Mary Grew (September 1, 1813 – October 10, 1896) was an American abolitionist and suffragist whose career spanned nearly the entire 19th century. She was a leader of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, and the Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage Association. She was one of eight women delegates who were denied their seats at the World Anti-Slavery Convention in 1840. An editor and journalist, she wrote for abolitionist newspapers and chronicled the work of Philadelphia’s abolitionists over more than three decades. She was a gifted public orator at a time when it was still noteworthy for women to speak in public. Her obituary summarized her impact: “Her biography would be a history of all reforms in Pennsylvania for fifty years.” Mary Grew and her life partner Margaret Jones Burleigh were inseparable beginning in their mid-30s. Their circle of abolitionists included Cyrus M. Burleigh, Mary’s co-editor at the Philadelphia Freeman. In 1855, when Cyrus was dying of tuberculosis, Margaret married him. He died one month later; Margaret settled his affairs and she and Mary set off on a tour of New England. Within six months they were signing their letters “Mary & Margaret.” They lived together the rest of their lives and are buried side by side at Woodlands Cemetery in Philadelphia.
Sir Roger Casement (September 1, 1864 –August 3,1916) is born in Kingston, Ireland. A former British diplomat, he joined the Irish nationalists. Casement was captured and tried for treason. At his trial, the fact he is gay is used as further evidence of his evil ways and he is hanged. Described as the “father of twentieth-century human rights investigations,” he was honored in 1905 for the Casement Report on the Congo and knighted in 1911 for his important investigations of human rights abuses in Peru. He then made efforts during World War I to gain German military aid for the 1916 Easter Rising that sought to gain Irish independence. Casement’s remains laid in state at Arbour Hill in Dublin for five days during which time an estimated half a million people filed past his coffin. After a state funeral, the remains were buried with full military honors in the Republican plot in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin with other Irish republicans and nationalists. The President of the Republic of Ireland, Éamon de Valera, who in his mid-eighties was the last surviving leader of the Easter Rising, attended the ceremony along with an estimated 30,000 others.
Actress, writer, comedian Mary Jean “Lily” Tomlin (September 1, 1939) is born. She is an American comedian, writer, singer, and producer, and an openly lesbian feminist. Tomlin was the 2003 recipient of the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain prize for humorists. Tomlin began her career as a stand-up comedian and performed Off-Broadway during the 1960s. Her breakout role was performing as a cast member on the variety show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In from 1969 until 1973. She most recently starred on the Netflix series Grace and Frankie as Frankie Bernstein. Her performance as Frankie garnered her three consecutive nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Her signature role was written by her wife (then partner), Jane Wagner, in a show titled The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe which opened on Broadway in 1985 and won Tomlin the Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Play.
The German invasion of Poland begins WWII. Thousands of gay men are called to military service in Germany yet over 20,000 civilians are convicted under Paragraph 175 for homosexuality. More than 7,000 servicemen are also convicted and sent to prison. Those who weren’t killed in the concentration camps were forced to return to the front. Gay men had to wear the pink triangle as indication their homosexuality.
The first openly gay judge in the United States was Stephen M. Lachs (born September 1939) is born. He appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the Los Angeles County Superior Court in 1979-1999. Before leaving office in 1981, Brown appointed three more gay and lesbian judges to the California courts, including the nation’s first openly lesbian judge, Mary C. Morgan, who served on the San Francisco municipal court.
Mia F Yamamoto (born September 1, 1943) is a Los Angeles-based criminal defense attorney, and civil rights activist. Mia is a transgender woman of Japanese American descent, born in the Poston War Relocation Center during World War II. Yamamoto was born in Poston, Arizona in a Japanese American internment camp during World War II. Her mother was a registered nurse and her father was a lawyer. Her family’s experiences in the camp, and her father’s subsequent exclusion from the then Whites-only Los Angeles County Bar Association were early factors that shaped Yamamoto’s view on the legal system and race relations. Having been born “doing time” due to her race, she developed a sensitivity to clients who found themselves facing convictions and harsh punishments that they otherwise might be able to avoid, had they been white. Yamamoto knew from an early age that her body did not match her identity but did not know how to express her inner turmoil. While struggling with her gender identity she decided to enlist in the Army and served from 1966 to 1968. She was awarded the National Defense Service medal, Army Commendation Medal, and Vietnam campaign medal. She married Kimberlee Tellez on September 2, 2015.
Leslie Feinberg (September 1, 1949 – November 15, 2014) was an American butch lesbian and transgender activist, communist, and author. Her writing, notably Stone Butch Blues (1993) and her pioneering non-fiction book, 1996’sTransgender Warriors, laid the groundwork for much of the terminology and awareness around gender studies and was instrumental in bringing these issues to a more mainstream audience. Feinberg described herself as “an anti-racist white, working-class, secular Jewish, transgender, lesbian, female, revolutionary communist.” Feinberg’s widow, Minnie Bruce Pratt (born September 12, 1946), wrote in her statement regarding Feinberg’s death that Feinberg did not really care which pronouns a person used to address her: “She preferred to use the pronouns she/zie and her/hir for herself, but also said: ‘I care which pronoun is used, but people have been respectful to me with the wrong pronoun and disrespectful with the right one. It matters whether someone is using the pronoun as a bigot, or if they are trying to demonstrate respect.” Feinberg’s last words were reported to be “Hasten the revolution! Remember me as a revolutionary communist.”
Radio host Bernardo Aranda is assassinated. 108 gay men were arrested for the alleged murder and their names were publicly released. “108” became a slang term for homosexuality in Paraguay.
Czechoslovakia decriminalizes sodomy
Hungary decriminalizes sodomy.
The Vatican declares that anyone who is “affected by the perverse inclination” towards homosexuality should not be allowed to take religious vows or be ordained within the Roman Catholic Church.
The first photograph of lesbians appears on the cover of lesbian magazine The Ladder, showing two women from the back, on a beach looking out to sea. The Ladder was the first nationally distributed lesbian publication in the United States. It was published monthly from 1956 to 1970, and once every other month in 1971 and 1972. It was the primary publication and method of communication for the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), the first lesbian organization in the US. It was supported by ONE, Inc. and the Mattachine Society with whom the DOB retained friendly relations. The name of the magazine was derived from the artwork on its first cover, simple line drawings showing figures moving towards a ladder that disappeared into the clouds. The first edition of The Ladder appeared in October 1956, edited by Phyllis Lyon (born November 10, 1924), who co-founded the Daughters of Bilitis in 1955 with Del Martin (May 5, 1921 – August 27, 2008), both of whom had journalism experience. Many of its contributors used pseudonyms or initials. Lyon edited The Ladder as “Ann Ferguson” for the first few months but dropped the name as a way of encouraging their readers not to hide. In 1963, Barbara Gittings (July 31, 1932 – February 18, 2007) took over editing The Ladder, giving it a more politically urgent stance, and by adding “A Lesbian Review” under the title of the magazine. The line drawings on the cover were replaced with photographs of lesbians to make them more visible. The first woman who appeared in a photograph on the cover in May 1964 was an unnamed model. The first woman who allowed her name to be printed was from Indonesia who had sent her picture and a letter explaining how isolated she was. In 1975, Arno Press released a nine-volume compilation of The Ladder in hardback as part of their series Lesbians and Gay Men in Society, History, and Literature with a short foreword by Barbara Grier (November 4, 1933 – November 10, 2011). Speaking to journalist and historian Rodger Streitmatter about The Ladder, Grier commented that “no woman ever made a dime for her work, and some … worked themselves into a state of mental and physical decline on behalf of the magazine.”
West Germany repeals its laws prohibiting homosexual acts between consenting adults. It’s interesting to note that this change didn’t affect lesbians as West German sex laws had never acknowledged the existence of lesbians.
Del Whan taught the first gay studies class at the University of Southern California, titled “Social Movement: Gay Liberation.” It evolved into USC’s first student group, The Gay Liberation Forum. USC approved it as a student organization in 1975. The name was changed to Gay Student Union.
Jude Patton is (as of this publication) an 80 year old trans man who has been out and open for all of his life. He began hormonal transition in December 1970 and underwent a series of sex confirmation surgeries between September 1972 and September 1973 at Stanford University. Patton established Renaissance Gender Identity Services and wrote/published one of the very first newsletters, Renaissance, ever written by a open trans man. Patton is an educator, counselor, advocate and activist, holds professional licenses as an LMFT and LMHC and as a Physician Assistant in Psychiatry. His focus for the past 15 years has been on LGBTQ+ aging with an emphasis on transgender aging. In 2020 he coedit-ed and published the first two volumes of a planned ongoing book series about trans and gender non-conforming elders, TRANScestors, Navigating LGBTQ+ Aging, Illness and End of Life Concerns.
The Log Cabin Republicans club is formed in Southern California (originally called “Gay Republicans”). Log Cabin Republicans was founded as a rallying point for Republicans opposed to the Briggs Initiative which attempted to ban homosexuals from teaching in public schools. In addition to sanctioning the termination of openly gay and lesbian teachers, the proposed legislation authorized the firing of those teachers that supported homosexuality. On October 22, 2016, the board members of LCR voted not to endorse the Republican nominee for President, Donald Trump. In defiance, the LCR statewide chapters of Colorado, Georgia, and Texas, along with the LRC countywide chapter of Orange County, California and the LCR city chapters of Houston, Los Angeles, Miami and Cleveland voted to endorse Trump. In Florida, at least one report claimed Trump was able to cut into the vote margin in heavily Democratic Broward County, Florida with the help of the local chapter of Log Cabin Republicans. Since 1977, LCR has expanded across the United States and has 34 chapters, representing 26 states and the District of Columbia.
The Gay Bob doll makes its debut in stores across the nation. He had a pierced ear and his box was shaped like a closet.
New Jersey decriminalizes private consensual adult homosexual acts.
