Today in LGBT History – APRIL 17

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 17

1725, South Africa – Leendert Hasenbosch  (c.1695–probably end of 1725), a Dutch East India Company employee, is convicted of sodomy on a ship in Capetown. He’s left on Ascension Island as punishment and dies of thirst six months later. He kept a diary entitled Sodomy Punish’dwhich was published in 1726. In 2006 the full story was published by Alex Ritsema, with the support of Koolbergen’s family and publisher, in the book A Dutch Castaway on Ascension Island in 1725; a second, revised edition was printed in 2010.

1863, Egypt – Constantine Peter (C.P.) Cavafy (April 17, 1863 – April 29, 1933) is born in Alexandria, Egypt. He was an Egyptian Greek poet, journalist and civil servant. His consciously individual style earned him a place among the most important figures not only in Greek poetry, but in Western poetry as well. His sensual poems are filled with the lyricism and emotion of same-sex love, inspired by recollection and remembrance. The past and former actions, sometimes along with the vision for the future underlie the muse of Cavafy in writing these poems.He died of cancer of the larynx on April 29, 1933, his 70th birthday. Since his death, Cavafy’s reputation has grown. His poetry is taught in school in Greece and Cyprus, and in universities around the world. In 1966, David Hockney (born 9 July 1937)made a series of prints to illustrate a selection of Cavafy’s poems, including In the dull village.During his lifetime, Cavafy was considered the poet of Alexandria. Today he is primarily identified with Lawrence Durrell’s characterization of him in the Alexandria Quartet.

1897 – Thornton Niven Wilder (April 17, 1897 – December 7, 1975) was an American playwright and novelist. He won three Pulitzer Prizes—for the novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey, and for the plays Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth — and a U.S. National Book Award for the novel The Eighth Day. Although Wilder never discussed being homosexual publicly or in his writings, his close friend author Samuel Steward (July 23, 1909 – December 31, 1993),acknowledged having sexual relations with him. The third act of Our Town was allegedly drafted after a long walk, during a brief affair with Steward in Zürich, Switzerland.

1965 – Ten gay men and lesbians silently picket the White House on April 17thand the United Nations on the 18thafter learning that Cuba was placing homosexuals in forced labor camps. Staged by the East Coast Homophile Organization (ECHO), it’s one of the first ever public demonstrations for gay and lesbian rights.

1999 – Ellen Hansen Corby (June 3, 1911 – April 17, 1999) was an American actress. She is best remembered for the role of Grandma Esther Walton on the CBStelevision series The Waltons, for which she won three Emmy Awards. She was also nominated for an Academy Award and won a Golden Globe Award for her performance as Aunt Trina in I Remember Mama. Corby died at the age of 87, survived by her partner of 45 years Stella Luchetta of Los Angeles.

2013, New Zealand – Marriage equality passes in the New Zealand Parliament 77-44.

Stand up, speak out, share your story!




(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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