“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” ―Brené Brown
Learning our history is resistance! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!
Today in LGBT History – February 7
1046 BC – Jonathan the son of king Saul was born. The love affair between Jonathan and David was so great that he betrayed his father for his lover. On his deathbed David is recorded in the Biblical reference 2 Samuel 1:26 as saying “My brother Jonathan, thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.” It could be the first significant reference to a gay love affair ever recorded.
1931 – James Dean (February 8, 1931 – September 30, 1955) was born in Marion, Ohio. He was an American actor who is remembered as a cultural icon of teenage disillusionment and social estrangement, as expressed in the title of his most celebrated film, Rebel Without a Cause (1955), in which he starred as troubled teenager Jim Stark. The other two roles that defined his stardom were loner Cal Trask in East of Eden (1955) and surly ranch hand Jett Rink in Giant (1956). After his death in a car crash, Dean became the first actor to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, and remains the only actor to have had two posthumous acting nominations. Bisexual, he was the first major screen idol for gay/bisexual men. His brooding rebellious presence typified the McCarthy era, and was the harbinger of the socio-political voice of youth in America.
1970 – Sometime in the 1940s a sign appeared over the popular Los Angeles bar at Barney’s Beanery that read “FAGOTS – STAY OUT.” The message so offended the locals that Life magazine did an article on opposition to the sign in 1964, which included a photograph of the owner steadfastly holding on to it. The owner died in 1968, and efforts continued to have the sign removed. The Gay Liberation Front organized a zap of the restaurant on February 7, 1970 to push for its removal. The sign disappeared that day. The sign was put up and taken down several times over the next 14 years, but the practice ended in December, 1984, days after the city voted itself into existence. The then-mayor, Valerie Terrigno, the entire city council and gay-rights activists marched into Barney’s and relieved the wall of the offending sign. It was held by Morris Kight for many years and now rests in the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives.
1977 -The U.S. State Department lifts its ban on the employment of LGBT people. It announces that it will consider job applications of open LGBT people on a case-by-case basis going forward for lesbians and gay men for employment in the foreign service and other international agencies.
1977 – Tucson changes its Chapter 17 of the City Code to prohibit discrimination and ads the category of “sexual and affectional preference.”
1978 – The Oklahoma State House of Representatives passes a so-called “Teacher Fitness” statute, which allows local school boards to fire homosexual teachers or any teacher “advocating, encouraging or promoting public or private homosexual activities.” The National Gay Task Force later files suit to challenge the law’s constitutionality.
1980, Canada – County Court Judge George Ferguson hears a Crown appeal in Toronto of decision by a Provincial Court judge acquitting The Body Politic of charges related to using the mail to transmit immoral and indecent material.
1991 – In an interview reported in the popular press, the president of the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences asserts that homosexuality is a disease that must be fought by all legal means.
1991 – The first lesbian kiss on television occurs between Amanda Donohoe and Michelle Green on L.A. Law. The “lesbian kiss episode” is a subgenre of the media portrayal of lesbianismin American television media, created in the 1990s. Beginning in 1991 with a kiss on the American L.A. Law series’ episode “He’s a Crowd” between C.J. Lamb and Abby Perkins, David E. Kelley, who wrote the episode in question, went on to use the trope in at least two of his other shows. Subsequent television series included an episode in which a seemingly heterosexual female character engages in a kiss with a possibly lesbian or bisexual character. In most instances, the potential of a relationship between the women does not survive past the episode and the lesbian or suspected lesbian never appears again.
2012 – The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California rules 2–1 that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional because it violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. In the ruling, the court said the law “operates with no apparent purpose but to impose on gays and lesbians, through the public law, a majority’s private disapproval of them and their relationships.”
Stand up, speak out, share your story!
(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, Safe Schools Coalition, and/or Wikipedia. If you wish to edit an item or add an item, please send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!)