Today in LGBT History – APRIL 21

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 21

1946 John Maynard Keynes, 1st Baron Keynes(5 June 1883 – 21 April 1946) died on this day. He was a British economist whose ideas fundamentally changed the theory and practice of macroeconomics and the economic policies of governments. He built on and greatly refined earlier work on the causes of business cycles, and was one of the most influential economists of the 20th century and the founder of modern macroeconomics theory. His ideas are the basis for the school of thoughtknown as Keynesian economics, and its various offshoots.Keynes’s early romantic and sexual relationships were exclusively with men. Significant among his early partners was British classics scholar and code breaker Alfred Dillwyn “Dilly” Knox (23 July 1884 – 27 February 1943). Keynes was open about his affairs, and, from 1901 to 1915, kept separate diaries in which he tabulated his many sexual encounters.

1953 – Philanthropist and Microsoft pioneer Ric Weiland (April 21, 1953 – June 24, 2006) is born. One of the first five employees of Microsoft, Weiland was a lead programmer and developer for the company’s BASIC and COBOL programming languages. After leaving Microsoft in 1988, he dedicated most of his time to philanthropy, donating millions of dollars to charities, including the Pride Foundation, the Lifelong AIDS Alliance, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, and the American Foundation for AIDS Research. Weiland committed suicide by gunshot on June 24, 2006. Besides his long standing HIV diagnosis, he was reported to have suffered from clinical depression. His is survived by his partner Mike Schaefer.

1966 – The NY Mattachine Society, spearheaded by president Dick Leitsch  (born May 11, 1935),staged a “Sip-In” at the Julius Bar in Greenwich Village. This led to court actions that overturned the New York State Liquor Authority’s provisions declaring it illegal for homosexuals to congregate and be served alcoholic beverages in bars. Although Leitsch’s complaint to the State Liquor Authority resulted in no action, the city’s human rights commission declared that such discrimination could not continue. The National Park Service Register of Historic Places for the Julius’ Bar states that “Scholars of gay history consider the sip-in at Julius’ as a key event leading to the growth of legitimate gay bars and the development of the bar as the central social space for urban gay men and lesbians.” The bar now holds a monthly party called “Mattachine” honoring the early gay rights pioneers.

1970 – Alice Wu (April 21, 1970) is born. She is a Chinese American film director and screenwriter. Wu pursued a career in computer science but began writing a novel while working at Microsoft. Deciding the story would work better as a film, she signed up for a screenwriting class, in which she penned the feature script Saving Face. Encouraged by her screenwriting teacher, she left Microsoft in the late 1990s to try to turn the script into a film, giving herself a five-year window. Production had begun when she reached the fifth year. In 2001, the script for Saving Face won the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment screenwriting award. Saving Face was released in 2004 and is her most noted work. The film was inspired by her own experiences coming out as a lesbian in the Chinese American community. 

 1976, Canada – In Saskatoon the Board of Governors of the University of Saskatchewan overturns recommendation of the University Council that homosexuality should not be considered in the selection of dons of residence. But it accepts that sexual orientation not be a factor in treatment of faculty or students in faculty positions.  

1981, Canada – In Toronto six people, including activists George Hislop (June 3, 1927 – October 8, 2005) and lawyer Peter Maloney and head of Club Bath chain in the U.S., Jack Campbell (1932-??) are charged with conspiracy to live off avails of crime. All three were listed as owners of the Club Toronto. These were the final charges following the February 5th bathhouse raids. Almost all charges are later dropped in court. The event marked a major turning point in the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Canada; the raids and their aftermath are today widely considered to be the Canadian equivalent of the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City. Mass protests and rallies were held denouncing the incident. These evolved into Toronto’s current Pride Week, which is now one of the world’s largest gay pride festivals. Almost all the charges against the 300+ men including Hislop, Maloney and Campbell are later dropped in court and the Toronto Metro Police become a laughingstock.

1982, Canada – Metro Toronto Police Morality Squad officers seize two magazines, charge assistant manager Kevin Orr of Glad Day Bookshop with “possession of obscene material for purpose of resale.” 

1999, Czech Republic – The first openly gay person, Václav Fischer (born 22 June 1954), is elected to Czech Senate. Fischer is a CzechGerman businessman and politician. He was the founder of the companies CK Fischer and Fischer Air.

 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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