Today in LGBT History – August 25

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 17. Listen for dangerous words. Be alert to the use of the words extremism and terrorism. Be alive to the fetal motions of emergency and exception. Be angry about the treacherous use of patriotic vocabulary….Modern authoritarian regimes, such as Russia, use laws on extremism to punish those who criticize their policies. In this way the notion of extremism comes to mean virtually everything except what it is, in fact, extreme: Tyranny.

Listen to trump’s words. They’re the words of an authoritarian regime. Pay attention.

Today in LGBT History – August 25

1845, Bavaria – Ludwig II (August 25, 1845 – June 13, 1886) is born in Nymphenburg Bavaria. Louis Otto Frederick William was King of Bavariafrom 1864 until his death in 1886. He is sometimes called the Swan King, Mad King Ludwig or  Fairy Tale King. He built fairytale castles on the Rhine and filled them with young boys in revealing military uniforms. Crown Prince Ludwig had just turned 18 when his father died after a three-day illness, and he ascended the Bavarian throne. Although he was not prepared for high office, his youth and brooding good looks made him popular in Bavaria and elsewhere. Ludwig never married, nor had any known mistresses. It is known from his diary (begun in the 1860s), private letters, and other surviving personal documents, that he had strong homosexual desires.

1876 – The Sacramento Daily Union reports that Ah Lee and Ah Joe both plead not guilty in California for “crimes against nature.” Ah Joe is sentence to three years in prison. Ah Lee’s fate is unknown.

1918 – Leonard Bernstein (August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) is born. He was an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the US to receive worldwide acclaim. According to music critic Donal Henahan, he was “one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history.” His most famous work is probably the music for West Side Story. His lover, John Gruen, died in July, 2016 at the age of 89.

1981 – Bob Hoy, an openly gay graduate student at North Carolina State University, runs for the Raleigh, NC, City Council. He is defeated with only 3% of the vote after being attacked by the local press. Joe Herzenbeng (June 25, 1941 – October 28, 2007) was the first openly gay elected official in North Carolina, in Chapel Hill, in 1987.

1982 – Iran re-institutes Islamic sharia law, proscribing all same-sex acts. Punishments include 100 lashes of the whip, beheading, and stoning to death.

LGBT Fact: An African-American gay man, Col. George Middleton, leads a troop of black men in the Revolution. During the time of the American Revolution, George Middleton (1735-1815) was recognized as a great fighter for liberty and independence, and a respected leader among the community of blacks living in Boston, Mass. Local politicians, neighbors and other contemporaries viewed him as a central figure in promoting and garnering freedoms while advancing America’s cause. Throughout his life, Middleton possessed an unconventional style of leadership, a commanding voice and an encompassing presence that motivated the allegiance of those connected to him. Middleton stands out in Boston and queer histories because of his relationship and the home he built and shared with Caribbean friend Louis Glapion. While there exists no concrete proof that Middleton and Glapion had a romantic relationship, it was common at the time for gays and lesbians to marry individuals of the opposite sex and have children, while maintaining separate same-sex relationships. At his time of death, Middleton left his possessions to his “true friend Trimstom Babcock.”

Listen, pay attention, then 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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