Today in LGBT History – APRIL 23

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 23

1791 – James Buchanan, Jr. (April 23, 1791 – June 1, 1868)is born near Mercerburg, Pennsylvania. The 15th president of the United States was the only bachelor to serve in that office. His closest friend and long-time live-in companion wasAlabama Senator William Rufus De Vane King (April 7, 1786 – April 18, 1853)who briefly served as vice president under Franklin Pierce. Buchanan and King lived together in a Washington boardinghouse for 10 years from 1834 until King’s departure for France in 1844. King referred to the relationship as a “communion”, and the two attended social functions together. Contemporaries also noted the closeness. Andrew Jackson called King “Miss Nancy” and prominent Democrat Aaron V. Brown referred to King as Buchanan’s “better half”, “wife” and “Aunt Fancy” (the last being a 19th-century euphemism for an effeminate man).Around Washington, the pair were known as the “Siamese twins,” slang at the time for gays and lesbians. The director of Wheatland, the home and presidential library of President James Buchanan, admits that it can’t be refuted that Buchanan might have been gay. During Buchanan’s presidency, his orphaned niece, Harriet Lane, whom he had adopted, served as official White House hostess.

1967– The Student Homophile League of Columbia University pickets and disrupts a panel of psychiatrists discussing homosexuality.

1980, Canada – Montreal Police raid Sauna David, a gay bathhouse, and arrest sixty-one men on bawdyhouse charges. 

1986  – U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler announces that an American scientist, Robert Gallo, has discovered the virus that causes AIDS: a retrovirus is subsequently named HTLV-3, known today as HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). AIDS was originally named called GRID – gay related immune deficiency. Heckler had announced the probable cause in 1982 and said a vaccine would be available in two years. It wasn’t.

1990 – The Hate Crimes Statistic Act is signed into law by President George H. W. Bush. It is the first U.S. bill to use the phrase ‘sexual orientation.’ The act requires the Department of Justice to collect and publish statistics for five years on Hate Crime motivated by prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnic origin. It is the first law to extend federal recognition to gay men and lesbians. Said the elder Bush:“We must work together to build an America of opportunity, where every American is free finally from discrimination. And I will use this noble office, this bully pulpit, if you will, to speak out against hate and discrimination everywhere it exists.”Eight years later his son’s presidential administration is one of the most anti-gay in United States recorded history.

2012 – Marc Acito (born January 11, 1966)wins the Charles MacArther Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical for his play Birds of a Feather. He lives in New York City with his husband Floyd Sklaver.

2013, France – The French Senate approves same-sex marriage.

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!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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