We are a country of immigrants, and what has always made our country great is our diversity. Trump is destroying the fabric of our country in irreparable ways. We must #resist. —Amy Siskind
Learning our history is resistance! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!
Today in LGBT History – February 8
1790 – The State of New Hampshire enacts a statute that changed the language of the law to read that “if any Man shall carnally lie with a Man as Man carnally lieth with a Woman.” Thus it was made clear that only sodomy between two men was a crime.
1798 – The Commonwealth of Kentucky adopts a statute reducing the penalty for same-sex intercourse from the death penalty to 2-5 years in the jail and penitentiary house.
1911 – Elizabeth Bishop (February 8, 1911 – October 6, 1979) was an American poet and short-story writer. She was Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1949 to 1950, the Pulitzer Prize winner for Poetry in 1956, the National Book Award winner in 1970, and the recipient of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 1976. Bishop did not see herself as a “lesbian poet” or as a “female poet” in part because she refused to have her work published in all-female poetry anthologies. Other female poets involved with the women’s movement thought she was hostile to the movement. She lived with at least two lovers in Key West.
1933, Japan – “Kanojo no Michi,” a novel by Nobuko Yoshiya (12 January 1896 – 11 July 1973), documents two women in love and was made into a film. Yoshiya was a Japanese novelist active in Taishō and Showa period Japan. She was one of modern Japan’s most commercially successful and prolific writers, specializing in serialized romance novels and adolescent girls’ fiction, as well as a pioneer in Japanese lesbian literature, including the Class S genre. Several of her stories have been made into films. On January 1923, Yoshiya met Monma Chiyo, a mathematics teacher at girls’ school in Tokyo. They would go on to have a same-sex relationship for over 50 years.
1945, France – The administration of General Charles de Gaulle decides to maintain the Vichy government’s decree establishing a discriminatory age of consent for same-sex acts.
1977 – White House aide Midge Costanza (November 28, 1932 – March 23, 2010) meets with officers of the National Gay Task Force to discuss what the Carter administration can do to further the cause of gay rights. Margaret “Midge” Costanza was an American presidential advisor, social and political activist. A lifelong champion of gay and women’s rights, she was known for her wit, outspoken manner and commitment to her convictions. She was nominated and inducted into the San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2011 by Women’s Museum of California, Commission on the Status of Women, University of California, San Diego Women’s Center, and San Diego State UniversityWomen’s Studies.
1989 – At the University of Arizona, Liz Kennedy (born 1939) and Madeline Davis (born 1940) present butch-fem Imagery and the lesbian fight for public spaces in the 1940s and 1950s. Dr. Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy was one of the founding feminists of the field of Women’s Studies and is a lesbian historian whose book Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: A History of the Lesbian Community, co-authored with Madeline Davis, documents the lesbian community of Buffalo, New York in the decades before Stonewall. Madeline Davis is a noted gay rights activist. In 1970 she was a founding member of the Mattachine Society of the Niagara Frontier, the first gay rights organization in Western New York. In 1972, Davis taught the first course on lesbianism in the United States. She was also a founding member of HAG Theater, the first all-lesbian theater company in the US.
1990 – US Senate passes hate-crimes statistics act, requiring the federal government to compile data on hate crimes against gays and lesbians. It’s the first US law that recognizes gays and lesbians.
1994, France – The European Parliament, meeting in Strasbourg, approves a resolution initiated by Claudia Roth (born 15 May 1955), representing Germany’s Green Party, that affirms a broadly defined gay and lesbian rights agenda, including the right to marry.
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!)