John Boswell’s Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality debuts in bookstores. John Eastburn Boswell (March 20, 1947 – December 24, 1994) was an historian and a full professor at Yale University. Many of Boswell’s studies focused on the issue of religion and homosexuality, specifically Christianity and homosexuality. All of his work focused on the history of those at the margins of society. His first book, The Royal Treasure: Muslim Communities Under the Crown of Aragon in the Fourteenth Century, appeared in 1977. In 1994, Boswell’s fourth book, Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe, was published, but he died that same year from AIDS-related complications. Boswell was a Roman Catholic, having converted from the Episcopal Church of his upbringing at age 15. He remained a daily-mass Catholic up until his death, despite differences with the church over sexual issues. Although he was orthodox in most of his beliefs, he strongly disagreed with his church’s stated opposition to homosexual behavior and relationships. He was partnered with Jerome Hart for some twenty years until his death. Hart and Boswell are buried together at Grove Street Cemetery, New Haven, Connecticut.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention uses the term AIDS for the first time in September 1982 when it reported that an average of one to two cases of AIDS were being diagnosed in America every day.
The law recognizing same-sex registered partnerships goes into effect.
Yodogawa, a ward within the city of Osaka, is the first government in Japan to officially support LGBT inclusion.
Janet Gulland (1936??-September 1, 2017) was a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and Director of Market Research at BAe Weybridge. Gulland took some of her first steps on this path when she won a Fulbright Scholarship as a research assistant in engineering at Brown University in Rhode Island. In April 1956 at Oxford University she was awarded a certificate in Research Assistantship for 1956-1957, working in the Wind Tunnel Department. In February 1968, she was elected an Associate Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. She worked in management in market intelligence and planning in the Aircraft Group Marketing Department at Kingston where she led a team of six military aircraft market analysts and coordinated market research on military derivatives of commercial aircraft. In 1994, Janet was proposed for Fellowship of the Royal Aeronautical Society by Sir George Edwards, supported by Sir Peter Masefield and was elected a Fellow in October the same year. She promoted women in aviation throughout her career and kept a collection of articles documenting any progress made in encouraging women into engineering. Outside of work, Gulland won multiple British Moth Boat championships and Scottish-danced well into her eighties. Janet was with her partner Sue for 50 years.
Annie Winifred Ellerman (2 September 1894 – 28 January 1983) is born in Kent, England. Writing under the name Bryher, she was an early feminist and a major figure of the international set in Paris in the 1920s, using her fortune to help many struggling writers. With her lesbian lover Hilda Doolittle (H.D.) (September 10, 1886 – September 27, 1961) and Scottish writer Kenneth Macpherson, she launched the film magazine Close Up which introduced Sergei Eisenstein’s work to British viewers. From her home in Switzerland, she helped to evacuate Jews from Hitler’s Germany, and then became a popular historical novelist.
Evelyn Hooker (September 2, 1907 – November 18, 1996) is born. She published the first ever scientific findings that homosexual men are no less well-adjusted mentally than heterosexual men. The American Psychological Association said about her in honoring her with a 1991 award: “When homosexuals were considered to be mentally ill, were forced out of government jobs, and were arrested in police raids, Evelyn Hooker courageously sought and obtained research support from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to compare a matched sample of homosexual and heterosexual men. Her pioneering study, published in 1957, challenged the wide-spread belief that homosexuality is a pathology by demonstrating that experienced clinicians using psychological tests … could not identify the non-clinical homosexual group. This revolutionary study provided empirical evidence that normal homosexuals existed, and supported the radical idea then emerging that homosexuality is within the normal range of human behavior … Her research, leadership, mentorship, and tireless advocacy for an accurate scientific view of homosexuality … has been an outstanding contribution to psychology in the public interest.”
Harvey Robert Levin (born September 2, 1950) is an American television producer, legal analyst, celebrity reporter, and former lawyer. He is the founder of the celebrity news website TMZ and the host of OBJECTified which airs on the Fox News Channel. Levin appeared as an event speaker for the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association in April 2010 in which he publicly confirmed his self-identification as gay. He discussed his fear of losing his career if someone were to find out, which led to Levin compartmentalizing his personal and professional lives. Levin’s longtime partner is Andy Mauer, a Southern California chiropractor. The two own multiple properties together, sharing joint-deed listings since the late 1990s and early 2000s. Levin has been named to Out magazine’s “Power 50” list as one of the most influential voices in LGBT America.
Elizabeth A. Birch (born September 2, 1956) is an American attorney and former corporate executive who chaired the board of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force from 1992 to 1994. Birch was the worldwide director of litigation for Apple Computer and general counsel for its Claris subsidiary until 1995. She served as the Executive Director of the Human Rights Campaign from January 1995 until January 2004. In 2000, Birch became the first leader of an LGBT organization to address a national political convention when she gave a prime-time speech at the Democratic National Convention. In 2004, Birch launched Birch & Company, a consulting firm, with offices in Washington, D.C. and New York. Birch ran Rosie O’Donnell‘s production company, KidRo Productions, Inc. and oversaw O’Donnell’s For All Kids Foundation until 2007. She had a relationship with Hilary Rosen, former chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America. They adopted twins, a boy and a girl, in Texas. The couple separated in 2006.
First issue of The Advocate is published. It was a small newspaper under the name The Los Angeles Advocate. The Advocate focuses on news, politics, opinion, and arts and entertainment of interest to lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) people. 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.
Brokeback Mountain premiers at the Venice Film Festival. It’s one of the first major motion pictures with worldwide distribution to focus on same-sex love as the main storyline. It is an American neo-western romantic drama film directed by Ang Lee and produced by Diana Ossana and James Schamus. Adapted from the 1997 short story of the same name by Annie Proulx, the screenplay was written by Ossana and Larry McMurtry. The film stars Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, and Michelle Williams, and depicts the complex emotional and homosexual relationship between Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist in the American West from 1963 to 1983. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards, the most nominations at the 78th Academy Awards, where it won three—Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score.
Diana Nyad (born August 22, 1949), an out lesbian, is the first person to swim the 110 miles from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. She’s an American author, journalist, motivational speaker, and long-distance swimmer. On her fifth attempt and at age 64, she became the first person confirmed to swim from Cuba to Florida without the aid of a shark cage, swimming from Havana to Key West. Nyad has said a factor in her determination while swimming was her anger about, and her desire to overcome sexual abuse she experienced as a child.
The head of Princess Lamballe (8 September 1749 – 3 September 1792) is displayed on a stick and paraded before the imprisoned Marie Antoinette (2 November 1755 – 16 October 1793). The two were thought to be lovers. Princess Lamballe was married at the age of 17 to Louis Alexandre de Bour-bon-Penthièvre, Prince de Lamballe, the heir to the greatest fortune in France. After her marriage, which lasted a year, she went to court and became the confidante of Queen Marie Antoinette. She was killed in the massacre of September 1792 during the French Revolution.
Laurence Maurice Parnes (3 September 1929 – 4 August 1989) was an English pop manager and impresario. He was the first major British rock manager, and his stable of singers included many of the most successful British rock singers of the late 1950s and early 1960s. A flamboyant gay man, Parnes’ approach was to select and then groom handsome young men who would be attractive to a teenage audience. Parnes retired in 1981 and died from meningitis in London in 1989 at age 59.
The American Sociological Association issues a public declaration, condemning “oppressive actions against any persons for reasons of sexual preference” and endorses rights of homosexuals and other sexual minorities. It is the first national professional organization to voice support of gay and lesbian civil rights.
In Minnesota, Jack Baker (born 1942) and Mike McConnell (born 1942) are the first same-sex couple to be legally married when Jack changed his first name to Pat and the marriage license was granted. John “Jack” Baker and James Michael McConnell filed for a marriage license in Minnesota. The clerk of the Hennepin County District Court, Gerald Nelson, said he had “no intention of issuing a marriage license,” that would “result in an undermining and destruction of the entire legal concept of our family structure in all areas of law.” In mid-August 1971, Baker and McConnell took up residence in Blue Earth County and applied to the District Court in Mankato for a license to marry which was granted once the waiting period expired. Rev. Roger Lynn, a Methodist minister, solemnized their marriage on September 3rd. They were the first legally married couple and remain together to this day.
The first New Orleans gay pride event called Southern Decadence is held. Southern Decadence is an annual six-day event held by the gay and lesbian community during Labor Day Weekend, climaxing with a parade through the French Quarter on the Sunday before Labor Day.
Toronto Mayor John Sewell endorses George Hislop (June 3, 1927 – October 8, 2005), gay candidate for alderman in the municipal election, and causes media uproar about “gay power politics” taking over city hall. Hislop does not win election. However, he was one of Canada’s most influential gay activists. In an obituary notice, Eye Weekly referred to Hislop as “the unofficial mayor of the Toronto gay community”.
The first national U.S. Latina Lesbian conference is held in Los Angeles.
The day after Britain declares war on Germany, Alan Turing (23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954) registers for the military. Turing was highly influential in the development of theoretical computer science, providing a formalization of the concepts of algorithm and computation with the Turing machine, which can be considered a model of a general purpose computer. Turing is widely considered to be the parent of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. He made a major breakthrough in deciphering the German Enigma code which helped the Allies win WWII. After the war, Turing worked at the National Physical Laboratory, where he designed the ACE, among the first designs for a stored-program computer. In 1948 Tu-ring joined Max Newman‘s Computing Machine Laboratory at the Victoria University of Manchester, where he helped develop the Manchester computers and became interested in mathematical biology. He wrote a paper on the chemical basis of morphogenesis and predicted oscillating chemical reactions such as the Belousov–Zhabotinsky reaction, first observed in the 1960s. Turing was prosecuted in 1952 for homosexual acts, when by the Labouchere Amendment, “gross indecency” was a criminal offence in the UK. He accepted chemical castration treatment with DES as an alternative to prison. Turing died in 1954, 16 days before his 42nd birthday by suicide from cyanide poisoning. In 2009, following an internet campaign, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made an official public apology on behalf of the British government for “the appalling way he was treated.” Queen Elizabeth II granted him a posthumous pardon in 2013. The Alan Turing Law is now an informal term for a 2017 law in the United Kingdom that retroactively pardoned men cautioned or convicted under historical legislation that outlawed homosexual acts. Turing’s story is caught in the film Imitation Game.
The Wolfenden Report is published in England which recommends “that homosexual behavior between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offense.” It recommends that private consensual sex acts between men aged 21 or older be decriminalized. The Report of the Departmental Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution (better known as the Wolfenden report, after Lord Wolfenden, the chairman of the committee) was published in Britain after a succession of well-known men, including Lord Montagu (October 20, 1926- 2015), Michael Pitt-Rivers (May 27, 1917-1999) and Peter Wildeblood (19 May 1923 – 14 November 1999), were convicted of homosexual offences.
