foundation (2005-2010) and Deputy Director of Governance and Civil Society Unit of the Ford Foundation (2000-2005). For more than 10 years, Vaid worked in various capacities at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), the oldest national LGBT civil rights organization; first as its media director, then as executive director, and as director of its Policy Institute Think-tank. From 1983 to 1986, Vaid was staff attorney at the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), where she initiated the organization’s work on HIV/AIDS in prisons. Vaid has lived in New York City and Provincetown, Massachusetts, with her partner comedian Kate Clinton since 1988.
In New York City, two policemen invade a private club to interrupt a Daughters of Bilitis business meeting. The blatantly harassing nature of the police action persuades many members of the low pro-file group of the need for action. The Daughters of Bilitis, also called the DOB or the Daughters, was the first lesbian civil and political rights organization in the United States.
The first gay rights demonstration in Sydney takes place. It’s held outside the headquarters of the Liberal Party. Gay writer and activist Dennis Altman (born 16 August 1943) is one of about 70 protesters. He is an Australian academic and pioneering gay rights activist.
Demonstrators at the annual convention of the Association for the Advancement of Behavioral Therapy protest the continued use of “aversion therapy” to “treat” homosexuality.
Latina activists form the Austin, TX Latina/Latino Lesbian and Gay Organization (ALLGO).
An episode of the Ellen DeGeneres’ (born January 26, 1958) sit-com titled Roommates receives an adult content warning because it contains a kiss between Ellen and another woman. The censorship reportedly infuriated Ellen, with her telling reporters: “I never wanted to be an activist, but now they’re turning me into one.”
The first gay character comes out on Degrassi: The Next Genera-tion. Marco, played by Adamo Ruggiero, comes out in the two-part episode titled Pride.
On this day the Council of Europe’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Unit, along with the European Court of Human Rights, held a conference to mark the 70th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights. The entity announced launching an event called “A Living Instrument’ for Everyone: The Role of the European Convention on Human Rights in Advancing Equality for LGBTI persons,” focused on the progress achieved in equality for LGBTI persons in Europe through the European Convention mechanism.
In Minneapolis, FREE (Gay Liberation of Minnesota) opens the first Regional Gay Convention in the Midwest.
Following his retirement in 1993, Episcopal Bishop E. Otis Charles (April 24, 1926 – December 26, 2013) becomes the first Christian bishop to come out of the closet at the age of 67. He served as bishop of Utah from 1971-1986. He later marries Dr. Felipe Sanchez-Paris (1941-2013) and becomes a prominent gay rights activist.
1998 South Africa
South Africa officially repeals its sodomy law.
The Netherlands sanctions adoption by same-sex couples as long as they meet the same criteria required of heterosexual couples.
Lesbian politician Ulrike Lunacek (born 26 May 1957) becomes the first openly gay member of Austrian Parliament, serving with the Austrian Green party. She is an Austrian politician and Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Austria. She is Vice President of the European Parliament, Member of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament since 2009 and head of delegation of the Austrian Greens in the European Parliament. Lunacek is Kosovo-Rapporteur and co-president of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights and Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Substitute in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affair. In 2013, Lunacek advocated for a non-binding resolution on “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” that called for “age-appropriate and gender-sensitive sexuality and relationship education … for all children and adolescents” and referenced a document co-authored by the World Health Organization (WHO) in which some sexuality information is deemed appropriate from age four. After some controversy, the European Parliament instead passed a modified version which declared sexual education a competence of the member states.
Lesbian serial killer Aileen Wournos (February 29, 1956 – October 9, 2002) is executed in Florida. She was an American serial killer who murdered seven men in Florida between 1989 and 1990 by shooting them at point-blank range. Wuornos claimed that her victims had either raped or attempted to rape her while she was working as a sex worker, and that all of the homicides were committed in self-defense. She was convicted and sentenced to death for six of the murders and was executed by lethal injection on October 9, 2002.
A Shot of Love with Tila Tequila, a reality dating show about a bisexual woman dating both male and female contestants, premiers.
Stephan Thorne of the San Francisco Police Department is promoted to Lieutenant, making him the highest-ranking transgender law enforcement official in the country.
California Governor Jerry Brown announces the signing of the Gender Nondiscrimination Act (AB 887) and the Vital Statistics Modernization Act (AB 443). AB 887 makes illegal discrimination based on gender identity or expression in employment, education, housing, and other public settings and AB 443 allows transgender people to obtain a court order to protect their gender.
The first transgender member of Parliament in Europe, Anna Grodzka (born 16 March 1954), is elected. She is a Polish politician. Grodzka, a trans woman, was elected to the Sejm in the 2011 Polish parliamentary elections as a candidate for the left-liberal Palikot’s Movement, and was the first openly transgender Member of Parliament in Poland. In June 2014, Anna Grodzka joined Poland’s Green Party.
Albert D. J. Cashier (December 25, 1843 – October 10, 1915) dies. Born Jennie Irene Hodgers, he was an Irish-born immigrant who served as a male soldier in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He lived as a man in Illinois, voted in elections and later claimed a veteran’s pension. On May 5, 1911, Cashier was moved to the Soldier and Sailors home in Quincy, Illinois. He lived there as a man until his mind deteriorated and was moved to the Water-town State Hospital for the Insane in March 1913. Attendants at the Watertown discovered his female body when giving him a bath, at which point he was forced to wear a dress.
The Reich Central Office for Combatting Abortion and Homosexuality forms. The main function was to gather data on homosexuals that led to arrests. Through 1945, an estimated 100,000 gay men were arrested and sent to concentration camps or prison, wearing the pink triangle. When the camps were liberated, they were not freed but sent to prison from the camps until the anti-gay Paragraph 175 was repealed in 1968. There is little data on the number of lesbians arrested though it is known that they had to wear the black triangle. German lesbians were usually sent to Spring of Life homes for impregnation. Jewish lesbians were sent to their deaths in the camps.
Newsweek Magazine publishes a story entitled “Queer People,” calling gays perverts and comparing them to exhibitionists and sexual sadists. It challenged the idea that homosexuals hurt no one but themselves.
Martine Aliana Rothblatt (born October 10, 1954) is an American lawyer, author, entrepreneur, and transgender rights advocate. Rothblatt graduated from UCLA with J.D. and M.B.A. degrees in 1981, then began to work in Washington, D. C., first in the field of communications satellite law, and eventually in life sciences projects like the Human Genome Project. She is the founder and chair of the board of United Therapeutics. She was also the CEO of Geo-Star and the creator of SiriusXM Satellite Radio. She was the top earning CEO in the biopharmaceutical industry in 2018. In 1982, Rothblatt married Bina Aspen, a realtor from Compton, California. Rothblatt and Aspen each had a child from previous relationships and legally adopted each other’s children. They have two more children together. In 1994, at age 40, Martine came out as transgender. She has since become a vocal advocate for transgender rights
Seven lesbians, including Barbara Gittings (July 31, 1932 – February 18, 2007), break new ground on U. S. television when they appear on The David Susskind Show.
The U. S. Supreme Court dismisses Baker v. Nelson, a Minnesota case filed by a gay couple seeking to marry, “for want of a substantial federal question.” Richard John Baker v. Gerald R. Nelson, 291 Minn. 310, 191 N.W.2d 185 (1971) is a case in which the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that a state law limiting marriage to persons of the opposite sex did not violate the U. S. Constitution. Baker appealed and on October 10, 1972, the U. S. Supreme Court dismissed the case. Because the case came to the U. S. Supreme Court through mandatory appellate review (not certiorari), the dismissal constituted a decision on the merits and established Baker v. Nelson as precedent though the extent of its precedential effect had been subject to debate. In May 2013, Minnesota legalized same-sex marriage and it took effect on August 1, 2013. Subsequently, on June 26, 2015, the U. S. Supreme Court explicitly overruled Baker in Obergefell v. Hodges, making same-sex marriage legal nationwide.
Toronto City Council passes a resolution banning discrimination in municipal hiring on the basis of sexual orientation. It’s the first such legislation in Canada.
Two thousand gay and lesbian couples exchange vows in a mass wedding held on the steps of the I.R.S. building in Washington, D. C.
The U. S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Romer v. Evans, the case that would eventually overturn Colorado’s Amendment 2 which said that homosexuals and bisexuals were not a protected class.
The city of Buenos Aires enacts legislation banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and repeals laws that allowed police to arrest lesbians and gay men and hold them without charge for 24 hours.
In Kerrigan v. Commissioner of Public Health, the Connecticut Supreme Court rules in a 4-3 vote that the state’s constitution protects the right to same-sex marriage.
A thousand people march in the second Belgrade Pride parade, drawing 6000 violent anti-gay protestors.
National Coming Out Day
Eleanor Roosevelt (October 11, 1884 – November 7, 1962) is born. Famed for her work as a human rights activist and for her outspokenness as first lady, Roosevelt was also bisexual. She had long-term relationships with her husband, Franklin, and her dear friend, Lorena Hickock (March 7, 1893 – May 1, 1968). Roosevelt cared deeply about humanity. She once wrote of the need to save the Jewish people of Europe, “We will be the sufferers if we let great wrongs occur without exerting ourselves to correct them.” She worked to pass anti-lynching legislation. She wrote a column urging congress not to further abrogate the sovereignty of American Indians. She resigned from the DAR when they refused to let opera star Marian Anderson sing in their hall (because Anderson was African American) and she arranged instead for her to sing at the Lincoln Memorial. She publicly opposed Apartheid long before world sentiment was united about it. She served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. She was one of the most admired women in America in her day. Biographer Blanche Weisen has said that Roosevelt’s bisexuality and her relationship with Lorena Hickock were powerful influences on the human rights work for which she was so admired.
Marie-Thérèse Auffray (11 October 1912 – 27 September 1990) was a French painter and fighter in the French Resistance during World War II. She began her career in the 14th Arrondissement of Paris and was known for her expressionist works. From the start of World War II, she joined the French Resistance, moving to Echauffour where she joined forces with another young resistant, Noëlle Guillou, her partner in life. As major figures of the Echauffour Resistance, they supplied Parisian resistance fighters with local pro-duce from Normandy and are illustrated in heroic actions. Marie-Thérèse Auffray also saved Allied paratroopers, including the American aviator Arnold Pederson, for which U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower paid her tribute.
Cleve Jones (born October 11, 1954) is an American AIDS and LGBT rights activist. He conceived the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt which has become, at 54 tons, the world’s largest piece of community folk art as of 2016. In 1983, at the onset of the AIDS pandemic Jones co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation which has grown into one of the largest and most influential People with AIDS advocacy organizations in the United States. Jones conceived the idea of the AIDS Memorial Quilt at a candlelight memorial for Harvey Milk in 1985 and in 1987 created the first quilt panel in honor of his friend Marvin Feldman.
Peter Andreas Thiel (born 11 October 1967) is a German American billionaire entrepreneur and venture capitalist. A co-founder of PayPal, Palantir Technologies, and Founders Fund, he was the first outside investor in Facebook. He was ranked No. 4 on the Forbes Midas List of 2014, with a net worth of $2.2 billion, and No. 391 on the Forbes 400 in 2020, with a net worth of $2.1 billion. In 2016, Thiel confirmed that he had funded Hulk Hogan in the Bollea v. Gawker lawsuit because Gawker had previously outed him as gay. The lawsuit eventually bankrupted Gawker. Thiel is a member of the Republican Party. He supported Donald Trump and became one of the California delegates for Trump’s nomination. Thiel married his long-time partner Matt Danzeisen in October 2017, in Vienna, Austria. Danzeisen works as a portfolio manager at Thiel Capital. They have a baby daughter.
In Los Angeles, then twenty-one year-old Prince (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) opens for the Rolling Stones. He is booed off the stage with taunts of “Faggot!” and “F*cking queer!” Prince Rogers Nelson was an American singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and record producer.
The Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights takes place in Washington, D. C. The march and rally draw nearly a million people. The NAMES Project AIDS Quilt was displayed with 1,920 panels. Rev. Jesse Jackson addressed the crowd, calling for AIDS funding, civil rights protection, and an end to anti-gay violence. The March gives birth to the first National Coming Out Day a year later, and October was then declared LGBT history month. The first National March was in 1979.
Seventy-five bisexuals march in the 1987 March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights, which was the first nationwide bisexual gathering. The article The Bisexual Movement: Are We Visible Yet? by Lani Ka’ahumanu (born October 5, 1943) appeared in the official Civil Disobedience Handbook for the March. It was the first article about bisexuals and the emerging bisexual movement to be published in a national lesbian or gay publication.
