Today in LGBT History – FEBRUARY 18

Today is Not My President’s Day. Participate in a rally near you. I am. Writing prompt: what issue is strong enough for you to get out into the streets?

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 18

1840 – Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862)was an Americanessayist,poet,philosopherabolitionistnaturalisttax resisterdevelopment criticsurveyor, and historian. A leading transcendentalist,Thoreau is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay “Civil Disobedience” (originally published as “Resistance to Civil Government”), an argument for disobedience to an unjust state.On this day, hewrites about same-sex love in his journal. “All romance is grounded on friendship” is one of his many references to love and friendship between men. Thoreau never married and was childless. He strove to portray himself as an ascetic puritan. However, his sexuality has long been the subject of speculation, including by his contemporaries. Critics have called him heterosexual, homosexual, or asexual. There is no evidence to suggest he had physical relations with anyone, man or woman. Some scholars have suggested that homoerotic sentiments run through his writings and concluded that he was homosexual.

1934 – Audre Lorde (February 18, 1934 – November 17, 1992)is born. Lorde described herself as “a black feminist lesbian mother poet” and sometimes “warrior.” Her first poem was published while she was still in high school. Besides poetry, she wrote essays and novels. Eventually she became a professor and was given the great honor of being named Poet Laureate of New York State. She was known to describe herself as African-American, black, dyke, feminist, poet, mother, etc. In her novel Zami: A New Spelling of My Name Lorde focuses on how her many different identities shape her life and the different experiences she has because of them. Lorde died of liver cancer at age 58 on November 17, 1992, in St. Croix, where she had been living with Gloria I. Joseph. In an African naming ceremony before her death, she took the name Gamba Adisa, which means “Warrior: She Who Makes Her Meaning Known”

1938 – The film “Bringing Up Baby”with Cary Grant premieres. It’s the first time the word “gay” is used in reference to homosexuality;

1966 – The first meeting of the coalition of 14 gay rights groups that will become the North American Conference of Homophile Organizationstakes place in Kansas City, Missouri.

1985 – Nancy Hamilton (July 27, 1908 – February 18, 1985) dies on this day. She was an American actress, playwright, lyricist, director and producer. Hamilton was the lifelong partner of legendary actress Katharine Cornell(February 16, 1893 – June 9, 1974). Hamilton is perhaps best known as the lyricist for the popular song, “How High the Moon.

1974, Canada – Members of GATE, the Gay Alliance Toward Equality, picket the Ontario Human Rights Commission on University Avenue for inclusion of gays and lesbians in human rights protections.

2017 – Norma Leah McCorvey (September 22, 1947 – February 18, 2017), better known by the legal pseudonym “Jane Roe“, dies. She was the plaintiff in the landmark American lawsuit Roe v. Wade in 1973. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that individual state laws banning abortion are unconstitutional. Later, McCorvey’s views on abortion changed substantially; she became a Roman Catholic active in the pro-life movement.While working at a restaurant, Norma met Woody McCorvey (born 1940), and she married him at the age of 16. She later left him after he allegedly assaulted her. She moved in with her mother and gave birth to her first child, Melissa, in 1965. After Melissa’s birth, McCorvey developed a serious drinking problem. Soon after, she came out and began identifying as a lesbian. In 1969, at the age of 21, McCorvey became pregnant a third time. She attempted to obtain an illegal abortion, but the respective clinics had been closed down by authorities. For many years, she had lived quietly in Dallas with her long-time partner, Connie Gonzales. “We’re not like other lesbians, going to bars,” she explained in a New York Times interview. Later in life, McCorvey stated that she was no longer a lesbian.


Stand up, speak out, share your story!

Warmly,

Ronni

 

(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 ronnisanlo@gmail.com. Thanks!)

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