Today in LGBT History – April 1 – April 12

Kelly and I are heading out for the Caribbean. The history items from April 1st through April 12th are in this one blog. Enjoy! Back on April 13th.        —Ronni

Learning our history is resistance! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!

Today in LGBT History – April 1

 1896, Germany – The first issue of Der Eigene (Self-Ownership), an openly homosexual publication, appears from 1896 to 1932. Adolf Brand  (14 November 1874 – 2 February 1945) writes in this first issue: “This journal is dedicated to Eigen people, such people as are proud of their Eigenheit and wish to maintain it at any price.” Brand was a German writer, individualist anarchist, and pioneering campaigner for the acceptance of male bisexuality and homosexuality.

1930 – The Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA) introduces a self-regulatory code of movie ethics, discouraging filmmakers from including frank depictions of sex and sexuality. Nicknamed the Hays Code after the head of the MPPDA, former Republican National Committee chairman Will H. Hays, the regulations become mandatory on July 1, 1934.

 1943, The Netherlands – Fifteen men including three gay men had attacked a Nazi-held building on March 27th. An unknown betrayer causes their arrest on this day. The leader of the group, Willem Arondeus (22 August 1894 – 1 July 1943), declares, “Let it be known that homosexuals are not cowards.” Arondeus was a Dutch artist and author, who joined the Dutch anti-Nazi resistance movement during World War II. He participated in the bombing of the Amsterdam public records office to hinder the Nazi German effort to identify Dutch Jews and other wanted by the Gestapo. Arondeus was caught and executed soon after his arrest.

1971, France –  Police confiscate copies of JeanPaul Sartre’s newspaper Tout when it publishes an editorial advocating social acceptance of homosexuality, which was not criminalized in France.

 1950 – Bowing to McCarthy-era pressure from anti-Communist conservatives, the Civil Service Commission intensifies its efforts to locate and dismiss lesbians and gay men working in government. Over the next six months, 382 are fired, compared with 192 for the preceding two and a half years.

1970 – The Advocate estimates that there are approximately 6,817,000 gays

1971 – French newspaper Tout calls for complete sexual liberation in France. Police seize the publication calling it an “outrage to public morals.”

1972 – Delaware decriminalizes private consensual adult homosexual acts.

1974 – In Michigan, Kathy Kozachenko wins a seat on the Ann Arbor City Council. She is the first openly lesbian or gay person elected to public office in the US. Kozachenko is often overlooked as the first openly gay elected official in the United States. On the day after the election in 1974, The New York Times ran an article that ignored the election of Kozachenko, and instead focused on the marijuana tax referendum. When listing the winning candidates, the Times depicted her as “a student at University of Michigan who described herself as a lesbian.”

1975 – Mandate, an openly gay nudie magazine, makes its debut.

1976 – South Dakota decriminalizes private consensual adult homosexual acts.

1979 – The Village People’s song In The Navy begins a thirteen-week run on the nation’s Top 40.  The U.S. Navy briefly considers using the song as a recruitment theme until the full implications of the lyrics are explained.

1981 – Ebony magazine poses the question, “Is Homosexuality a Threat to the Black Family?” The article concludes that it is not.

1985 – The first classes are held at the Harvey Milk School for gay, lesbian and bisexual youth, a New York city-funded institution. Harvey Milk is the first gay high school in America.

1985 – New York City: The Hetrick-Martin Institute opens the Harvey Milk School for 20 openly lesbian and gay teenagers in the basement of a Greenwich Village church. The city-funded high school provides a place of refuge for the students, many of whom have dropped out of other schools to escape repeated abuse and harassment. In 1979, life partners and educators on gay and lesbian issues, Dr. Emery Hetrick (1946-1987, a psychiatrist, and Dr. Damien Martin (1934-1991), a professor at New York University, heard the heartbreaking story of a homeless 15-year-old boy who had been beaten and thrown out of his emergency shelter because he was gay. They were so moved that they gathered a group of concerned adults and created what was then called the Institute for the Protection of Lesbian and Gay Youth (IPLGY) to assist this group of young people who desperately needed support. In 1988, the organization was renamed Hetrick-Martin Institute in honor of its founders and their lifelong commitment to service.

