Today in LGBT History – FEBRUARY 21

I had my annual physical yesterday. Thank goodness, all is well. Weird thing, though, that I’ve been contemplating: Years ago my mother told me I was allergic to penicillin so I;ve never used it. Several months ago, she said she never said that. Swell. I’m going to be tested to see if I actually am allergic to it. It’s become important now due to my new allergy and severe reaction to alternate antibiotics. Writing prompt: What old stories about yourself are you now questioning?

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 21

1801, UK – John Henry, Cardinal Newman, (21 February 1801 – 11 August 1890)was born in London. He was an Anglican priest, poet and theologian, and later a Catholic cardinal, who was an important and controversial figure in the religious history of England in the 19th century. His greatest accomplishment was the Apologia pro Vita Suawhich contains numerous homoerotic references. Devoted to his friend, Brother Ambrose, the Cardinal was torn by grief at his death in 1875. He spent the night with the corpse. When Newman died 15 years later, he left instructions to be buried in the same grave as Ambrose.

1892 – Harry Stack Sullivan (February 21, 1892 – January 14, 1949) was born in Norwich, New York. He was an American Neo-Freudian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who held that the personality lives in, and has his or her being in, a complex of interpersonal relations. Having studied therapists Sigmund FreudAdolf Meyer, and William Alanson White, he devoted years of clinical and research work to helping people with psychotic illness.He believed that psychoanalysis, although essentially valid, needed to be supplemented by an understanding of the cultural forces at work in the personality. Much of his work was dismissed because he was gay, but today he is considered the prime developer of the interpersonal approach to psychiatry. Beginning in 1927, Sullivan had a 22-year relationship with James Inscoe Sullivan, known as “Jimmie”, 20 years his junior.

1903 – New York City police conduct the first recorded raid on a gay bathhouse in the US, the Ariston Hotel Baths, which had been in operation since 1897. Twenty-six men were arrested and 12 brought to trial on sodomy charges; seven men received sentences ranging from 4 to 20 years in prison.

1907, UK – British writer W. H. Auden(21 February 1907 – 29 September 1973)is born in York, England. He was an English-American poet whose poetry was noted for its stylistic and technical achievement, its engagement with politics, morals, love, and religion, and its variety in tone, form and content. He is perhaps today best known for his poem The Platonic Blow. For decades British scholars debated whether it referred to oral sex. He never admitted authorship until the 1960s. 

1936  – Barbara Charline Jordan (February 21, 1936 – January 17, 1996) is born. Barbara Jordan was the first African-American to be elected in Texas, in 1973. She was a Democrat. and  the first black woman to give the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. She was a lawyer and a leader of the Civil Rights Movement., and  the first African American elected to the Texas Senate after Reconstruction, and the first SouthernAfrican-American woman elected to the United States House of Representatives.  She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among numerous other honors. Jordan’s companion of twenty yearswas Nancy Earl,an educational psychologist, whom she met on a camping trip in the late 1960s.  Jordan never discussed her sexual orientation and was not out. Nancy Earl was an occasional speech writer for Jordan, and later was a caregiver when Jordan began to suffer from multiple sclerosis in 1973. In a KUT radio documentary Rediscovering Barbara Jordan, PresidentBill Clinton said that he wanted to nominate Jordan for the United States Supreme Court, but by the time he could do so, Jordan’s health problems prevented him from nominating her.Jordan also suffered from leukemia. She’s been described as “one of the most revered leaders and orators of her time.” She was outed in the press after her death from leukemia and multiple sclerosis in 1996.

1976 – A Detroit jury awards more than $200,000 in damages to a man who contends that he was “turned into” a homosexual by a 1975 automobile accident in which his car was rear-ended by another vehicle.

1997 – The “Olympic Park Bomber” Eric Rudolph is an American domestic terrorist convicted of a series of anti-abortion and anti-gay-motivated bombings across the southern United States between 1996 and 1998, which killed two people and injured over 120 others.

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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