Today in LGBT History – August 11

Kelly and I are reading On Tyranny yesterday by Timothy Snyder (2017). Snyder presents twenty lessons from the 20th century, adapted to the circumstances of today’s politics. On this blog, I’m presenting one lesson each day for the next 20 days (though I may insert a personal thought among the days). Kelly is posting them on our FB page called Resist with Kelly and Ronni. I hope you’ll read this little but powerfully inspirational book.

Lesson 5. Remember professional ethics. When political leaders set a negative example, professional commitments to just practice become more important. It is hard to subvert a rule of law state without lawyers, or to hold show trials without judges. Authoritarians need obedient civil servants, and concentration camp directors seek businessmen interested in cheap labor. … Professional ethics misguided is precisely when we are told that the situation is exceptional. Then there is no such thing as “just following orders.”

 Question authority every step of the way!


Today in LGBT History – August 11

1862, France – Sarah Bernhardt (October 23, 1844 – March 26, 1923) makes her acting debut. as a French stage actress 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 Abbéma, 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 Hare” opens. 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 Faggots, 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 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 Pictures, which 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 novel Faggots (1978), which 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.

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 Generation introduces 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.

Act now! Let your voice speak out and change the world! 




(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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