The first National Coming Out Day is celebrated. Urging thousands of lesbians and gay men across the country to be open about their sexuality with friends, families, and coworkers, Robert H. Eichberg (1945-1995), a psychologist and activist, and Jean O’Leary (March 4, 1948 – June 4, 2005), executive director of National Gay Rights Advocates, launch the first National Coming Out Day.
More than 1,000 demonstrators in Maryland, led by ACT-Up activists, invade the grounds of the Federal Food and Drug Administration to focus attention on the AIDS crisis and to protest the agency’s slow drug approval process. Nearly 150 demonstrators are arrested.
Third National Lesbian and Gay March on Washington D.C. takes place.
The U. S. Supreme Court refuses to hear an appeal from a former CIA employee who was fired for acknowledging he was gay.
National Equality March takes place in Washington, DC
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) headquarters in Washington D.C. is vandalized by a group called Queers Against Assimilation. They throw pink and black glitter and paint at the building, calling the attack an “act of glamdalvism.”
Pioneering gay activist Frank Kameny dies (May 21, 1925 – October 11, 2011). Kameny was one of the most significant and iconic figures in the American gay rights movement. In 1957, Kameny was dismissed from his position as an astronomer in the Army Map Service in Washington, D.C. because of his homosexuality, leading him to transform the gay rights movement of the early 1960s.
Moldova’s parliament overturns a newly passed Russian-inspired “Gay Propaganda Law.”
Adolph Jans van Oldeberkoop of Frisia, Netherlands, a fifty-year old customs officer, was convicted of seduction to sodomy and banished for two years.
The Criminal Tribes Act which defines certain social communities as “addicted to the systematic commission of non-bailable offen-ces” comes into effect. One of these “criminal tribes” is the Hijara, a term referring to several identities within the transgender spectrum across South Asia. After independence from Britain rule, the Hijara were no longer officially criminalized.
Debra Chasnoff (October 12, 1957 – November 7, 2017) was a documentary filmmaker and activist whose films address progressive social justice issues. Her production company GroundSpark produces and distributes films, educational resources and campaigns on issues ranging from environmental concerns to affordable housing to preventing prejudice. Chasnoff had been a member and owner of the film distribution company New Day Films since 1996 and has served as chair of New Day’s Steering Committee twice. Chasnoff’s organization Groundspark has produced several films as a part of its Respect for All Project. The series includes the following films, all directed and produced by Chasnoff: Straight-laced—How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up, It’s Elementary—Talking About Gay Issues in School, It’s STILL Elementary, Let’s Get Real, and That’s a Family!It’s Elementary—Talking About Gay Issues in School (1996) illuminates how all young people are affected by anti-gay stigma, and have helped schools all over the world address anti-gay prejudice in the classroom. Chasnoff was married to Nancy Otto who works as a glass blowing artist and a non-profit fundraising consultant.
New York City Dept. of Consumer Affairs recommends repealing a law that prohibits homosexuals from being employed in or frequenting the city’s bars, cabarets and dance halls.
The National Coalition of Black Gays sponsored a conference in Washington D.C., the first Third World Lesbian and Gay Conference, in preparation for the upcoming March on Washington.
Openly gay college student Matthew Shepard, 21, (December 1, 1976 – October 12, 1998) was an American student at the University of Wyoming who was beaten, tortured, and left to die near Laramie on the night of October 6, 1998. He was taken to Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he died six days later from severe head injuries from being beaten and tortured. Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson robbed and beat Shepard four days earlier and tied him to a split-rail fence outside of Laramie. The murder, for which the pair are each serving two consecutive life sentences, inspired The Laramie Project, a play and later film. Shepard’s murder brought national and international attention to hate crime legislation at the state and federal levels. In October 2009, the U. S. Congress passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (commonly the “Matthew Shepard Act” or “Shepard/Byrd Act” for short), and on October 28, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the legislation into law. Following her son’s murder, Judy Shepard became a prominent LGBT rights activist and established the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Shepard’s death inspired notable films, novels, plays, songs, and other works.
Connecticut Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage in a 4-3 decision.
Huffington Post launches Gay Voices, the first mainstream news organization to have an LGBT-focused section. Noah Michelson is the section’s first editor. The name was changed to Queer Voices in 2016.
All Knights Templar members are arrested in a single night by order of Philip IV. The Order is then abolished in 1312 over “charges of heresy and sodomy” in order to “neutralize a rival power and satisfy greed.”
Bob Mellors (1950 – 24 March 1996) and Aubrey Walter (born 1944) host the United Kingdom’s first Gay Liberation Front meeting at the London School of Economics. In 1970 Bob went to New York and became involved with the Gay Liberation Front (GLF), becoming friends with during demos outside the Women’s House of Correction in New York. Meeting up with the Black Panthers helped to crystallize their ideas on gay liberation and they decided to create a London version of the GLF. Bob Mellors was found stabbed to death at his home in Warsaw on March 24, 1996.
Jerry Falwell and National Gay Task Force director Virginia Apuzzo (born June 26, 1941) debate gay rights on the Phil Donahue show. Ginny is a former executive director of the National LGBT Task Force. She served as executive deputy of the New York State Consumer Protection Board and as the vice chair of the New York State AIDS Advisory Council.
In Washington D. C, 600 people were arrested in an act of civil disobedience at the U. S. Supreme Court to protest the Bowers v. Hardwick decision which upheld the constitutionality of Georgia’s sodomy law. It was the largest number to participate in an act of civil disobedience since the Vietnam War. (Federal law prohibits protesting on the steps of the U. S. Supreme Court.)
1990, South Africa
The first Pride parade on the African content takes place in Johannesburg. Eight hundred people attend. It is organized by the Gay and Lesbian Organization of the Witwatersrand (GLOW) which was launched by gay anti-apartheid activist Simon Nkoli (26 November 1957 – 30 November 1998) in 1988. He said, “I cannot be free as a Black man if I cannot be free as a gay man.” He died of AIDS in 1998 in Johannesburg.
The Lesbian Avengers protest during a speech by Senator Sam Nunn (D) in New York City. Nunn fought to retain the military’s ban on gay and lesbian servicepersons.
The short story Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx is published in The New Yorker.
President Clinton renews his call to include gay men and lesbians in hate crimes legislation.
Myers Park Baptist Church leaves the Southern Baptist Convention to become the first queer affirming Baptist congregation, in Charlotte, NC.
In New York City, Michael Sandy (October 12, 1977 – October 13, 2006), the gay African American man from Brooklyn who was beaten and then chased into the path of a speeding car on the evening of Sunday, October 8th, dies today after his family instructed doctors to take him off life-support. Sandy, who turned 29 on Oct. 12th, had been in a coma, never to regain consciousness, and diagnosed brain dead since the attack. The three Brooklyn men who were charged with hate crimes in the attack on Sandy—John Fox, 19, Ilya Shurov, 20, and Gary Timmins, 16—were charged with assault and robbery as hate crimes. On this day, N.Y. police announced that the crimes would be upgraded to include murder.
Actor George Takei (born April 20, 1937) and his husband Brad Altman are the first same-sex couple to appear on The Newlywed Game. In October 2005, Takei revealed in an issue of Frontiers magazine that he is gay and had been in a committed relationship with his partner, Brad Altman, for 18 years; the move was prompted by then California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s veto of same-sex marriage legislation. Takei is an American actor, director, author, and activist. He is best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise in the television series Star Trek. He also portrayed the character in six Star Trek feature films and one episode of Star Trek: Voyager.
1888, New Zealand
Kathleen Mansfield Murry (14 October 1888 – 9 January 1923) was a prominent New Zealand modernist short story writer who was born and brought up in colonial New Zealand and wrote under the pen name of Katherine Mansfield. At 19, Mansfield left New Zealand and settled in the United Kingdom where she became a friend of writers such as D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf. In 1917, she was diagnosed with extrapulmonary tuberculosis which led to her death at age 34. Mansfield had two romantic relationships with women that are notable for their prominence in her journal entries. She continued to have male lovers and attempted to repress her feelings at certain times. Her first same-gender romantic relationship was with Maata Mahupuku (10 April 1890–15 January 1952), a New Zealand Maori tribal leader, sometimes known as Martha Grace who was a wealthy young Māori woman whom she had first met at Miss Swainson’s school in Wellington and then again in London in 1906. In June 1907 she wrote: “I want Maata—I want her as I have had her—terribly. This is unclean I know but true.” She often referred to Maata as Carlotta. She wrote about Maata in several short stories. Maata married in 1907 but it is claimed that she sent money to Mansfield in London. The second relationship, with Edith Kathleen Bendall, took place from 1906 to 1908. Mansfield professed her adoration for her in her journals.
Anti-gay Anita Bryant is hit in the face with a fruit pie during a television appearance in Iowa. On June 7, 1977, Bryant’s Save Our Children anti-gay campaign led to a repeal of the anti-discrimination ordinance in Dade County, Florida by a margin of 69 to 31 percent. The gay community retaliated against Bryant by organizing a boycott of Florida orange juice for which she was a spokeswoman. Gay bars all over the U. S. took screwdrivers off their drink menus and re-placed them with the “Anita Bryant” which was made with vodka and apple juice. Proceeds went to gay rights activists and organizations to help fund the fight against Bryant and her campaign. Bryant led several more campaigns around the country to repeal local anti-discrimination ordinances including in St. Paul, Minnesota; Wichita, Kansas; Seattle, Washington and Eugene, Oregon. Her success led to an effort to pass the Briggs Initiative in California which would have made pro- or neutral statements regarding homosexuals or homosexuality by any public-school employee cause for dismissal. Grass-roots liberal organizations, chiefly in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, thanks to Harvey Milk, sprang up to defeat the initiative.
The first National March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights was attended by an estimated 125,000 LGBT people and straight allies to demand equal civil rights and to urge the passage of protective civil rights legislation. The march served to nationalize the gay movement, which had previously been focused on local struggles. The march was led by the Salsa Soul Sisters who carried the official march banner. The main rally was emceed by Ray Hill and Robin Tyler. It was also broadcast live on multiple National Public Radio affiliates throughout the U.S. Speakers and artists who spoke at the main rally included Harry Britt, Charlotte Bunch, Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky, Flo Kennedy, Morris Kight, Audre Lorde, Leonard Matlovich, Kate Millett, Troy Perry, Eleanor Smeal, first PFLAG President Adele Starr, and Congressman Ted Weiss. Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry gave a welcome to the marchers on behalf of the city. Organizations supporting the march included Lambda Legal Defense Fund, the National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays, the National Gay Task Force, and the National Organization for Women.
Scott Thorson (born January 23, 1959) files a $113 million palimony suit against Liberace (May 16, 1919 – February 4, 1987). This was the first same-sex palimony case filed in U.S. history. The case later settles. At the height of his fame, from the 1950s to the 1970s, Liberace was the highest-paid entertainer in the world. He embraced a lifestyle of flamboyant excess both on and off stage, acquiring the sobriquet “Mr. Showmanship.” When Thorson was 18, Liberace hired him to act as his personal friend and companion, a position that allegedly included a five-year romantic relationship with lavish gifts, travel, and Liberace’s promises that he would adopt and care for Thorson. In 1986, Thorson and Liberace agreed to settle out of court for $95,000. Liberace died of cytomegalovirus pneumonia as a result of AIDS on February 4, 1987, at his home in Palm Springs, California. The 2013 film Behind the Candelabra is their story. Thorson was played by Matt Damon opposite Michael Douglas as Liberace.
The U.S. Congress votes in favor of banning federal funding for AIDS education organizations that “promote homosexuality.”
The first conference of Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Lesbians is held.
Bisexual Leonard Bernstein (August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) dies of a heart attack at age seventy-two. He was an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the U.S. to receive worldwide acclaim. According to music critic Donal Henahan, he was “one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history.” His fame derived from his long tenure as the music director of the New York Philharmonic, from his conducting of concerts with most of the world’s leading orchestras, and from his music for West Side Story, Peter Pan, Candide, Wonderful Town, On the Town, On the Waterfront, his Mass, and a range of other compositions, including three symphonies and many shorter chamber and solo works.
California state senator Pete Knight, who sponsored a ballot initiative banning same-sex marriages in California, was criticized in the Los Angeles Times by his gay son David. David questioned his father’s defense of family values because his father rejected him when he came out.
Rep. Gerry Studds (May 12, 1937 – October 14, 2006) dies in Boston at age 69, several days after suffering a pulmonary embolism. He was an American Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts who served from 1973 until 1997. Studds was the first openly gay member of the U.S. Congress, coming out in 1983.
