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 14. Establish a private life. Nastier rulers will use what they know about you to push you around. Scrub your computer of malware on a regular basis. Remember that email is skywriting. Consider using alternative forms of the Internet, or simply using less. Have personal exchanges in person. For the same reason, resolve any legal trouble. Tyrants seek the hook on which to hang you. Try not to have hooks….When we take an active interest in matters of doubtful relevance at moments that are chosen by tyrants and spooks, we participate in the demolition of our own political order. We can try to solve this problem individually, by securing our own computers; we can also try to solve it collectively, by supporting, for example, organizations that are concerned with human rights.
Clean your computer and join human rights organizations.
Today in LGBT History – August 22
1662, Spain – A leader of the Mexican Inquisition sent a letter to his supervisors in Spain complaining that the severe punishments given to sodomites had been ineffective. He noted that over 100 had been indicted, that a large number of the offenders were clergy, and that torture had been used to extract confessions.
1894, Denmark – Willem Arondeus (August 22, 1894 – July 1, 1943) is born. He was a Dutch artist and author, who joined the Dutch anti-Nazi resistance movement during World War II. He participated in the bombing of the Amsterdam public records office to hinder the Nazi German effort to identify Dutch Jews. Arondeus was caught and executed soon after his arrest. He was openly gay before the war and defiantly asserted his sexuality before his execution. In his last message before his execution, Arondeus, who had lived openly as a gay man before the war, asked his lawyer to “Let it be known that homosexuals are not cowards!”
1895, Hungary – László Ede Almásy de Zsadány et Törökszentmiklós (August 22, – March 22, 1951) is born. He was a Hungarian aristocrat, desert explorer, aviator, scout leader and sportsman who served as the basis for the protagonist in both Michael Ondaatje‘s novel The English Patient (1992) and the movie adaptation of the same name (1996). Letters discovered in 2010 in Germany written by Almásy prove that, unlike the fictionalized character of the film, he was in fact gay. His lover was a young soldier named Hans Entholt, who was an officer in the Wehrmacht and who was killed by stepping on a landmine. A staff member of the Heinrich Barth Institute for African Studies where the letters are located, also confirmed that “Egyptian princes were among Almásy’s lovers.” The letters confirmed that Almásy died from amoebic dysentery in 1951.
1914, France – Violette Morris (April 18, 1893 – April 26, 1944), marries a man on this day. She won two gold and one silver medals at the Women’s World Games in 1921–1922. Starting in 1936 she worked with the Gestapo during World War II. She was killed in 1944 in a Resistance-led ambush as a traitor to the French state. Morris was a gifted athlete, becoming the first French woman to excel at shot put and discus, and playing on two separate women’s football teams. She played for Fémina Sports from 1917 until 1919, and for Olympique de Paris from 1920 to 1926. Both teams were based in Paris. She also played on the French women’s national team. She was refused license renewal by the Fédération Française sportive Féminine (FFSF – French Women’s Athletic Federation) amid complaints of her bisexual lifestyle and was therefore barred from participating in the 1928 Summer Olympics. The agency cited her lack of morals, especially in light of the fact that one of her lovers, Raoul Paoli, made public her bisexuality. Paoli had recently left Morris after she had initially decided to undergo an elective mastectomy in order to fit into racing cars more easily. At the end of December 1935, Morris was recruited by the Sicherheitsdienst(Security Service), a wing of the infamous SS of Nazi Germany. She was invited, with honor, to attend the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin at the personal behest of Adolf Hitler. She was killed along a country road by members of a French resistance group on 26 April 1944, at the age of 51, while out driving with friends who were also collaborators.
1915, UK – Birth date of British actor Hugh Paddick (August 22, 1915 – November 9, 2000) in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire. He was an English actor whose most notable role was in the 1960s BBC radio show Round the Horne, in sketches such as “Charles and Fiona” (as Charles) and “Julian and Sandy” (as Julian). Both he and Kenneth Williams are largely responsible for introducing the underground language polari to the British public. Paddick was gay and lived for over thirty years with his partner Francis. The two men were keen gardeners at their west London home. He was distantly related to Brian Paddick, Britain’s first openly gay police commander. Paddick died in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire in November 2000, aged 85.
1927 – James Kirkwood, Jr. (August 22, 1924 – April 21, 1989) is born in Los Angeles. He was an American playwright, author and actor. In 1976 he received the Tony Award, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the Broadway hit A Chorus Line.
1965 – David Peter Reimer is born (August 22, 1965 – May 4, 2004). He was a Canadian man born biologically male but who was reassigned as female by Dr. John Money after his penis was destroyed in infancy by a botched circumcision. He committed suicide in 2004. In 955, Money (1921-2006), a sexologist and psychologist, introduced the concept of ‘gender role’ into the transsexual debate. Money later was heavily criticized over Reimer’s suicide. David Reimer, an identical twin, was mutilated at 8-months old in a botched circumcision and then surgically reassigned by Money and raised as a girl. But he never felt female on the inside (even though his parents followed Money’s advice and hid the fact of his birth sex from him), despite Money’s claims to the contrary. His life, especially at school, was sheer hell because others never really perceived him to be a girl either, despite his girl drag. By age 16, Reimer underwent a second reassignment at his own insistence so that he could live as the boy he knew himself to be. In the meantime, however, Money had convinced the medical establishment and the lay public, despite growing evidence to the contrary in his “girl” twin, that babies could be arbitrarily assigned a gender with no psychological consequences. Today, still, five children a day are surgically “corrected” at birth because of this one “case study” and Money’s defense of his handling of David’s life. With the help of Drs. Milton Diamond and H.K. Sigmundson, Reimer would finally tell the medical establishment the truth about his life in 1997 in the Archives of Adolescent and Pediatric Medicine, [“Sex reassignment at birth. Long-term review and clinical implications” Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, Mar 1997; 151: 298 – 304.], challenging the firmly established medical and popular myth that gender was mostly a function of nurture rather than nature. Later that year, Reimer would work with author John Colapinto to tell his story to the lay public, first under a pseudonym, in Rolling Stone
1966 – The National Planning Conference of Homophile Organizations met in San Francisco. It was the first national convention of gay and lesbian organizations, and its name would later be changed to the North American Conference of Homophile Organizations.
1972 – John Wojtowicz and Sal Naturale attempted to rob the Chase Manhattan Bank in Brooklyn to get money for Wojtowicz’s lover’s sex change operation. Naturale was shot to death. The incident became the subject of the 1975 movie “Dog Day Afternoon” with Al Pacino. Wojtowicz was sentenced to 20 years.
1983 – Organizers of a Washington march, marking the 20th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, announce that no representatives from gay or lesbian rights groups will be allowed to speak. A group of lesbians and gay men stage a sit-in at the organizers’ office in response. Bayard Rustin, an openly gay man, was one of the primary organizers of the 1963 March.
1996 – In an interview publishes by the St Petersburg Times (Florida, not Russia), openly gay Rep. Barney Frank said the outing of hypocrites was justified.
1996 – Gov. Kirk Fordice of Mississippi signs an executive order banning same-sex marriage.
1996 – The North Charleston, South Carolina, City Council revoked the license of a health club for gay and bisexual men on the grounds that it was a sexually oriented business.
1998 – Hundreds picket at the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church to protest the Truth In Love newspaper ad campaign which claimed gays and lesbians can be “cured” by becoming Christians. The church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is a major player in spreading hatred for the gay community.
2001 – U.S. Census figures showed that same-sex couples head nearly 600,000 homes in U.S., with gay or lesbian couple in nearly every county.
Join a human rights organization and change 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!)