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Today in LGBT History – August 27
1782 – John Laurens (October 28, 1754 – August 27, 1782) dies at the age of 28. He was an American soldier and statesman from South Carolinaduring the American Revolutionary War, best known for his criticism of slavery and efforts to help recruit slaves to fight for their freedom as U.S. soldiers. Though he was married, letters between Laurens and Alexander Hamilton(January 11, 1755 or 1757 – July 12, 1804)indicate that the two men had an affair. From a young age, Laurens apparently exhibited a lack of interest in women. Laurens biographer Gregory D. Massey states that he “reserved his primary emotional commitments for other men.” Though he eventually married, it was a union born out of regret. While in London for his studies, Laurens impregnated Martha Manning and married her to preserve the legitimacy of their child. Laurens wrote to this uncle, “Pity has obliged me to marry.” Hamilton had “at the very least” an “adolescent crush” on Laurens. Chernow also states that “Hamilton did not form friendships easily and never again revealed his interior life to another man as he had to Laurens. […] After the death of John Laurens, Hamilton shut off some compartment of his emotions and never reopened it.”
1873 – Maud Allan (August 27, 1873 – October 7, 1956) was a pianist-turned-actress, dancer and choreographer who is remembered for her “impressionistic mood settings”. From the 1920s on Allan taught dance and lived with her secretary and lover, Verna Aldrich.She died in Los Angeles.
1951 – California Supreme Court ruled that the mere congregation of homosexuals at the Black Cat Bar was not sufficient grounds for suspending the bar’s liquor license (Stoumen v. Reilly , 37 Cal.2d 713, [S. F. No. 18310. In Bank. Aug. 28, 1951.]). The Black Cat Bar or Black Cat Café was a bar in San Francisco, California. It originally opened in 1906 and closed in 1921. The Black Cat re-opened in 1933 and operated for another 30 years. During its second run of operation, it was a hangout for Beats and bohemians but over time began attracting more and more of a gay clientele. The Black Cat closed down for good in February 1964. The site is now the location of Bocadillos, a tapas-style restaurant. On December 15, 2007, a plaque commemorating the Black Cat and its place in San Francisco history was placed at the site.
1961 – U.S. Fashion designer and gay icon Tom Ford (August 27, 1961) is born. He is an American fashion designer, film director, screenwriter, and film producer. He launched his eponymous luxury brand in 2006, having previously served as the creative directorat Gucciand Yves Saint Laurent. Ford directed the Oscar-nominated films A Single Man(2009)and Nocturnal Animals (2016). Ford is married to Richard Buckley (born 1948), a journalist and former editor in chief of Vogue Hommes International; they have been in a relationship since meeting in 1986.The couple have a son, born in September 2012.
1967 – Brian Epstein (9 September 1934 – 27 August 1967) , the manager of The Beatles, dies of a drug overdose. Although Lennon often made sarcastic comments about Epstein’s homosexuality to friends and to Epstein personally, no one outside the group’s inner circle was allowed to comment. Male homosexual activity was illegal in England and Wales until September, 1967, when it was decriminalized; however, this was one month after Epstein’s death.
1969, Switzerland – Erica Mann (November 9, 1905 – August 27, 1969) dies in Zurich. She was a German actress and writer and the eldest daughter of the novelist Thomas Mann and his wife Katia. In 1924, Erika Mann moved to Berlin where she lived a bohemian lifestyle and became a critic of National Socialism. She acted in, and wrote for, an anti-Nazi cabaret in Berlin. After Hitler came to power in 1933, Mann moved to Switzerland. She married gay poet W. H, Auden (February 21, 1907 – September 29,1973). The marriage was arranged in 1935 by Christopher Isherwood to help Mann get a British passport to flee Nazi Germany. Mann remained active in liberal causes and continued to attack Nazism in her writings, most notably with her 1938 book School for Barbarians which was a critique of the Nazi education system. Erika was in a relationship with actress Pamela Wedekind(December 12, 1906-April 9, 1986). She would later have relationships with actress Therese Giehse(6 March 1898 – 3 March 1975), author and photgrapher Annemarie Schwarzenbach(23 May 1908 – 15 November 1942) and dancer Betty Knox(10 May 1906 – 25 January 1963) , with whom she served as a war correspondent during World War II.
1973 – In New York City the local 6th police precinct defeated the New York Matts in a softball game. Matts was short for Mattachines, a gay organization. It attracted approximately 1,000 spectators and raised $1,000 for mentally disabled children. Geraldo Rivera was the first base umpire.
1992 – Colorado Republican senate candidate Terry Considine refers to AIDS as a self-inflicted injury during a town meeting, and equates AIDS with gun violence and drug abuse.
1998 – At the 16th Annual Gay and Lesbian Medical Association Symposium in Chicago, attorney Aaron Greenberg argues that if the gay gene is isolated, parents should have the right to abort a gay fetus or have its genetic makeup altered.
2000, Japan – After a four-year absence, the Tokyo Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade is held in Japan. Beginning in 1996 as the First Les-Bi-Gay Pride March Sapporo, for the next two years it was the Sexual Minority Pride March, and from 1999 became the Rainbow March that has become an annual public event of Sapporo and the longest, continuously run LGBT parade in Japan. The Rainbow Parade was also the first pride parade in Japan to feature floats, in 1999. Called the Tokyo Lesbian & Gay Parade (TLGP), the event took place in 2000 in the form of a march around the Shibuya district. The Parade went on, taking place in late summer of the two subsequent years, 2001 and 2002, now attracting crowds of over 3,000.
2005 – Sen. John McCain announces that although he is opposed a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, he supports a state version in his home state of Arizona.
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(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, out.com, 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!)