1987 –The first National Gay and Lesbian Youth Conference is held in Los Angeles

1990 – Madonna announces in Vanity Fair that she is not a lesbian and that Sandra Bernhard (born June 6, 1955) is not her lover. Bernhard is openly bisexual and a strong supporter of gay rights. On July 4, 1998, Bernhard gave birth to a daughter, Cicely Yasin Bernhard, whom she raises with her longtime partner, Sara Switzer.

1997 – Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Commissioners strips the Arts and Science Council of $2.5 million in funding stemming from a community-wide debate over “Angels in America.”

1998 – Coretta Scott King, widow of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., calls on the civil rights community to join the struggle against homophobia. She receives criticism from members of the black civil rights movement for comparing civil rights to gay rights.

2001, The Nertherlands – First legal same-sex weddings in the world take place in Amsterdam City Hall after The Netherlands becomes the first country to legalize same-sex marriage. Denmark was already recognizing civil unions, but no country had extended to gay and lesbian couples all the protections, rights and responsibilities of marriage until now.

Today in LGBT History – April 2

1956 – David C. Bohnett (born April 2, 1956) is born. He is an American philanthropist and technology entrepreneur and founder and chairman of the David Bohnett Foundation, a non-profit, grant-making organization devoted to improving society through social activism. Bohnett founded the pioneering social networking site GeoCities in 1994. The highly successful site went public via an IPO in 1998, and was acquired by Yahoo! in 1999. In 1983, he entered a longterm relationship with fellow activist and openly gay judge Rand Schrader (May 11, 1945 – June 13, 1993) 11 years his senior. In 1994, Bohnett’s business and software expertise, and his interest in giving people a voice and a chance to meet people of similar interests, led him to develop, with John Rezner as co-founder and chief technical officer. GeoCities was the first social networking site on the internet, an early forerunner of MySpace and Facebook. Bohnett has funded numerous LGBT CyberCenters inckuding the first university LGBT cybercenter at UCLA.

2005 – NAACP Chair Julian Bond states in a national speech that “gay rights are civil rights.”

2013, Uruguay – Uruguay senate approves same-sex marriage by a vote of 23-8, becoming the fourteenth country in the world to legalize marriage equality.

Today in LGBT History – April 3

1895, UK – the opening of the Oscar Wilde v. the Marquis of Queensbury trial. The Marquess accused Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) of being “a sodomite,” a criminal activity. Wilde sued the Marquess for criminal libel. The Marquess had to prove that the allegation was true in order to escape conviction. The court decided the accusation was true and the Marquess was acquitted. Wilde had to pay the Marquess’ legal fees which left him bankrupt.

1931 – William Bast (April 3, 1931 – May 4, 2015) was an American screenwriter and author. In addition to writing scripts for motion pictures and television, he was the author of two biographies of the screen actor James Dean (February 8, 1931 – September 30, 1955). He often worked with his lover author Paul Huson (born 19 September 1942).

1959 – The Florida legislative Investigation Committee conducts witch-hunts from 1958-1964. On this day in 1959, the University of Florida fires 14 employees and removes 50 students for being gay.

1972 – Nancy Wechsler and Jerry DeGrieck became the first openly LGBT elected officials in America. They were graduate students at the University of Michigan, and both were elected to the Ann Arbor City Council. DeGrieck and Wechsler were elected to the Ann Arbor City Council as members of the Human Rights Party on April 3, 1972.

2009 – Iowa is the first state to allow legal same-sex marriages via an Iowa Supreme Court decision.

Today in LGBT History – April 4

 1932 – Anthony Perkins (April 4, 1932 – September 12, 1992) is born. He was an American actor and singer. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his second film, Friendly Persuasion, but is best known for playing Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock‘s Psycho and its three sequels. According to the posthumous biography Split Image by Charles Winecoff, he had exclusively same-sex relationships until his late 30s, including with actors Rock Hudson (November 17, 1925 – October 2, 1985) and Tab Hunter  (born July 11, 1931), artist Christopher Makos (born 1948), dancer Rudolf Nureyev (17 March 1938 – 6 January 1993), composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim (born 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 songwriter Patrick Loiseau. Perkins died at his Los Angeles home on September 12, 1992, from AIDS-related pneumonia.

1938, Germany – The Gestapo decrees that men convicted of homosexuality will be sent to the concentration camps. Between 1933 and 1945 when WWII ended, and estimated 100,00 men were arrested as homosexuals, 50,000 were sentenced and sent to prison. Between 5,000 and 15,000 were in concentration camps. After WWII many remained in jail until 1968 because homosexuality was still a crime in Germany under Paragraph 175 which as not repealed until 1994.