The Anti-Homosexuality Act bill is submitted to Parliament, calling for the death penalty of those convicted of homosexuality. After dropping the death penalty to life in prison, the bill passed. The Constitutional Court of Uganda ruled the law invalid in 2014.
Mrs. Marty Mann (October 15, 1904 – July 22, 1980) was a founding female member of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and author of the chapter Women Suffer Too in the second through fourth editions of the Big Book of AA. Marty was the founder of The National Council on Alcoholism and traveled across the U.S. educating medical professionals, legislators, businessmen and the public to the importance of treatment and education of the fatal disease of alco-holism. In 1984 the NCOA organized Operation Understanding for which 50 celebrities and professionals gathered to address the social stigma around addiction. Actors, politicians, sports legends, physicians, lawyers, clergy and more stood up in the hotel ballroom and said, “I am an alcoholic.” The NCOA hoped to reduce the social stigma surrounding alcoholism and encourage individuals and their family to get treatment. Marty hoped to raise social awareness that alcoholism is not a moral weakness but a deadly disease. Mann was the first woman with continuous long-term sobriety in AA. The first woman to seek help from Alcoholics Anonymous was “Lil” who relapsed but later got sober outside A.A. Another early AA member was Florence R., who is author of the chapter A Feminine Victory in the first edition of the book Alcoholics Anonymous. Sylvia K. was another AA member to achieve long-term sobriety. Marty and Sylvia were reportedly the first lesbian members of Alcoholics Anonymous. Mann was instrumental in the founding of High Watch Farm, the world’s first recovery center founded on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. In 1980, Mann suffered a stroke at home and died soon after. Many histories of Alcoholics Anonymous make only passing mention of Mann, perhaps because NCEA had no formal relationship to AA. However, Mann’s public admission of her own alcoholism, her successful experience with AA, and her encouragement of others, especially women, to g et help contributed substantially to AA’s growth. Marty was romantically involved with Priscilla Peck for 40 years. Priscilla was an Art Editor at Vogue magazine for 25 years. They owned a home together in Greenwich Village in New York City, a vacation home at Cherry Grove on Fire Island and later in life they had a home in Connecticut.
Michel Foucault (15 October 1926 – 25 June 1984), a French philosopher, historian of ideas, and literary critic, is born in Poitiers, France. He died in Paris of AIDS, the first public figure in France to have died from the disease. His partner, Daniel Defert (born 10 September 1937), founded the AIDES charity in his memory.
Clark Philip Polak (15 October 1937–18 September 1980) was an American businessman, publisher, journalist, and LGBT activist. Polak was from a Jewish middle-class family in Philadelphia and an active and outspoken member of the gay community there, with a leading role in the Philadelphia-based homophile organization, the Janus Society. In 1964, he created and edited DRUM magazine, a low-budget early gay-interest periodical. Polak argued for the importance of gay sexual liberation which had been avoided in the struggle for gay rights. In 1967, after he was indicted by a federal grand jury on 18 counts of publishing and distributing obscene material, Polak ceased publication of DRUM and moved to Los Angeles where he became a real estate investor and art collector. He also wrote a series of articles in the Los Angeles Free Press between January 1974 and January 1975. Polak died by suicide in Los Angeles in 1980.
In Los Angeles, W. Dorr Legg (December 15, 1904—July 26, 1994) and six friends including Dale Jennings, all members of the Mattachine Society, discuss publishing a journal to promote education and research activities beneficial to gay men and lesbians. The magazine ONE, Inc. is founded.
Composer and songwriting legend Cole Porter (June 9, 1891 – October 15, 1964) dies of kidney failure at age 75. Porter, who was gay, had a committed, lifelong relationship with his wife Linda who knew he was gay from the start and not only tolerated but often encouraged his lifestyle as long as he was not too flamboyant.
Edna Knowles and Peaches Stevens are married in Liz’s Mark III Lounge in Chicago’s South Side. Jet Magazine profiled the wedding with the headline “Two Women ‘Married’ in Chicago.” The Illinois attorney general’s office explained to Jet that there is no state statute that either bans or sanctions such marriages. Although the couple has a “type” of marriage license in their possession, the state’s official marriage license bureau reported it has no record of their license.”
The Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatry Federal Council declares homosexuality not an illness, the first such body in the world to do so. In December of 1973, the American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-II), based largely on the research and advocacy of UCLA’s Dr. Evelyn Hooker.
The formation of the National Gay Task Force was announced in New York City. Dr. Howard Brown announces the founding of the National Gay (“and lesbian” was added later) Task Force, considered the first gay or lesbian rights organization with a truly national scope. Dr. Bruce Voeller (May 12, 1934 – February 13, 1994) is named the first executive director.
The New York Gay Activists Alliance Firehouse is destroyed by arson. An early morning fire set by an arsonist destroyed the offices and social center of the Gay Activists Alliance in the former firehouse at 99 Wooster Street in the SoHo section. Morty Manford, the organization’s president, charged that the fire had been set as part of a wave of harassment against gays.
The Santa Barbara, California, board of education votes to ban discrimination against gay and lesbian students, making it the first U.S. school board to do so.
Federal district court Judge Kimba Wood ruled that shareholders of Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores Inc. should be allowed to vote on retaining a company policy that would forbid employment of gays and lesbians.
A gay rights ordinance passes in Alexandria, Virginia.
On this day, a White House Press Secretary is questioned about HIV/AIDS. When asked about the President’s reaction to the announcement that AIDS is now an epidemic, Larry Speakes asks, “What’s AIDS?” When told it was known as the gay plague, Speakes laughed.
A Washington, D. C., Superior Court judge dismisses a lawsuit brought by gay students against Georgetown University three years earlier, ruling that the students cannot force the university to grant their organization recognition because the federal government does not have an official national policy on homosexual rights.
Al-Hakam II (January 13, 915 – October 16, 976) dies. He was the Caliph of Cordoba and ruled in Al-Andalus as an open homosexual until his death in 976. He kept a male harem which was a problem since it was essential for the Caliph to produce an heir. A resolution was reached by having the female concubine, sultana Subh, dress in male clothing and use the masculine name of Jafar. They had a son, Hisham II, who succeeded Al-Hakam and who also kept a male harem.
Marie Antoinette (2 November 1755 – 16 October 1793), accused of being a lesbian among many other crimes, is executed. She was the last Queen of France before the French Revolution. She was born an Archduchess of Austria and was the penultimate child and youngest daughter of Empress Maria Theresa and Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor. She became Dauphine of France in May 1770 at age 14 upon her marriage to Louis-Auguste, heir apparent to the French throne. On 10 May 1774, her husband ascended the throne as Louis XVI and she assumed the title Queen of France and Navarre which she held until September 1791, when she became Queen of the French as the French Revolution proceeded, a title that she held until 21 September 1792.
Oscar Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) is born in Dublin. He was an openly gay writer who wrote plays, fiction, essays, and poetry. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London’s most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. He is best remembered for his epigrams and plays, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, and the circumstances of his imprisonment and early death. At the height of his fame and success, while The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) was still being performed in London, Wilde had the Marquess of Queensberry prosecuted for criminal libel. The Marquess was the father of Wilde’s lover, Lord Alfred Douglas. The libel trial unearthed evidence that caused Wilde to drop his charges and led to his own arrest and trial for gross indecency with men. After two more trials he was convicted and sentenced to two years’ hard labor, the maximum penalty, and was jailed from 1895 to 1897. There he wrote his last work, The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), a long poem commemorating the harsh rhythms of prison life. He died destitute in Paris at the age of 46. In 2017, Wilde was among an estimated 50,000 men who were pardoned for homosexual acts that were no longer considered offences under the Policing and Crime Act 2017. The Act is known informally as the Alan Turing law.
A Reichstag Committee votes to repeal the anti-gay law Paragraph 175. However, the Nazis’ rise to power prevents the implementation of the vote.
Deputy Mayor of Los Angles Maurice Weiner (August 18, 1930 – September 30, 2012) is arrested for groping an undercover police officer during a vice-squad raid on a gay porn theater in Hollywood, resulting is his resignation. He later served as administrator for Tarzana Treatment Centers.
Sue Bird (born October 16, 1980) is an American-Israeli professional basketball player for the Seattle Storm of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). Bird was the first overall pick of the 2002 WNBA draft. She also played for multiple basket-ball teams outside the United States. Bird has won three WNBA championships (2004, 2010, 2018), four Olympic gold medals, (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016), and led the WNBA in assists three times (2005, 2009, 2016). She was selected to eleven WNBA All-Star teams and eight All-WNBA teams. Bird is one of nine women to win an Olympic Gold Medal, an NCAA Championship, and a WNBA Championship. In 2011, she was voted by fans as one of the WNBA’s Top 15 Players of All Time and was voted into the WNBA Top 20@20 as one of the league’s Top 20 Players of All Time. Bird came out openly as a lesbian on July 20, 2017, saying that she had been dating professional soccer player Megan Rapinoe (born July 5, 1985) for several months. In 2018, she and Rapinoe became the first same-sex couple on the cover of ESPN’s Body Issue. Rapinoe is an American professional soccer midfielder/winger who plays for Seattle Reign FC in the National Women’s Soccer League.
AIDS quilt organizer Cleve Jones (born October 11, 1954) was named “Person of the Year” by ABC anchorman Peter Jennings. Jones is an American AIDS and LGBT rights activist. He conceived the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt which has become, at 54 tons, the world’s largest piece of community folk art as of 2016. In 1983, at the onset of the AIDS pandemic Jones co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation which has grown into one of the largest and most influential People with AIDS advocacy organizations in the United States.
In Washington, D. C., the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s Million Man March divides African American gay men. Some, disturbed by Nation of Islam homophobia, decide to stay home. Others, viewing the march as an affirmation of the need for Black unity, attend. No openly gay speaker was permitted at the rally that follows the march.
Openly gay college student Matthew Shepard’s (December 1, 1976 – October 12, 1998) funeral takes place at the St. Mark Episcopal Church in Casper, Wyoming. Anti-gay protesters attend as a crowd of supporters line up shoulder to shoulder wearing white angel wings to keep the protesters from seeing the service. Matthew was beaten, tortured, and left to die near Laramie on the night of October 6, 1998. Six days later, he died from severe head injuries at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Spirit Day, Wear Purple
Spirit Day is an annual LGBTQ awareness day observed on the third Thursday in October. Started in 2010 by Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan, it was initially created in response to a rash of widely publicized bullying-related suicides of gay school students in 2010, including that of Tyler Clementi. Promoted by GLAAD, observers wear the color purple as a visible sign of support for LGBTQ youth and against bullying during National Bullying Prevention Month, as well as to memorialize LGBTQ victims of suicide. Since 2010, Brittany, with the help of GLAAD, has inspired many celebrities, companies, and schools to wear purple and stand up against bullying. The name “Spirit Day” comes from the purple stripe of the Rainbow flag, whose creator Gilbert Baker defined it as “representing spirit.’”
976, Cordoba, Spain
Hisham II becomes Caliph at age 11. He is the openly homosexual son of the openly homosexual Al-Hakam II. Both kept male harems.
Pope Paul III wrote a letter to his son Duke Pier Luigi Farnese (19 November 1503 – 10 September 1547) on this day and scolded him for having male lovers with him on an official mission to the court of the Emperor. Born in Rome, Pier Luigi was the illegitimate son of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese who later became Pope Paul III.
Actor Montgomery Clift (October 17, 1920 – July 23, 1966) is born in Omaha, Nebraska. His sexuality was carefully guarded from fans but few in Hollywood did not know. Clift burned himself out and was dead at the age of 46. He is best remembered for roles in Red River (1948), The Heiress (1949), A Place in the Sun (1951), Alfred Hitchcock’s I Confess (1953), From Here to Eternity (1953), The Young Lions (1958), Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), and The Misfits (1961). He received four Academy Award nominations during his career: three for Best Actor and one for Best Supporting Actor. Clift was age 45 when he died by suicide.
An appeal of an obscenity conviction against Vancouver’s Gay Tide is heard before the Supreme Court of Canada. It is the first time a gay civil rights case is heard by the Supreme Court.
The first Black Lesbian Conference, with over 200 women in attendance, took place in San Francisco, California. The conference grew from the first National Third World Lesbian and Gay Conference held in Washington, D.C., the previous year.
400,000 people view the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt which (then) has over 20,000 panels covering 13 acres.
The Advocate publishes a ground-breaking interview with Barney Frank, Steve Gunderson and Gerry Studds, the three openly gay members of the U.S. Congress at that time.
