Today in LGBT History – January 2

When I try to change myself for another person, I’m deciding to live by another’s standards; I’m giving up my personal power. When I interact with others, I always have a choice: I can give up my personal power or I can keep it strong by maintaining my boundaries and keeping my personal power strong.     –from Proud to Be by Amy E. Dean.

Learning our history and loving ourselves IS resistance! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!

Today in LGBT History – January 2

1801 – Alexander Henry and David Thompson make an entry in their journal titled Exploration and Adventure among the Indians on the Red, Saskatchewan, Missouri, and Colombia Rivers describe a Native American known as Berdache, son of Sucrie, who is a “curious compound between a man and a woman.”

1857 – Martha Carey Thomas (January 2, 1857 – December 2, 1935) is born in Baltimore, Maryland. She was an American educator and suffragist, later becomes the dean and then president of Bryn Mawr University. She is also credited as the founder of the Johns Hopkins Medical School. Thomas lives for many years in a relationship with Mamie Gwinn (Feb. 2, 1860 – Nov. 11, 1940).  After Gwinn left Thomas in 1904 to marry (a love triangle fictionalized in Gertrude Stein’s “Fernhurst”), Thomas starts another relationship with Mary Garrett (5 March 1854 – 3 April 1915). They share the campus presidential home, living together until Garrett’s death. Miss Garrett, who had been prominent in suffrage work and a benefactor of Bryn Mawr, left Martha $15,000,000 to be disposed of as she saw fit.

1900  – Actor Billy Haines (January 2, 1900 – December 26, 1973) is born. He was the first celebrity to come out as openly gay, in 1933. He was an American film actor and interior designer. His career was cut short in the 1930s due to his refusal to deny his homosexuality. Haines quit acting in 1935 and started a successful interior design business with his life partner Jimmie Shields, and was supported by friends in Hollywood. Haines died of lung cancer in December 1973 at the age of 73.

1929  – Charles Beaumont (January 2, 1929 – February 21, 1967) is born Charles Leroy Nutt. He was an American author of speculative fiction, including short stories in the horror and science fiction subgenres. In 1954, Playboy magazine selected his story “Black Country.” Playboy has been loved by straight men for decades but it was a gay short story that built its reputation. Hugh Hefner was the only one to accept a science fiction story about heterosexuals being the minority against homosexuals. When letters poured in, he said: ‘If it was wrong to persecute heterosexuals in a homosexual society, then the reverse was wrong too.’

1965 – San Francisco: Council on Religion and the Homosexual representatives, most of whom are heterosexual, hold a press conference to protest the police force’s “deliberate harassment” of the group’s New Year’s Ball.

2005 – Bonnie Bleskachek became the first openly lesbian fire chief of a major city, Minneapolis. She was demoted two years later amid claims of harassment and discrimination, but return to the department as a staff captain. She co-founded the Minnesota Women Fire Fighters Association.

2009 – Christopher Conwell is arrested for killing Taysia Elzy (1975-2009) and Michael Hunt in their apartment because Taysia, though male, presents as female.

2014 – Musab Mohammed Masmari sets fire to the Seattle gay nightclub Neighbours in a stairwell. The fire was extinguished quickly. Masmari reportedly said homosexual people “should be exterminated” after expressing a “distaste” for members of the LGBT community to a friend.

2014, Russia – The Russian large gay club called Central Station was forced to close after countless attacks of sprays of bullets and being gassed. It later reopened with the use of bulletproof glass and a longer walk from the metro station.

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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