Rudyard Kipling said: If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.The snippets of LGBTQ history here are the stories of our lives, the stories of the giants on whose shoulders we all stand. Learn about them then tell the stories…and remember, because knowing your history IS resistance!
Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!
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.
1864, Germany -JohannaElberskirchen (11 April 1864 – 17 May 1943) was a feminist writer and activist for the rights of women, gays and lesbians as well as blue-collar workers. She published books on women’s sexuality and health among other topics. Her last known public appearance was in 1930 in Vienna, where she gave a talk at a conference organized by the World League for Sexual Reform. She was open about her own homosexuality which made her a somewhat exceptional figure in the feminist movement of her time. Her career as an activist was ended in 1933, when the Nazi Party rose to power. There is no public record of a funeral but witnesses report that Elberskirchen’s urn was secretly put into her life partner Hildegard Moniac’s (1891 – 1967)grave.
1901 – Glenway Wescottis 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 (April 15, 1907 – December 6, 1955)and museum curator Monroe Wheeler (13 February 1899 – 14 August 1988).
1932 – Joel Grey (born April 11, 1932) is born. He is an American actor, singer, dancer, and photographer. He is best known for portraying the Master of Ceremonies in both thestageandfilmversions of the Kander & Ebb musical Cabaret. He has won an Academy Award, Tony Award, andGolden 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 struggle, sexual abuse, child abuse, feminism 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 Mattachine Society, founded in 1950, was one of the earliest LGBT (gay rights) organizations in the United States, probably second only to Chicago‘s Society for Human Rights. Communist and labor activist Harry Hay formed the group with a collection of male friends in Los Angeles to protect and improve the rights of gay men. Branches formed in other cities and by 1961 the Society had splintered into regional groups.
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.
1956 – Christine Hallquist (born April 11, 1956) is an American politician and former CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC). She is the first openly transgender major party nominee for governor in the United States, winning the 2018 Democratic nomination for Governor of Vermont with over 40% of the vote. Hallquist worked at VEC from 1998 to 2018, the last 12 years as CEO, until she resigned to run for governor. Drawing national attention as a pioneering example of a CEO transitioning while in office, her transition was documented by her son in an award-winning documentary Denial.
2001 – GLAD files the Goodridge v. Department of Public Healthcase 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.
Stand up, speak out, share your story!
(Historical information obtained from a variety of sources including QUIST at facebook.com/quistapp, Back2Stonewall.com, Lavender Effect, DataLounge.com, Arron’s Gay Info, All Things Queer, RS Levinson, Amara Das Wilhelm, out.com, Safe Schools Coalition, and/or Wikipedia. If you wish to edit an item or add an item, please send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!)