Today in LGBT History – FEBRUARY 6

I’ve had a pain in my right side lately. Nothing bad, just annoying but definitely not supposed to be there. Yesterday I had a CT scan. Also not painful and just annoying. As I await the results, I wonder about my own history, the stories of my life, those that I share and those that I don’t. This is a time of deep self-reflection, especially as I help others review their lives in my writing class. Writing prompt: what are the turning points of your life, those sliding doors that changed your life?

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 6

1899, Mexico – Screen actor Ramon Novarro (February 6, 1899 – October 30, 1968)was born in Durango, Mexico. He was a Mexican film, stage and television actor who began his career in silent films in 1917 and eventually became a leading man and one of the top box office attractions of the 1920s and early 1930s. Novarro was promoted by MGM as a “Latin lover” and became known as a sex symbol after the death of Rudolph Valentino(May 6, 1895 – August 23, 1926). Despite being the heart throb of countless women, his real passion was men. In the early 1920s, Novarro had a romantic relationship with composerHarry Partch(June 24, 1901-September 3, 1974)who was working as an usher at the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the time, but Novarro broke off the affair as his acting career began to become successful. He was romantically involved with journalist Herbert Howe(1893–1959), who was also his publicist in the late 1920s, and with a wealthy man from San Francisco, Noël Sullivan. Novarro was murdered on October 30, 1968, by brothers Paul and Tom Ferguson, aged 22 and 17, who called him and offered their sexual services. He had in the past hired prostitutes from an agency to come to his Laurel Canyon home for sex, and the Fergusons obtained Novarro’s telephone number from a previous guest.

1971, Sydney, Australia –  CAMP (Campaign Against Moral Persecution) holds its first public meetings.

1979, Italy – Angelo Pezzana (born September 15, 1940)is the first openly gay person elected to Parliament. He wrote several books including Dentro e fuori – Una autobiografia omosessuale(1996) about the gay liberation movement in Italy.

1981, Canada – More than 3,000 people brave the winter cold to protest the previous night’s raid in a demonstration in downtown Toronto.A sit-in at Yonge and Wellesley Streets was the biggest protest of its kind in Toronto. 

1982, Canada – A decade to the day after John Damien (1933-Dec. 24, 1986) was fired from his job as a racing steward with the Ontario Racing Commission for being gay, his wrongful dismissal suit was to have come to trial but legal maneuvers on the part of racing commission officials stopped it. The civil trial was delayed for seven years. The case was settled out of court for $50,000. Damien died at age 53 of pancreatic cancer on Dec 24, 1986. His death came only 22 days after amendments to the Ontario Human Rights Code gave gays protection against dismissal on the grounds of sexuality. 

1989 – By a vote of 251-121, the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates approves a referendum in favor of federal rights legislation for lesbians and gay men.

1989, Canada – A full-page ad in Globe and Mail, supported by over 800 individuals and groups, calls on Attorney General Roy McMurtry to drop the appeal of the acquittal of The Body Politic. It was the first time an advocacy ad for a gay cause was published in Canadian daily. 

1993 – The Netherlands votes to ban discrimination against gays and lesbians.

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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