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 – JULY 1
1663, UK – English politician Samuel Pepys writes in his diary of his displeasure at how common sodomy had become in the country’s military.
1828, UK – The Buggery Act is repealed then reenacted, criminalizing sodomy.
1943 – Willem Arondeus (August 22, 1894 – July 1, 1943) dies. He was a Dutch artist and author who joined the Dutch anti-Nazi resistance movement during World War II. He participated in the bombing of the Amsterdam public records office to hinder the Nazi German effort to identify Dutch Jews. Arondeus was caught and executed by the Nazis soon after his arrest along with tailor Sjoerd Bakker, and writer Johan Brouwer who also were gay and 10 others. Arondeus was openly gaybefore the war and defiantly asserted his sexuality before his execution. The last wish of Arondeus is that he be given a pink shirt. He declares: “Let it be known that homosexuals are not cowards.”
1919, Germany – In Berlin, Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld (May 14,1868 – May 14, 1935 founds the Institute for Sexual Science. It includes a department to advise men arrested for violation of Paragraph 175, the German sodomy law. Hirschfeld was a German Jewish physician and sexologist educated primarily in Germany; he based his practice in Berlin-Charlottenburg. An outspoken advocate for sexual minorities, Hirschfeld founded the Scientific Humanitarian Committee. Historian Dustin Goltz characterized this group as having carried out “the first advocacy for homosexual and transgender rights“.
1925 – Farley Granger (July 1, 1925 – March 27, 2011) is born. He was an American actor, best known for his two collaborations with director Alfred Hitchcock. In 2007, Granger published the memoir Include Me Out, co-written with domestic partner Robert Calhoun (November 24, 1930 – May 24, 2008). In the book, named after one of Goldwyn’s famous malapropisms, he freely discusses his career and personal life.
1928 – The lesbian novel The Well of Loneliness by the British author Radclyffe Hall(August 12, 1880 – October 7, 1943) was published on this date in the United States and sold an initial 20,000 copies. It follows the life of Stephen Gordon, an Englishwoman from an upper-class family whose “sexual inversion” (homosexuality) is apparent from an early age. She finds love with Mary Llewellyn, whom she meets while serving as an ambulance driver in World War I, but their happiness together is marred by social isolation and rejection, which Hall depicts as typically suffered by “inverts” with predictably debilitating effects. The novel portrays inversion as a natural, God-given state and makes an explicit plea: “Give us also the right to our existence.” In 1915, Hall fell in love with Una Troubridge(1887–1963), a sculptor with whom she lived at 37 Holland Street, Kensington, London. The relationship would last until Hall’s death. In 1934 Hall fell in love with Russian émigré Evguenia Souline and embarked upon a long-term affair with her, which Troubridge painfully tolerated.
1934 – Hollywood makes adherence to the Hays Code – after Will H. Hays, who was the president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA) from 1922 to 1945 – mandatory. Among its provisions: “Pictures shall not infer that low forms of sex relationships are the accepted or common thing,” and “Sex perversion or any inference to it is forbidden on the screen.” The Motion Picture Production Code was the set of industry moral guidelines that was applied to most United States motion picturesreleased by major studios from 1930 to 1968. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) adopted the Production Code in 1930 and began strictly enforcing it in 1934. The Production Code spelled out what was acceptable and what was unacceptable content for motion pictures produced for a public audience in the United States. Hays, who was Postmaster General under Warren G. Harding and former head of the Republican National Committee, served for 25 years as president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA).