The Democratic Party becomes the first major U.S. political party in history to publicly support same-sex marriage on a national platform at the Democratic National Convention.
Canada has discreetly granted asylum to 31 gay men from Chechnya working with the NGO Rainbow Railroad, a clandestine program unique in the world. In April, Justin Trudeau and the Canadian government strongly condemned persecution of homosexuals in Chechnya. Canada is not the only country to accept gay refugees from Chechnya and other countries in the region. France has accepted at least one person, as has Germany, and two are in Lithuania. An undetermined number of individuals have traveled to European Union countries on tourist visas, and then applied for refugee status. So far, the United States has done nothing.
Violet Ellen Katherine Jones pretends to be a man so she may marry Joan Lee in the Catholic Church. Rev. D. Clark performs the ceremony. Rev. Clark informs the Bishop of his suspicions. The couple is caught and taken to court where they admit to making false statements on their marriage license. They’re fined £25.
The television series N.Y.P.D. was the first television series in America to air an episode with a gay theme. It was entitled “Shakedown.” The police track down a man blackmailing gay men, prompting several suicides.
Unitarian Universalist minister James Stoll (January 18, 1936 – December 8, 1994) is the first ordained minister in the U.S. or Canada to publicly come out. He did so at the annual Continental Conference of Student Religious Liberals on September 5, 1969 at the La Foret Conference Center near Colorado Springs, Colorado. He led the effort that convinced the Unitarian Universalist Association to pass the first-ever gay rights resolution in 1970. He founded the first counseling center for gays and lesbians in San Francisco. In the 1970s he established the first hospice on Maui. He was president of the San Francisco chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union in the 1990s. He died at the age of 58 from complications of heart and lung disease exacerbated by obesity and a life-long smoking habit.
Columbia “decriminalizes” “homosexual behavior,” changing it from a felony to a misdemeanor. The maximum penalty is reduced to “only” three years.
The Homomonument, a pink granite triangle memorial to LGBT victims of the Nazis, is dedicated in Amsterdam. The Homomonument is a memorial in the center of Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. It commemorates all gay men and lesbians who have been subjected to persecution because of their homosexuality. Opened on September 5, 1987, it takes the form of three large pink triangles made of granite, set into the ground so as to form a larger triangle, on the bank of the Keizersgracht canal near the historic Westerkerkchurch. The Homomonument was designed to “inspire and support lesbians and gays in their struggle against denial, oppression and discrimination.” It was the first monument in the world to commemorate gays and lesbians who were killed by the Nazis. Later, similar monuments were realized in a number of cities all around the world.
ACT UP activists unfurl a giant condom at the home of N.C. Senator Jesse Helms who opposed sex education and AIDS research funding. Helms wrote the law barring HIV+ people from entering the U.S. That law was repealed in 2012.
Transgender principal Genna Suraci starts the school year at the Port Ewen, N.Y. Career & Technical Center uneventfully, like any other school year. Over the summer, she’d officially transitioned from Gary to Genna. The school apparently took in stride their transsexual leader’s transition. Student Kaitlyn Walker, 17, was quoted in the New York Times saying, “It doesn’t matter what happened, it’s the person inside. It’s the same person. It doesn’t really matter if you change the outside.”
Jane Addams (September 6, 1860 – May 21, 1935), known as the “mother” of Social Work, was a pioneer American settlement activist/reformer, social worker, public philosopher, sociologist, author, and leader in women’s suffrage and world peace. She co-founded, with her early partner Ellen Gates Starr, the first settlement house in the United States, Chicago’s Hull House that would later become known as one of the most famous settlement houses in America. In an era when presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson identified themselves as reformers and social activists, Addams was one of the most prominent reformers of the Progressive Era. She helped America address and focus on issues that were of concern to mothers, such as the needs of children, local public health, and world peace. In her essay Utilization of Women in City Government, Jane Addams noted the connection between the workings of government and the household, stating that many departments of government, such as sanitation and the schooling of children, could be traced back to traditional women’s roles in the private sphere. Thus, these were matters of which women would have more knowledge than men, so women needed the vote to best voice their opinions. She said that if women were to be responsible for cleaning up their communities and making them better places to live, they needed to be able to vote to do so effectively. Addams became a role model for middle-class women who volunteered to uplift their communities. She is increasingly being recognized as a member of the American pragmatist school of philosophy and is known by many as the first woman “public philosopher in the history of the United States. In 1889 she co-founded Hull House, and in 1920 she was a co-founder for the ACLU. In 1931 she became the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and is recognized as the founder of the social work profession in the United States. Generally, Addams was close to a wide set of other women and was very good at eliciting their involvement from different classes in Hull House’s programs. Throughout her life Addams had significant romantic relationships which offered her the time and energy to pursue her social work while being supported emotionally and romantically. From her exclusively romantic relationships with women, she would most likely be described as a lesbian in contemporary terms, similar to many leading figures in the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom of the time. She “shared her life for 40 years” with her beloved companion Mary Rozet Smith (December 23, 1868 – February 22, 1934).
John Powell (September 6, 1882 – August 15, 1963) is born in Richmond, Virginia. A world-renowned concert pianist and composer, his partner in life was fellow composer Daniel Gregory Mason (November 20, 1873 – December 4, 1953.
1935 -New York University professor Dr. Louis W. Max tells a meeting of the American Psychological Association that he has successfully treated a “partially fetishistic” homosexual neurosis with electric shock therapy delivered at “intensities considerably higher than those usually employed on human subjects.” Max’s presentation is the first documented instance of aversion therapy to “cure” homosexuality.
Bayard Rustin (March 17, 1912 – August 24, 1987) appears on the cover of LIFE Magazine with A. Philip Randolph as the organizers of the March on Washington. Rustin, who is openly gay, is fully supported by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The annual convention of the National Organization for Women passes a resolution acknowledging “oppression of lesbians as a legitimate concern of feminism.”
2005 – The California legislature becomes the first to pass a bill allowing same-sex marriage. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoes the bill. The same thing happens in 2007.
Out lesbian human rights activist Sandra Moran (born April 29, 1960) is voted into Guatemalan congress. Sandra Moran joined Guatemala’s human rights movement as a high school student, and later merged her activism with music, playing with the revolutionary music band, Kin Lalat. During much of Guatemala’s civil war, Sandra lived in exile—in Mexico, Nicaragua and Canada—and participated in solidarity work for Guatemala. Sandra is Guatemala’s first openly gay member of Congress.
On this day, consensual gay sex was legalized in India by their Supreme Court.
Openly gay and HIV-positive Olympic champion ice-skater Rudy Galindo (born September 7, 1969) is born. He is an American figure skater who competed in both single skating and pair skating. As a single skater, he is the 1996 U.S. national champion, 1987 World Junior Champion, and 1996 World Bronze medalist. As a pairs skater, he competed with Kristi Yamaguchi and was the 1988 World Junior Champion and the 1989 and 1990 U.S. National Champion. In 1996 he came out as gay in Christine Brennan‘s book Inside Edge: A Revealing Journey Into the Secret World of Figure Skating which was published shortly before he won his national title that year. He is the first openly gay skating champion in the U.S. His autobiography Ice-breaker, co-written with Eric Marcus (born November 12, 1958), was published in 1997. In 2000, Galindo announced he was HIV positive.
Larry Kramer (born June 25, 1935– May 27, 2020) and two friends put up a banner at the Fire Island dock that read “Give to Gay Cancer.” They raised only $124. Kramer is an American playwright, author, public health advocate, and LGBT rights activist. He began his career rewriting scripts while working for Columbia Pictures, which led him to London where he worked with United Artists. There he wrote the screenplay for the 1969 film Women in Love (1969) and earned an Academy Award nomination for his work. Kramer introduced a controversial and confrontational style in his novel Faggots (1978) which earned mixed re-views and emphatic denunciations from some in the gay community for Kramer’s one-sided portrayal of shallow, promiscuous gay relationships in the 1970s. Kramer witnessed the spread of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) among his friends in 1980. He co-founded the Gay Men’s Health Crisis(GMHC) which has become the world’s largest private organization assisting people living with AIDS. Kramer grew frustrated with bureaucratic paralysis and the apathy of gay men to the AIDS crisis and wished to engage in further action than the social services GMHC provided. He expressed his frustration by writing a play titled The Normal Heart, produced at The Public Theater in New York City in 1985. His political activism continued with the founding of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) in 1987, an influential direct action protest organization with the aim of gaining more public action to fight the AIDS crisis. ACT UP has been widely credited with changing public health policy and the perception of people living with AIDS (PWAs), and with raising awareness of HIV and AIDS-related diseases. Kramer was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his play The Destiny of Me (1992), and he was a two-time recipient of the Obie Award. He was 84.
The world’s first 24-hour LGBT TV network called Pride-Vision TV is launched in Canada. It is now called OutTV. Owned by Headline Media Group, it was Canada’s first 24-hour cable television channel targeted at LGBT audiences. It was also the second LGBT-focused channel to be established in the world after the Gay Cable Network in the U.S. which shut down in 2001.
Gertrude Stein (February 3, 1874 – July 27, 1946) and Alice B. Toklas (April 30, 1877 – March 7, 1967) meet in Paris for the first time and stay together until Stein’s death in 1946. Gertrude was an American novelist, poet, playwright, and art collector. Born in the Allegheny West neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and raised in Oakland, California, Stein moved to Paris in 1903, and made France her home for the remainder of her life. She hosted a Paris salon, where the leading figures of modernism in literature and art, such as Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, Ezra Pound, and Henri Matisse, would meet. Alice was an American-born member of the Parisian avant-garde of the early 20th century.
Vietnam veteran Sgt. Leonard Matlovich (July 6, 1943 – June 22, 1988) appears on the cover of TIME magazine stating, “I am a homosexual.” Leonard Matlovich was the first gay US service member to come out. When he died, he was buried without a name and known only as Gay Vietnam Veteran. His epitaph reads: ‘When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.’
The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco rules that federal immigration authorities cannot prevent lesbians and gay men from entering the country purely on the basis of their sexuality.
