Today in LGBT History – April 23

“Sleepy eyes” is an anti-Semitic term that was and is still used by neo-nazi groups relating to “how to spot a Jew.” Trump just used it against Jewish reporter Chuck Todd! RESIST!

Learning our history is resistance! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!

Today in LGBT History – April 23

1791 – James Buchanan (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 long-time live-in companion, Alabama Senator William Rufus De Vane King (April 7, 1786 – April 18, 1853)  briefly served as vice president under Franklin Pierce. 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.

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

1982  – U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler announces at a press conference that an American scientist, Robert Gallo, has discovered the probable cause of AIDS: the retrovirus is subsequently named human immunodeficiency virus or HIV in 1986. She also declares that a vaccine will be available within two years

1984 – The US Dept. of Health and Human Services Secretary holds a press conference announcing that the virus that causes AIDS has been discovered: it’s HTLV-3, known today as HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). AIDS was originally named called GRID – gay related immune deficiency.

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!)

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