For the first time in its history, the United Nations considers lesbian and gay rights abuses at its International Tribunal on Human Rights Violations Against Sexual Minorities. Following testimony from a number of women and men who have suffered abuse ranging from torture to forced institutionalization, the tribunal recommends that the UN document sexual orientation and gender identity issues around the world and integrate them into the organization’s human rights agenda.
Santa Cruz, CA, attorney Melinda Whiteway is appointed co-chair of the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association, making her the first transgender person to co-chair a national gay and lesbian organization. The National Gay and Lesbian Law Association is the only queer law association to be affiliated with the American Bar Association.
Danieri Basammula-Ekkere Mwanga II Mukasa (1868–1903) of Buganda ascends to the throne as the 31st king of Buganda (now Uganda), reigning from 1884 to 1888. He keeps a harem of young boys along with his 16 wives. He was Kabaka of Buganda from 1884 until 1888 and from 1889 until 1897.
Harris Olney, 28, and James Dalton, 25, were found dead in a room at the Metropolitan Hotel in New York. They had gone to bed, deeply intoxicated, leaving the gas turned on full steam, dying by suicide. Olney, who was 28 years old and lived in Brooklyn was a well-known jockey. Dalton, 25, was a frequenter of racetracks. Olney rode Pierre Lorillard’s famous horse Pontiac when he won the Suburban Handicap in 1885 at Sheepshead Bay Racetrack at the Coney Island Jockey Club in Sheepshead Bay, New York.
Rhoda Bubendey Metraux (18 October 1914, New York City – 26 November 2003) was a prominent anthropologist in the area of cross-cultural studies, specializing in Haitian voodoo and the Iatmul people of the middle Sepik River in Papua New Guinea. She collaborated with Alfred Metraux, on mutual studies of Voodoo in Haiti. During World War II, Metraux headed the section on German morale for the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Rhoda Metraux was also an important professional and personal partner of Margaret Mead (1901–1978). Mead and Rhoda Metraux were a close-knit professional team whose work greatly influenced American anthropology in the late 20th century. They shared a house in Greenwich Village in New York City from 1955 to 1966 and an apartment on Central Park West from 1966 until Mead’s death in 1978.
Tim Gill (born October 18, 1953), is born in Hobart, Indiana. He is an American software entrepreneur, philanthropist, and creator of the Gill Foundation, one of the first major foundations to benefit the LGBTQ community. He is the single largest individual donor to the LGBT rights movement in U.S. history, having personally committed more than $422 million since the early 1990s, Gill is also the founder of the pioneering page layout software company Quark, Inc. Gill sold his 50 percent stake in the company in 1999 for a reported $500 million. Gill’s latest venture is JStar LLC, a smart home technology start-up that invented Josh.ai, a voice-controlled home automation system using JStar’s own artificial intelligence technology platform. Gill married his husband Scott Miller in Massachusetts in 2009. They live in Denver, Colorado.
Martina Navratilova (born October 18, 1956) is born in Prague. In 2005, Tennis magazine selected her as the greatest female tennis player for the years 1965 through 2005 and she is considered one of the best, if not the best, female tennis players of all time. Martina emigrated to the U.S. in 1975. She became a U.S. citizen in 1981. In 1981, she came out as bisexual and revealed that she had a sexual relationship with author Rita Mae Brown (born November 28, 1944). Navratilova and Nancy Lieberman (born July 1, 1958), her next girlfriend, gave an interview to Dallas Morning News where Navratilova reiterated that she was bisexual and Lieberman identified herself as straight. Navratilova has since identified herself as a lesbian. From 1984 to 1991, Navratilova had a long-term relationship with Judy Nelson whom she met at a tournament in Fort Worth in 1982. Their split in 1991 included a much-publicized legal wrangle. On September 6, 2014, Navratilova proposed to her longtime girlfriend former model Russian Julia Lemigova (born 20 June 1972) at the U.S. Open. They married in New York on December 15, 2014.
Citizens United to Protect Our Children, an anti-gay organization in Portland, Oregon, announced they had failed to get enough signatures to get a recall election of Mayor Neil Goldschmidt after he declared Portland Gay Pride Day.
The U. S. Supreme Court rules in Bowers v. Hardwick to uphold Georgia’s sodomy law which banned consensual sodomy between married and non-married people, and with it similar laws in twenty-five other states and the District of Columbia.
Three white supremacists, Robert John Winslow, Stephen Nelson, and Procter Baker, are convicted of conspiring to blow up Neigh-bors Disco, a gay bar in Boise, Idaho.
Former Supreme Court justice Lewis Powell declared that he be-lieved he made a mistake by voting to uphold Georgia’s sodomy laws in the 1986 Bowers v Hardwick case.
Admiral Frank B. Kelso, chief of naval operations, announced that the explosion of the USS Iowa gun turret #2 which killed forty-seven men had been proven not to have been caused by a wrongful intentional act and apologized to the family of Clayton Hartwig (Dec. 29, 1964-April 19, 1989). Hartwig had been accused of intentionally causing the blast as an act of suicide following the break-up of a homosexual affair. It was not proven that he was homosexual.
LGBT Center Awareness Day
Lord Alfred Douglas (22 October 1870 – 20 March 1945) is born near London. Forever known as Bosie, the lover of Oscar Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) becomes an author, poet and translator. Much of his early poetry was Uranian in theme, though he tended, later in life, to distance himself from both Wilde’s influence and his own role as a Uranian poet. Uranian is a 19th-century term that referred to a person of a third sex—originally, someone with “a female psyche in a male body” who is sexually attracted to men, and later extended to cover homosexual variant females and a number of other sexual types. It is believed to be an English adaptation of the German word urning which was first published by activist Karl Heinrich Ulrichs (1825–1895).
Gay Brazilian aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont (20 July 1873–23 July 1932) flies his aircraft, the #6, around the Eiffel Tower two years before the Wright Brothers’ flight, demonstrating that routine, controlled flight is possible.
Harris Glenn Milstead (October 19, 1945 – March 7, 1988), better known as Divine, is born in Baltimore. Closely associated with the gay independent filmmaker John Waters (born April 22, 1946), Divine was a character actor, usually performing female roles in cinematic and theatrical appearances, and adopted a female drag persona for his music career. The queen of shock starred in Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble and other films. Described by People magazine as the “Drag Queen of the Century,” Divine remained a cult figure, particularly within the LGBT community, and provided the inspiration for fictional characters, art works and songs.
Daughters of Bilitis, the first long-term American organization for lesbians, was founded in San Francisco by Del Martin (May 5, 1921 – August 27, 2008) and Phyllis Lyon (November 10, 1924-April 9, 2020) and six other women. They meet with an original priority to have a place to dance since same-sex couple dancing was illegal in San Francisco. The DOB goes on to become one of the most important lesbian rights organizations of the century. The Daughters endured for 14 years, becoming an educational resource for lesbians, gay men, researchers and mental health professionals.
Vivienne L’Ecuyer Ming (born October 19, 1971) is an American theoretical neuroscientist and artificial intelligence expert. She was named as one of the BBC 100 Women in 2017, and as one of the Financial Times’ LGBT leaders and allies today. She co-founded Socos Labs, a company that draws on machine learning and neuroscience to solve social problems.
Rev. Ian Paisley fights pro-gay law reform in Northern Ireland by declaring a “Save Ulster from Sodomy” campaign.
United States Surgeon General C. Everett Koop releases his first report on the AIDS epidemic in America, two years before mailing information about the disease out to every American household. He reportedly waited four years before speaking publicly about the disease on this date.
At least nine lesbian and gay employees of Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores are fired as a result of the company’s policy of supporting “heterosexual values.” Queer Nation, among other activist groups, mounts a series of protests.
A report on hate crimes in Michigan is rejected by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission because it included documentation of anti-gay hate crimes.
Massachusetts state education officials announced that they would use $450,000 in funds raised from a new state cigarette tax to fund programs to stop anti-gay harassment in public schools.
LGBT Center Awareness Day is founded by CenterLink to honor the work of LGBT centers around the county. CenterLink develops strong, sustainable LGBT community centers and builds a thriving center network that creates healthy, vibrant communities. Its efforts are based on the belief that LGBT community centers are primary change agents in the national movement working toward the liberation and empowerment of LGBT people.
Representatives of the American Psychiatric Association meet with fifty transgender activists who voice their concerns about reforming the diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder.
A Matthew Shepard unpermitted political funeral march is held in New York City. Over 5000 people arrive across from the Plaza Hotel. Police respond violently, pushing the crowd back with billy clubs. Many people were injured and 136 people were arrested.
A rape center in Vancouver was ordered to pay $2,030 in damages for banning a transgender person from its drop-in center.
Boeing announces that it will extend health benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of its employees.
- K. Rowlings reveals Dumbledoreis gay. The Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, beloved by readers of the Harry Potter books, was, according to the author who created him, a gay man. Some folks find that appalling; many find it sweet or unsurprising. Still others are disappointed that Rowling didn’t write a gay storyline for him.
The Lutheran Church of Sweden allows same-sex marriages by a vote of 176 of 249.
Edward John Barrington Douglas-Scott-Montagu, 3rd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu (20 October 1926 – 31 August 2015) was an English Conservative politician well known in Britain for founding the National Motor Museum, as well as for a pivotal cause célèbre in British gay history following his 1954 conviction and imprisonment for homosexual sex, a charge he denied. Having inherited his title at the age of two, he held his peerage for the third longest time (86 years and 155 days) anyone has held a British peerage (the others being the 7th Marquess Townshend at 88 years, and the 13th Lord Sinclair at 87 years).
Truman Capote’s (September 30, 1924 – August 25, 1984) novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s is published in the November issue of Esquire Magazine. Capote was an American novelist, screenwriter, playwright, and actor. Many of Capote’s short stories, novels, plays, and nonfiction are recognized as literary classics, including the novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958) and the true crime novel In Cold Blood (1966) which he labeled “nonfiction novel.” At least 20 films and television dramas have been produced from Capote novels, stories, and plays. Capote was openly homosexual. One of his first serious lovers was Smith College literature professor Newton Arvin (August 25, 1900 – March 21, 1963) who won the National Book Award for his Herman Melville biography in 1951 and to whom Capote dedicated Other Voices, Other Rooms. Capote spent the majority of his life until his death partnered to Jack Dunphy (August 22, 1914 – April 26, 1992), a fellow writer.
The National Institutes of Mental Health releases a report based on a study led by UCLA psychologist Dr. Evelyn Hooker. The report urged states to repeal sodomy laws.
Over fifty ACT-UP members are arrested during an act of civil disobedience protesting President Reagan’s lack of action to the AIDS epidemic. Another demonstration of about 150 people was held across the street from the United Nations building during the UN General Assembly’s first debate on AIDS.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 368-47 to approve an amendment to withhold federal funding from any AIDS education organization which encourages homosexual activity. The senate ap-proved a similar amendment the previous week by a vote of 94-2. It was introduced by Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina. The U.S. House Judiciary Committee voted 21-13 to approve a bill requiring the justice department to collect statistics on hate crimes, including anti-gay violence.
Sixty ACT-UP protestors shut down the filming of NBC’s Midnight Caller in San Francisco due to the plot in which a bisexual man is intentionally infecting others with HIV. This is the first gay-related disruption of a filming since the 1979 protests against the film Cruising in New York City.
An episode of Fox’s Roc television series (season 1, episode 8) airing on October 20 (Can’t Help Loving That Man) depicted the second same-sex marriage on U.S. prime time television
The San Diego Police Department announces that it was severing its ties with the Boy Scouts of America due to a local chapter’s dismissal of a gay police officer who was involved with the Explorer program.
Roman Catholic priest Rev. Andre Guindon dies of a heart attack at age 60. In his book The Sexual Creators, he wrote that heterosexuals should look to same-sex couples to learn about tenderness and sharing.
Portugal’s first Gay and Lesbian Community Centre opens in Lisbon.
Teenager Brittany McMillan uses Tumblr to call on people to wear purple on this day to show support for bullied LGBT youth. The day is known as Spirit Day. The first Gay Spirit Day was celebrated worldwide. It then became celebrated on the third Thursday of October.
Reinder Pieters van Workum of Frisia is convicted of seduction to sodomy and sentenced to flogging, ten years in prison, and ban-ishment for life.
On this day Alice Mitchell (November 26, 1872- March 31, 1898) and Freda Ward (1875 – February 23, 1892) make the cover of The Mascot, a New Orleans periodical. Alice, 18, killed Freda, 17, on Jan. 25, 1892. The cover reads, “Good God! The Crimes of Sodom and Gomorrah Discounted.” The editors referred to it as a “story of licentious, horrible love.”
In New York, police raid a masked drag ball, arrested 99 men and charged them with masquerading as females.
