Today in LGBT History – August 14

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 8. Stand out. Someone has to. it is easy to follow along. It can feel strange to do or say something different. But without that unease, there is no freedom. Remember Rosa Parks. The moment you set an example, the spell of the status quo is broken, and others will follow….Teresa Prekerowa saved many Jews in the Warsaw ghetto. She became a historian of the Holocaust, writing about the Warsaw ghetto and about others who helped aid Jews. But she preferred not to write about herself. When she was asked to speak about her own life, she called her actions normal. From our perspective, her actions seem exceptional. She stood out.

 It takes courage in the face of fear. Stand out!

Today in LGBT History – August 14

384 BC, Greece – Demosthenes (Aug. 14, 384 – October 12, 322 BC) is born in Athens. He was a Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens. His orations constitute a significant expression of contemporary Athenian intellectual prowess and provide an insight into the politics and culture of ancient Greece during the 4th century BC. Demosthenes learned rhetoric by studying the speeches of previous great orators. In his speeches, Aeschines uses pederastic relations of Demosthenes as a means to attack him. In the case of Aristion, a youth from Plataea who lived for a long time in Demosthenes’ house, Aeschines mocks the “scandalous” and “improper” relation.

1886 – Dr. Randolph Winslow wrote of an “epidemic of gonorrhea contracted through rectal coition” at a boys’ reform school near Baltimore, Maryland. The outbreak lasted from 1883-1885 and was brought under control by keeping a strict watch on the boys and inflicting severe corporeal punishment on anyone caught in the act.

1892 – Composer Piotr “Peter” Ilyich Tchaikovsky (April 7, 1840 –November 6, 1893) wrote to his nephew, Vladimir “Bob” Davidov, “It had to be this little incident which made me feel again how strong my love for you is. Oh God! How I want to see you!” Tchaikovsky was a Russian composer of the romantic period, some of whose works are among the most popular music in the classical repertoire. He was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally, bolstered by his appearances as a guest conductor in Europe and the United States. Tchaikovsky was honored in 1884, by Emperor Alexander III, and awarded a lifetime pension. Discussion of Tchaikovsky’s personal life, especially his sexuality, has perhaps been the most extensive of any composer in the 19th century and certainly of any Russian composer of his time. There have been Soviet efforts to expunge all references to same-sex attraction and portray him as a heterosexual. Biographers have generally agreed that Tchaikovsky was homosexual.

1920, Germany – In Germany, a publication of the Community of the Special includes an article called “Uranians of the World Unite!” It urged the formation of a worldwide homosexual organization.

1954 – Dade County, Florida sheriff’s deputies raided eleven gay bars in Miami and Miami Beach under the pretext of checking for venereal disease. Fifty-three men were brought in, and nineteen were held over the weekend pending a medical examination.

1961 – Police raid the Tay-Bush Inn, the largest gay bar raid in San Francisco history. One hundred and three patrons are arrested on ‘lewd behavior’ charges. The arrested include actors, actresses, dancers, a state hospital psychologist, a bank manager, an artist and an Air Force officer.

1974 – After a three-year battle, Gay Community Services Center Los Angeles wins tax-exempt status.

1980 – Black gay activist Melvin “Mel” Boozer  (June 21, 1945 – March 6, 1987)[ is recommended for Vice President at the Democratic National Convention in New York City. In a speech to the convention he said, “I know what it’s like to be called nigger, and I know what it’s like to be called faggot. I can sum up the difference in one word – none!” Boozer also told the convention that “bigotry is bigotry” and that homophobia “dishonors our way of life just as much” as racism, before withdrawing his nomination in favor of Walter Mondale. He was a university professor and activist for African AmericanLGBT and HIV/AIDS issues. He was active in both the Democratic Party and Socialist Party USA. He was also president of the Gay Activists Alliance.

1980 – Gwen Craig, a delegate at the Democratic National Convention, carried a sign that read “Black Lesbian Feminist.”

1985 – Los Angeles is the first U.S, city to ban discrimination against people with AIDS in employment, housing, education, and health care.

1997 – Members of the American Psychological Association vote to limit attempts to cure homosexuality and agreed to require the reading of a statement to gay patients affirming that being gay is normal and healthy. Homophobe Charles Socarides, president of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, (NARTH) said it was an attempt to brainwash people and called homosexuality “a purple menace that threatens proper gender distinction.” His openly gay son, Richard Socarides (born November 8, 1954), was the White House liaison to the gay community. Richard was the founding president of Equality Matters in 2011.

2003 – David Gilmore fights public radio station KUAZ for syndication of the nationally awarded program Outright Radio. Outright Radio is the leading nationally syndicated radio show featuring the extraordinary true stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered folks, distributed by Public Radio International* and broadcast on nearly 100 stations across the US. Outright Radio is a recipient of the 2003 Edward R. Murrow Award and the NFCB’s Golden and Silver Reels for 2000 and 2001, respectively.

2006, Canada – Andre Boisclair (born April 14, 1966), the first openly gay Canadian politician, becomes the leader of Parti Quebecois in Quebec. In November 2012, he was named as the new provincial delegate-general in New York City.

Stand out! 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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