Rachel Maddow (born April 1, 1973) becomes the first openly gay anchor of a major prime-time news program in the United States as host of The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC. In 1995 Rachel Maddow became the first openly gay or lesbian American to win an international Rhodes scholarship. In 2001, she earned a Doctor of Philosophy in politics at the University of Oxford. Her dissertation is titled HIV/AIDS and Health Care Reform in British and American Prisons. Maddow splits her time between Manhattan, New York and West Cummington, Massachusetts with her partner, artist Susan Mikula (born 1958). They met in 1999 when Maddow was working on her doctoral dissertation. Maddow has dealt with cyclical depression since puberty. In a 2012 interview, she stated, “It doesn’t take away from my joy or my work or my energy but coping with depression is something that is part of the everyday way that I live and have lived for as long as I can re-member.”
2012, Puerto Rico
Ana Ima Rivera Lassen (born 1955) becomes the third woman, first Black woman, and first openly lesbian person to be the president of the Puerto Rican Bar Association of lawyers. She has received many awards and honors for her work in the area of women’s rights and human rights, including the Capetillo-Roqué Medal from the Puerto Rican Senate, the Martin Luther King/Arturo Alfonso Schomburg Prize, and the Nilita Vientós Gastón Medal. She is a practicing attorney and serves on the faculty of several universities in Puerto Rico; she currently serves on the advisory council to the Program for Equality and Gender Equity of the Puerto Rican Judicial Branch.
John Beverley Nichols (9 September 1898 – 15 September 1983) was an English author, playwright, journalist, composer, and public speaker. He wrote over 60 books and is best remembered for his books about his homes and gardens, the first of which was Down the Garden Path (1932). He was gay and is thought to have had a brief affair with a famous war poet, Siegfried Sassoon (8 September 1886 – 1 September 1967). Nichols’s long-term companion was actor and director Cyril Butcher (31 July 1909 – 23 February 1987).
Metro Toronto Council, the governing body of greater Toronto area, refuses to pass Metro Bill of Rights which includes sexual orientation, and substitutes a weaker declaration about being an equal opportunity employer.
In the New York City borough of Queens, parents launch a school boycott after the city allows a second grader with AIDS to attend classes.
The Lesbian Avengers stage their first public action in the New York City borough of Queens when right-wingers attempt to suppress a multicultural “Children of the Rainbow” curriculum for elementary school children. The Lesbian Avengers was founded in New York City by Ana Maria Simo, Sarah Schulman, Maxine Wolfe, Anne-christine D’Adesky, Marie Honan, and Anne Maguire as “a direct action group focused on issues vital to lesbian survival and visibility.” Dozens of other chapters quickly emerged world-wide, a few expanding their mission to include questions of gender, race, and class. On their first action, the Lesbian Avengers targeted right-wing attempts to suppress.
2019 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s first pride event was held on this day in the capital Sarajevo.
Hilda Doolittle (September 10, 1886 – September 27, 1961) is born. H.D., as she was called, befriended Sigmund Freud during the 1930s and became his patient in order to understand and express her bisexuality. H.D. married once and undertook a number of relationships with both men and women. She was unapologetic about her sexuality and thus became an icon for both the LGBT rights and feminist movements when her poems, plays, letters and essays were rediscovered during the 1970s and 1980s. Her lover was Annie Winifred Ellerman (2 September 1894 – 28 January 1983) who wrote under the name Bryher.
A visit by anti-gay Anita Bryant to London, Ontario sparks a protest demonstration outside London Gardens Coliseum.
Gays of Ottawa (GO) celebrates its tenth anniversary with the official opening of a community center at 175 Lisgar Street. The reception is attended by mayor Marion Dewar, Gordon Fairweather, head of Canadian Human Rights Commission, and MPP Michael Cassidy, leader of the Ontario provincial New Democratic Party.
The U.S. Senate thrashes GLBT civil rights twice in one day, passing the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” denying the right to federally recognized marriages to same sex couples. The Senate also defeats the “Employment Non-Discrimination Act” which would have barred job discrimination based on sexual orientation.
2002, South Africa
In Du Toit v Minister of Welfare and Population Development, the Constitutional Court of South Africa rules that same-sex couples must be allowed to adopt children jointly.
- H. Lawrence(11 September 1885 – 2 March 1930) is born in Nottinghamshire, England. He was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter. His collected works represent, among other things, an extended reflection upon the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialization. Some of the issues Lawrence explores are sexuality, emotional health, vitality, spontaneity, and instinct. A heavily censored abridgement of his book Lady Chatterley’s Lover was published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf in 1928. This edition was posthumously re-issued in paperback both by Signet Books and by Penguin Books in 1946. Lawrence’s fascination with the theme of homosexuality, which is overtly manifested in Women in Love, could be related to his own sexual orientation.
Jewelle Gomez (born September 11, 1948) is an American author, poet, critic and playwright. She lived in New York City for 22 years, working in public television, theater, as well as philanthropy, before relocating to the West Coast. Her writing—fiction, poetry, essays and cultural criticism—has appeared in a wide variety of outlets, both feminist and mainstream. Her work often intersects and addresses multiple ethnicities as well as the ideals of lesbian/feminism and issues. She has been interviewed for several documentaries focused on LGBT rights and culture. She is currently employed as Director of Grants and Community Initiatives for Horizons Foundation, the oldest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender foundation in the U.S. She formerly served as the President of the San Francisco Public Library Commission. She and her partner, Dr. Diane Sabin (born 1952), were among the litigants against the state of California suing for the right to legal marriage. Diane is the Executive Director of the Lesbian Health & Research Center (LHRC) at the University of California, San Francisco. Her early work was in production of lesbian musical performers as well as the San Francisco Pride stages.
KQED in San Francisco broadcasts The Rejected, the first made-for-television documentary about homosexuality on American television. The documentary was made for under $100 and features experts speaking about homosexuality from their various fields’ perspectives. Each expert dispels a negative stereotype in her or his segment, giving positive and normalizing view of homosexuality. The program is well received by viewers and critics. The Rejected was produced for KQED by John W. Reavis. It was later syndicated to National Educational Television (NET) stations across the country. The 60-minute film received positive critical reviews.
A California Appeals court upholds lewd conduct convictions of two men arrested for “kissing in public” in a parked car at a freeway rest stop. Both are ordered to register as sex offenders
The film And the Band Played On premieres. It was based on a 1987 book by San Francisco Chronicle journalist Randy Shilts (August 8, 1951 – February 17, 1994). The book chronicles the discovery and spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) with a special emphasis on government indifference and political infighting, specifically in the United States, to what was then perceived as a specifically gay disease. Shilts’ premise is that AIDS was allowed to happen: while the disease is caused by a biological agent, incompetence and apathy toward those initially affected allowed its spread to become much worse. The film stars Lily Tomlin, Richard Gere, Alan Alda, Matthew Modine, and Anjelica Houston. It was dedicated to notable people with AIDS and survivors of the epidemic.
The word gay which appears in a pictured cartoon in Punch magazine is used to refer to prostitution. It arrived in English during the 12th century from Old French gai, most likely deriving ultimately from a Germanic source. In English, the word’s primary meaning was “joyful,” “carefree,” “bright” and “showy,” and the word was very commonly used with this meaning in speech and literature. For example, the optimistic 1890s are still often referred to as the Gay Nineties. The title of the 1938 French ballet Gaîté Parisienne (“Parisian Gaiety”), which became the 1941 Warner Brothers movie The Gay Parisian also illustrates this connotation. It was apparently not until the 20th century that the word was used to mean specifically “homosexual,” although it had earlier acquired sexual connotations. The word may have started to acquire associations of immorality as early as the 14th century but had certainly acquired them by the 17th. By the late 17th century it had acquired the specific meaning of “addicted to pleasures and dissipations,” an extension of its primary meaning of “carefree” implying “uninhibited by moral constraints.” A gay woman was a prostitute, a gay man a womanizer, and a gay house a brothel. The use of gay to mean “homosexual” was often an extension of its application to prostitution: a gay boy was a young man or boy serving male clients. Similarly, a gay cat was a young male apprenticed to an older hobo, commonly exchanging sex and other services for protection and tutelage. The application to homosexuality was also an extension of the word’s sexualized connotation of “carefree and uninhibited,” which implied a willingness to disregard conventional or respectable sexual mores. Such usage, documented as early as the 1920s, was likely present before the 20th century although it was initially more commonly used to imply heterosexually unconstrained lifestyles, as in the once-common phrase “gay Lothario.” A passage from Gertrude Stein‘s Miss Furr & Miss Skeene (1922) is possibly the first traceable published use of the word to refer to a homosexual relationship. Bringing Up Baby (1938) was the first film to use the word gay in apparent reference to homosexuality. By the mid-20th century, gay was well established in reference to hedonistic and uninhibited life-styles and its antonym straight, which had long had connotations of seriousness, respectability, and conventionality, had now acquired specific connotations of heterosexuality. In the case of gay, other connotations of frivolousness and showiness in dress (“gay apparel”) led to association with camp and effeminacy. This association no doubt helped the gradual narrowing in scope of the term towards its current dominant meaning, which was at first confined to subcultures. Gay was the preferred term since other terms such as queer were felt to be derogatory. Homosexual is perceived as excessively clinical since the sexual orientation now commonly referred to as “homosexuality” was at that time a mental illness diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The sixties marked the transition in the predominant meaning of the word gay from that of “carefree” to the current “homosexual.”
Film star Maurice Chevalier (September 12, 1888 – January 1, 1972) is born in Paris. He was a French actor, cabaret singer and entertainer. His trademark attire was a boater hat which he always wore on stage with a tuxedo. He was in a long-term relationship with his valet, Felix Paquet.
Minnie Bruce Pratt (born September 12, 1946 in Selma, Alabama) is an American educator, activist and essayist. She is a professor of Writing and Women’s Studies at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, where she was invited to help develop the university’s first Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Study Program. In 1977, Pratt helped found WomonWrites, a Southeastern lesbian writers conference. Pratt lives in Syracuse, New York. She is the widow of author and activist Leslie Feinberg who died in November 2014. Feinberg and Pratt married in New York and Massachusetts in 2011.
Chip Kidd (born September 12, 1964) is born. He is an author, editor, and graphic designer and is best known for the iconic covers of the novels Jurassic Park and Batman: Black and White.
Lola, the Kinks song about transvestism, enters the Billboard Top 40 where it stays for 12 weeks.
