Rudyard Kipling said: If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten. The snippets of LGBTQ history here are the stories of our lives, the stories of the giants on whose shoulders we all stand. Learn about them then tell the stories and remember… because knowing your history IS resistance!
Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!
Today in LGBT History – AUGUST 6
390, Italy – Valentinian, Arcadius, and Theodosius wrote to the Roman city vicar that they cannot tolerate Rome “being stained any longer by the contamination of male effeminacy…” They call for death by fire.
1637 – The Plymouth, Massachusetts court finds John Alexander and Thomas Roberts guilty of “often spending their seed one upon the other” though they are not charged with sodomy. Both were severely whipped, and Alexander was branded on the shoulder and banished from the colony. Although the colony had made sodomy punishable by death the previous year, it required penetration that was not proven in this case.
1862 –Albert Cashier (December 25, 1843 – October 10, 1915) enlists in the 95thIllinois Infantry and is assigned to Company G of the Union Army. Jennie Hodgers adopted the identity of a man before enlisting and maintained it for most of the remainder of her life. She became famous as one of a number of women who served as men during the Civil War, although the consistent and long-term commitment to the male identity has prompted some contemporary scholars to suggest that Cashier was a trans man. In 1911, a physician discovered the secret during a hospital stay but did not disclose the information. On May 5, 1911, because Cashier was moved to the Soldiers and Sailors home in Quincy, Illinois. During this stay, Albert was visited by many of fellow soldiers from 95thRegiment. Cashier was moved to the Watertown State Hospital for the Insane in March, 1914. Attendants at the Watertown State Hospital discovered that Albert was female during a bath, at which point –at age 70 – Cashier was made to wear women’s clothes again after fifty years. Cashier’s tombstone reads “Albert D. J. Cashier, Co. G, 95 Ill. Inf.” Cashier’s birth name of Jennie Hodgers was discovered nine years later. A second tombstone with both names was placed beside the original.
1868 – Florida revises its sodomy law, making sodomy punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
1885, UK – British Parliament votes to make homosexual acts a criminal offense.
1913, Germany – Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld (May 14, 1868 – May 14, 1935) was an outspoken advocate for sexual minorities. He crusaded for the repeal of sodomy laws in Germany and founded two organizations for homosexuals, one of which was the Scientific Humanitarian Committee. On this day he spoke at the International Medical Conference in London and met with British gays to discuss forming a London branch of the Scientific Humanitarian Committee. Hirschfeld was a GermanJewish physician and sexologist educated primarily in Germany. He based his practice in Berlin-Charlottenburg. Historian Dustin Goltz characterized the Scientific Humanitarian Committee as having carried out “the first advocacy for homosexual and transgender rights“
1928 – Andy Warhol (August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987) is born. He was an American artist, director and producer who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture, and advertising that flourished by the 1960s, and span a variety of media, including painting, silk-screening, photography, film, and sculpture. Some of his best known works include the silkscreen paintings Campbell’s Soup Cans (1962) and Marilyn Diptych (1962), the experimental film Chelsea Girls (1966), and the multimedia events known as the Exploding Plastic Inevitable (1966–67). Warhol’s lovers included poet John Giorno(born December 4, 1936), photographer Billy Name (February 22, 1940 – July 18, 2016), production designer Charles Lisanby (January 22, 1924 – August 23, 2013), and Jon Gould. His boyfriend of 12 years was Jed Johnson(December 30, 1948 – July 17, 1996)whom he met in 1968 and who later achieved fame as an interior designer.
1930 – Author and GLBT historian Martin Duberman (born August 6, 1930) is born on this date. He is an American historian, biographer, playwright, and gay rights activist, and Professor of History Emeritus at Herbert Lehman College. In 1968, he signed the “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” pledge, vowing to refuse tax payments in protest against the Vietnam War, and was jailed, as a member of REDRESS, for a sit-in protest on the floor of the U.S. Senate.His numerous essays on “The Black Struggle,” “The Crisis of the Universities,” “American Foreign Policy,” and “Gender and Sexuality” have been collected in two volumes of his essays: The Uncompleted Past and Left Out: The Politics of Exclusion, 1964-1999. He came out as a gay man in an essay (December 10, 1972) in The New York Times. A founder and keynote speaker of the Gay Academic Union (1973), he later founded and served as first director (1986-1996) of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the CUNY Graduate School. In 1997 he edited two volumes, “A Queer World” and “Queer Representations” containing selections from the Center’s conferences. He was also a member of the founding boards of the National Lesbian and Gay Task Force, Lambda Legal Defense Fund, and Queers for Economic Justice. Duberman’s most recent novel, Jews Queers Germans, was published by Seven Stories Press in March, 2017.
