We are back home in Sequim now, to this place of awe and inspiration. As Audre Lorde told us: Life is very short and what we have to do must be done in the now. This place grounds me in this day. I’m grateful…
Learning our history is resistance! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!
Today in LGBT History – April 29
1870, UK – Thomas Ernest Boulton (Feb. 2, 1848-Dec. 1904) and Frederick William Park (1849-?) were Stella and Fanny to their friends. They were drag queens who were arrested the night after a performance and charged “with conspiring and inciting persons to commit an unnatural offence”. They appear in court in women’s clothing. After the prosecution failed to establish that they had anal sex, which was then a crime, or that wearing women’s clothing was in any sense a crime, both men were acquitted.
1930 – Jim Toy (born April 29, 1930) is born. He is a long-time LGBT activist, considered a pioneer among LGBT activists in Michigan. Jim identified as being gay during his speech at an anti-Vietnam-War rally in Kennedy Square, Detroit, in April 1970. At the rally Toy was representing the Detroit Gay Liberation Movement, of which he was a founding member. He was a founding member of the Ann Arbor Gay Liberation Front. In 1971 he helped establish the Human Sexuality Office (HSO) at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (later renamed The LGBT Center and then The Spectrum Center). The HSO was the first staff office in a U.S. college or university to respond to sexual-orientation concerns. Jim served as its Co-Coordinator and Gay Male advocate from 1971 until 1994.
1933 – Singer Rod McKuen (April 29, 1933 – January 29, 2015) is born in Oakland, California. His “new age” songs made him a celebrity in the late 1960s. He told an interviewer “I have had sex with men. Does that make me gay?”
1978, Canada – Homophobic singer Anita Bryant’s visit to Edmonton prompts demonstrations.
1993, Russia – Homosexual acts between consenting adult males are legalized. Yeltsin signs the law so that Russia might obtain a place in the Council of Europe, a human rights organization.
1997 – The State of Hawaii creates a “domestic partners registry.”
2013 – NBA player Jason Collins (born December 2, 1978) comes out in Sports Illustrated. He’s the first currently-playing pro male athlete to come out. In April 2014, Collins featured on the cover of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World”.
Stand up, speak out, share your story!
(Historical information obtained from a variety of sources including QUIST at facebook.com/quistapp, Back2Stonewall.com, Lavender Effect, DataLounge.com, Arron’s Gay Info, All Things Queer, RS Levinson, Amara Das Wilhelm, out.com, Safe Schools Coalition, and/or Wikipedia. If you wish to edit an item or add an item, please send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!)