Today in LGBT History – JANUARY 19

Today is the Women’s March 2019. Today we gather by the thousands in cities around the country. There are many issues surrounding this march, but the bottom line is that when we show up in numbers, we roar! Lesbian poet Mary Oliver died this week. She wrote a poem called I Worried:

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers 
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn 
as it was taught, and if not how shall 
I correct it? 

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven, 
can I do better? 

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows 
can do it and I am, well, 
hopeless. 

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it, 
am I going to get rheumatism, 
lockjaw, dementia? 

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing. 
And gave it up. And took my old body 
and went out into the morning, 
and sang.

Regardless of how you feel about the politics of the march, join us and sing. Every voice is powerful!

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 – JANUARY 19

1901 – New York Times reports story of FTM politician Murray H. Hall (1841 – January 16, 1901). Murray lives as a male for decades, married women twice, and was found to be female-bodied only after he died of breast cancer.Murray Hall was a New York City bail bondsman and Tammany Hall politician. The headline reads: “Murray Hall Fooled Many Shrewd Men – How for Years She Masqueraded in Male Attire – Had Married Two Women.”

1921 – Patricia Highsmith (January 19, 1921 – February 4, 1995) was an American novelist and short story writer best known for her psychological thrillers, including her series of five novels based on the character of Tom Ripley. She wrote 22 novels and numerous short stories throughout her career, and her work has led to more than two dozen film adaptations. Her writing derived influence from existentialist literature, and questioned notions of identity and popular morality. She was dubbed “the poet of apprehension” by novelist Graham Greene. Her first novel, Strangers on a Train, has been adapted for stage and screen numerous times, notably by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951. Her 1955 novel The Talented Mr. Ripley has been adapted numerous times for film, theatre, and radio. Writing under the pseudonym “Claire Morgan,” Highsmith published the first lesbian novelwith a happy ending, The Price of Salt, republished 38 years later as Carol under her own name and later adapted into a 2015 film. She was considered by some as “a lesbian with a misogynist streak.” As an adult, Patricia Highsmith’s sexual relationships were predominantly with women. In 1943, Highsmith had an affair with artist Allela Cornell who, despondent over unrequited love from another woman, committed suicide in 1946 by drinking nitric acid. Ann Smith, a painter and designer with a previous métier as a Vogue fashion model, and the two became involved. In early September 1951, she began an affair with sociologist Ellen Blumenthal Hill, traveling back and forth to Europe to meet with her. Between 1959 and 1961, Highsmith was in love with author Marijane Meaker. Meaker wrote lesbian stories under the pseudonym “Ann Aldrich” and mystery/suspense fiction as “Vin Packer,” and later wrote young adult fiction as “M.E. Kerr. An intensely private person, Highsmith was remarkably open and outspoken about her sexuality. She told Meaker: “the only difference between us and heterosexuals is what we do in bed.” Patricia Highsmith, aged 74, died on February 4, 1995.

1943 – Janis Joplin (January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970)is born in Port Arthur, Texas. She was an American rock singer and songwriter and one of the biggest female rock stars of her era.Bisexual, she did her best to sleep with as many people as she could in the 1960s. The official cause of death was a heroin overdose, possibly compounded by alcohol. On August 8, 2014, the United States Postal Service revealed a commemorative stamp honoring Janis Joplin, as part of its Music Icons Forever Stamp series during a first-day-of-issue ceremony at the Outside Lands Music Festival at Golden Gate Park.[

1974, Canada – A Lesbian Conference is organized by Gay Women’s Collective and held at the Montreal Women’s Center. The small group of women who take part agree to hold a major conference for lesbians in North America the following year. 

1976 – Campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination, former Vice President Hubert Humphrey becomes one of the first nationally known politicians to endorse gay and lesbian rights.

2001 – Chief Seattle Boy Scout Council agrees to allow the Garfield High School Outdoor Program – one of the largest troops in Washington State – to change its status from “Venture Crew” to “Explorer Post.” Venture Crews are co-ed troops for high school aged people and, as part of the main body of the Boy Scouts of America, they discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and religion. Explorer Posts, in contrast, are part of the Boy Scouts’ Learning for Life Program. They do not have a policy of shunning young people or leaders who are atheists or gay. Student activism pays off.


Stand up, speak out, share your story!

Warmly,

Ronni

 

(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, out.com, Safe Schools Coalition, and/or Wikipedia. If you wish to edit an item or add an item, please send an email to me at ronnisanlo@gmail.com. Thanks!)

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