1947 – U.S. Congress discontinues the military “Blue Discharges” with two new classifications: general and undesirable. The Army then changes its regulations so that gay and lesbian service members would not qualify for general discharges. The U.S. military had a long-standing policy that service members found to be homosexual or to have engaged in homosexual conduct were to be court-martialed for sodomy, imprisoned and dishonorably discharged. However, with the mobilization of troops following the United States’ entry into World War II, it became impractical to convene court-martial boards of commissioned officers so some commanders began issuing administrative discharges instead. Several waves of reform addressing the handling of homosexuals in the military resulted in a 1944 policy directive that called for homosexuals to be committed to military hospitals, examined by psychiatrists, and discharged under Regulation 615-360, section 8 as “unfit for service”. It is unknown exactly how many gay and lesbian service members were given blue discharges under this regulation, but in 1946 the Army estimated that it had issued between 49,000 and 68,000 blue discharges, with approximately 5,000 of them issued to homosexuals. The Navy’s estimates of blue-discharge homosexuals was around 4,000. Blue discharges were discontinued as of July 1, 1947, when the two new headings of general and undesirable took their place. A general discharge was considered to be under honorable conditions—distinct from an “honorable discharge”—and an undesirable discharge was under conditions other than honorable—distinct from a “dishonorable discharge.” At the same time, the Army changed its regulations to ensure that gay and lesbian service members would not qualify for general discharges. Those found guilty of engaging in homosexual conduct still received dishonorable discharges, while those identified as homosexuals but not to have committed any homosexual acts now received undesirable discharges.
1962 — Dr. Alan Hart (October 4, 1890 – July 1, 1962)dies. Historian Jonathan Ned Katz explains that Stanford University graduate Lucille Hart changed names and lived as a man in order to practice medicine and marry the women he loved (first, Inez Stark in 1918 and then, after their 1925 divorce, Edna Ruddick, to whom he stayed married until his death 37 years later).
1969 – In Norton v. Macy, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rules that the termination of a National Aeronautics and Space Administration employee for “immoral conduct” relating to his alleged homosexual conduct was unlawful.
1970 – The Task Force on Gay Liberation forms within the American Library Association. Now known as the GLBT Round Table, this organization is the oldest LGBT professional organization in the United States. On July 1st at the ALA Annual Conference in Detroit, MI, the Task Force on Gay Liberation meets for the first time. Israel Fishman serves as the first coordinator of the group. A social and “consciousness-raising event” was held with members of the Detroit Gay Liberation Front. Initial goals of the group included: the creation of bibliographies, revision of library classification schemes and subject headings, building and improving access to collections, and fighting job discrimination. Barbara Gittings (July 31, 1932 – February 18, 2007) puts together a list of 37 gay-positive books, magazine articles, and pamphlets – the first version of a resource that would become known as “A Gay Bibliography.”
1971, Canada – The founding meetings of the Gay Alliance Toward Equality (GATE) are held in Vancouver. It is the first Canadian group to talk about civil rights strategies.
1971, Austria – The Parliament rescinds laws against sex between consenting adults but adds legislation penalizing individuals who make public statements or join organizations that favor homosexuality. Although the new legislation is used to harass lesbians and gay men and, later, to prevent the import of gay and lesbian pornography, including safer sex literature, no individuals or organizations are successfully prosecuted under the laws.
1972, UK – The United Kingdom’s first Gay Pride March draws about 2,000 gay men and lesbians to the center of London.
1975, Mexico – Lesbian activists at the first United Nations World Conference on Women come to the attention of the world press when Pedro Gringoire attacks their efforts to make lesbian rights part of the conference agenda in an essay published in Excelsior, the country’s leading newspaper. Gringoire calls lesbianism a “pathological irregularity,” a “sexual aberration,” and a “severe illness.” Lesbian activists score gains in visibility as a result but fail to elicit an official response to their demands at the conference.
1975 – California and Washington decriminalize private consensual adult homosexual acts. Indiana does so the following year.
1975 — A group called Gay American Indians is launched in San Francisco.
1975 – Blue Boymagazine debuts. It was a gay pornographic/lifestyle magazine with pictures of men in various states of undress from 1974 to 2007. It was published by Donald N. Embinder, a former advertising representative for After Dark, an arts magazine with a substantial gay readership. Embinder first used the nom de plume Don Westbrook but soon assumed his real name on the masthead.
