Today in LGBT History – August 11

Any situation in which some [people] prevent others from engaging in the process of inquiry is one of violence. The means used are not important; to alienate [people] from their own decision-making is to change them into objects.       —Paolo Freire

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

Today in LGBT History – August 11

1862, France – Sarah Bernhardt (October 23, 1844 – March 26, 1923) makes her acting debut as a Frenchstageactress who stars in some of the most popular French plays of the late 19th and early 20th century, including La Dame Aux Camelias by Alexandre Dumas, filsRuy Blas by Victor HugoFédora and La Tosca by Victorien Sardou, and L’Aiglon by Edmond Rostand. She also plays male roles, including Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Rostand called her “the queen of the pose and the princess of the gesture” while Hugo praised her “golden voice”. She made several theatrical tours around the world and was one of the first prominent actresses to make sound recordings and to act in motion pictures. While she had many male lovers, she had a 25-year relationship with Louise Abbéma (1853–1927), a French impressionist painter, some nine years her junior. In 1990, a painting by Abbém, depicting the two on a boat ride on the lake in the bois de Boulogne was donated to the Comédie-Française. The accompanying letter stated that the painting was “Peint par Louise Abbéma, le jour anniversaire de leur liaison amoureuse”(loosely translated: “Painted by Louise Abbéma on the anniversary of their love affair”).

1921 – The play The March Hareopens. It includes several same-sex innuendoes, both male and female. The March Hare is a lost 1921 American silent comedy romance film produced and distributed by Adolph Zukor‘s Realart Pictures Corporation. It stars Bebe Daniels.

1977 – The Austin (Texas) City Council voted 4-3 to accept a Fair Housing Ordinance that does not include lesbians and gays.

1979, Canada – A rally in Vancouver, British Columbia, protests police inaction in dealing with street violence against gays.

1981 – Larry Kramer (born June 25, 1935), whose 1978 novel Fa**ots (* used to not get kicked off FB!)takes gay men to task for promiscuity in pre-AIDS New York, calls a meeting of concerned men in his Greenwich Village apartment. It is a precursor to the organization that will become the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Kramer is an American playwright, author, public health advocate, and LGBT rights activist. He began his career rewriting scripts while working for Columbia Pictureswhich led him to London where he worked with United Artists. There he wrote the screenplay for the 1969 film Women in Love(1969) and earned an Academy Award nomination for his work. Kramer introduced a controversial and confrontational style in his Fa**otswhich earned mixed reviews and emphatic denunciations from elements within the gay community for Kramer’s one-sided portrayal of shallow, promiscuous gay relationships in the 1970s.

1992 – The American Bar Association’s House of Delegates vote 318 to 123 to grant affiliate status to the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association.

1992 – During a television interview, President George Bush (Bush 41) said that if one of his grandchildren were gay he would love the child but tell him homosexuality is not normal and discourage him from working for gay rights.

1994, Columbia – The government of Colombia issues a protest against the display of a painting by Chilean artist Juan Davila in London. The painting presents nineteenth-century South American independence hero Simon Bolivar as a transgender.

1995, South Korea – South Korea marks its first Pride Celebration with a march and other events in Seoul.

1995 – Robert H. Eichberg (1945-1995), a psychologist, activist and author who helped establish National Coming Out Day, a day of observance encouraging gay and lesbian people to reveal their homosexuality, Dr. Eichberg died of complications from AIDS. In 1990, a book by Dr. Eichberg entitled Coming Out: an Act of Lovewas published by E. P. Dutton & Company. He and his partner, Jon Landstrom, and Jean O’Leary(March 4, 1948 – June 4, 2005)co-founded National Coming Out Day. NCOD was founded in 1988. O’Leary was an openly lesbianpolitical leader and long-time activist from New York, and was at the time the head of the National Gay Rights Advocates in Los Angeles. LGBT activists, including Eichberg and O’Leary, did not want to respond defensively to anti-LGBT action because they believed it would be predictable. This caused them to found NCOD in order to maintain positivity and celebrate coming out. The date of October 11 was chosen because it is the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.In 1978, Eichberg founded The Experience, a community-based workshop that inspired people to reveal their homosexuality to family and friends.  

1998 – The United Methodist Judicial Council rules that the Social Principles rule prohibiting Methodist ministers from officiating at same-sex unions would have the force of church law.

1998 – The Raleigh News and Observer runs an article on the ex-gay debate. Psychiatrist Dr. William Byne points out that after three decades of therapy, castration, hormone injections, shock treatment, and brain surgery, if it were possible to reverse sexual orientation, it would have happened.

2010 – Degrassi: The Next Generationintroduces its first transgender character. Jordan Todosey stars as Adam Torres.

2012, Lebanon – A protest is held in reaction to 36 men being subjected to an examination of the anus to see if penetration has occurred (which is discredited as inaccurate). The men had been arrested at a porn cinema and were forced to pay for the test. At the time, this was the largest LGBT protest in the Arab world.

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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