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 26
1886 – Serbian Nikola Tesla (10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943)is issued nearly 300 patents in the US for his ground-breaking career focusing on electricity. He was an inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futuristwho is best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current(AC) electricity supply system.Likely asexual, Tesla never married, explaining that his chastity was very helpful to his scientific abilities. Tesla chose to never pursue or engage in any known relationships, instead finding all the stimulation he needed in his work.
1958 — Comedian Ellen Degeneres (born January 26, 1958)is born. Degeneres is the first star of a television sitcom ever to come out — in 1997 — to the public, an act many see as having dramatically improved the climate for LGBT actors, though she almost instantly lost her show. Her current success in daytime talk television was unforeseeable at the time and she had no reason to think she would not have to go back to stand-up comedy clubs forever at the time she risked her television career. In 2008, she married her longtime girlfriend Portia de Rossi(born 31 January 1973), an Australian-American actress, model, and philanthropist.
1971 –Look Magazineincludes a gay couple from Minnesota, Jack Baker and Mike McConnell, as part of that week’s cover article on “The American Family.” Baker and McConnell are also noteworthy as they are the first same-sex couple in the U.S. to be granted a marriage license.
1996 – Rentopens off Broadway in the New York Theater Workshop for a six-week run. The creator, Jonathan Larson (February 4, 1960 – January 25, 1996), died of AIDS just before the premiere. Rent is a rock musical with music, lyrics, and book by Jonathan Larson,loosely based on Giacomo Puccini‘s opera La Bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and create a life in New York City‘s East Village in the thriving days ofBohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.
2011, Uganda – David Kato Kisule (c. 1964 – 26 January 2011), founding member of Sexual Minorities Uganda, is murdered. He was the founder and leader of the LGBT rights movement in Uganda where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death. He was a Ugandan teacher, considered a father of Uganda’s gay rights movement, and described as “Uganda’s first openly gay man”. He served as advocacy officer for Sexual Minorities Uganda(SMUG). Kato was murdered in 2011 allegedly by a male sex worker, shortly after winning a lawsuit against a magazine which had published his name and photograph identifying him as gay and calling for him to be executed.
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, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!)