Today in LGBT History – January 28

Yesterday Kelly and I participated in the Peoples March on Washington We marched for the equality for all people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, immigration status, and disability status. We marched to reject the hate-mongering of the current administration and its pals who seek to divide and turn us against each other. We marched for freedom!

Learning our history is resistance! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!

Today in LGBT History – January 28

1833, UK – Charles George Gordon  (28 January 1833 – 26 January 1885) was born in Woolwich, England. A British military hero he became a martyr at Khartoumn. The American historian Byron Farwell in his 1985 book Eminent Victorian Soldiers strongly implied that Gordon was gay, for instance writing of Gordon’s “unwholesome” interest in the boys he took in to live with him at the Fort House and his fondness for the company of “handsome” young men. Always surrounded by boys and young men, he once told a friend he lacked the courage to act on his impulses because of his religious beliefs. He said he hoped to die in battle to prove his manhood. He got his wish. Gordon never married and is not known to have had a relationship with anyone of the opposite sex or of the same sex.

1873, France – The great French writer Gabrielle Sidonie Colette (28 January 1873 – 3 August 1954) is born in Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye. She was a French novelist nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948.  Her best known work, the novella Gigi (1944), was the basis for the film and Lerner and Loewe stage production of the same name. She was also a mime, an actress and a journalist. Her affairs with women are well documented. and so too are her liaisons with men. 

1890 – Momma Rose was born Rose Thompson (August 31, 1890 – January 28, 1954). She was the mother of two famous performing daughters: burlesque artist Gypsy Rose Lee and actress and dancer June Havoc. She was  the inspiration for Rose, the lead character of the musical Gypsy. Rose was running a boarding house in New York, referred to by sources of the time as a “seedy boarding house for lesbians,” where she also lived. During this time, Gypsy paid a visit to the house and for some reason a young woman who has been described as Momma Rose’s lover at the time didn’t know Gypsy was her daughter. The woman mistakenly thought Gypsy was making a pass at Rose. Rose and the woman reportedly had a vicious fight and Momma Rose shot her.

1935, Iceland – Iceland becomes the first country to legalize abortion. 

1976 – Formation of Gay American Indians (GAI) is reported in the Advocate. Founding members are Barbara May Cameron (May 22, 1954 – Feb. 12, 2002 and Randy Burns. GAI is the first Native gay and lesbian organization in the US and contributes to the rise of the Two Spirit movement. By the end of the twentieth century, GAI had grown to over 600 members and spawned other gay American Indian groups in San Diego, Toronto and New York City under the name “Two-Spirit People.” GAI has documented berdache roles in over 130 Native American tribes. Burns’ own Northern Paiute tradition has traditional berdache roles: tuva’sa (male) moroni noho (female).

1977, Canada – Charges are dismissed against 16 of 22 men arrested as found-ins in Club Ottawa.

1982 – US Defense Department declares gays and lesbians may not serve in the military, and all recruits will be asked about their sexual orientation.

1986 – On January 28, 1986, the NASA shuttle orbiter mission STS-51-L and the tenth flight of Space Shuttle Challenger (OV-99) broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven crew members, which consisted of five NASA astronauts including Judith Resnick and two payload specialists including teacher Chritsa McCauliff.

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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