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 13. Practice corporeal politics. Power (the bad guys) wants your body softening in your chair and your emotions dissipating on the screen. Get outside. Put your body in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people. Make new friends and march with them….The choice to be in public depends on the ability to maintain a private sphere of life. We are free only when it is we ourselves who draw the line between when we are seeing in when we are not seeing.
Today is the eclipse. Get out and see it! Meditate on your ability to maintain your precious privacy while still being out and visible and active I public.
Today in LGBT History – August 21
1869 – Walt Whitman wrote to Peter Doyle, “My love for you is indestructible, and since that night and morning has returned more than before.”
1872, UK – Aubrey Beardsley (August 21, 1872 – March 16, 1898) was born in Brighton, England. More than any other artist of his time, Beardsley epitomized the Art Nouveau style. As a young man he would walk down the boulevards of Paris arm in arm with his mother, his makeup far more dazzling than hers. Although Beardsley was associated with the homosexual clique that included Oscar Wilde and other English aesthetes, the details of his sexuality remain in question. He was generally regarded as asexual. His association with Oscar Wilde ruined him and he died of tuberculosis three years after Wilde was sentenced to prison.
1929, Mexico – Bisexual Frida Kahlo (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954) marries Diego Rivera. She was a Mexican painter, who mostly painted self-portraits. Inspired by Mexican popular culture, she employed a naïve folk art style to explore questions of identity, post colonialism, gender, class, and race in Mexican society. Her work has been celebrated internationally as emblematic of Mexican national and indigenous traditions, and by feminists for what is seen as its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form.
1936, Spain – Luisa Isabel Alvarez de Toledo y Maura, 21st Duchess of Medina Sidonia, Grandee of Spain (August 21, 1936 – March 7, 2008) was the holder of the ducal title Medina-Sidonia in Spain. She was nicknamed La Duquesa Roja or The Red Duchess. She was the 21st Duchess of the ducal family of Medina-Sidonia, one of the most prestigious noble families and Grandees of Spain. Eleven hours before her death, on March 7, 2008, Luisa Isabel married her longtime partner and secretary since 1983, Liliana Maria Dahlmann in a civil ceremony on her deathbed. Today, the Dowager Duchess Liliana Maria, her legal widow, serves as life-president of the Fundación Casa Medina Sidonia.
1944, Germany – Felice Schragenheim (March 9, 1922 – December 31, 1944), a young Jewish resistance fighter in Germany, was sent to a concentration camp in Poland on this date. Her love story with Lilly Wust, a German wife of a Nazi, is portrayed in the 1999 film “Aimee & Jaguar” and in a book of the same name by Erica Fischer. It is also the subject of the 1997 documentary Love Story: Berlin 1942.
1962 – Birth date of American gay-porn star, Jeff Stryker (born Charles Casper Peyton, August 21, 1962 ) in Carmi, Illinois. He has starred in bisexual, gay, and straight adult films. He lives in California.
1970 – Huey Newton, co-founder of the Black Panthers, publicly announces his support of gay rights, stating his “solidarity” with the “Gay Power” movement.
1971, Canada – In Ottawa, “We demand,” a brief prepared by Toronto Gay Action and sponsored by Canadian gay groups, is presented to federal government. It calls for law reform and changes to public policy relating to homosexuals
1983 – The musical version of “La Cage Aux Folles” opens on Broadway to rave reviews and $4 million in advance ticket sales. With a book written by Harvey Fierstein (born June 6, 1954) and lyrics and music by Jerry Herman (born July 10, 1931), La Cage is a romantic musical comedy based on a popular French film about two male lovers, the manager and the leading star of a nightclub featuring female impersonators.
1989 – The National Association of State Boards of Education reports that only twenty-four states require AIDS education in schools, and eighteen of those suggest abstinence as the only method of avoiding the disease. Only three programs require teachers to discuss the use of condoms in their programs.
