Today in LGBT History – FEBRUARY 14

It’s Valentine’s Day and I get to share the day with my precious wife. I’m deeply grateful for the adventures we have together, for the love and tenderness and joy that we share, and for the way we two old women care for one another. I remember far too many Valentine’s Days alone, wondering if I would ever share the fun of the day with someone. Today I  am truly blessed to be alive, in love, and feeling well. Writing prompt: what is this day like for you?

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 – FEBRUARY 14

1953 – Del Martin (May 5, 1921 – August 27, 2008) and Phyllis Lyon (born November 10, 1924)meet in 1950, become partners in 1952. On this day in 1953 they moved in together. They founded Daughters of Bilitis and, decades later, were the first couple in the U.S. to be legally married.

1953 – British-American writer, Christopher Isherwood (26 August 1904 – 4 January 1986), 48, meets  portrait artistDon Bachardy (born May 18, 1934), 18, in California. They were partners until Isherwood’s death in 1986.

1972 – First meeting of the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club, named for the partner of Gertrude Stein (February 3, 1874 – July 27, 1946), takes place in San Francisco. It was founded by political activist Jim Foster, becoming the country’s first gay Democratic political club. Gertrude was an American novelist, poet, playwright, and art collector. Born in the Allegheny West neighborhood of PittsburghPennsylvania, and raised in OaklandCalifornia, Stein moved to Paris in 1903, and made France her home for the remainder of her life. She hosted a Paris salon, where the leading figures of modernism in literature and art, such as Pablo PicassoErnest HemingwayF. Scott FitzgeraldSinclair LewisEzra Pound, and Henri Matisse, would meet.Alice Toklas (April 30, 1877 – March 7, 1967) was an American-born member of the Parisian avant-garde of the early 20th century, and the life partner of American writer Gertrude Stein.

1979, Canada – In Toronto Judge Sydney Harris finds Pink Triangle Press, publisher of The Body Politic, and three officers not guilty of publishing obscenity. 

1984, Australia – Elton John (25 March 1947)marries German recording tech Renate Blauel in Sydney. They divorce in 1988 after he comes out as gay. John is an English singer, pianist, and composer. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriting partner since 1967; they have collaborated on more than 30 albums to date. In his five-decade career Elton John has sold more than 300 million records, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world. In 1993, he began a relationship with  David Furnish(born 25 October 1962), a former advertising executive and now filmmaker originally from Toronto, Canada. On December 21, 2005 (the day the UK Civil Partnership Act became law), John and Furnish were among the first couples in the UK to form a civil partnership, which was held at the Windsor Guildhall. After marriageequality became legal in England in March 2014, John and Furnish married in Windsor, Berkshire, on December 21, 2014, the ninth anniversary of their civil partnership. They have two sons.

1988 – Three lesbians appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show.  Yolanda Retter Vargas (December 4, 1947 – August 18, 2007)and two other women spoke of  “lesbian separatism,” an offshoot of a feminist movement that strikes against male patriarchy in all levels of society. Vargas, then Director of Women’s Programs at LA’s Lesbian Center, and her friends were introduced as “women who hate men,” a label that made it all the easier for bigots to hate them and for LGBT activists to compare the women to conservatives. It was not a high-point for lesbians, feminists or Oprah, and was just one of the many sensationalized gay stories Oprah covered during this era. In addition to a comparatively progressive 1986 episode on homophobia, Oprah aired “Women Who Turn to Lesbianism” (1988), “All The Family is Gay” (1991), “Straight Spouses and Gay Ex-Husbands” (1992) and “Lesbians and Gay Baby Boom” (1993). Oprah has since become a vocal supporter for equality and LGBT civil rights off-camera, too, and in 2013 suggested that same-sex couples can actually help strengthen the institution of marriage.

1991 – San Francisco becomes the first city to register same-sex domestic partners.

2012, Uganda – Police raid an LGBT Rights conference after the state minister orders the conference to be stopped.

Stand up, speak out, share your story!




(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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