Today in LGBT History – FEBRUARY 17

On the heels of the success of my play Dear Anita Bryant, we’ve been asked to do an encore performance at the Camelot Theater in Palm Springs. Now to find a date… what a wonderful, joyful thing! Writing prompt: When did you feel joy and what was that about 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 17

1854, Germany – Friedrich AlfredKrupp (17 February 1854 – 22 November 1902) was aGermansteelmanufacturer of the company Krupp. He was the son of Alfred Krupp and inherited the family business when his father died in 1887. Whereas his father had largely supplied iron and steel, Friedrich shifted his company’s production back to arms manufacturing. Friedrich greatly expanded Krupp and acquired the Germaniawerfin 1896 which gave him control of warship manufacturing in Germany. He oversaw the development of nickel steel, U-boats, the diesel engine, and much more. He died in 1902 of apparent suicide after his homosexual activities and orgies were published in a newspaper. In the Second Reich, homosexuality was considered one of the worst crimes. Underparagraph 175 of the German Penal Code it was punishable by years of hard labor.

1962 – Cheryl Ann Jacques (born February 17, 1962) is an American politician and attorney who served six terms in the Massachusetts Senate, was the president of the Human Rights Campaign for 11 months, and served as an administrative judge in the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents. Jacques became president of HRC in 2004, succeeding Elizabeth Birch. She addressed the 2004 Democratic National Convention. She resigned on November 30, 2004, citing “a difference in management philosophy” with her board, following criticism of the HRC’s failure to defeat voter referendums in 11 states banning same-sex marriage and, in some cases, civil unions. After leaving HRC, she was of counsel to the law firm of Brody, Hardoon, Perkins and Kesten and was a consultant on diversity issues to corporations and non-profit organizations. In 2008 Jacques was named a Department of Industrial Accidents Administrative Judge by Governor Deval Patrick. On March 12, 2012 the State Ethics Commission charged her with violating Massachusetts’ conflict-of-interest law after she allegedly tried to use her clout as a judge to have a dentist office reduce her brother-in-law’s bill. Jacques contended that she never intended to introduce her position, but did so “inadvertently”. The ethics commission found in favor of Jacques on the grounds that the enforcement division failed to prove that Jacques used her official position to intervene in the dispute. In 2013, Jacques and two other administrative judges filed charges with theMassachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, alleging the agency provided a higher salary and a parking space to a male judge appointed after them. In 2014, Governor Patrick chose not to reappoint Jacques, which she alleged was in retaliation for the gender discrimination lawsuit. In 2004, Jacques married Jennifer Chrisler.

1977, Canada – The first public gay demonstration in Atlantic Canada is held in Halifax. It was part of a nationally coordinated protest against CBC Radio’s refusal to air gay public service announcements that also included demonstrations in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, and Vancouver. 

1989 – Chicago’s new gay rights ordinance takes effect. It mandates fines up to $500 for discrimination based on sexual orientation

2011 – Facebook expands relationship language to add civil unions and domestic partners

2012, Iraq – “Emo Killings” begin in Iraq. The series of killings targets young men who appear outside the mainstream, especially gay and “emo” youth. Emo is a style of fashion including skinny jeans. On this day, Saif Raad Asmar Abboudi, 20, is beaten to death with a brick.Like many places in the Muslim world, homosexuality is extremely taboo in Iraq. Anyone perceived to be gay is considered a fair target, and the perpetrators of the violence often go free. The militants likely behind the violence intimidate the local police and residents so there is even less incentive to investigate the crimes.

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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