1976 – Haaz Sleiman (born July 1, 1976) is a Lebanese-American television and film actor. He most notably played the role of Tarek in the 2007 film The Visitor and the role of Jesus in the American TV mini-series Killing Jesus, in addition to a number of American TV series. On August 22nd, 2017 Sleiman came out as gay via a Facebook video.[
1979 – The Susan B. Anthony dollar makes its debut. While there were many complaints about the coin, it was mostly because it was nearly the same size as a quarter, not that it was the first U.S. coin to feature the likeness of a lesbian. Susan Brownell Anthony (February 15, 1820 – March 13, 1906) was an American social reformer and women’s rights activist who played a pivotal role in the women’s suffragemovement. Born into a Quaker family committed to social equality, she collected anti-slavery petitions at the age of 17. In 1856, she became the New York state agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society. In 1851, she met Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who became her lifelong friend and co-worker in social reform activities, primarily in the field of women’s rights. In 1852, they founded the New York Women’s State Temperance Society after Anthony was prevented from speaking at a temperanceconference because she was female. In 1863, they founded the Women’s Loyal National League, which conducted the largest petition drive in United States history up to that time, collecting nearly 400,000 signatures in support of the abolition of slavery. In 1866, they initiated the American Equal Rights Association, which campaigned for equal rights for both women and African Americans. The Nineteenth Amendment, which guaranteed the right of women to vote, was popularly known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment. Historian Lillian Faderman suggests that Susan B. Anthony may have had relationships with Anna Dickinson, Rachel Avery and Emily Gross at different times in her life. Her niece Lucy Anthony was a life partner of suffrage leader and Methodist minister Anna Howard Shaw.
1986 – Renowned science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke (December 16, 1917 – March 19, 2008) comes very close to coming out in an interview published in Playboy magazine. When Clarke was asked if he’s had bisexual experiences, he responded, “Of course! Who hasn’t?” He is perhaps most famous for being co-writer of the screenplay for the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, widely considered to be one of the most influential films of all time.
1987 – President Reagan nominates openly homophobic Robert Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court. The nomination is rejected by the U.S. Senate for a wide-variety of reasons.
1989 – Professional body builder Bob Paris (December 14, 1959) comes out in an interview in Ironmanmagazine. He is an American writer, actor, public speaker, civil rights activist and former professional bodybuilder. Paris was the 1983 NPCAmerican National and IFBB World Bodybuilding Champion, Mr. Universe.He was the world’s first male professional athlete, in any sport, to come out in the media while still an active competitor in his sport.The same year, Paris appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” discussing marriage and being gay. Oprah asked Paris, “Bob, why not just stay in the closet?” Paris explained how “you fall in love” and that it doesn’t feel right to hide it. Paris and his former boyfriend, Rod Jackson, became symbols for gay marriage and advocated gay rights. Paris’s career ended up suffering because he came out; he claims his life was even threatened through mail and by phone. Paris lost about 80% of his bookings and endorsements for bodybuilding. Today, Paris lives with his spouse, Brian LeFurgey, on an island near Vancouver, British Columbia. Together since 1996, Bob and Brian were legally married in British Columbia after the province equalized the marriage laws in 2003.
2000 – Vermont begins performing civil unions for same-sex couples. Still not equivalent to marriages (not recognized by the federal government or by other states or in other countries), these are nonetheless the first relationships in the U.S. to receive this level of legal recognition.
2006 – Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist’s (July 24, 1956) campaign ads were carefully worded to include his support of “traditional marriage.” Media stories throughout the campaign claimed that Crist is gay. He is the U.S. Representative for Florida’s 13th congressional district. He had previously served as the 44th Governor of Florida from 2007 to 2011. In January 2014, Crist apologized for his support for the 2008 same-sex marriage ban and for the same-sex adoption ban, telling an Orlando LGBT publication that “I’m sorry I did that. It was a mistake. I was wrong. Please forgive me. On May 9, 2013, Crist announced that he supports same-sex marriage; “I most certainly support marriage equality in Florida and look forward to the day it happens here.” In both 2006 and 2008, Crist announced his support for the Federal Marriage Amendment although by 2010, he had endorsed adoption rights for gay couples.
2009, Hungary – Registered partnerships go into effect.
2010, Denmark – Denmark allows same sex couples to apply jointly for adoptions.
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!)