American actor Anthony Perkins(April 4, 1932 – September 12, 1992), known for his role as Norman Bates in the Psycho movies, dies from AIDS-related complications. He had exclusively same-sex relationships until his late 30s, including with actors Rock Hudson (November 17, 1925 – October 2, 1985) and Tab Hunter (July 11, 1931 – July 8, 2018); artist Christopher Makos (born 1948); dancer Rudolf Nureyev (17 March 1938 – 6 January 1993); composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim (March 22, 1930); and dancer-choreographer Grover Dale (born July 22, 1935). Perkins has been described as one of the two great men in the life of French song-writer Patrick Loiseau (June 8, 1949).
Edie Windsor (June 20, 1929 – September 12, 2017) dies. She was an LGBT rights activist and a former technology manager at IBM. She was the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case United States v. Windsor which successfully overturned Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act and was considered a landmark legal victory for the same-sex marriage movement in the United States. Windsor met Thea Spyer, a psychologist, in 1963 at Portofino, a restaurant in Greenwich Village. In 1967, Spyer asked Windsor to marry, although it was not yet legal anywhere in the United States. In 1977, Spyer was diagnosed with progressive multiple sclerosis. The disease caused a gradual, but ever-increasing paralysis. Windsor used her early retirement to become a full-time caregiver for Spyer. Windsor and Spyer entered a domestic partnership in New York City in 1993. Registering on the first available day, they were issued certificate number eighty. Spyer suffered a heart attack in 2002 and was diagnosed with aortic stenosis. In 2007, her doctors told her she had less than a year to live. New York had not yet legalized same-sex marriage, so the couple married in Toronto, Canada on May 22, 2007, with Canada’s first openly gay judge, Justice Harvey Brownstone presiding. An announcement of their wedding was published in the New York Times. Spyer died from complications related to her heart condition on February 5, 2009. On September 26, 2016, Windsor married Judith Kasen at New York City Hall. At the time of the wedding, Windsor was age 87 and Kasen was age 51. Her courage granted same-sex married couples federal recognition of our marriages and removed remaining state barriers to marriage equality. Edie led her fight with dignity and grace and those of us who are beneficiaries of her fight are forever touched by her.
Lili Elbe (28 December 1882 – 13 September 1931), possibly intersex and the recipient of the first sex-reassignment surgery, dies. She married Gerda Gottlieb in 1904 in Denmark, a marriage that the King of Denmark invalidated in 1930 in Germany. Lili died of post-surgical complications as her body rejected her new uterus. The film The Danish Girl is based on her story. In 1932, Man Into Woman, the Story of Lili Elbe’s Life was published.
A large gay rights march sponsored by Coalition for Gay Rights in Ontario calls for reinstatement of John Damien who had been fired as a judge for the Ontario Jockey Club because he was gay. Protestors call for the inclusion of sexual orientation in human rights code.
Soap premieres on ABC with then unknown Billy Crystal playing Jodie Dallas, one of TV’s first prominent and sympathetic gay characters.
The Celluloid Closet premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival. It is a 1995 American documentary film written and directed by Rob Epstein (born April 6, 1955) and Jeffrey Friedman (born August 24, 1951). The film is based on Vito Russo’s (July 11, 1946 – November 7, 1990) book of the same name first published in 1981 and on lecture and film clip presentations he gave from 1972 to 1982. Russo had researched the history of how motion pictures, especially Hollywood films, had portrayed gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender characters. The film was given a limited release in select U.S. theatres, including the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, in April 1996, and then screened on HBO.
The U.S. Congress defeats a bill that would ban employment discrimination against lesbians and gay men.
Lili Reinhart (born September 13, 1996) is born. The Riverdale star came out as a “proud bisexual woman” in June 2020 while urging fans to attend a Black Lives Matter solidarity event organized by members of the LGBTQ community. “Although I’ve never announced it publicly before, I am a proud bisexual woman,” Reinhart wrote on Instagram while providing information about the rally. “And I will be joining this protest today. Come join.”
On Pat Robertson’s 700 Club, Jerry Falwell says feminists and gays and lesbians were responsible for the 9/11 attacks.
The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom declares war on the Australian government for its failure to recognize same-sex marriages. They form a micro-nation and, under the Unjust Enrichment law, demand territorial compensation. While there was no military action, it did cement the Kingdom’s assertion that they exist as an independent country. The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands (also known as The Gay Kingdom of the Coral Sea – for example on postage stamps) was established as a symbolic political protest by a group of gay rights activists based in Australia. Declared in 2004 in response to the Australian government’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriages, it was founded on Australia’s external over-seas Territory of the Coral Sea Islands, a group of uninhabited islets east of the Great Barrier Reef. It is an expression of queer nationalism.
Philip IV orders the arrest of two Knights Templar because they exchanged an obscene kiss” that pretty much covered their entire bodies.
Jeanne or Jean Bonnet was born in Paris but moved to San Francisco with their family as part of a French theatrical troupe. By the time Bonnet was fifteen, he was in trouble for fighting and petty thievery and was placed in the Industrial School, San Francisco’s first reform school. As an adult, Bonnet was arrested dozens of times for wearing male clothing, an illegal act that got him frequently mentioned in the press. Bonnet “cursed the day she was born a female instead of a male,” according to newspaper accounts. He was quoted as declaring, “The police might arrest me as often as they wish. I will never discard male attire as long as I live.” Bonnet spent much of his time on Kearny Street and made a fairly good living by catching frogs and selling them to French restaurants in downtown San Francisco. In 1875 he began visiting brothels, convincing the women to leave prostitution and form an all-female gang. Together they supported themselves by shoplifting. One of these gang members was Blanche Buneau or Beunon who had just arrived from Paris. Bonnet and Blanche moved to McNamara’s Hotel in San Miguel, just outside of San Francisco, to keep Blanche safe from a threatening ex-lover. On the evening of September 14, 1876, Bonnet was lying in bed waiting for Blanche when a shotgun blast came through the window, killing him instantly. It was eventually determined that the shot was meant for Blanche and was the act of either a jealous lover or a pimp wanting to kill Blanche as “an example to the other girls.” Unfortunately, neither theory was ever proven. The women of San Francisco’s red-light district came out en masse for Bonnet’s funeral.
Katherine “Kate” Murray Millett (Sept. 14, 1934- September 5, 2017) is born. Kate was in her mid-30s and an unknown sculptor when her doctoral dissertation at Columbia University, Sexual Politics, was published by Doubleday and Co. Her core premise was that the relationship between the sexes is political, with the definition of politics including, as she once said, “arrangements whereby one group of persons is controlled by another.” After teaching briefly at the University of North Carolina, she pursued her art career in Japan and then New York, where she took a job at Barnard College teaching English literature. In 1965 she married the Japanese sculptor Fumio Yoshimura, but she rejected many traditional ideas of marriage and eventually came out as a lesbian. Her autobiographical work Flying, published in 1974, told of the dizzying fame Sexual Politics had brought and her reaction to it. Sita, in 1977, dealt with her sexuality. She is survived by her spouse Sophie Keir.
Alfred Kinsey’s Sexual Behavior in the Human Female goes on sale reporting that “2 to 6% of females, aged 20-35, were more or less exclusively homosexual in experience/response.”
David Michael Wojnarowicz (September 14, 1954 – July 22, 1992) is born. He was an American painter, photographer, writer, filmmaker, performance artist, songwriter/recording artist and AIDS activist prominent in the New York City art world. On October 11, 1992, David Robinson received wide media attention when he dumped the ashes of his partner, Warren Krause, on the grounds of the White House as a protest against President George H. W. Bush’s inaction in fighting AIDS. Robinson reported that this action was inspired by Wojnarowicz’s 1991 memoir Close to the Knives which imagined “what it would be like if, each time a lover, friend or stranger died of this disease, their friends, lovers or neighbors would take the dead body and drive with it in a car a hundred miles an hour to Washington D.C. and blast through the gates of the White House and come to a screeching halt before the entrance and dump their lifeless form on the front steps.” In 1996, Wojnarowicz’s own ashes were scattered on the White House lawn.
In New York City, Gay Activists Alliance stages the first of an orchestrated campaign of “zaps” in protest of continuing police harassment. They heckle Mayor John Lindsay as he enters the Metropolitan Opera House for its opening night gala.
In Smeaton, Saskatchewan an education arbitration board orders teacher Don Jones reinstated to the job from which he was fired for being gay.
Leslie Blanchard dies from AIDS in the arms of his partner of ten years, Miguel Braschi, in New York. Braschi’s name is not on the lease of their apartment so he is not protected by rent control. In 1989 the New York Court of Appeals case Braschi v Stahl Associates Co decided that the surviving partner of a same-sex relationship counted as “family” under New York law and was thus able to continue living in a rent controlled apartment belonging to the deceased partner. In a subsequent appeal, the court found that a “more realistic, and certainly equally valid view of a family includes two adult lifetime partners whose relationship is long term and characterized by an emotional and financial commitment and interdependence.” Application of this standard allowed Braschi to be considered a family member and prevented his eviction from the apartment. The decision represents the first time a court in the United States granted any kind of legal recognition to a same-sex couple.
ACT UP led a noon protest of 350 people in front of the New York Stock Exchange, targeting Burroughs Wellcome and other companies that it felt were profiteering from the epidemic by their high pricing of the AIDS drug AZT, which was unaffordable to most people living with HIV. The demonstration was planned to coincide with those held in San Francisco and London that day. As a result of these demonstrations, Burroughs Wellcome lowered the price of AZT by 20 percent four days later.
Ann Bannon (pseudonym of Ann Weldy, born September 15, 1932) is born. She is an American author who, from 1957 to 1962, wrote six lesbian pulp fiction novels known as The Beebo Brinker Chronicles. The books’ enduring popularity and impact on lesbian identity has earned her the title “Queen of Lesbian Pulp Fiction.” Ann Bannon retired from teaching and college administration at California State University, Sacramento in 1997.
Gay Power, New York’s first gay newspaper and the first publication to emerge from the post-Stonewall movement, publishes its premiere issue. Gay Power was a biweekly newspaper edited by John Heys. It covered the culture and politics of the New York gay scene through a very personal vision. Each issue featured psychedelic covers and centerfolds and one of its covers was created by Robert Mapplethorpe. The newspaper also contained illustrations by Touko Laaksonen, better known as Tom of Finland as well as regular contributors as Arthur Bell, Taylor Mead, Charles Ludlam, Pudgy Roberts, Bill Vehr, Pat Maxwell, Clayton Cole and regular columns from all of the active gay activists groups, from the most conservative Mattachine Society to the most radical Gay Liberation Front.