1968 – The Rev. Martin Luther King dies. Exactly one year earlier, he gave his most prophetic speech. Read it at

1972 – The world’s first LGBT synagogue, Beth Chayam Chadashim (BCC), was founded, in Los Angeles. On April 4, 1972, four Jews were among those who showed up for a weekly rap group at L.A.’s Metropolitan Community Church (MCC). In less than four years MCC, the first church with an outreach to gays and lesbians, had grown to 15,000 members in 40 U.S. cities. In Los Angeles, the “mother church,” led by Rev. Troy Perry and located near USC, had 725 members. The presence of Jews at the church was understandable. In 1972 the existence of lesbian and gay Jews was virtually unheard of. It was a time when same-sex activity was illegal, homosexuality was still classified as a mental illness, and to be openly gay or lesbian usually meant loss of employment and rejection by family and Jewish community. The Stonewall Riots in New York’s Greenwich Village, often considered the watershed event in the modern gay liberation movement, had occurred less than three years earlier. Fifteen people came to the first service, held June 9, 1972 in Jerry Gordon’s home.

 1974 – In New York City, more than 1,000 people gather in Greenwich Village to demonstrate support for a gay and lesbian municipal rights ordinance currently under debate in the City Council. The bill had been strongly opposed by, among others, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York and the Uniformed Fire Officers Association.

1976, Italy – Pope Paul VI publicly denies press reports that he has had affairs with men.

2017 – The 7th District Court of Appeals rules that the Civil Rights Act prohibits workplace discrimination against LGBT employees, after Kimberly Hively sues Ivy Tech Community College for violating Title VII of the act by denying her employment. In groundbreaking 8-3 decision, the full Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation violates federal civil rights law. This came after Lambda Legal urged the Court to reverse a lower court ruling and allow Kimberly Hively to present her case alleging that Ivy Tech Community College, where she worked as an instructor for 14 years, denied her fulltime employment and promotions and eventually terminated her employment because she is a lesbian.

Today in LGBT History – April 5

 1972 – My Fair Lady, from gay director George Cukor (July 7, 1899 – January 24, 1983), wins the academy award for best picture and best director. It was an open secret in Hollywood that Cukor was gay, at a time when society was against it, although he was discreet about his sexual orientation. His home, redecorated in 1935 by gay actor-turned-interior designer William Haines  was the scene of many gatherings for the industry’s homosexuals. The close-knit group reputedly included Haines and his partner Jimmie Shields, (January 2, 1900 – December 26, 1973), writer Somerset Maugham (25 January 1874 – 16 December 1965), director James Vincent (July 19, 1882 – July 12, 1957), screenwriter Rowland Leigh (1902 – 1963), costume designers Orry-Kelly (31 December 1897 – 27 February 1964) and Robert Le Maire, and actors John Darrow (17 July 1907 – 24 February 1980), Anderson Lawler (May 5, 1902 – April 6, 1959), Grady Sutton (April 5, 1906 – September 17, 1995), Robert Seiter and Tom Douglas.

1982 –  Newsweek Magazine reports on “Gays on Campus” which highlights how accepted gay organizations and lifestyles are on campuses around the county.

Today in LGBT History – April 6

1895 – New York Times covers the Oscar Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) sodomy case

2007 – Transgender musician Alexander James Adams (born November 8, 1962), formerly known as Heather Alexander, has his first performance using his new name, in Seattle at Norwescon 30. He is an American singer, musician and songwriter in the Celtic and World music genres. He blends mythical, fantasy, and traditional themes in performances, switching between instrumentalfiddle and songs accompanied by guitarbodhrán, and fiddle playing. He has also been a popular and influential artist in the field of filk music and won multiple Pegasus awards. Adams performed as Heather Alexander for 25 years before beginning to tour as Alexander James Adams. His website refers to him as the ‘heir’ to Heather Alexander, and continues to credit songs originally released as Heather Alexander under that name.[5]

2009 – Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover (1998-2009), 11, hangs himself after daily harassment for being perceived as gay.

Today in LGBT History – April 7

 529, Italy – Emperor Justinian I re-wrote Roman Law, making it distinctly Christian and states that all same-sex acts are contrary to nature and punishable by death.

1837, Denmark – The Little Mermaid was written by Hans Christian Andersen (2 April 1805 – 4 August 1875) as a love letter to Edvard Collin (1808-1896).

