Today in LGBT History – JULY 11

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 11

1931 – Tab Hunter (born Arthur Andrew Kelm; July 11, 1931 – July 8, 2018) is born. He was an American actor, television host, pop singer, film producer, and author. He starred in more than 40 films and was a well-known Hollywood star and heart throb of the 1950s and 1960s, known for his Golden Blond Californian surfer-boy looks. At his height he had his own television show The Tab Hunter Show and a hit single with “Young Love“. His breakthrough role came when he was cast as the young Marine Danny in 1955’s World War II drama Battle Cry.He starred in the 1958 musical film Damn Yankees, in which he played Joe Hardy of Washington, D.C.‘s American Leaguebaseballclub.Hunter’s autobiographyTab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star(2005), co-written with Eddie Muller, became a New York Times best-seller. In the book, he acknowledges that he is gay, confirming rumors that had circulated since the height of his fame. Hunter had long-term relationships with actor Anthony Perkins(April 4, 1932 – September 12, 1992)and champion figure skater Ronnie Robertson(September 25, 1937 – February 4, 2000) , before settling down with his partner of over 30 years, film producer Allan Glaser. Hunter died from complications of deep vein thrombosis that caused cardiac arrest on July 8, 2018, three days before his 87th birthday. According to his partner Glaser, Hunter’s death was “sudden and unexpected”.

1934, Italy – Giorgio Armani (July 11, 1934) is born. He is an Italian fashion designer, particularly noted for his menswear and is also known as the man who put women into men’s blazers.He formed his company, Armani, in 1975, and by 2001 was acclaimed as the most successful designer that Italy has produced. Armani is an intensely private man, but has publicly identified as bisexual. He had a longstanding relationship with architect Sergio Galeotti (1945-Aug. 14, 1985), who died of AIDS-related complications in 1985. Galeotti was co-founder and chairman of the board of Armani.

1946 – Vito Russo (July 11, 1946 – November 7, 1990) is born. He was anAmericanLGBTactivist,film historian and author who is best remembered as the author of the book The Celluloid Closet (1981, revised edition 1987). Russo’s concern over how LGBT people were presented in the popular media led him to co-found the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), a watchdog group that monitors LGBT representation in the mainstream media and presents the annual GLAAD Media Awards. The Vito Russo Award is named in his memory and is presented to an openly gay or lesbian member of the media community for their outstanding contribution in combating homophobia.When he published the first edition of The Celluloid Closetin 1981, there was little question that it was a groundbreaking book. Today it is still one of the most informative and provocative books written about gay people and popular culture. Russo appeared in the 1989 Academy Award-winning documentary Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt as a “storyteller,” relating the life and death of his lover Jeffrey Sevcik (1955-1986).Russo was diagnosed with HIV in 1985 and died of AIDS-related complications in 1990. His work was posthumously brought to television in the 1996 HBOdocumentary film The Celluloid Closet, co-executive produced and narrated by Lily Tomlin. Also in 1990, Merrill College at UC Santa Cruz established Vito Russo House to promote Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender awareness and provide a safe and comfortable living environment for queer, straight-supportive and all students who value and appreciate diversity. The house tailors its programming to meet the needs of LGBT students and offers all an opportunity to build understanding and tolerance. Russo’s papers are held by the New York Public Library.

1946 – Jack Wrangler, born John Robert Stillman (July 11, 1946 – April 7, 2009) is born. He was an American gay and straight pornographic film actortheatrical producer, and director and writer. Open about his homosexuality and adult film work throughout his career, Wrangler was considered an icon of the gay-liberation movement.

1966 – Oklahoma County Attorney Curtis Harris revealed that 26 teachers and school administrators in Oklahoma City had resigned following a six-month investigation into “alleged homosexual activity.”

1968 – Esera Tavai Tuaolo (born July 11, 1968) is born. He was a former American professional footballplayer, a defensive tackle in the National Football League(NFL) for nine years. Tuaolo, who is of Samoanancestry, was born in HonoluluHawaii, and raised in poverty in a banana-farming family in Waimanalo. He played college footballat Oregon State University. Nicknamed “Mr. Aloha”, Tuaolo played tackle for several teams in his career, reaching the Super Bowl in 1999 while playing with the Atlanta Falcons. He also played for the Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville JaguarsMinnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packersduring his career. He recorded the last tackle of football legend John Elway. In 2002, having retired from sports, he announced to the public that he is gay, coming out on HBO‘s Real Sports. This made him the third former NFL player to come out, after David Kopay(born June 28, 1942) and Roy Simmons(November 8, 1956 – February 20, 2014). He has since worked with the NFL to attempt to combat homophobiain the league and is a board member of the Gay and Lesbian Athletics Foundation. He made an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2004 to share his coming out story. Tuaolo’s autobiography, Alone in the Trenches: My Life As a Gay Man in the NFL, was released in spring 2006. Tuaolo currently resides in Minneapolis and has twins, Mitchell and Michele. Along with his advocacy and singing, he does philanthropic work, cooks professionally, and runs Hate in Any Form is Wrong, an anti-bullying program.