A Toronto Board of Education subcommittee to look into establishing a liaison between the Board and the gay and lesbian community caves from pressure from fundamentalist Christian groups, and votes to disband. It was the committee’s very first meeting.
ACT UP protests New York’s MoMA’s exhibit of graphic photos of people with AIDS by photographer Nicholas Nixon who was neither gay nor had AIDS. “The artist makes people with AIDS look like freaks.”
Homosexuality is removed from the International Statistical Classification of Diseases by the World Health Organization.
The European Parliament calls for an end to “all discrimination against homosexuals… and/or inequality of treatment concerning homosexuals” in every country of the European Union.
“X” became the gender option for intersex people on their passports while transgender people continue to choose between “male” and “female.”
Navy Chief of Detectives Laurens Hospuijn (? – September 16, 1730) is executed for sodomy in Amsterdam. He was strangled and thrown into the water with a 100-pound weight.
At the insistence of the U.S., the United Nations suspends the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) from observer status because of allegations that ILGA’s members include groups that promote pedophilia. It is not.
Richard A. Heyman (1935 – September 16, 1994) dies. He was mayor of Key West, Florida from 1983 to 1985 and from 1987 to 1989. He was one of the first openly gay public officials in the United States. Under his leadership, the City of Key West passed a resolution to make it illegal for employers to fire staff who had HIV/AIDS. Heyman died of AIDS-related pneumonia on September 16, 1994 at the age of 59. His papers are held at the Cornell University Library in Ithaca, New York. The Richard A. Heyman Environmental Pollution Control Facility in Key West was named in his honor. In 2010, a documentary about Richard Heyman’s first term as mayor, directed by John Mikytuck, entitled The Newcomer, was released. Heyman’s long-time partner was artist John Kiraly.
Israeli couple, Yuval Topper-Erez, a transman, and his husband Matan, became the first to be jointly recognized as biological fathers.
A Little Late with Lilly Singh premiered on on this day making Singh the first late-night host to ever publicly identify as bisexual.
The Spanish Inquisition is established as a court for the detection of heretics, although its true purpose remains somewhat obscure, but between 1000 and 1600 people were charged with the crime of sodomy. During the 350 years of the Spanish Inquisition, the total number of “heretics” burned at the stake totaled nearly 32,000.
Friedrich von Steuben (September 17, 1730 – November 28, 1794) arrives in Valley Forge to offer his expertise to the Continental Army. Von Steuben had been forced out of the Prussian military due to homosexual scandals. He is considered the father of the United States military. He was a gay man who wrote the Revolutionary War Drill Manual and introduced drills, tactics and discipline to the rag-tag militia which resulted in victory over the British. He has a statue at Valley Forge and another in Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C. Towns, buildings and a college football field have been named after him; there is even an annual Steuben Day Parade held in his honor every September in cities such as New York and Chicago (in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Ferris lip syncs Wayne Newton’s Danke Schoen during Chicago’s Steuben Day Parade). No foreigner besides Marquis de Lafayette has been so adored in America as von Steuben. The one fact that seems to be left out is that von Steuben was known to “have affections to members of his own sex” and was even identified as a “sodomite,” which is rumored to be the reason he left Prussia for France where he ultimately met Ben Franklin. Upon arriving at Valley Forge, von Steuben was immediately accepted by Washington who recognized his military genius. Steuben single-handedly turned a militia, consisting mostly of farmers, into a well-trained, disciplined, professional army that was able to stand musket-to-musket combat with the British. Washington and the Continental Army officially adopted von Steuben’s methods and renamed them Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United State, known in military circles today simply as The Blue Book.
Ruth Fulton Benedict (June 5, 1887 – September 17, 1948) dies. She was an American anthropologist and folklorist. Benedict held the post of President of the American Anthropological Association and was also a prominent member of the American Folklore Society. Benedict taught her first anthropology course at Barnard college in 1922 and among her students was Margaret Mead (December 16, 1901 – November 15, 1978). Benedict was a significant influence on Mead. She was her sometimes lover and lifelong friend . Mead and Ruth Benedict are considered to be the two most influential and famous anthropologists of their time. One of the reasons Mead and Benedict got along well was because they both shared a passion for their work and they each felt a sense of pride at being a successful working woman during a time when this was uncommon. They were known to critique each other’s work frequently; they created a companionship that began through their work, but which also was of an erotic character. Both Benedict and Mead wanted to dislodge stereotypes about women during their time and show that working women can be successful even though working society was seen as a man’s world. In her memoir about her parents With a Daughter’s Eye, Margaret Mead’s daughter implies that the relationship between Benedict and Mead was partly sexual. In 1946, Benedict received the Achievement Award from the American Association of University Women. After Benedict died of a heart attack in 1948, Mead kept the legacy of Benedict’s work going by supervising projects that Benedict would have looked after and editing and publishing notes from studies that Benedict had collected throughout her life.
M*A*S*H premieres on CBS introducing the world to Cpl. Max Klinger, televisions first on-going heterosexual cross-dressing character.
Toronto gay activist Brian Mossop is expelled from the Communist Party of Canada for being openly gay and advocating homosexuality.
The man who founded both the first gay bookstore and the first gay mail-order service in the United States was Edward Sagarin (September 18, 1913 – June 10, 1986), author of The Homosexual in America, the first non-fiction, insider account of the American LGBTQ community. Writing under the pseudonym Donald Webster Cory, he was one of the first to proclaim that gay people constituted a minority group similar to African Americans and Jews. His book politicized so many young men and women who went on to become LGBTQ activists that Cory has been dubbed the “father of the homophile movement.” Leveraging the names and addresses of the thousands of men and women who wrote praising his book, Cory founded the Cory Book Service in 1952, the first independent business devoted exclusively to selling books on LGBTQ topics. By identifying, reviewing, and selling gay fiction and nonfiction, the Cory Book Service not only encouraged and popularized LGBTQ literature, it was one of the first national LGBTQ organizations. Its mailing list was instrumental in the founding of ONE magazine, the major homophile periodical of the 1950s. In April 1953, Cory expanded his successful mail-order service to open The Book Cellar, the first bookstore tailored to the gay market. Gore Vidal and other gay authors occasionally did book signings at the bookstore. Cory described it as a “small but very personal place” that he hoped would become both a local and national destination. While The Book Cellar lasted only a few years, the Cory Book Service developed a wide and loyal following, reaching more than five thousand subscribers under its successor organization The Winston Book Club. It inspired over a dozen similar LGBTQ mail-order book services, including the Guild Book Service (by H. Lynn Womack), the DOB Book Service (by the Daughters of Bilitis), and the Dorian Book Service (by Hal Call). Hal Call of the San Francisco-based Mattachine Society was the first to turn his Dorian Book Service into a successful storefront bookstore. In March 1967, Call partnered with Bob Damron and Harrison Keleinschmidt (a.k.a. J. D. Mercer) to open the Adonis Bookstore in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, around the corner from the Club Turkish Baths and Compton’s Cafeteria. It featured books, magazines, paintings, physique art, gay greeting cards, records, sculptures, novelties, and gifts. Promotional material touted it as a “gay supermarket.”
Richard Allen Grenell (born September 18, 1966) is an American diplomat, political advisor, and media consultant who served as Acting Director of National Intelligence in President Donald Trump’s Cabinet in 2020, making him the first openly gay person to serve in a U.S. cabinet-level position. Grenell was a U.S. State Department spokesperson to the United Nations during the George W. Bush administration. Following his State Department tenure, he formed Capitol Media Partners, a political consultancy; he also was a Fox News contributor. On this day, Trump nominated Grenell as the U.S. Ambassador to Germany. His tenure in Germany was controversial due to his association with the far right and a perceived lack of professionalism. Grenell is a registered Republican. His longtime partner is founder of chemoWave Matt Lashey.
The Toronto Board of Education adopts a policy banning discrimination based on sexual orientation while adding a clause forbidding “proselytizing of homosexuality in the schools.”
The film Mommie Dearest opens, simultaneously glorifying and condemning gay icon Joan Crawford.
Henri III (19 September 1551 – 2 August 1589) is born at Fontainebleu, France. He was the King of the Polish-Lithuanian Common-wealth from 1573 to 1575 and King of France from 1574 until his death. He was the last French monarch of the House of Valois. Reports that Henry engaged in same sex relations with his court favorites, known as the mignons, date back to his own time. On August 1, 1589, Henry III lodged with his army at Saint-Cloud, preparing to attack Paris, when a young fanatical Dominican friar, Jacques Clément, carrying false papers, was granted access to deliver important documents to the king. The monk gave the king a bundle of papers and stated that he had a secret message to deliver. The king signaled for his attendants to step back for privacy. Clément whispered in his ear while plunging a knife into his abdomen. Clément was then killed on the spot by the guards.
Organized by activist Randy Wicker (born February 3, 1938), a small group picketed New York City’s Whitehall Street Induction Center after the confidentiality of gay men’s draft records was violated. Randy Wicker, Renee Cafiero, other activists, and representatives of the New York League for Sexual Freedom picket the Whitehall Induction Center in protest of the Military’s anti-gay and lesbian policies. This action has been identified as the first gay rights demonstration in the United States.
1970, Sydney, Australia
John Ware and Christabel Poll, founders of the newly formed Campaign Against Moral Persecution, Inc. (CAMP, Inc.) become the first gay man and the first lesbian, respectively, to come out in the country’s history when an interview featuring them is published in the newspaper The Australian.
Greg Louganis (born January 29, 1960) is injured during the Seoul Olympics. His head struck the springboard during the preliminary rounds, leading to a concussion. He completed the preliminaries despite his injury. He then earned the highest single score of the qualifying round for his next dive and repeated the dive during the finals, earning the gold medal by a margin of 25 points.
Same-sex sexual activity is banned with a 10-year jail sentence if caught.
Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia (356 BC—323 BC) is born. He is considered one of the greatest military geniuses of all time. Alexander was born in 356 BC in Pella, the ancient capital of Macedonia. He was the son of Philip II, King of Macedonia, and Olympias, the princess of neighboring Epirus. Alexander spent his childhood watching his father transform Macedonia into a great military power, and watching him win victory after victory on the battlefields throughout the Balkans. Historians believe he was gay; the American Library Association’s list of GLBT historical figures includes Alexander the Great.