1907, France –Violette Leduc (7 April 1907 – 28 May 1972) was born in Arras Pas de Calais. She continually went after gay men. One of them, Maurice Sachs told her to write just to get rid of her. She did. Her book “Le Batarde” was the story of her upbringing as an illegitimate child which she blamed on the sexuality of her mother. She once told a friend she wanted to wear a tight body stocking to hold in her breasts and then attach a “strap on” in order to bed gay writer Jean Genet. In 1968 Radley Metzger made a film of Leduc’s novel Thérèse and Isabelle. The film was a commercial feature about adolescent lesbian love, starring Essy Persson and Anna Gael.

1912 – Harry Hay (April 7, 1912 – October 24, 2002) is born. He was a prominent American gay rights activist, communistlabor advocate, and Native American civil rights campaigner. He was a founder of the Mattachine Society, the first sustained gay rights group in the United States, as well as the Radical Faeries, a loosely affiliated gay spiritual movement. Hay passed away in 2002, survived by his partner of 40 years, John Burnside (born 19 March 1955).

1916 – Oreste Francesco Pucciani (April 7, 1916 – April 28, 1999) was a pioneer teacher of Jean-Paul Sartre‘s philosophy at UCLA. He was the last partner of Rudi Gernreich (August 8, 1922 – April 21, 1985), fashion designer, and at the latter’s death, established the ACLU Rudi Gernreich-Oreste Pucciani Endowment Fund to support the fight for LGBT rights.

1966 – The first Gay Community Center in the United States opens. It is located in San Francisco.

1974 – Pacific Center for Human Growth is founded in Oakland in response to brutal gay bashing in Berkeley.

1997 – Musician George Michael comes out.

1998 – George Michael (25 June 1963 – 25 December 2016) is arrested for lewd behavior in a Beverly Hills park men’s room; he publicly comes out 3 days later. He was an English singer, songwriter, record producer, and philanthropist who rose to fame as a member of the music duo Wham! He was best known for his work in the 1980s and 1990s, including hit singles such as “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and “Last Christmas“, and albums such as Faith (1987) and Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 (1990).

2013, South Africa – First traditional African legal same-sex wedding. Tshepoi Cameron Modisane and Thoba Calvin Sithole marry in the town of KwaDukuza.

Today in LGBT History – April 8

1787, Russia– The Russian Empire annexes the Crimean Khanate, thus legalizing same-sex intercourse in the annexed territory.

1942 – In 1978 Robin Tyler became the first out lesbian on U.S. national television, appearing on a Showtime comedy special hosted by Phyllis Diller. The same year she released her comedy album, Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Groom, the first comedy album by an out lesbian

1949 –  In 2007 Theresa Sparks (born on April 8, 1949) was elected president of the San Francisco Police Commission by a single vote, making her the first openly transgender person ever to be elected president of any San Francisco commission, as well as San Francisco’s highest ranking openly transgender official. Theresa Sparks is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and was a candidate for San Francisco Supervisor for District 6 in the November 2010 election. She is a former president of the San Francisco Police Commission and former CEO of Good Vibrations. She is also one of San Francisco’s most famous transgender women and was a Grand Marshal in the 2008 San Francisco Pride Parade.

1974 – The American Psychiatric Association remove its “sickness” definition of homosexuality and outrages homophobic bigots across America. 

1990 – Ryan White (December 6, 1971 – April 8, 1990), 18, dies of AIDS after a five-year battle with the disease.  Ryan became the national poster child for HIV/AIDS in the United States, after being expelled from middle school in Kokomo, Indiana, because of his infection. As a hemophiliac, he became infected with HIV from a contaminated blood treatment and, when diagnosed in December 1984, was given six months to live. Doctors said he posed no risk to other students, but AIDS was poorly understood at the time, and when White tried to return to school, many parents and teachers in Kokomo rallied against his attendance. A lengthy legal battle with the school system ensued, and media coverage of the case made White into a national celebrity and spokesman for AIDS research and public education. Surprising his doctors, Ryan lived five years longer than predicted but died in April 1990, one month before his high school graduation.

2013, Zambia – Gay rights activist Paul Kasonkomona is arrested after appearing on live TV calling for same-sex relations to be decriminalized.

2014, Spain – The Galician Parliament passes LGBT anti-discrimination law.

