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Today in LGBT History – August 31
12 AD, Italy – Gaius Caesar Germanicus, better known as Caligula (August 31, 12 – January 24, 41) , is born in Anzio, Italy. He was violent and cruel. Bisexual, his male lovers included soldiers, actors and a priest. a soldier was said to have kicked him to death after sex, though more likely Caligula was assassinated as a result of a conspiracy by officers of the Praetorian Guard, senators, and courtiers. During his brief reign, Caligula worked to increase the unconstrained personal power of the emperor as opposed to countervailing powers within the principate. He directed much of his attention to ambitious construction projects and luxurious dwellings for himself, and initiated the construction of two aqueducts in Rome: the Aqua Claudia and the Anio Novus. During his reign, the empire annexed the Kingdom of Mauretania as a province.
1935 – Jim Morris (August 31, 1935 – January 28, 2016) is born. He was an openly gay African American bodybuilder known for winning competitions over a thirty-year career. Among the titles Morris won are: Mr. USA (1972), AAU Mr. America (1973), Mr. International (1974), and Mr. Olympia Masters Over 60 (1996). At age 50, he became a vegetarian then vegan, a diet to which he credited much of his excellent health. He posed nude for a PETA ad in support of the vegan lifestyle. From 1974 to 1988 he was Elton John‘s personal bodyguard.In March 2014 a short documentary-film starring Jim Morris entitled “Jim Morris: Lifelong Fitness” was released on YouTube. The film focuses on his life-long body building career, vegan lifestyle and Morris’ yearning to break stereotypes attached to the elderly. Morris died on January 28, 2016 at the age of 80.
1961 – The first English language film to use the word “homosexual” in a feature film is shown in the U.S. It was the Britishsuspense film“Victim.” It was denied the motion picture code seal of approval. The filmwas directed by Basil Deardenand starred Dirk Bogarde and Sylvia Syms. It premiered in the UK on August 31,1961, and in the US the following February.
1979 – At the start of the Labor Day weekend at the Sri Ram Ashram near Benson, Arizona, the Spiritual Conference for Radical Fairies was organized as a ʺcall to gay brothersʺ by early gay rights advocates Harry Hay (April 7, 1912 – October 24, 2002), John Burnside (1916-2008), Don Kilhefner (born March 3, 1938), and Mitch Walker (born 1951). It becomes the birthplace of The Radical Faeries. The Radical Faeries is a loosely affiliated worldwide network and counter-cultural movement seeking to redefine queer consciousness through spirituality. Sometimes deemed a form of contemporary Paganism, it adopts elements from anarchism and environmentalism. Today Radical Faeries embody a wide range of genders, sexual orientations, and identities. All sanctuaries and most gatherings are open to all, though a decreasing minority of gatherings still focus on the particular spiritual experience of man-loving men co-creating temporary autonomous zones.Faerie sanctuaries adapt rural living and environmentally sustainable concepts to modern technologies as part of creative expression. Radical Faerie communities are generally inspired by indigenous, native or traditional spiritualties, especially those that incorporate genderqueer sensibilities.
2001, Canada – The Canadian Human Right tribunal rules in favor of prisons respecting sex reassignment.
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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 email@example.com. Thanks!)