The film My Fair Lady, directed by gay George Cukor (July 7, 1899 – January 24, 1983, is released and goes on to with Best Picture and Best Director.
Days of protest rallies are held across Canada protesting job discrimination with focus on John Damien (1933-1986), a judge with the Ontario Racing Commission who was fired for being gay.
Letters between Eleanor Roosevelt (October 11, 1884 – November 7, 1962) and journalist Lorena Hickok (March 7, 1893 – May 1, 1968) are made available. Many of the letters are of a romantic nature.
Through a spokesperson, the Orthodox Eastern Churches in the United States threaten to withdraw from the National Council of Churches if the predominantly gay and lesbian Metropolitan Com-munity Church is allowed to join. In response, the council decides to table the group’s application for membership.
Dan White, who murdered both Harvey Milk (May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978) and San Francisco mayor George Moscone, dies by suicide.
U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop calls for the use of condoms to prevent HIV/AIDS transmission.
The University of Iowa board approved a policy to extend spousal insurance benefits to same sex couples and unmarried heterosexual couples.
Openly gay author James Leo Herlihy (February 27, 1927 – October 21, 1993) dies in Los Angeles at age 66. Herlihy wrote Midnight Cowboy and Season of the Witch.
Yale University announces that it would begin extending health benefits to the domestic partners of same-sex couples. Universities preceding Yale to make this decision included Stanford, Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Chicago and the University of Iowa.
U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher releases a report with recommendations for suicide prevention. The report recognizes that gay and lesbian youth are a high-risk group and recommends target prevention efforts.
Asexual Awareness Week, October 22-28
Lord Alfred Douglas (22 October 1870 – 20 March 1945) is born near London. Forever known as Bosie, the boy lover of Oscar Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) he was intent on self-destruction. In the end it was Wilde who was destroyed.
Frances Alice Kellor (October 20, 1873 – January 4, 1952) was an American social reformer and investigator who specialized in the study of immigrants to the United States and women. Kellor focused her works on Women’s Rights on studying the treatment of women in education and the work force. Kellor did her work on Women’s Rights by completing field work at various locations including studying women in prison, women in the Hull-House in Chicago, women employees, and women in educational settings. In 1904 Kellor published the book Out of Work in which she discusses immigrant unemployment in the United States. In it Kellow notes that little data had been taken on women’s unemployment due to the social opinion that unemployment had little to do with women. She also discussed reasons why women employees had not been able to attain the same standards through union organization as men, the helplessness of unemployed women, and unemployed women and prostitution. Kellor argued for equal treatment of women in educational settings, specifically in physical education. In 1909 she published a book in collaboration with Gertrude Dudley called Athletic Games in the Education of Women, in which they argued that participating in sports could have positive effects for women, since it would allow to them to leave the confines of the home and would make them more socially active. Kellor never married. She maintained a long-term relationship with another woman, Mary Dreier ((September 26, 1875 – August 15, 1963), a New York social reformer, one of two wealthy sisters who played leading roles in the progressive movement in New York. They shared a home from 1905 until Kellor’s death
Police in New York City raid an all-male Lafayette Bathhouse after agents from the New York Society for the Prevention of Vice, who had infiltrated the establishment, filed a detailed report. The manager died by suicide. The book Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World describes the raid: “Thirty-seven men, including the manager, were arrested. Twenty-five of them were convicted and sentenced to prison. Manager Frank Terwilligar died by suicide one month later. The Lafayette Baths stayed in operation under another owner well into the 1920s. The new bathhouse was owned by Ira and George Gershwin’s father and both boys were involved in the business. At the time Ira was age 20 and George was 18.
Brian Anthony Boitano (born October 22, 1963) is an American figure skater from Sunnyvale, California. He is the 1988 Olympic champion, the 1986 and 1988 World Champion, and the 1985–1988 U.S. National Champion. He turned professional following the 1988 season. He returned to competition in 1993 and competed at the 1994 Winter Olympics, where he placed sixth. In December 2013, Boitano was named to the United States delegation to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. In conjunction with that appointment, Boitano publicly came out as gay. The Sochi games and Russia have been the targets of criticism and LGBT activism because of a Russian anti-gay “propaganda” law passed in June 2013.
Montreal Police raid gay bars Truxx and Le Mystique and charge 146 men with being found in a common bawdyhouse. More than fifty uniformed and plainclothes police in bullet proof vests from the divisional Morality, Mobile and Technical squads carry off the raid. The arrestees were held for up to 15 hours at police headquarters “while ‘compulsory’ VD tests were administered
In a case brought to the court by Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association member Jeff Dudgeon, the European Court of Human Rights rules that Northern Ireland violated basic human rights by criminalizing gay male sex. Dudgeon is a Northern Irish politician, historian and gay political activist. He currently sits as an Ulster Unionist Party councillor for the Balmoral area of Belfast City Council. As part of the 2012 New Year Honors, Dudgeon was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for “services to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community in Northern Ireland.”
- S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop issues the first report on AIDS. He had been prevented for political reasons from addressing the AIDS crisis for four years. His report calls for the use of condoms to prevent HIV transmission and that information on both gay and straight relationships would help prevent the spread of AIDS.
- S. Air Force Lt. Heide De Jesusannounces that she is dropping her lawsuit challenging her discharge from military service under the ban on gay and lesbian service personnel because the fight had left her completely broke.
Boeing announces it will begin offering domestic partner benefits to its gay and lesbian employees. The company explained that unmarried opposite sex couples would not be included because marriage is an option for them, which brought criticism from union leaders.
San Francisco archbishop William Levada announces he would make a $30,000 contribution to a California ballot initiative to restrict the definition of marriage to opposite sex couples.
The film Boys Don’t Cry is released. Based on a true story, the film was adapted from the life of Brandon Teena (December 12, 1972–December 31, 1993), born Teena Brandon, a female-to-male trans-person who suffers tragic consequences. A story about hope, fear, and the courage it takes to be yourself, Boys Don’t Cry is critically acclaimed and was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards. Teena’s murder, along with that of Matthew Shepard, led to increased lobbying for hate crime laws in the United States.
The Church of Sweden votes to allow same-sex marriages.
The Legislative Assembly of the Australian Capital territory (ACT) (Canberra), votes in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage.
Christoffel Bosch van Leeuwarden, a 70 year old porter in the Netherlands, was convicted of seduction to sodomy and sentenced to three years of prison labor.
Jean Acker (October 23, 1893 – August 16, 1978) was an American film actress with a career dating from the silent film era through the 1950s. She was perhaps best known as the estranged wife of silent film star Rudolph Valentino (May 6, 1895–August 23, 1926). Acker had an affair with the actress Alla Nazimova (June 3, 1879–July 13, 1945). Nazimova included Acker in what was dubbed the “Sewing circles,” a group of actresses who were forced to conceal the fact that they were lesbian or bisexual, thus living secret lives. Another of her female lovers was actress Grace Darmond (November 20, 1893 – October 8, 1963) with whom she was involved during her relationship with Valentino.
Alberto Santos-Dumot (20 July 1873 – 23 July 1932) makes the first public European flight of an airplane in Europe. His plane, the Olseau de prole (bird of prey) is considered the first to take off, fly, and land without the use of other assistance. Later that year he flew his fixed-wing aircraft, the 14B, to win the Deutsch-Achdeacon Prize. Three years before the Wright brothers, the gay Brazilian aviation pioneer becomes the first person to fly more than 80 feet under official observation. Seriously ill and said to be depressed over his multiple sclerosis and the use of aircraft in warfare, he died by suicide, hanged himself on July 23, 1932.
The Molte v. Harden trial begins in Germany. Journalist Maximillian Harden accused General Kuno Count von Moltke (1847–1923) of being in a homosexual relationship. Moltke filed a civil suit, and though Harden was acquitted, the verdict was later overturned and he was found guilty. Moltke was an adjutant to Kaiser Wilhelm II and military commander of Berlin. The homosexual scandal known as the Harden-Eulenburg Affair rocked the Kaiser’s entourage. Moltke was forced to leave the military service.
Mattachine Society founder Harry Hay’s (April 7, 1912 – October 24, 2002) former lover Stanley Haggart wrote to him after marrying a woman in an attempt to change his sexuality. “To think it had to take a marriage with its wedding night experiences to show me where my real affinity lies. Every cell in me screamed out in protest at my desecration of my body. At that time I knew that I belonged to you and you to me.” The two men were eventually reunited in 1938 but Harry had become increasingly active in meetings of the Communist Party and the two men were politically incompatible. Hay “abandoned” Stanley whose homely domestic ideals he regarded as unrealistic, and Stanley in due course made a new life-match.
Thirty-five members of the East Coast Homophile Organizations hold a second demonstration at the White House. However, demonstrators felt, with this event, that picketing the White House had lost its effectiveness as a tactic in support of gay rights.
More than 2,000 people demonstrate in downtown Montreal to protest the October 22nd bar raids. Police attack the demonstrators with motorcycles and billy clubs and make many arrests.
Gloria Gaynor’s disco anthem I Will Survive is released. The song is about getting through a broken relationship and was quickly adopted by the gay community.
In Helena, Montana, the state supreme court ruled that “transvestitism” is not a sufficient reason to deny a father joint custody of his 3-year old child.
Andrew D. Kopkind (1935 – Oct. 23, 1994), a political journalist whose work appeared in The New Republic, The New York Review of Books and The Nation, died at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan. He was 59. He had homes in Manhattan and Guilford, Vt. with filmmaker John Scagliotti, and was the host of Lavender Hour, a gay radio program on WBCN in Boston. He is survived by Scagliotti, an Emmy Award-winning American film director and producer, his companion of 24 years.
The Los Angeles City council condemns the “Making Sense of Homosexuality” conference organized by the anti-gay National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, known as NARTH, saying that claims of “curing” homosexuals creates an atmosphere that can lead to anti-gay violence.”
Amandla Stenberg (born October 23, 1998) is an African American actress and singer. Known for her acting and public image, Stenberg has received several accolades, and was included in Time‘s list of Most Influential Teens in both 2015 and 2016. Stenberg made her acting debut with the film Colombiana (2011) and had her break-through playing Rue in the film The Hunger Games (2012) for which she won a Teen Choice Award. She received critical acclaim for her roles as Maddy Whittier in Everything, Everything (2017) and as Starr Carter in the film The Hate U Give (2018), the latter of which earned her an NAACP Image Award and a nomination for a Critics’ Choice Award. In 2015, she made her musical debut as part of the folk-rock duo Honeywater. Her single Let My Baby Stay was featured in the film Everything, Everything. In 2016, Stenberg announced via Instagram that she would be studying filmmaking at New York University Tisch School of the Arts. Stenberg identifies as non-binary and uses both ‘she/her/hers’ and ‘they/their/theirs’ pronouns. She had previously said that she was bisexual and pansexual. In June 2018 in an interview with Wonderland magazine, she came out as gay. From early 2018 to late 2018, Stenberg dated singer Mikaela Mullaney Straus, better known by her stage name King Princess.
Religious right leader Rev. Jerry Falwell and evangelical Christian supporters met with Rev. Mel White (born July 26, 1940) and other gay Christians for an anti-violence forum.
44 BC, Italy
The first written reference to same-sex marriage appears when Cicero insults promiscuous Mark Antony whose father Curio “established you in a fix and stable marriage, as if he had given you a stola.” A stola is a traditional garment worn by married Roman women. Cicero’s sexual implications are clear, the point of which is to cast Antony in the submissive role in the relationship and to impugn his manhood.
Lisbeth Olsdotter (died November 1679) is charged with abandoning her husband and children, cross-dressing, marrying a woman, bigamy, and homosexuality. She is also charged with theft and fraud related to taking a job as a soldier. She is convicted and sentenced to death.
Lucy Elmina Anthony (October 24, 1859 – July 4, 1944) was an internationally known leader in the Woman’s Suffrage movement. She was the niece of American social reformer and women’s rights activist Susan B. Anthony and longtime companion of women’s suffrage leader Anna Howard Shaw.
The New York Times prints a book review of The Doctor Looks at Love and Life by Dr. Joseph Collins. In the chapter on homosexuality, Dr. Collins counters the claim that homosexual love is pathological and that homosexuals are psychopaths or neurotic, saying that he knew many well-balanced homosexuals of both sexes who have distinguished themselves in various fields from arms to the pulpit. He also stated that “Genuine homosexuality is not a vice, it is an endowment.”
