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 4
1932 – Anthony Perkins (April 4, 1932 – September 12, 1992) is born. He was an American actor and singer. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his second film, Friendly Persuasion, but is best known for playing Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock‘sPsychoand its three sequels. According to the posthumous biography Split Image by Charles Winecoff, Perkins had exclusively same-sex relationships until his late 30s, including with actors Rock Hudson(November 17, 1925 – October 2, 1985),Tab Hunter (born July 11, 1931), artist Christopher Makos(born 1948), dancer Rudolf Nureyev(17 March 1938 – 6 January 1993), composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim(born March 22, 1930), and dancer-choreographer Grover Dale (born July 22, 1935). Perkins has been described as one of the two great men in the life of French songwriter Patrick Loiseau. Perkins died at his Los Angeles home on September 12, 1992, from AIDS-relatedpneumonia.
1938, Germany – The Gestapo decrees that men convicted of homosexuality will be sent to the concentration camps. Between 1933 and 1945 when WWII ended, and estimated 100,00 men were arrested as homosexuals; 50,000 were sentenced and sent to prison. Between 5,000 and 15,000 were in concentration camps. After WWII many remained in jail until 1968 because homosexuality was still a crime in Germany under Paragraph 175 which as not repealed until 1994.
1972 – The world’s first LGBT synagogue, Beth Chayam Chadashim (BCC), was founded, in Los Angeles.On April 4, 1972, four Jews – Selma Kay, Jerry Gordon, Jerry Small, and Bob Zalkin – came to a weekly Wednesday night meeting at Los Angeles’s Metropolitan Community Church. In less than four years MCC, the first church with an outreach to gays and lesbians, had grown to 15,000 members in 40 U.S. cities. In Los Angeles, the “mother church,” led by Rev. Troy Perry and located near USC, had 725 members. The presence of Jews at the church was understandable. In 1972 the existence of lesbian and gay Jews was virtually unheard of. It was a time when same-sex activity was illegal, homosexuality was still classified as a mental illness, and to be openly gay or lesbian usually meant loss of employment and rejection by family and Jewish community. The Stonewall Riots in New York’s Greenwich Village, often considered the watershed event in the modern gay liberation movement, had occurred less than three years earlier.Fifteen people came to the first service, held June 9, 1972 in Jerry Gordon’s home. Beth Chayim Chadashim (“House of New Life”) was founded in Mid-City Los Angeles in 1972 as a synagogue primarily for lesbians and gays. Affiliated with Reform Judaism, it has been acknowledged by the Los Angeles Conservancy as being “culturally significant” as both the first LGBT synagogue in the world, the first LGBT synagogue recognized by the Union for Reform Judaism and, in 1977, as the first LGBT synagogue to own its own building. In 1973, BCC received a Torah scroll from the town of Chotebor, Czechoslovakia, on permanent loan from Westminster Synagogue in London. It continues to be a cherished guest at BCC.
1974 – In New York City, more than 1,000 people gather in Greenwich Village to demonstrate support for a gay and lesbian municipal rights ordinance currently under debate in the City Council. The bill had been strongly opposed by, among others, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York and the Uniformed Fire Officers Association.
1976, Italy – Pope Paul VI publicly denies press reports that he has had affairs with men.
2017 – The 7th District Court of Appeals rules that the Civil Rights Act prohibits workplace discrimination against LGBT employees, after Kimberly Hively sues Ivy Tech Community College for violating Title VII of the act by denying her employment.In the groundbreaking 8-3 decision, the full Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation violates federal civil rights law. This came after Lambda Legal urged the Court to reverse a lower court ruling and allow Kimberly Hively to present her case alleging that Ivy Tech Community College, where she worked as an instructor for 14 years, denied her fulltime employment and promotions and eventually terminated her employment because she is a lesbian.
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!)