When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid. —Audre Lorde
Learning our history is resistance! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!
Today in LGBT History – February 13
1953 – Christine Jorgensen (May 30, 1926 – May 3, 1989) returns to New York after receiving sex reassignment surgery in Denmark by Dr. Christian Hamburger. Christine was an American trans woman who was the first person to become widely known in the United States for having sex reassignment surgery. Jorgensen grew up in the Bronx, New York City. Shortly after graduating from high school in 1945, she was drafted into the U.S. Army for World War II. After her service she attended several schools, worked, and around this time heard about sex reassignment surgery. She traveled to Europe and in Copenhagen, Denmark, obtained special permission to undergo a series of operations starting in 1951. Her transition was the subject of a New York Daily News front-page story. She became an instant celebrity, using the platform to advocate for transgender people and became known for her directness and polished wit. She also worked as an actress and nightclub entertainer and recorded several songs.
1972 – The film version of Kander and Ebb’s “Cabaret,” based on Christopher Isherwood’s (26 August 1904 – 4 January 1986) writings about his time in pre-WWII Berlin, has its world premiere in New York City. Unlike the stage version, the film version adheres slightly more closely to the source material and portrays Michael York’s character, Brian (based on Isherwood himself), as bisexual
1990 – Thirteen airmen are expelled from the U.S. Air Force after a four-month investigation into homosexual activity at Carswell Air Force base in Texas.
1996 – Rent opens on Broadway. It is a rock musical with music, lyrics, and book by Jonathan Larson (February 4, 1960 – January 25, 1996), loosely based on Giacomo Puccini‘s opera La Bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and create a life in New York City‘s East Village in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. Larsen was an American composer and playwright noted for exploring the social issues of multiculturalism, addiction, and homophobia in his work. Typical examples of his use of these themes are found in his works, Rent and tick, tick… BOOM! He received three posthumous Tony Awards and a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Rent. Larson died unexpectedly the morning of Rent‘s first preview performance Off Broadway on January 25, 1996.
1999, UK – London’s first Bi-Fest march and festival is held.
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, 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!)