Today I use the experience, strength, and hope of others who have come out before me to gain the courage to live an honest, open life that’s right for me. –from Proud to Be by Amy E. Dean
Learning our history is resistance! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!
Today in LGBT History – January 11
1757 – Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1757 – July 12, 1804) is born in Nevis, British West Indies and was probably t least bisexual. Rumor has it he was a “boy” to George Washington who called his young patriots his family; Hamilton was the favorite. Hamilton also exchanged love letters with another revolutionary, John Laurens (October 28, 1754 – August 27, 1782), an American soldier and statesman from South Carolina during the American Revolutionary War, best known for his criticism of slavery and his efforts to help recruit slaves to fight for their freedom as U.S. soldiers.
1825 – Bayard Taylor (January 11, 1825 – December 19, 1878) is born. He was an American poet, literary critic, translator, travel author, and diplomat. Though not gay, in 1870 he wrote and published Joseph and His Friend: A Story of Pennsylvania is published, which is possibly the first American novel about a homosexual relationship. It presented a special attachment between two men and discussed the nature and significance of such a relationship, romantic but not sexual. Critics are divided in interpreting Taylor’s novel as a political argument for gay relationships or an idealization of male spirituality.
1973 – “An American Family“, a documentary series focusing on the Loud family of Santa Barbara, CA, premieres on PBS. Not only does it pre-sage the era of reality TV, son Lance Loud (June 26, 1951 – December 22, 2001) comes out publicly on the show, characterizing himself as “Homo of the Year.” Lance Loud died of liver failure as a result of hepatitis C and a co-infection with HIV/AIDS.
1974 – L’Association homophile de Montréal / Gay Montreal Association holds its first public meeting.
1982 – Paul Lynde (June 13, 1926 – January 11, 1982), known to many as “the Center Square” for his years on game show Hollywood Squares, and considered “openly closeted,” dies of a heart attack in Beverly Hills at age 55. He was an American comedian, actor, voice artist and TV personality. A noted character actor with a distinctively campy and snarky persona that often poked fun at his barely in-the-closethomosexuality, Lynde was well known for his roles as Uncle Arthur on Bewitched and the befuddled father Harry MacAfee in Bye Bye Birdie.
1984 – The Wall Street Journal allows staff writers to now use the word “gay” as a synonym for “homosexual” in article and headlines.
2000 – Britain lifts its ban on gays in the military.
2007 – The Mexican northern state of Coahuila passes a bill legalizing same-sex civil unions under the name Pacto Civil de Solidaridad (Civil Union Pact).
2013 – Stacy Offner becomes Rabbi of Temple Beth Tikvah in Madison, CT. Rabbi Offner had been fired from an associate rabbi position in 1987 when she came out as lesbian. She then helped found Shir Tikvah, a Reform congregation in Minneapolis, and was the first woman to be vice president of the Union for Reform Judaism. Rabbi Offner is married to Nancy Abramson, an MSW with extensive experience in the fields of mental health and non-profit management. Their daughter, Cantor Jill Abramson, is the Senior Cantor at Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, NY
2013 – African American Marco McMillian (April 23, 1979 – February 26, 2013) is the first openly gay candidate for political office in Mississippi when he announces his candidacy for mayor of Clarksdale, MS. He is slain a month later.
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!)