Today in LGBT History – APRIL 20

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 20

1492, Italy –  Renaissance writer and dramatist Pietro Aretino (20 April 1492 – 21 October 1556)is born in Tuscany. He was an Italian author, playwright, poet, satirist and blackmailer, who wielded influence on contemporary art and politics and developed modern literary pornography. He was a lover of men, having declared himself “a sodomite” since birth. 

1893, Italy – Bisexual Ferdinand I of Bulgaria (26 February 1861 – 10 September 1948)enters into a marriage of conveniencewith Princess Marie Louise of Bourbon-Parma, daughter of Robert I, Duke of Parma and Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, on this day at the Villa Pianore in Lucca. In his private relations, Ferdinand was a somewhat hedonistic individual. He was an author, botanistentomologist and philatelist. Bisexual throughout his life, up until early middle age his inclination was more towards women. His regular holidays were on Capri, then a popular holiday destination with wealthy gay men. His sexuality was common knowledge in royal courts throughout Europe.

1937 — George Takei (born April 20, 1937)is born. He is an American actor, director, author, and activist. He is best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise in the television series Star Trek. In October 2005, Takei revealed in an issue of Frontiers magazine that he is gay and had been in a committed relationship with his partner, Brad Altman, for 18 years. In May 2014, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation honored Takei with the GLAAD Vito Russo Award, which is presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality for the LGBT community. In May 2015, the Japanese American National Museum honored Takei with the Distinguished Medal of Honor for Lifetime Achievement and Public Service at the Japanese American National Museum’s 2015 Gala Dinner in Los Angeles.

1969 – Frank Kameny (May 21, 1925 – October 11, 2011)orders 100 “Gay is Good” buttons, indicating a move from his position of “fitting in” to promoting and celebrating gay existence. He was an American gay rights activist. He has been referred to as “one of the most significant figures” in the American gay rights movement.In 1957, Kameny was dismissed from his position as an astronomer in the U.S. Army‘s Army Map Service in Washington, D.C. because of hishomosexuality,leading him to begin “a Herculean struggle with the American establishment” that would “spearhead a new period of militancy in the homosexual rights movement of the early 1960s”. Kameny formally appealed his firing by the U.S. Civil Service Commission due to homosexuality. Although unsuccessful, the proceeding was notable as the first known civil rights claim based on sexual orientation pursued in a U.S. court.

1970- The Boys in the Band movie trailer is released. The Boys in the Band is a 1970 American drama film directed by William Friedkin. The screenplay by Mart Crowley (born August 21, 1935)is based on his Off-Broadway play The Boys in the Band. It is among the first major American motion pictures to revolve around gay characters and is often cited as a milestone in the history of queer cinema,

2001, China – The Chinese remove homosexuality from list of mental disorders.

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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