Paula Gunn Allen (October 24, 1939 – May 29, 2008) was a Native American poet, literary critic, activist, professor, and novelist. Of mixed-race European-American, Native American, and Arab-American descent, she identified with her mother’s people at the Laguna Pueblo. She drew from its oral traditions for her fiction poetry and also wrote numerous essays on its themes. She edited four collections of Native American traditional stories and contemporary works and wrote two biographies of Native American women. Her novel The Woman Who Owned the Shadows (1983) features the woman Ephanie Atencio, the mixed-blood daughter of a mixed-blood mother who struggles with social exclusion and the obliteration of self. As a poet, Allen published a collection of more than 30 years of work: Life Is a Fatal Disease: Collected Poems 1962-1995, judged to be her most successful. Allen’s work is often categorized as belonging to the Native American Renaissance but the author rejected the label. Married and divorced twice more, Allen began to identify herself as a lesbian.
Actor and openly gay dad B. D. Wong (Oct. 24, 1962) is born. He won a Tony for his performance in M. Butterfly and starred in the TV drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Wong began a long-term relationship with talent agent Richie Jackson (born 1966) in 1988. In 2000, the couple had twin sons – Boaz Dov, who died 90 minutes after birth, and Jackson Foo Wong – through a surrogate mother, using Wong’s sperm and an egg donated by Jackson’s sister. In 2003, Wong wrote a memoir about his experiences with sur-rogacy titled Following Foo: The Electronic Adventures of the Chestnut Man. Wong and Jackson ended their relationship in 2004. Wong amicably co-parents his son with his ex-partner Jackson and Jackson’s partner, Jordan Roth (born November 13, 1975). Jackson is the executive producer of the Showtime series Nurse Jackie. Roth is the President and majority owner of Jujamcyn Theaters where he oversees five Broadway theatres including the St. James, Al Hirschfeld, August Wilson, Eugene O’Neill and Walter Kerr.
Paul Lynde (June 13, 1926 – January 11, 1982) makes his first appearance on the game show Hollywood Squares. He was an American comedian, voice artist, actor and TV personality. A noted character actor with a distinctively campy and snarky persona that often poked fun at his barely in-the-closet homosexuality, Lynde was well known for his roles as Uncle Arthur on Bewitched and the be-fuddled father Harry MacAfee in Bye Bye Birdie. He was also the regular “center square” panelist on the show Hollywood Squares from 1968 to 1981, and he voiced two Hanna-Barbera productions; he was Templeton the gluttonous rat in Charlotte’s Web and The Hooded Claw in The Perils of Penelope Pitstop.
The first National Conference on Lesbian and Gay Aging was held in California. Sponsored by the National Association for Gay and Lesbian Gerontology, it sought to “dispel myths about older lesbi-ans and gay men, advance research, establish programs and ser-vices for lesbian and gay elders, and encourage and provide sup-port for lesbian and gay gerontologists.”
Thirty-five religious leaders in northwest Vermont join to condemn two acts of hate-motivated violence, one anti-gay and one anti-Semitic.
Pioneering gay activist Harry Hay (April 7, 1912 – October 24, 2002) dies. A founder and architect of the modern gay rights movement in 1950, Hay and four others formed one of the nation’s first gay rights organizations, the Mattachine Society. Hay was a prominent American gay rights activist, communist, labor advocate, and Native American civil rights campaigner. He was a founder of the Mattachine Society, the first sustained gay rights group in the United States, as well as the Radical Faeries, a loosely affiliated gay spiritual movement. As late as 2000 Hay continued to speak out against assimilation, saying, “The assimilationist movement is running us into the ground.” While in hospice care Hay died of lung cancer on October 24, 2002 at age 90. His ashes, mingled with those of his partner John Burnside, were scattered in Nomenus Faerie Sanctuary, Wolf Creek, Oregon
51 AD, Rome
Titus Flavius Domitianus (51-96) was born in Rome. The Emperor is the first recorded case of a married man leaving his wife for a man, a mime named Paris. After a public outcry Titus killed Paris and went back to his wife. However, he continued his affairs with young men; his wife had him assassinated.
Deborah Sampson Gannett (December 17, 1760 – April 29, 1827) is honorably discharged from the Massachusetts Regiment of the Continental Army after serving under the name Robert Shirtliff. Wounded in one of several battles in which she fought, Sampson had escaped discovery for almost a year and a half until falling sick with a fever. One of the earliest American examples of a passing woman, Sampson formed several attachments with women while dressed as a man. She married Benjamin Gannett in 1785. She petitioned Congress for a pension and ultimately received a military pension. Sampson died of yellow fever at the age of 66 on April 29, 1827. During World War II the Liberty Ship S.S. Deborah Gannett (2620) was named in her honor. It was laid down March 10, 1944, launched April 10, 1944, and scrapped in 1962. In her speech at the Democratic National Convention on July 26, 2016, Meryl Streep named Sampson in a list of women who had made history. Deborah Sampson’s story, as narrated by Paget Brewster, was re-enacted in the Season 5 premiere of Drunk History. Evan Rachel Wood portrayed Sampson.
David McReynolds (October 25, 1929 – August 17, 2018) is born. He appeared on the Socialist Party ballot, becoming the first openly gay individual to run for President of the United States. He was a pacifist activist who described himself as “a peace movement bureaucrat” during his 40-year career with Liberation magazine and the War Resisters League. He lived in New York City. In 1951 he joined the Socialist Party of America (SPA) and in 1953 he graduated from UCLA with a degree in political science. Between 1957 and 1960, he worked for the editorial board of the left-wing magazine Liberation. He was openly gay and wrote his first article about living as a gay man in 1969.
Richell Rene “Chely” Wright (born October 25, 1970) is an American country music singer and activist. On the strength of her debut album in 1994, the Academy of Country Music (ACM) named her Top New Female Vocalist in 1995. Wright’s first Top 40 country hit came in 1997 with Shut Up and Drive. Two years later, her fourth album yielded a number one single, the title track, Single White Female. Overall, Wright has released seven studio albums on various labels, and has charted more than fifteen singles on the country charts. As of May 2010, Wright’s previous eight albums and 19 singles released had sold over 1,500,000 copies and 10,000,000 digital impressions to date in the United States. In May 2010, Wright became one of the first major country music performers to publicly come out as lesbian. In television appearances and an autobiography, she cited among her reasons for publicizing her homosexuality a concern with bullying and hate crimes toward gays, particularly gay teenagers, and the damage to her life caused by “lying and hiding.” In 2010, Wright was named the National Spokesperson for the organization GLSEN. Wright was named one of Out magazine’s annual 100 People of the Year. Metro Source New York Magazine named her as one of the 20 People We Love in 2010.
The Front Page, the first LGBT newspaper in Raleigh, NC, is pub-lished.
Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (born October 25, 1984), known pro-fessionally as Katy Perry, is an American singer and songwriter. Perry is an LGBT rights activist. She supported Stonewall during their “It gets better….. today” campaign to prevent homophobic bullying and dedicated the music video to her song Firework to the It Gets Better Project. Perry told Do Something in November 2008 that she was proud to be a gay activist, saying “I’ve always been a very open-minded person, but I definitely believe in equality.” She confirmed that she voted against Proposition 8, an amendment (ultimately ruled unconstitutional) that legally defined marriage as a union solely between a man and a woman in California. In June 2012, Perry expressed her hopes for LGBT equality, commenting “hopefully, we will look back at this moment and think like we do now concerning [other] civil rights issues. We’ll just shake our heads in disbelief, saying, ‘Thank God we’ve evolved.’ That would be my prayer for the future.” In December 2012, Perry was awarded the Trevor Hero Award by The Trevor Project for her work and activism on behalf of LGBT youth. On March 18, 2017, she received a Nation Equality Award from Human Rights Campaign for “using her powerful voice and international platform to speak out for LGBTQ equality,” with the organization further stating that “Katy’s message of inclusion and equality continues to inspire us and the world.”
The New Jersey Supreme Court rules that state lawmakers must provide the rights and benefits of marriage to gay and lesbian cou-ples.
Allyson Robinson becomes the leader of OutServe-SLDN, working on LGBT issues in the military. She is the first transgender person to do so. She attended West Point before gender reassignment, graduated in 1994, majored in physics, and was then commissioned as an officer serving in the U.S. Army until 1999. She held the rank of Captain. Also prior to transition, she became an ordained Baptist minister, earning a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from the Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary. Robinson has been married to Danyelle Robinson since 1994. They have four children.
Higher Education lost a pioneer LGBT researcher with the death of Dr. Rob Rhoads. Rob was professor of Education in the Higher Education and Organizational Change Division in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, and Director of the Globalization and Higher Ed Research Center. His research interests included globalization and university reform in China and the Unit-ed States; social movements and the university; university and society relationships; university and economic/social change in the developing world; academic citizenship; the American community college; multiculturalism and student activism. Rob often collaborated with others as he explored LGBT issues in education and higher ed. He died on this day after a long battle with cancer.
A group of about 50 gay people marched in West Hollywood to proclaim their support for Donald Trump. The Log Cabin Republicans put together the event billed the march as “Gays and Housewives Take Over WeHo.” The group, many of them maskless (COVID-19 times), gathered at the Pacific Design Center on San Vicente Boulevard around 9:30 p. m. and began their march north to Santa Monica Boulevard, chanting “gays for Trump.” They also walked along Santa Monica Boulevard, attracting angry shouts from people dining outside Fiesta Cantina then walked down Robertson Boulevard past the Abbey. No injuries were reported during the march but some serious shade was thrown at the marchers.
Intersex Awareness Day
Today is Intersex Awareness Day. In 1996, it staged the first public demonstration by intersex people. The Intersex Society of North America demonstrated in Boston, carrying signs saying “Hermaphrodites with Attitude.” Intersex Awareness Day is an internationally observed awareness day designed to highlight human rights issues faced by intersex people.
The Village Voice newspaper is launched. Founded in 1955 by Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher, John Wilcock, and Norman Mailer, the Voice began as a platform for the creative community of New York City. No longer in print, it is still kept alive online.
Neil G. Giuliano (born October 26, 1956) is an American politician who served as mayor of Tempe, Arizona for four terms, from 1994 to 2004 (three two-year terms and one four-year term). After serving in elected office he served as President of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) from 2005 to 2009, and served as President/CEO of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation from December 2010 to December 2015, Giuliano was the first directly elected openly gay mayor in the United States, and Tempe was the largest city in America with an openly gay mayor for nearly six years, 1996- 2001.
Peter Arvai (born October 26, 1979) is a Hungarian/Swedish businessman. He is the co-founder and former CEO of Prezi, a cloud-based presentation software company. As an entrepreneur, he founded omvard.se in Sweden and co-founded Prezi in 2009 along with designer Adam Somlai-Fischer and computer scientist and university professor Peter Halacsy. As of 2020, Prezi has more than 100 million users worldwide. He was the first openly gay CEO in Hungary, coming out in 2015 in a Forbes piece with the desire to be gay role model for young people wanting to be entrepreneurs. Arvai and Previ participate in the Budapest Pride event in Budapest.
Nicola Adams (born 26 October 1982) is a British former professional boxer who competed from 2017 to 2019. She retired with an undefeated record and held the WBO female flyweight title in 2019. As an amateur, she became the first female boxer to become an Olympic champion after winning gold at London 2012, and the first double Olympic champion following a second gold medal at Rio 2016, both in the flyweight division. As of May 27, 2016 she was the reigning Olympic, World and European Games champion at flyweight, and won the entire set of amateur championships available to her: Olympic, Commonwealth and European Games’ titles, and the World, European and European Union championships. She is openly lesbian and was named the most influential LGBT person in Britain by The Independent in 2012. She has been included in the annual Powerlist, recognition as one of the most influential people of African/African-Caribbean descent in the UK. She also became the first openly LGBT person to win an Olympic boxing Gold medal, after her win at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
The European Court of Human Rights rules that laws in Ireland criminalizing sex between men are in violation of the Charter of Human Rights. The court was petitioned by David Norris, an MP in the Dail of Ireland.
Portland Oregon police chief Tom Potter testified before a state senate committee, saying many victims of anti-gay assaults do not report the crimes because of fear that their identities will be made public.
Allen Schindler (December 13, 1969 – October 27, 1992), an American sailor, is beaten to death by his shipmates for being gay. He was killed in a public toilet in Sasebo, Nagasaki, Japan by Terry M. Helvey, who acted with the aid of an accomplice, Charles Vins, in what Esquire called a “brutal murder.” The case became synonymous with the debate concerning GBT members of the military that had been brewing in the United States culminating in the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” bill. The events surrounding Schindler’s murder were the subject of an ABC’s 20/20 episode and were portrayed in the 1997 TV film Any Mother’s Son. In 1998, Any Mother’s Son won a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Made for TV Movie.