1989 – Lucie McKinney, the widow of Congressman Stewart McKinney (R-CT) (January 30, 1931 – May 7, 1987), the first congressman to die of complications from AIDS, challenges his will in court because he left a car and a 40% share of his Washington, DC house to his lover Arnold Dennison. McKinney’s physician speculated that McKinney became infected with HIV in 1979 as the result of blood transfusions during heart surgery.McKinney was known by friends to be bisexual, though his family said this was not the case, which raised the issue of how he had contracted the disease. Antigay prejudice at the time of McKinney’s death in 1987 may have promoted a disingenuous approach to speculations on the cause of McKinney’s HIV infection. Arnold Denson, the man with whom McKinney had been living in Washington, said that he had been McKinney’s lover, and that he believed McKinney was already infected when Denson met him.
1994 – Rikki Streicher (1922 – Aug. 21,1994) dies of cancer at age 68 in San Francisco. She opened Maud’s, America’s oldest continuously operating lesbian bar, in 1966 and Amanda’s, a lesbian dance club that opened in 1978. Maud’s closed in 1989 because of financial problems. Streicher also helped organize the Gay Games in San Francisco in 1986. Streicher was born in 1922. She served in the military and lived in Los Angeles in the 1940s, where she spent time in the gay bars of that city. She also frequented the gay bars of North Beach in San Francisco. Butch-Femme roles were very fixed at that time. Streicher then identified as butch, and was photographed in 1945 in a widely published image, sitting in Oakland‘s Claremont Resort with other lesbians , wearing a suit and tie. In 1966, Streicher opened Maud’s, originally called “Maud’s Study”, or “The Study”, a lesbian bar on Cole St. in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. The following year, the Haight-Ashbury would become the epicenter of the hippie movement during the 1967 Summer of Love. Maud’s, said one historian, served to “bridge the gap between San Francisco’s lesbian community and its hippie generation.”  Because women were not allowed to be employed as bartenders in San Francisco until 1971, Streicher had to either tend bar herself or hire male bartenders. The bar quickly became a popular gathering place for San Francisco lesbians and bisexual women. One notable customer of Maud’s was singer Janis Joplin.Activists Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon were also early patrons of Maud’s. In 1978, at the height of the disco era, Streicher opened a more spacious bar and dance club on Valencia Street in San Francisco’s Mission District called Amelia’s, named after Amelia Earhart. Streicher died of cancer in 1994, and was survived by her partner, Mary Sager.
1996 – Intel announces that the company would begin offering domestic partner benefits.
1996 – Denver Colorado’s Career Service Authority votes 5-0 to extend health insurance benefits to the partners and children of gay and lesbian city employees. The plan did not cover unmarried heterosexual couples. Mayor Wellington Webb announced that he would approve the plan, which had the support of the majority of the city council.
1997 – Irving Cooperberg, (1932 – Aug. 21, 1997), co-founder of the New York City Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center, dies of complications from AIDS at age 65.
1998 – According to a survey by the Arizona Department of Public Safety, hate crimes in the first part of 1998 were down 15% but gay males were the second most commonly targeted group with twenty incidents. Ten incidents against lesbians were reported.
1998 – Elton Jackson was found guilty by a jury in Virginia of the murder of Andrew Smith. He was given a sentence of life in prison. Police suspected him in the murder of twelve gay men.
2002 – About 20 lesbian and gay survivors whose partners died in the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, were told they would receive workers’ compensation under a new state law.
2003 – Former Georgia representative Bob Barr, the man who wrote the Defense of Marriage Act that prevents same-sex couples from receiving federal benefits, said it would be a mistake to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage.
2004 – A Louisiana state judge rules that the proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages and civil unions was unconstitutional and must be taken off the September 18 ballot.
2008 – The Coquille Indian Tribe in Oregon legalizes same-sex marriage which is not recognized by the state.
2008 – Hallmark Greeting Cards based in Kansas City introduces line of same-sex wedding cards.
Get out in the world!
(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, 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!)