Dr. Erwin Gohrbandt studied medicine at the Military Medical Academy and graduated in 1917. He worked at the Charité Universitätsmediz in Berlin. In Berlin in 1931, he did the initial operations on the first two transsexuals to have sex reassignment surgery. Dr. Gohrbandt later becomes a decorated surgeon-general in the Luftwaffe.
Bisexual American painter Romaine Brooks (May 1, 1874 – December 7, 1970) had a three-year affair with Russian ballerina Ida Rubinstein (September 21,1883 – September 20, 1960) and had painted portraits of her during that time. One was the “Weeping Venus “which was featured on this day at the opening of Expo Centre Pompidou Metz.
John Singer (October 21, 1944 – June 5, 2000), later known as Faygele ben Miriam, and fellow activist Paul Barwick (born 1946) apply for a marriage license in Seattle. Singer was a U.S. activist for LGBT rights, and a gay marriage pioneer, filing one of the first gay marriage lawsuits in American history after being denied a marriage license at the King County Administration Building in Seattle, Washington in 1971. The case, Singer v. Hara, was the best-known gay marriage case in the state of Washington until Andersen v. King County in 2006. Barwick served three years in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, working as a military policeman. Later, he became an emergency dispatcher for the Washington State Patrol. He attended Olympic College in Bremerton. He currently lives in San Francisco, California, his residence for the last 30 years.
In their so-called “battle of the sexes,” tennis star (and still closeted-at-that-time lesbian) Billie Jean King (born November 22, 1943) defeats Bobby Riggs in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, at the Houston Astrodome.
The New York chapter of Daughters of Bilitis is formed by a group of lesbians including Barbara Gittings (July 31, 1932 – February 18, 2007). They meet at the offices of the Mattachine Society of New York. The chapter is the first lesbian organization on the East Coast.
Bruce Mailman (1939-June 9, 1994) opens the Saint disco in New York City, heralding what many gay New Yorkers remember as the zenith of the clone era. He was an East Village entrepreneur, Off-Broadway theatre-owner and founder of The Saint and New St. Marks Baths. In 1979, he bought the building that would become the New Saint Marks Baths at 6 St. Marks Place. He sought to provide a cleaner environment for a gay bathhouse than had been the case prior. He claimed it was the largest bathhouse in the world. In 1981 he bought the neighboring 8 St. Marks with hopes of doubling the size. In 1980 he bought the Fillmore East and converted it to The Saint nightclub. Both institutions would run into trouble with the advent of the AIDS crisis. Mailman died of AIDS in 1994.
President Bill Clinton announced his signing of a bill outlawing same-sex marriage but said it should not be used as an excuse for discrimination, violence or intimidation against gays and lesbians.
1996, Saudi Arabia
Twenty-four Filipino workers receive the first 50 lashes of their 200-lash sentence for alleged “homosexual behavior.” Despite protests from Amnesty International, the government goes ahead with the sentence and later deports the workers.
LGBT activist Alberto Osorio was found murdered in his apartment in Lima. Eight similar crimes against LGBT individuals in Peru occurred in the same year.
The U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy is officially repealed. It had been in effect since 1993.
Cassidy Lynn Campbell, 16, becomes the first transgender public school homecoming queen in the U.S., at Marina High School in Huntington Beach, CA.
Historian and professor John D’Emilio (September 21, 1948) is born. He is professor emeritus of history and of women’s and gender studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He had taught at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1982. He was a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow in 1997 and a Guggenheim fellow in 1998. D’Emilio served as Director of the Policy Institute at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force from 1995 to 1997. In 2005 he was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. He received the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from Publishing Triangle in 2013. Jim Oleson, his partner since the early 1980s, died at their home in Chicago on April 4, 2015.
In San Francisco four lesbian couples, including Phyllis Lyon (born November 10, 1924 – April 9, 2020) and Del Martin (May 5, 1921 – August 27, 2008), founded the Daughters of Bilitis, the first homophile organization exclusively for women. Forty-nine years later, Lyon and Martin would become the first same-sex couple ever to marry legally in the United States when San Francisco begins issuing licenses. Their marriage would be subsequently annulled by the California Supreme Court, along with more than 4,000 other couples’ marriages, in its ruling that Mayor Gavin Newsom was exceeding his authority by determining that it was unconstitutional to deny these couples marriage licenses. On June 16, 2008, after 55 years in love, Lyon and Martin married again, legally.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court awards custody of two boys to their divorced gay father, declaring homosexuality isn’t in itself grounds for ruling a parent unfit.
Actress Amanda Bearse (born August 9, 1958) comes out while co-starring on the television series Married with Children.
President Bill Clinton signs the Defense of Marriage Act, banning federal recognition of same-sex marriage and defining marriage as “a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.”
Will & Grace, the first prime-time program to feature openly gay lead characters, premiers.
Soldier’s Girl, a film based on a true story about solider in love with a transsexual woman, is nominated for an Emmy.
Openly transgender Michelle Poley wins an Emmy as part of the CNN Election Center team.
Dan Savage (born October 7, 1964) and husband Terry Miller up-load their first It Gets Better video on YouTube. Dan is an American author, media pundit, journalist, and activist for the LGBT community. He writes Savage Love, an internationally syndicated relationship and sex advice column. In 2010, Savage and his husband, Terry Miller, began the It Gets Better Project to help prevent suicide among LGBT youth. He has also worked as a theater director, sometimes credited as Keenan Hollahan.
Governor Edmond Andros of New York issues an order extending the 1665 sodomy law of New York into what is now Pennsylvania and Delaware.
The Chicago Defender, one of the pre-eminent African American newspapers, runs an ad for a new record by Ma Rainey (1886-1939) called Prove It on Me Blues. The lyrics are unmistakably about women-loving-women.
Reverend Magora E. Kennedy (born September 22, 1938) is born in Albany, New York. She was educated at Boston University and Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut and began her career as a lecturer, teacher and historian teaching African History/Herstory and God/Goddess, King/Queen connection. She is a Black lesbian and Chaplain of the National Stonewall Rebellion Veterans Association.
Doug Wilson, a graduate student in education at University of Saskatchewan, is prevented from practice teaching in Saskatoon because he was publicly active in the gay movement. The president of the university calls it a “managerial decision.”
Oliver Sipple (November 20, 1941 – February 2, 1989), a gay man and former U. S. Marine and Vietnam veteran, prevents a gunshot fired by Sara Jane Moore from hitting President Gerald Ford, in San Francisco. The subsequent public revelation that Sipple was gay turned the news story into a cause célèbre for LGBT rights activists, leading Sipple to unsuccessfully sue several publishers for invasion of privacy.
The Backstreet Café in Roanoke, V.A. was attacked by a man named Ronald Gay who specifically said he was on a mission to kill gay people. The 55-year-old drifter opened fire at the bar killing one man, Danny Lee Overstreet, and wounding six others.
September 22, 2019
Billy Porter becomes the first openly gay Black man to win the Emmy for best lead actor in a drama series. He came out as HIV+ on May 19, 2021.
Bisexuality Day and Bisexual Awareness Week
Indian prince Manavendra Singh Gohil (born September 23, 1965), believed to be the only openly gay royal in the world, was born. His family disowned him when he first came out in the media in 2006. He has since been welcomed back. The Prince is the founder of an HIV/AIDS prevention charity. He runs another charity, The Lakshya Trust, which works with the LGBT community.
Ani Difranco (born September 23, 1970) is born. She becomes an articulate, intelligent, out bisexual punk folksinger with her own record label, Righteous Babe Records, in an industry dominated by multinational corporations. She’s proud that she not only writes and publishes her own songs, but also produces her own recordings, creates the artwork, and releases them.
On the CBS Television series Medical Center, a medical researcher announces, “I am a homosexual.” Although his “condition” is portrayed as unfortunate, the program is acclaimed as the first sympathetic treatment of a gay man in an American TV drama.
First Folsom Street Fair takes place, organized by the San Francisco BDSM and Leather Fetish community.
First Celebration of Bisexuality Day, sponsored by BiNet, to recognize bisexuality, bi history, and the bi community.
Richard Puller von Hohenberg is burned at the stake along with his servant Anton Matzler in Zurich. They are accused of having a homosexual relationship.
1731, The Netherlands
Twenty-two men are strangled and burned in a mass execution in Zuidhorn under the charge of sodomy.
In Toronto, a Provincial Court judge acquits Don Franco of charges of keeping a common bawdyhouse in his own home. Police had burst in on Franco while he was having a three-some in 1979.
Out of the Closet: A Study of Relations Between the Homosexual Community and Police, commissioned by Toronto city council, is released by Arnold Bruner, the author of the report. It recognizes the gay community as legitimate part of community and calls for a permanent police/gay dialogue committee.
The Kentucky Supreme Court rules that the state’s anti-sodomy laws violate the rights to privacy and equal protection as guaranteed by the state constitution.
Sixty-two men are arrested for homosexuality. They’re charged with “habitual practice of debauchery” and face up to three years in prison.
Nova Scotia becomes the sixth of Canada’s provinces or territories to have legal same-sex marriage.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claims Iran has no homosexuals while speaking at Columbia University.
Boystown, the historic gay neighborhood in Chicago will now be known as Northalsted after calls from certain groups that it should be named something more inclusive. The Northalsted Business Alliance announced Wednesday it was eliminating the use of “Boystown” in its marketing campaigns to be more inclusive of all genders despite the fact that most of the area’s businesses are gay male orientated.
In France, the new law code, enacted as part of the French Revolution, effectively decriminalizes sodomy by including no mention of sex between consenting adults.
Pedro Almodóvar Caballero (born September 25, 1949) is a Spanish film director, screenwriter, producer and former actor. He came to prominence as a director and screenwriter during La Movida Madrileña, a cultural renaissance that followed the death of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. His first few films characterized the sense of sexual and political freedom of the period. Almodóvar is gay and has been with his partner, actor and photographer Fernando Iglesias, since 2002. Almodóvar often casts him in small roles in his films.
Three volunteer members of the Mississippi Gay Alliance are arrested in Smith Park in Jackson, charged with loitering. The U.S. Civil Rights Commission label the incident as part of a pattern of police harassment.