1936, UK – Mark Weston (born Mary Louise Edith Weston, March 30, 1905 – January 29, 1978), nicknamed “the Devonshire Wonder”, was one of the best British field athletes of the 1920s. He was a national champion in the women’s javelin throw and discus throw in 1929 and won the women’s shot put title in 1925, 1928 and 1929.At the 1926 Women’s World Games he finished sixth in the two-handed shot put, where the final result was a sum of two best throws with the right hand and with the left hand. On this day, the interview article “The Girl who Became a Bridegroom” is published. Weston had a genital abnormality and was assigned as female at birth and raised as a girl. In April–May 1936, Weston underwent a series of gender changing operations at the Charing Cross Hospital. He changed his first name to Mark, retired from competitions and later worked as a masseur.In July, 1936, Weston married Alberta Matilda Bray and they had three children. Following his example, his elder sibling Harry (previously Hilda) also changed his gender and name in the 1930s. Harry hanged himself during a depression in 1942. Mark Weston died in the Freedom Fields Hospital in Plymouth in 1978.
1938 – Out actor/director Paul Bartel (August 6, 1938 – May 13, 2000) is born in Brooklyn, New York. After working as a unit director for Roger Corman, Bartel broke out on his own, directing horror/camp classics such as Deathrace 2000(1975) and Eating Raoul(1982).
1948 – Stephen Robert “Steve” Endean (August 6, 1948 – August 4, 1993) is born. He was an American gay rights activist, first in Minnesota, then nationally. He was born in Davenport, Iowa, and came to Minnesota to attend the University of Minnesota from 1968-1972, majoring in political science.In 1971, Endean founded the Minnesota Committee for Gay Rights (later Gay Rights Legislative Committee), and became the first gay and lesbian rights lobbyist in Minnesota a year later. Along with the Minnesota Committee for Gay Rights and Democratic legislators, Endean opposed trans-inclusion and public accommodations in a statewide gay rights bill, giving as their reason the belief that the bill would not pass with such inclusion. In the 1970s, he served as co-chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Gay Task Force (later NGLTF). In 1978, he became the director of the Gay Rights National Lobby. In 1980, he started the Human Rights Campaign Fund (later just HRC), and served as its first Executive Director. In 1985, Endean was diagnosed with AIDS. After this, increasing health problems led to semi-retirement. In 1991, he created the National Endorsement Campaign, an effort to get straight political leaders and media figures to endorse LGBT rights. Also in 1991, he published his memoir, Into the Mainstream. In 1993, he was present in a wheelchair at the Minnesota State Capitol when the Legislature passed the Minnesota Human Rights Act, which banned LGBT discrimination in housing, employment, and education. Endean died of AIDS-related complications on August 4, 1993.[
1957 – James Edward McGreevey (born August 6, 1957) is an American politician and member of the Democratic Partywho served as the 52nd Governor of New Jerseyfrom 2002 until his resignation in 2004. In early 2002, McGreevey was criticized for appointing his secret lover, Israeli national Golan Cipel, as homeland security adviser even though Cipel lacked experience or other qualifications for the position. Cipel resigned but threats from his lawyers about sexual harassment lawsuits prompted McGreevey to announce on August 12, 2004, that he was gay and would resign the governorship, effective November 15, 2004. This made McGreevey the first openly gay governor in United States history.
1992, Canada – The Ontario Court of Appeals issues a ruling that voided the Canadian military’s ban on gays and lesbians.
1994 – The Japanese-American Citizens League votes 50-38 at its meeting in San Francisco in favor of supporting same-sex marriage.
Stand up, speak out, share your story!
(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!)