Glen Murray (born October 26, 1957), an out gay man, was elected mayor of Winnipeg, Manitoba. He served as the 41st Mayor of Winnipeg, Manitoba from 1998 to 2004, and was the first openly gay mayor of a large North American city. He subsequently moved to Toronto, Ontario, and was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as a Liberal Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Toronto Centre in 2010, serving until 2017. Murray has been involved in HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention throughout his life. He was a founding member of the Canadian AIDS Society he was also the Director of Health Education and HIV Prevention Services at the Village Clinic in Winnipeg. Murray was part of the World Health AIDS service organization’s working group for the Global Program on AIDS. Murray was awarded for his efforts in 2003 by Egale Canada as he was the national recipient of an award for “Fighting for LGBT Justice & Equality.”
Italian member of Parliament Daniele Capezzone (September 8, 1972) comes out as bisexual. From 14 July 2001 to 4 November 2006, he was secretary of the Italian Radicals, a liberal, pro-market economy, libertarian movement associated with the Transnational Radical Party. He has been one of the youngest party-secretaries in Italy so far. In 2006-2008, he was the President of the 10th Permanent Commission (Productive Affairs, Trade and Tourism) of the Italian Chamber of Deputies. He is currently the spokesman for the People of Freedom.
Polyamorous lesbian writer Natalie Clifford Barney (October 31, 1876 – February 2, 1972) is honored with an historic marker in her hometown of Dayton, Ohio. She was an American playwright, poet and novelist who lived as an expatriate in Paris. Barney’s salon was held at her home at 20 rue Jacob in Paris’s Left Bank for more than 60 years and brought together writers and artists from around the world, including many leading figures in French literature along with American and British Modernists of the Lost Generation. She worked to promote writing by women and formed a Women’s Academy (L’Académie des Femmes) in response to the all-male French Academy while also giving support and inspiration to male writers from Remy de Gourmont to Truman Capote. She was openly lesbian and began publishing love poems to women under her own name as early as 1900, considering scandal as “the best way of getting rid of nuisances” (meaning heterosexual attention from young males). She opposed monogamy and had many overlapping long and short-term relationships including on-and-off romances with poet Renée Vivien (11 June 1877 – 18 November 1909) and dancer Armen Ohanian (1887–1976) and a 50-year relationship with painter Romaine Brooks (May 1, 1874 – December 7, 1970). Her life and love affairs served as inspiration for many novels, ranging from the salacious French bestseller Idylle Saphique to The Well of Loneliness, the most famous lesbian novel of the twentieth century. By the end of Barney’s life her work had been largely forgotten. In 1979, Natalie Barney was honored with a place setting in Judy Chicago’s feminist work of art The Dinner Party. In the 1980s Barney began to be recognized for what Karla Jay calls an “almost uncanny anticipation” of the concerns of later feminist writers. English translations of some of her memoirs, essays, and epigrams appeared in 1992, but most of her plays and poetry are still untranslated.
The Senate of the German Land of Berlin issues a positive state-ment on Intersex people.
Astolphe-Louis-Léonor, the Marquis de Custine (18 March 1790 – 25 September 1857), is beaten and left for dead after propositioning a male soldier in Saint-Denis. The scandal forces him out of the closet but he recovers and lives the rest of his life as an open ‘sodomite’ with his partner Edward St. Barbe (1585-1642). Custine maintains a successful social life in Paris. He was a French aristocrat and writer who is best known for his travel writing, in particular his account of his visit to Russia, La Russie en 1839.
“I am of the firm conviction,” Sigmund Freud famously wrote to the newspaper Die Zeit in 1905 “that homosexuals must not be treated as sick people.” Freud was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst.
The Belgium postal service issues stamps with gay lovers Paul Verlaine (30 March 1844 – 8 January 1896) and Arthur Rimbaud (20 October 1854 – 10 November 1891). Rimbaud was a French poet who is known for his influence on modern literature and arts, which prefigured surrealism. He was known to have been a libertine and for being a restless soul, having engaged in an at times violent romantic relationship with fellow poet Paul Verlaine which lasted nearly two years. Verlaine was a French poet associated with the Decadent movement. He is considered one of the greatest representatives of the fin de siècle in international and French poetry. Rimbaud and Verlaine began a short but torrid affair. They led a wild, vagabond-like life spiced by absinthe and hashish, and were known as the “poets from hell.”
Dr. Rachel Levine (born October 28, 1957) is the first-ever openly transgender federal official confirmed by the U. S. Senate. She is an American pediatrician who has been the United States assistant secretary for health since March 26, 2021. She previously served as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health from 2017 to 2021. She is a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine, and previously served as the Pennsylvania physician general from 2015 to 2017. On March 24, 2021, she was confirmed by the Senate as Assistant Secretary for Health. She is one of only a few openly transgender government officials in the United States and is the first to hold an office that requires Senate confirmation.
Kate Millet (September 14, 1934 – September 6, 2017), American feminist writer, artist, activist, and author of her 1970 book Sexual Politics, comes out as a lesbian. She becomes a seminal influence on second-wave feminism. She joins a growing women’s movement to acknowledge her sexual orientation at a Daughters of Bilitis meeting in New York City.
Forty members of the Gay Activist Alliance including Vito Russo (July 11, 1946-November 7, 1990), Morty Manford (1950-1992), Jim Owles (1947-1993), Arnie Kantrowitz (born November 26, 1940), Arthur Evans, and Columbia graduate student Pete Fisher invade the offices of Harper’s Magazine with a news crew from WOR-TV New York to protest the article Homo/Hetero: The Struggle for Sexual Identity which presented homosexuality as a mental illness. The article was written by Joseph Epstein who lamented homosexuals as “an affront to our rationality.” GAA president Arthur Evans verbally attacked editor Midge Decter for publishing an article which would add to the suffering of homosexuals. Although the Harper’s zap falls to elicit an official response from the magazine, it has an enormous impact oil future media coverage of lesbian and gay issues, in addition to leading to GAA’s national television debut in a three-part television news series on gay liberation.
A meeting between Quebec Human Rights Commission and representatives of the gay group ADGQ results in public recommendation that the government amend Human Rights Charter to include sexual orientation.
At the University of Vermont in Burlington nineteen people are arrested in a demonstration protesting the CIA’s exclusion of gays and lesbians.
The U. S. Congress repeals a law barring homosexuals from being admitted into the United States on grounds of mental illness.
During a campaign speech, U.S. Congressman Jesse Helms refers to gays and lesbians as “disgusting people marching in the streets demanding all sorts of things, including the right to marry each other.”
Placido Domingo and Andre Watts raise $1.5 million at a fundraiser for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis.
The lesbian comic book Hothead Paisan #7 was seized from Toronto Women’s Bookstore. Officials sited “sexual degradation” as the reason for the seizure, though it contained no sex. The prohibition was lifted seven months later.
The Federal Court of Canada orders the military to lift the ban on gay and lesbian service personnel. The Defense Department declined to appeal the decision.
BET-TV withdrew an invitation to Keith Boykin (born August 28, 1965) to appear on a show with Angie and Debbie Winans. The Winans objected to his presence on the show which featured their anti-gay song It’s Not Natural. Keith Boykin was a CNN political commentator and a former White House aide to President Bill Clinton. He teaches politics at the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University in New York. Boykin’s wrote the book For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Still Not Enough (August, 2012). From December 2003 until April 2006, Boykin served as president of the board of the National Black Justice Coalition, a Washington-based civil rights organization dedicated to fighting racism and homophobia which he co-founded.
The National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum condemned gospel singers Angie and Debbie Winans for their anti-gay song It’s Not Natural, and BET-TV for providing them with a one-sided forum to promote their homophobic views. Earlier in the year, BET-TV refused to air MeShell NdegeOcello’s video Leviticus Faggot, about a black gay teenager’s struggle to come to terms with his sexuality.
Welsh secretary Ron Davies resigns after British tabloids reported he was robbed at knifepoint in a London park while looking for a male sexual companion. Bisexual Ronald Davies (born 6 August 1946) is a Welsh politician, former Secretary of State for Wales, former Member of Parliament and former member of the Welsh Assembly. He describes himself as a politician belonging to the “traditional left” who had “spent his life looking for a socialist progressive party.” He was a member of the Labour Party until 2004, then joining Forward Wales.
The Ontario provincial government changed 67 statutes to give same-sex couples equal treatment same as heterosexual couples.
U.S. Democratic presidential candidates Al Gore and Bill Bradley promised that if elected they would do everything in their power to ensure equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans.
WNBA basketball player Sheryl Swoopes (born March 25, 1971) comes out. She is a retired African American professional basketball player. She was the first player to be signed in the WNBA and is a three-time WNBA MVP. She was named one of the league’s Top 15 Players of All Time at the 2011 WNBA All-Star Game. Swoopes has won three Olympic gold medals. She was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. In 2017, she was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2011, she married a longtime male friend.
President Barack Obama signs into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Shepard (December 1, 1976 – October 12, 1998), 21, was tortured and killed in Laramie, Wyo., because he was gay. Byrd (May 2, 1949 – June 7, 1998), a 49-year-old African American man, was chained to the back of a truck and dragged to death in Jasper, Texas. The hate crimes prevention law requires the FBI to track hate crimes based on gender and gender identity and gives the Department of Justice the power to prosecute crimes motivated by the victim’s race, religion, nation-al origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
The first openly gay member of the German government, Guido Westerwelle (27 December 1961–18 March 2016) takes office as Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister to Angela Merkel. He was a German politician who served as Foreign Minister in the second cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel and as Vice Chancellor of Germany from 2009 to 2011, being the first openly gay person to hold any of these positions. He was also the chairman of the Free Democratic Party of Germany (FDP) from May 2001 until he stepped down in 2011. A lawyer by profession, he was a member of the Bundestag from 1996 to 2013. On 20 July 2004, Westerwelle attended Angela Merkel’s 50th birthday party accompanied by his partner, Michael Mronz. It was the first time he had attended an official event with his partner and this was considered his public coming-out. The couple registered their partnership on September 17, 2010 in a private ceremony in Bonn. Westerwelle died of leukemia at the age of 54.
630 B.C., Lesbos
Sappho is born (c. 630-570 BC). The poet wrote beautiful poetry to the women she loved. It is because Sappho and her followers lived on the Isle of Lesbos that women who love women call themselves “lesbian” to this day. Sappho is known for her lyric poetry, written to be sung and accompanied by a lyre, and which is usually about the love and passion of women. Most of Sappho’s poetry is now lost, and what is extant has survived only in fragmentary form, except for one complete poem, the Ode to Aphrodite. Lesbian author Willa Cather (December 7, 1873 – April 24, 1947) wrote “Sappho wrote only of one theme, sang it, laughed it, sighed it, wept it, sobbed it. Save for her knowledge of human love she was un-learned, save for her perception of beauty she was blind, save for the fullness of her passions she was empty-handed.”
Mwanga II, King of Buganda (Uganda) resists Christianity coming to Uganda in part because he wishes to keep sodomy legal and to maintain his harem of young boys. Therefore, he has James Hannington, the first bishop of Africa, killed when he comes to Uganda.
The LDS Church First Presidency Counselor Stephen L Richards instructs a mission president not to excommunicate a missionary elder for the “superficial charge” of fondling the genitals of three young men, ages twelve to thirteen. Richards said the missionary was only “guilty of a great indiscretion.”
Nicole Conn (born October 29, 1959) is born. She is a film director, producer, and screenwriter most famous for her debut feature, the lesbian love story Claire of the Moon (1992).
Gay activists hold a “mince-in” at the Ontario legislature in Toronto to draw attention to inaction on human rights protections for gays and lesbians.
Anti-gay graffiti is found on the Memorial Steps at Tufts University in Boston with the words “FAGS MUST DIE.” The campus and local community at large were outraged both at the graffiti and its longevity on the steps. The graffiti was not removed until after a huge outcry.
Representatives from the National Black Lesbian and Gay Leader-ship Forum, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Latino/a Lesbian and Gay Organization, and the Gay Lesbian and Straight Educators Network met with House Democratic leader Richard Gephardt to discuss the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and funding for AIDS care and research. Gephardt met with them to discuss ways in which the party could assist gay and lesbian candidates through the coming election cycle.
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) (born March 31, 1940) introduces a bill calling for the extension of health insurance coverage to the domestic partners of U. S. federal employees through the federal employee health program. Frank, a resident of Newton, Massachusetts, was considered the most prominent gay politician in the United States.
Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals unanimously overturns Circuit Court Judge Lawrence H. Rushworth’s decision prohibiting a divorced gay man from seeing his children in the presence of his partner.