Today in LGBT History – April 9

 1476, Italy – Leonardo Da Vinci (15 April 1452 – 2 May 1519) and three other young men are accused of sodomy anonymously, subsequently acquitted

1821, France – Charles Baudelaire (April 9, 1821 – August 31, 1867) is born in Paris to a bourgeois family. The author of “Les Fleurs du Mal” is alternately described as a Catholic, a Satanist; brilliant, mundane. No one knows much about his sexual exploits, although Marcel Proust and Andre Gide wrote that he was certainly gay.

1966 – Cynthia Ellen Nixon (born April 9, 1966) is an American actress. She is known for her portrayal of Miranda Hobbes in the HBO series, Sex and the City (1998–2004), for which she won the 2004 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. She reprised the role in the films Sex and the City (2008) and Sex and the City 2(2010). In 2004, Nixon began dating education activist Christine Marinoni. Nixon and Marinoni became engaged in April 2009, and married in New York City on May 27, 2012, with Nixon wearing a custom-made, pale green dress by Carolina Herrera. Marinoni gave birth to a son, Max Ellington, in 2011. She identified herself as bisexual in 2012.

1984 – San Francisco: The Department of Public Health closes the City’s bathhouses in the belief that they contribute to the spread of AIDS. The decision comes after a heated, divisive debate between gay men who believe the baths can be used as a forum for safe(r) sex education and those who see them as contributing to the spread of the epidemic.

1986 — Bayard Rustin (March 17, 1912 – August 24, 1987) gives a speec entitled “The New N*ggers Are Gays.” The civil rights leader was arrested more times for being gay than for his civil disobedience. In this speech he says, “Today, blacks are no longer the litmus paper or the barometer of social change. Blacks are in every segment of society and there are laws that help to protect them from racial discrimination. The new ‘niggers’ are gays… It is in this sense that gay people are the new barometer for social change… The question of social change should be framed with the most vulnerable group in mind: gay people.”

1990 – Kristen Stewart (born April 9, 1990) is born. She is an American actress and model who received widespread recognition in 2008 for playing Bella Swan in The Twilight Saga film series Since late 2016, she has been dating New Zealander Victoria’s Secret angel model, Stella Maxwell (born 15 May 1990). In her February 4, 2017 appearance on Saturday Night Live, Stewart described herself as “so gay,” and in an interview with The Guardian she clarified that she was bisexual.

1992 – Kenneth L. Dawson, (1947 – April 9, 1992) a leader and adviser of gay and lesbian and AIDS organizations, died on this day in Manhatten of complications from AIDS. He was on the founding board of the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center in Manhattan in 1983, and served as Executive Director of Seniors Action in a Gay Environment (SAGE).

1992, UK – Clive Betts (born 13 January 1950), a gay man, assumes office in Parliament. He’s a member of the Labour Party and lives with partner James Thomas.

1997, Singapore – The Register of Societies rejects the application of the LGBT rights group People Like Us without explanation.

2008, South Korea – Choi Hyun-sook (born July 6, 1972) is the first openly gay political candidate who stands for election. Her bid was unsuccessful.

Today in LGBT History – April 10

1644, UK – Bisexual British poet John Wilmot (1 April 1647 – 26 July 1680), Earl of Rochester, is born at Ditchley Manor in Oxfordshire. Little read today, Wilmot’s poems are bawdy and beautifully simple.

1974 – The Gay Activists Alliance publication Out – The Gay Perspective debuts, with Ernest Peter Cohen as editor in chief.

1998 – Golfer Patty Sheehan (born October 27, 1956) comes out as lesbian. She is the second golfer to ever make such an announcement. Sheehan, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, is a winner of six major golf championships.

2003, Argentina – Civil union law is approved by the Provincial Legislature of Rio Negro.

2006, Italy– Vladimir Luxuria (born June 24, 1965) is the first transgender member of Parliament.

Today in LGBT History – April 11

1780, England – William Smith and Theodosius Reed are put in the deadly revolving stockyards for sodomy. People gather to watch.

1901 – Glenway Wescott is born in Kewaskum, Wisconsin. One of America’s clearest and lyrical writers, he is best known for The Grandmothers, published in 1927. Throughout his life Wescott kept journals about everything. He is reputed to have had affairs with photographer George Platt Lynes and museum curator Monroe Wheeler

1932 – Joel Grey (born April 11, 1932) is born. He si an American actor, singer, dancer, and photographer. He is best known for portraying the Master of Ceremonies in both the stage and film versions of the Kander & Ebb musical Cabaret. He has won an Academy AwardTony Award, and Golden Globe Award. He also originated the role of George M. Cohan in the musical George M! in 1968, and the Wizard of Oz in the musical Wicked. He also starred as Moonface Martin in the Broadway revivals of Anything Goes and as Amos Hart in Chicago. In January 2015, Grey discussed his sexuality in an interview with People, stating: “I don’t like labels, but if you have to put a label on it, I’m a gay man.”

