Today in LGBT History – August 13

Kelly and I continue with On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder (2017). Snyder presents twenty lessons from the 20th century, adapted to the circumstances of today’s politics. On this blog, I present one lesson each day for 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 7. Be reflective if you must be armed. If you carry a weapon in public service, may God bless you and keep you. But know that evils of the past involve the policeman and soldiers finding themselves, one day, doing irregular things. Be ready to say no… In Nazi Germany, some killed from murderous conviction. But many others who killed were just afraid to stand up. Other forces were at work besides conformism. But without the conformists, the great atrocities would have been impossible.

 Do not be a conformist when you know that soething is wrong. Group-think is a dangerous tool on which authoritarian leaders depend. Remember yesterday in Charlottesburg, Virgina!

Today in LGBT History – August 13

1853 – Raphael Gallenti, a sailor from Malta arrives a San Quentin prison. He is thought to be the first person to be arrested for sodomy in California. He served a five-year sentence at San Quentin.

1937 – The New York Times ran a story saying that New York City police were compiling a list of known sex criminals, and that the list already consisted of over 300 names, most of whom were gay men.

1952 – Herb Ritts is born (August 13, 1952 – December 26, 2002). He was a gay American fashion photographer who concentrated on black-and-white photography and portraits often in the style of classical sculpture. He received the GLAAD Media Pioneer Award posthumously in 2008.

1958, Italy – Domenico Dolce, one of the co-founders of the fashion house Dolce & Gabbana, is born (born August 1958) in Polizzi Generosa, Sicily. Along with Stefano Gabbana (born 14 November 1962), he is one half of the luxury fashion house Dolce & Gabbana (D&G). Since founding D&G in 1985, Dolce has become one of the world’s most influential fashion designers and an industry icon. Dolce and Gabbana were an open couple for many years. Following their success, they lived in a 19th-century villa in Milan, and owned several properties on the French Riviera. They ended their long-time relationship in 2003 or 2005, but the pair still work together at D&G.

1975 – The Advocate calls 1975 the Year of the Disco. Across the US and around the world, discos have changed the face of the gay and lesbian subculture.

1975 – Gay writer Randy Shilts (August 8, 1951 – February 17, 1994) made his debut in The Advocate with the story “Candy Jar Politics–The Oregon Gay Rights Story.”

1981 – The Australian government agrees to grant refugee status to people from other nations who are persecuted because of their sexual orientation.

1984 – Homophobes Jimmy Swaggart, Phyllis Schlafley, and Jerry Falwell spoke to a Republican party committee, urging a platform opposed to gay rights.

1984 – A hospital in San Luis, California refused to admit a 29-year old man with AIDS and sent him to San Francisco, 200 miles away. He died shortly afterward.

1988 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)approves funding for The National Task Force on AIDS Prevention (NTFAP). NTFAP originated as a program of the National Association of Black and White Men Together (NABWMT), a multi-racial gay organization. The first NTFAP meeting was held on August 13-14. Reggie Williams (1951-1999), longtime community activist and member of BWMT, was the Executive Director of NTFAP from its birth until his retirement in February 1994. Williams also served on the boards of the NABWMT, the AIDS Action Council in Washington DC, and numerous other organizations related to African Americans, lesbians and gay men, and AIDS.

1992 – Nicaragua president Violeta Chamorro signed into law legislation that criminalized consensual same-sex sodomy. The maximum sentence was set at eight years, but could be as high as twenty years for someone who was in a position of authority over minors such as a teacher.

1992 – Senator Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ) calls on the Pentagon to end the ban on gay and lesbian service personnel unless an independent study could provide a rational basis for it.

1993, Russia – The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission reports that lesbians and gay men  are still jailed though Russia had legalized homosexual acts between consenting adults earlier in the year.

1998 – San Francisco’s Bay Area Reporter, a gay and lesbian newspaper, published its first issue in seventeen years with no AIDS-related obituaries.

1998, Paris – Julien Green (September 6, 1900 – August 13, 1998), a novelist who chronicled his struggle with his homosexuality, dies in Paris at age 97. He was an American writer who authored several novels (The Dark JourneyThe Closed GardenMoiraEach Man in His Darkness, the Dixie trilogy, etc.), a four-volume autobiography (The Green ParadiseThe War at SixteenLove in America and Restless Youth) and his famous Diary (in nineteen volumes, 1919–1998). He wrote primarily in French and was the first non-French national to be elected to the Académie française. For many years Green was the companion of Robert de Saint-Jean, a journalist, whom he had met in the 1920s. In his later years Green formally adopted gay fiction writer Éric Jourdan.

1999 – The Pentagon officially revises “don’t ask don’t tell,” requiring mandatory anti-harassment training for all troops.

2004 – The California Supreme Court rules that the San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom overstepped his authority by issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, voiding thousands of marriages sanctioned in San Francisco earlier this year.

2005 – Politicians who supported gay rights were banned from speaking at Catholic churches in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.

2010 – Radio talk show host Stephanie Miller (born September 29, 1961) comes out on air, saying she was inspired by singer Chely Wright (born October 25, 1970). Stephanie is the daughter of U.S. Rep. William Miller who was Barry Goldwater’s running mate. is an American political commentatorcomedian, and host of The Stephanie Miller Show, a liberal talk radio program produced in Los Angeles by WYD Media Management and syndicated syndicated nationally by Westwood One. In 2012, Talkers magazine ranked her the 11th most important radio talk show host out of 13 syndicated radio programs broadcast in America. Since 2011, Miller’s live Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour has periodically toured the country to sold out houses and very high acclaim. After Donald Trump became president, the tour was renamed the Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour.

Think! Question authority! 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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