Lesbian Ulrike Lunacek (born 26 May 1957) is the first openly gay member of Parliament of the National Council of Austria. She is a member of the Austrian Green Party, part of the European Green Party. In 2017, she was the top candidate for the national elections in Austria in 2017. She is co-president of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights and Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Substitute in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affair.
Former NFL linebacker Esera Tuaolo (born July 11, 1968) comes out. He was a professional football player who was a defensive tackle in the National Football League (NFL) for nine years. He played college football at Oregon State University and was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He won the Morris Trophy in 1989, which is given to the best defensive lineman in the Pac-10. He was named Pac-10 Conference First Team twice and as a senior he was a finalist for the Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy. In 2002, having retired from sports, Tuaolo announced to the public that he is gay, coming out on HBO’s Real Sports. This made him the third former NFL player to come out, after David Kopay (born June 28, 1942) and Roy Simmons (November 8, 1956-February 20, 2014). Tuaolo, the child of Samoan banana farmers, lives in Minnesota with his life-partner, Mitchell Wherley, and their twins, Mitchell Jr. and Michelle.
Axel Axgil (3 April 1915 – 29 October 2011), 96, whose struggle for gay rights helped make Denmark the first country to legalize same-sex partnerships, dies in Copenhagen. He and Eigil Axgil (24 April 1922–22 September 1995) were Danish gay activists and a longtime couple. They were the first gay couple to enter into a registered partnership anywhere in the world following Denmark‘s legalization of same-sex partnership registration in 1989, a landmark legislation which they were instrumental in bringing about. They adopted the shared surname Axgil, a combination of their given names, as an expression of their commitment.
Hollyoaks becomes the first UK soap to cast an openly transgender actress in a regular role. Annie Wallace plays the high school’s new head teacher, Sally St. Claire, making her first appearance on this day.
On October 30, 1878, Mrs. Nash, one of the most famous army laundresses, passed away. During her life, Mrs. Nash was beloved by nearly all who met her. But with her death, a mystery would sur-face, one that captured the entire nation: Mrs. Nash was male, married at least four to men. Little is known about the early life of Mrs. Nash. Her birth name has been lost to history as well as much of her past. It was said that she was from Mexico where she was once married and had two children. It appeared that at this time, she had lived as a man, driving ox teams over the Santa Fe Trail to New Mexico. Eventually, Mrs. Nash found her way to Elizabethtown, Kentucky, where she became a laundress with the U.S. Army in 1866. Nash gained a reputation as being not only an excellent laundress but also a talented seamstress who tailored officers’ uniforms, a noted baker whose pies were much sought after, and a dependable nurse and mid-wife. Nash was not known for her external beauty. People commented on her angular shape and awkward gait as well as her course and stubborn beard. Nash would remain veiled, covering her face when going into public. Mysteries surrounded Nash’s marriages. Her first husband was unknown, having vanished before Nash took her position with the Army. Nash wed a second time in 1868, marrying Harry O. Clifton, the quartermaster’s clerk. The relationship was short lived. Her third marriage, in 1872, was to General George Custer’s brother Tom. Mrs. Nash suddenly fell ill in 1878 from what was believed to be an appendicitis. As Nash’s condition worsened, she called for a priest, and instructed those who cared for her that she wanted to be buried as she was. She did not want the normal preparations for her burial. On November 4, as Nash passed away and her secret was revealed.
Gay composer Aaron Copland’s (November 14, 1900 – December 2, 1990) Appalachian Spring premiers in Washington D. C. The piece was written in New Jersey where Copland lived with his partner Victor Kraft (August 8, 1915 – July 2, 1976). Other works include Billy the Kid, Rodeo and Fanfare for the Common Man.
Following a 15-year campaign to close it down, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control revokes the liquor license of the Black Cat Bar, a focus of early gay activism in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Black Cat Bar or Black Cat Café was a bar in San Francisco, California. It originally opened in 1906 and closed in 1921. The Black Cat reopened in 1933 and operated for another 30 years. During its second run of operation, it was a hangout for Beats and bohemians but over time began attracting more and more of a gay clientele. The site of the Black Cat was designated an historic monument in 2008.
The first gay civil rights group in Quebec, Association pour les droits de la communauté gaie du Québec (ADGQ), is formed.
Police raid a lesbian bar in Lima and arrest about 70 women. Tele-vision reporters, who had been previously notified by police, are present to film the women for local news reports. As a result, many of the women lose their jobs; some are beaten by their families; at least two are raped on their way home from the police station.
New Ways Ministry, a Mt. Rainier, Maryland group led by three Roman Catholic bishops, announced it would release a statement of disagreement with the Vatican’s call for gays and lesbians to be barred from becoming adoptive or foster parents, teachers, coaches, or military personnel. Fifteen hundred lay persons signed the statement.
Tim Cook (born November 22, 1960), the CEO of Apple, comes out as gay. He is the first openly gay chief executive on the Fortune 500 list. Cook joined Apple in March 1998 as senior vice president of worldwide operations and then served as Executive Vice President of worldwide sales and operations. He was made Chief Executive on August 24, 2011. During his tenure as the Chief Executive, he has advocated for the political reformation of international and domestic surveillance, cybersecurity, corporate taxation both nationally and abroad, American manufacturing, and environmental preservation.
Natalie Clifford Barney (October 31, 1876-February 2, 1972), American playwright, poet and novelist, is born. She lives as an expatriate in Paris and is known as the Queen of the Paris Lesbians.
Jazz great and Oscar-nominated actress Ethel Waters (October 31, 1896-September 1, 1977) is born. She was an American singer and actress. Waters frequently performed jazz, big band, and pop music, on the Broadway stage and in concerts, but she began her career in the 1920s singing blues. Waters was the second African American, after Hattie McDaniel, to be nominated for an Academy Award. She was also the first African American woman to be nominated for an Emmy Award, in 1962. Waters married three times, had no children and was bisexual. She was remarkably open (for her time) about her relationship with dancer Ethel Williams (December 21, 1891-1961).
Gerald K. Weller, Jr. (Oct. 31, 1948 – July 8, 2018) is born. Pioneer gay activist Jerry Weller, co-founder of the Human Rights Campaign Fund, died July 8, 2018 in Portland surrounded by close friends at the age of 69. In 1976, Weller became the Executive Director of the Portland Town Council, the first gay rights legislative organization serving Oregon. He was also a founder and first Executive Director of the Town Council Foundation, one of the first gay organizations to receive tax-exempt status. In 1982, Weller co-founded the Right to Privacy PAC. This became the largest PAC serving the LGBT communities in Oregon. In 1983, Weller left Oregon to accept the position of Executive Director of the Gay Rights National Lobby in Washington, D.C., predecessor to the Human Rights Campaign Fund. From 1984 to 1985, during the early years of the AIDS crisis, Weller served as Executive Director of the Howard Brown Memorial Clinic in Chicago, at that time the largest gay male health clinic in the nation. When Weller’s long-time companion, Bruce Muller, was diagnosed with AIDS in 1986, Weller returned to Oregon to care for him. Muller died in 1991. Weller then worked for OSHA, the Oregon Health Division, and the Oregon Bureau of Labor Civil Rights Division. He retired from the State of Oregon in 2007. He then served on the board of the Oregon ACLU continuing his advocacy for gay civil rights and was editor of City Week, a Portland weekly gay newspaper. Weller was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., and received his undergraduate degree from Penn State University in 1970. He moved to Portland in 1976. He received his Master’s degree from Roosevelt University in journalism in 1986. Weller began his civil rights work in Oakland, Calif., as an organizing member of Gays of Oakland for Bobby Seale for Mayor in 1973.
Three men are arrested in Boise, Idaho on charges of lewd conduct and sodomy, inciting a “moral panic” that results in 16 arrests, 15 convictions and almost 1,500 people being questioned.
Silent film star Ramon Novarro (February 6, 1899 – October 30, 1968) is killed. He was a Mexican film, stage and television actor who began his career in silent films in 1917 and eventually became a leading man and one of the top box office attractions of the 1920s and early 1930s. Novarro was promoted by MGM as a “Latin lover” and became known as a sex symbol after the death of Rudolph Valentino. Novarro was troubled all his life by his conflicted feelings toward his Roman Catholic religion and his homosexuality. His body was found after being brutally murdered by hustler brothers Paul and Tom Ferguson, aged 22 and 17, who called him and offered their services. He had hired prostitutes from an agency to come to his Laurel Canyon home for sex previously, and the Fergusons obtained Novarro’s telephone number from a previous guest.
Sixty members of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) and the Society for Individual Rights (SIR) stage a protest outside the offices of the San Francisco Examiner in response to another in a series of news articles disparaging LGBT people in San Francisco’s gay bars and clubs. The peaceful protest against the “homophobic editorial policies” of the Examiner turned tumultuous and was later called “Friday of the Purple Hand” and “Bloody Friday of the Purple Hand.” Examiner employees “dumped a bag of printers’ ink from the third story window of the newspaper building onto the crowd.” Some reports state that it was a barrel of ink poured from the roof of the building. The protesters “used the ink to scrawl ‘Gay Power’ and other slogans on the building walls” and stamp purple handprints “throughout downtown San Francisco” resulting in “one of the most visible demonstrations of gay power.” According to Larry LittleJohn, then president of SIR, “At that point, the tactical squad arrived—not to get the employees who dumped the ink, but to arrest the demonstrators. Somebody could have been hurt if that ink had gotten into their eyes, but the police were knocking people to the ground.” The accounts of police brutality include women being thrown to the ground and protesters’ teeth being knocked out.
Lee Brewster (April 27, 1943 – May 19, 2000) and Bunny Eisenhower (??-??) formed the Queens Liberation Front (QLF), partially in protest to the treatment of the drag queens at the first Christopher Street Liberation Day March. Lesbian Feminist Liberation opposed the performance by drag queens at the 1973 LGBT Pride March in New York City. As they passed out flyers, Sylvia Rivera (July 2, 1951 – February 19, 2002) of Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, took the microphone from emcee Vito Russo (July 11, 1946 – November 7, 1990) and spoke against this sentiment, delivering a speech about spending time in jail, and being harassed and beaten by the straight men who were preying on all the members of the gay community. Rivera ended by leading a chant for “Gay Power!” Lesbian Feminist Liberation’s Jean O’Leary (March 4, 1948 – June 4, 2005) then read a statement on behalf of 100 women that read, in part, “We support the right of every person to dress in the way that she or he wishes. But we are opposed to the exploitation of women by men for entertainment or profit.” Queens Liberation Front’s Lee Brewster replied in support of drag and the drag queens in the community. The increasingly angry crowd only calmed when Bette Midler, who heard on the radio in her Greenwich Village apartment, arrived, took the microphone, and began singing Friends. This was one of several events in early 1970s where lesbian feminists, gay men, and drag queens at times found themselves in conflict; while other events, such as those led by the GLF women’s caucus, often had harmonious participation between these sometimes contentious factions.
Time magazine runs a cover story entitled The Homosexual: Newly Visible, Newly Understood. The author, Christopher Cory, presents a “case for greater tolerance of homosexuals” yet “emphasized the effeminate side of homosexuality to the exclusion of everyone else,” resulting in a protest at the Time-Life Building on November 12, 1969.
Halloween brings thousands of queer-bashers to Toronto’s Yonge Street looking for the annual drag parade. Gay representatives meet with police beforehand to try to prevent a crowd from gathering. Operation Jack-o’-Lantern, a gay street patrol, is organized to monitor situation but police do little to control crowd.
For the first time, Toronto police do not allow queer-bashers and spectators to congregate outside St Charles Tavern to wait for drag queens. Traffic and pedestrians are kept moving with help of large numbers of police officers.
French-Canadian flight attendant Gaëtan Dugas (February 20, 1953 – March 30, 1984) pays his first known visit to New York City bathhouses. He would later be incorrectly deemed “Patient Zero” for his supposed connection to many early cases of AIDS in the United States. He was a French-Canadian flight attendant who was falsely linked by the Centers for Disease Control directly or indirectly to 40 of the first 248 reported cases of AIDS in the U.S. His case was later found to have been only one of many that began in the 1970s, according to a September 2016 study published in Nature.
Openly gay Ole von Beust (born 13 April 1955) becomes the first mayor of Hamburg, Germany. He serves until 2010. He was a finalist for the World Mayor prize of 2010.
2007, New Zealand
Maryan Street (born 5 April 1955) becomes the first openly lesbian member of Parliament. Marilyn Joy Waring (born 7 October 1952) had been the first lesbian MP but she came out after she had entered office.