Today in LGBT History – April 20

Let’s live a healthy and meaningful life, one that includes a power greater than ourselves, then use this power as our guide.  — in Proud to Be by Amy E. Dean

Learning our 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.

1893, Italy – Bisexual Ferdinand I of Bulgaria (26 February 1861 – 10 September 1948) marries Princess Marie Louise of Bourbob-Parma. He born Ferdinand Maximilian Karl Leopold Maria of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, was the second monarch of the Third Bulgarian State, first as knyaz (ruling prince) from 1887 to 1908, and later as tsar (king) from 1908 until his abdication in 1918. He was also an author, botanistentomologist and philatelist. Ferdinand entered a marriage of convenience with Princess Marie Louise of Bourbon-Parma, daughter of Robert I, Duke of Parma and Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, on 20 April 1893 at the Villa Pianore in Lucca. In his private relations, Ferdinand was a somewhat hedonistic individual. 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, and 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 his homosexuality, 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.

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(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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