1949 – Dorothy Allison (born April 11, 1949) is an American writer from South Carolina whose writing expresses themes of class strugglesexual abusechild abusefeminism and lesbianism. She is a self-identified lesbian femme. She has won a number of awards for her writing, including several Lambda Literary Awards. In 2014, Allison was elected to membership in the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Allison remains dedicated to safer sex and is active in feminist and lesbian communities. She is one of the founders of the Lesbian Sex Mafia, along with Kirstie Friddle of Quincy, Illinois. This is an information and support group for women of all sexual orientations and identities. She lives in Monte Rio, California with her female partner, Alix Layman, and son, Wolf.

1953 – The Mattachine Society holds its first constitutional convention at a church in Los Angeles. The original founders begin to lose control of the group to a moderate, anti-Communist contingent led by Kenneth Burns, Hal Call, and Marilyn Rieger.

1956 – Michael Callen (April 11, 1955 – December 27, 1993) is born. Singer, songwriter, AIDS activist and author, Michael is recognized as a co-inventor of safe(r) sex. He is a co-founder of the People With AIDS self-empowerment movement, and the lead singer in the group The Flirtations.

2001 – GLAD files the Goodridge v. Department of Public Health case in Massachusetts which leads to Massachusetts becoming the first US state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004

2013, France – The French Senate in Paris approves the law for equal marriage and adoption rights for gay and lesbian couples.

Today in LGBT History – April 12

1526, France – Marc-Antoine Muret (12 April 1526 – 4 June 1585) is born near Limoges. The 16th century humanist was accused by the church of being a sodomist and a Protestant.

1932 – The film “Grand Hotel” is released. Star Greta Garbo (18 September 1905 – 15 April 1990)originally did not want to the role but her partner Mercedes de Acosta (March 1, 1893 – May 9, 1968) convinced her to take it. The film goes on to win the Oscar for Best Picture

1953 – Sixty-three men are arrested in Waco, Texas at a “homosexual convention.” Tommy Gene Brown, the Waco Bride, led a mock wedding when police raided the two-room private resident in South Waco.

1964 — Amy Ray (born April 12, 1964) of the Indigo Girls is born. She is also a solo artist and owner of her own socially and politically conscious record label. About her song “Laramie” she said in a 2001 interview, “… What I was trying to go for was a song about hate in general, not just about homophobia, but about classism too, about who’s to blame in society and who’s complicit. It’s also these people in the higher echelons of the financial bracket who think they are so damned progressive, but they never do anything to really help anybody out. They sort of think they are tolerant of gay people, because they have a gay person in their yoga class or something. (Laughs) It takes a lot more than that. You’ve got to speak out, you’ve got to work and vote and really try to make a difference for people. A lot of times there’s these hidden attitudes that no one ever expresses that nurture an environment of hate. And then some kid goes off and murders somebody else and they all act so surprised about it, but we all contributed to it because we didn’t do anything to change our attitude in general. … I think it’s something we all need to think about and work on. So that song was supposed to deal with a lot more than (Matthew Shepard), that’s why I say, ‘This town ain’t nothing different.’ It could happen anywhere

1982  – Golden Globe-nominated film actor Lenny Baker (January 17, 1945 – April 12, 1982) succumbs to AIDS-related cancer at the age of 37. Baker had been gravely ill and in the final stage of the disease since 1980. He was an American actor of stagefilm, and screen, best known for his Tony Award-winning performance in I Love My Wife in 1977.

1994 – In response to a Hawaii Supreme court decision questioning the state’s right to bar same sex marriage, the state senate passes a bill declaring that the need to “foster and protect the propagation of the human ” is justification for the ban. 

(Historical information obtained from a variety of sources including QUIST at,, Lavender Effect,, Arron’s Gay Info, All Things Queer, RS Levinson, Amara Das Wilhelm,, Safe Schools Coalition, and/or Wikipedia. If you wish to edit an item or add an item, please send an email to me at Thanks!)



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