Today in LGBT History – JANUARY 25

Yesterday was Kelly’s birthday. She’s not much into celebrating her natal birthdays; her AA birthday is far more important to her. But in my mind, she deserves to be honored for both events, so I arranged a dinner with some friends at 849 Restaurant in Palm Springs. Willie, one of the owners, arranged a private room with candles and even a blazing fireworks thingy on Kelly’s cake. We walked around town through the street fair later in the evening…truly a fun time even for someone who doesn’t like her birthdays. Writing prompt: what thoughtful thing did you do for someone this week and why?

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 25

1800 – The Commonwealth of Virginia reduces the penalty for free peoples for committing buggeryto one to ten years in prison, but did not reduce the death penalty for slaves.

1874, France – W. Somerset Maugham (25 January 1874 – 16 December 1965)is born in Paris. He was a British playwrightnovelist and short story writer. He was among the most popular writers of his era and reputedly the highest-paid author during the 1930s.He was 21 when Oscar Wilde was put on trial. It was enough to make him “publicly straight.” He later said that his biggest mistake was “I tried to persuade myself that I was three-quarters normal and that only quarter of me was queer — whereas it was the other way around.” Maugham has been described as both bisexua and homosexual. In addition to his 13-year marriage to Sylvie Wellcome, he had affairs with other women in his youth. In later life Maugham was exclusively homosexual. Despite his wealth, his fame, and his secretary-companion Gerald Haxton (1892 – November 7, 1944), Maugham died a bitter man.

1892, UK – Writer Virginia Woolfe (25 January 1882 – 28 March 1941)isborn in London. She is considered one of the foremost modernists of the 20th-century and a pioneer in the use of stream of consciousness as a narrative device. The most celebrated of the Bloomsbury set, her writing is cerebral, and subtle. Woolfe’s greatest love was probably Vita-Sackville-West (9 March 1892 – 2 June 1962), an English poet, novelist, and garden designer. The fruit of the affair is the novel Orlando, considered to be the most beautiful love poem in the English language. 

1962 – Aaron Fricke(born Jan. 25, 1962) isborn in Providence Rhode Island. Heis a gay rights activist best known for the pivotal case in which he successfully sued Cumberland High School in Cumberland, Rhode Island, for not allowing him to bring his boyfriend to the senior prom at. Aaron later wrote of his experience in a book, Reflections of a Rock Lobster: A Story about Growing Up Gay. He later collaborated with his father, Walter Fricke, on a book about their relationship and of the elder Fricke’s coming to terms with his son’s homosexuality. That book, Sudden Strangers: The Story of a Gay Son and His Father, was published shortly after Walter Fricke’s death from cancer in 1989.

1996 – Jonathan Larson (February 4, 1960 – January 25, 1996) dies. He was an Americancomposerand playwright noted for exploring the social issues of multiculturalismaddiction, and homophobia in his work. Typical examples of his use of these themes are found in his works, Rent and tick, tick… BOOM! He received three posthumous Tony Awards and a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the rock musical Rent. Larson died unexpectedly the morning of Rent‘s first preview performance Off Broadway. 

2005 – Alameda County, California’s Board of Supervisors votes 4–0 to prohibit discrimination in public-sector employment, services and facilities based on gender identity

2011 – The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010 Summary Report is released. It’s the first LGBTQ-specific report of its kind. Sexual minority respondents report intimate partner violence at rates at least equal to those of heterosexuals.

2012 – Air Force Col. Ginger Wallace (born 1969) , commander of the Air Force 517th Training Group and assistant commandant of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, becomes the first openly lesbian or gay member of the U.S. military to have a same-sex partner participate in the pinning ceremony tradition that had been reserved for spouses and family members. Her partner of over 10 years, Kathy Knopf, pinned her colonel wings. Knopf  participated in the ceremony after the lifting of the military’s gay ban known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which came to an end on Sept. 20, 2011 .The two sat in the First Lady’s gallery seats when President Obama delivered his State of the Union address in 2012.

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!)

For writing prompts, references and a complete listing today’s events, please go to my blog at

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