Over 5800 Pages of J. Edgar Hoover’s personal war on Sex Deviate gays is released. He waged an unrelenting war against gays even though he was gay himself and lived with his lover Clyde Tolson for decades.
California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signs AB 2900, a bill to unify all state anti-discrimination codes to match the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.
A homosexual-specific Holocaust memorial plaque is unveiled at the NatzweilerStruthof concentration camp. The plaque reads In Memory of the Victims of Nazi Barbarity Deported Because of Their Homosexuality.
Mattel launched the world’s first line of gender-neutral dolls which they marketed as Creatable World. These is a customizable doll line offering endless combinations all in one box so that kids may create their own characters. Extensive wardrobe options, accessories and wigs allow kids to style the doll with short or long hair, or in a skirt, pants, or both. For more information, please visit www.CreatableWorld.com.
Argenio Fanucci is imprisoned in Seattle, WA, for the crime of carnal knowledge.
Leonard Bernstein’s ground-breaking musical West Side Story (later made into the film by the same name) opens on Broadway. The musical is a modern remake of the classic Romeo and Juliet by playwright William Shakespeare. Historians describe Bernstein as bisexual and some conjecture that Shakespeare was gay.
In San Francisco, thirty people picketed Grace Cathedral to protest punitive actions taken against Rev. Canon Robert Cromey for his involvement in the Council on Religion and the Homosexual, an alliance between LGBT people and religious leaders.
In Los Angeles, Gay Liberation Front demonstrators persuade bar owners to allow gay patrons to hold hands.
Toronto’s Club Baths opens at 231 Mutual Street. It is the first of modern gay-operated bathhouses in Canada.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show opens in Los Angeles.
Amid a bitterly contested campaign in Oregon for and against Measure 9, an anti-gay rights initiative, a lesbian and a gay man are killed when local skinheads throw a Molotov cocktail into their apartment in Salem.
2000, South Korea
Hon Seok-Cheon (born February 3, 1971) comes out as gay and is fired from his acting role on the children’s television program Popopo. In 2008 he hosted a television program called Coming Out about the lives of lesbians and gay men.
Boys on the Road, the first gay travel TV program in Latin America, premieres on E! Entertainment.
John Leonell, 23, and Tom McLaughlin, 28, die by suicide in an Ohio hotel room, locked in each other’s arms.
Chicago Gay Alliance separates from the local Gay Liberation Front (GLF), declaring in a position statement that GLF’s political agenda is too broad to be effective in the struggle for gay and lesbian civil rights.
The National Gay [later “and Lesbian”] Task Force and other lesbian and gay activists persuade major consumer advertisers to withdraw commercials from a Marcus Welby, MD, episode about a high school boy who is raped by a male teacher. Their achievement is hailed as the first successful protest against alleged defamation of gay men on American television.
Real Menard (born May 13, 1962), a Montreal representative of the Bloc Quebecois, becomes the second MP to come out when he tells reporters that he is “speaking for the community” to which he belongs when he protests the televised statements of another member of Parliament, Roseanne Skoke of Nova Scotia, among which is the claim that “this [gay and lesbian] love, this compassion, based on an inhuman act, defiles human-ity, destroys family … and is annihilating mankind.”
New Jersey Superior Court rules that same-sex couples be allowed to marry.
1292, Ghent (in present-day Belgium)
John, a knife maker, is sentenced to be burned at the stake for having sex with another man. This is the first documented execution for sodomy in Western Europe
The first lesbian marriage takes place in Nevada when Sarah Maud Pollard, as Samuel M. Pollard, married Marancy Hughes in Tuscarora, Elko County, Nevada Territory. Sarah Pollard was born in 1846 in New York, the daughter of a middle-class merchant family. After working in a shoe factory in Massachusetts and sewing shirts in New York, she headed west to Colorado in the 1870s. She caused a stir because of her masculine appearance. Around 1876 she moved to Nevada and took up wearing male clothing in order to find work. She began calling herself “Sam.” She met young Marancy Hughes, born in 1861 in Missouri, and actively courted her. Hughes’ family hated Pollard and the couple eloped on September 28, 1877. They were happily married for six months until Marancy broke the secret. The small silver-mining town of Tuscarora, Nevada was transfixed by the story. The matter ended up in court and after Marancy testified, a dramatic reunion took place. Stories about the troubled marriage were carried in newspapers across the country (even appearing in a New Zealand paper. The couple broke up two more times before Marancy moved on to a marriage with a man in 1880. Sarah moved to Minnesota to start a new life by 1883, working by herself on a farm. The story of her successful farming career again made national newspapers, which noted she wore a bloomers-type outfit while plowing. By the 1890s she met a woman named Helen Stoddard, a schoolteacher who was born in 1864 in Vermont. In later census records Helen was listed as her partner or companion. Sarah died in 1929 and Helen paid for her arrangements at a local funeral home, the owners puzzling over the relationship of the two women.
Author Margaret Wise Brown’s (May 23, 1910 – November 13, 1952) classic children’s book Goodnight Moon is published. In the summer of 1940 Brown began a long-term relationship with Blanche Oelrichs (October 1, 1890 – November 5, 1950) (nom de plume Michael Strange), poet/playwright, actress, and the former wife of John Barrymore. The relationship, which began as a mentoring one, eventually became romantic, and included cohabitating at 10 Gracie Square in Manhattan beginning in 1943. As a studio, they used Cobble Court, a wooden house later moved to Charles Street. Oelrichs, who was 20 years Brown’s senior, died in 1950.
Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić’s (28 September 1975) partner Milica gave birth to a boy in 2019. Brnabic is therefore believed to be the first prime minister in a same-sex couple whose partner gave birth while the prime minister was in office. She has served as the Prime Minister of Serbia since 2017. She is the first woman and first openly gay person to hold the office. In 2019, Brnabić was ranked by Forbes magazine as the 88th most powerful woman in the world and as the 19th most powerful female political and policy leader.
The European Parliament in Strasburg passes a resolution against discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The Captive, a melodrama about a young woman seduced by an older woman (her “shadow”), creates a sensation on Broadway for its lesbian undertones.
Rope, an Alfred Hitchcock film with a gay subtext, opens in theaters. Based on the play of the same name by Patrick Hamilton and adapted by Hume Cronyn, it was inspired by the real-life thrill kill murder of 14-year-old Bobby Franks in 1924 by gay University of Chicago students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb.
- H. Auden(21 February 1907 – 29 September 1973) dies in Vienna at age 63. He was an English-American poet whose work was noted for its stylistic and technical achievement, its engagement with politics, morals, love, and religion, and its variety in tone, form and content. From around 1927 to 1939 Auden and Christopher Isherwoodmaintained a lasting but intermittent sexual friendship while both had briefer but more intense relations with other men. In 1939 Auden fell in love with Chester Kallman and regarded their relation as a marriage; this ended in 1941 when Kallman refused to accept the faithful relation that Auden demanded. The two maintained their friendship, and from 1947 until Auden’s death, they lived in the same house or apartment in a non-sexual relation, often collaborating on opera libretti such as The Rake’s Progress for music by Igor Stravinsky.
California Governor Pete Wilson vetoes AB 101, a gay and lesbian employment rights bill, inciting what some call Stonewall II, a month of marches and angry protests across the state.
Actor, singer, and songwriter Paul Jabara (January 31, 1948 – September 29, 1992) dies from AIDS related complications at the age of 44. Jabara wrote Donna Summer’s Last Dance from Thank God It’s Friday, Barbra Streisand’s song The Main Event/Fight (1979), and co-wrote the Weather Girls hit It’s Raining Men with Paul Shaffer. Paul Jabara won both Grammy Award for Best R&B Song and the Academy Award for Best Original Song for Last Dance in which he also played the role of Carl, the lovelorn and nearsighted disco goer.
2004, Sierra Leone
FannyAnn Viola Eddy (1974–September 28, 2004) was an activist for lesbian and gay rights in her native Sierra Leone and throughout Africa. In 2002, she founded the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association, the first of its kind in Sierra Leone. She traveled widely, addressing the United Nations and other international groups. In April 2004, she advocated the passing of the Brazilian Resolution at the UN in Geneva. Eddy was murdered on September 29, 2004, when a group of at least three men broke into the office of the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association in central Freetown, gang-raped her, stabbed her, and eventually broke her neck. Eddy left behind a 10-year-old son and girlfriend Esther Chikalipa. In 2008 the FannyAnn Eddy Poetry Award was named in her honor.
Closet case Florida Republican congressman Mark Foley (born September 8, 1954) resigns after Instant Messages of a sexual nature between him and underage male congressional pages are revealed.
GLAAD files and wins a lawsuit on behalf of Rhode Island to allow out-of-state same-sex couples to marry in Massachusetts, the only state in the country in which same-sex marriage is legal.
California becomes the first state to ban gay conversion therapy on minors to “cure” them of their homosexuality.
Truman Capote (born Truman Streckfus Persons, September 30, 1924 – August 25, 1984) is born. He was an American novelist, screen-writer, playwright, and actor, many of whose 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 as a nonfiction novel. At least 20 films and television dramas have been produced of Capote novels, stories, and plays. Capote was openly homosexual. One of his first serious lovers was Smith College literature professor Newton Arvin. Although Capote seemed never really to embrace the gay rights movement, his own openness about homosexuality and his encouragement for openness in others makes him an important player in the realm of gay rights nonetheless. Capote died in Bel Air, Los Angeles, on August 25, 1984, age 59. According to the coroner’s report, the cause of death was liver disease complicated by phlebitis and multiple drug intoxication. He died at the home of his old friend Joanne Carson, ex-wife of late-night TV host Johnny Carson on whose program Capote had been a frequent guest. Gore Vidal responded to news of Capote’s death by calling it “a wise career move.”
Johnny Mathis (born September 30, 1935) is born. A beloved velvet-voiced jazz and pop singer, Johnny would come out to his public in an interview for Us magazine in June 1982.
The first public action for gay rights takes place after the Paraguayan government arrests hundreds of gay men without warrant and tortures them for being gay.
New York State sues a West 12th Street co-op for trying to evict Dr. Joseph Sonnabend for treating AIDS patients. He later receives $10,000 and a new lease.
Swedish athlete Kajsa Bergqvist (born 12 October 1976) wins the Olympic Bronze Medal for high jumping. She comes out as lesbian in 2011.