Today in LGBT History – April 21

Today I won’t sit back and count on someone else to fight for my rights. It’s up to me…— 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 21

1946 John Maynard Keynes, 1st Baron Keynes (5 June 1883 – 21 April 1946), 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 thought known as Keynesian economics, and its various offshoots. Keynes’s early romantic and sexual relationships were exclusively with men. Keynes had been in relationships while at Eton and Cambridge; significant among these early partners were 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.

 1963 — Jorge Valencia is born. He was the Executive Director of the Trevor Project  from 2001 to 2006. In 2007, he became the executive director of the Point Foundation where he is continuing his life’s work in support of LGBTQ youth. The Point Foundation (Point), founded in 2001, empowers promising lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential – despite the obstacles often put before them – to make a significant impact on society. Point promotes change through education, mentorship, leadership development and community service training, and provides its scholars with the financial ability to attend the nation’s foremost higher educational institutions. To date, Point has assisted more than 350 scholarship recipients

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.

 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 (born 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.

 2006 – 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.

Stand up, speak out, share your story!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.