1984 – Mayor Ray Flynn of Boston signs a gay rights ordinance into law.

1986, New Zealand – The NZ Homosexual Law Reform Act of 1986 decriminalizes consensual sex between men. Homosexual male sex had been illegal in NZ since 1840.

1987 — Dr. Tom Waddell (November 1, 1937 – July 11, 1987) dies on this day. He was a gayAmericansportsman and competitor at the 1968 Summer Olympics who founded the Gay Olympics in 1982 in San Francisco. The international sporting event was later renamed the Gay Games after the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) sued Waddell for using the word “Olympic” in the original name. The Gay Games are held every four years. In 1975, Waddell met landscape designer Charles Deaton, 12 years his senior, and they became lovers. An October 11, 1976 issue of People magazine featured the couple in a cover article. They were the first gay couple to appear on the cover of a major national magazine. In 1981, while founding the Gay Games, Waddell met two people with whom he formed major relationships. One was public relations man and fundraiser Zohn Artman, with whom he fell in love and began a relationship. The other was lesbian athlete Sara Lewinstein. Both Tom and Sara had longed to have a child, and they decided to have a child together. Their daughter, Jessica, was born in 1983. To protect Jessica’s and her mother’s legal rights, Tom and Sara married in 1985. In the 1980s Waddell was employed at the City Clinic in San Francisco’s Civic Center area; after his death, it was renamed for him.He died of complications from AIDS.

1990 – Muscatine, Iowa’s public library board held a meeting to discuss the possible removal of books about gays and lesbians from the shelves. The proposal was defeated, and of the 75 residents who attended the meeting only one was in favor of the proposal.

1998, Italy – The Vatican condemns a decision by municipal authorities in Pisa, Italy to recognize a lesbian marriage. The women had been together for eleven years.

2003, UK – Britain’s House of Lords repeals the notorious anti-gay Section 28, the Thatcher-era law that banned any mention of homosexuality in schools.

2006 – The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago orders Southern Illinois University to officially recognize the Christian Legal Society, a student group that excludes membership to gays and people who support LGBT issues, while a lawsuit against the university proceeds. The injunction allows the group to use university facilities and receive funding from the public institution even though the school’s own policies and state law bars discrimination against gays.

2007 – Florida state Rep. Bob Allen (Republican), a co-chair of John McCain’s Florida presidential campaign, was arrested for trying to charge a cop $20 for oral sex in a park restroom in Titusville, FL. During his time in the Florida legislature, Allen was a staunch supporter of anti-gay legislation. In 2009, Newsweek listed Allen among other conservative and liberal politicians who were caught in sex scandals.[15]

2012 – Jane Lynch (July 14, 1960), Billie Jean King (November 22, 1943) , Chicago Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts (December 15, 1967), LGBT leader Urvashi Vaid (October 8, 1958)and other influential lesbians form their own political action group to fundraise and lobby on issues that impact lesbians in the U.S. LPACprovides financial backing to pro-lesbian candidates, whether Democrats or Republicans, male or female, gay or straight. Laura Ricketts is the daughter of Joe Ricketts, a Republican businessman who had donated large sums to an anti-Obama super PAC. His daughter, however, was a major donor to President Obama. While there are already women’s and LGBT groups — such as EMILY’s List and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund — LPAC bills itself as the first super PAC to specifically target lesbians, who are generally a small subset of these two communities.

2012 – Stacy Offner became the rabbi of Temple Beth Tikvah in Madison, Connecticut. Offner is an openly lesbian American rabbi and the first to be hired by a mainstream Jewish congregation, as well as the first female rabbi in Minnesota. She also became the first rabbi-elected chaplain of the Minnesota Senate, the first female vice president of the Union for Reform Judaism, and the first woman to serve on the national rabbinical pension board. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Kenyon College and earned an M.A. in Hebrew Literature from Hebrew Union College in New York. She also has an honorary degree from Hebrew Union College, where she was ordained in 1984.That year she became the first female rabbi in Minnesota but she was fired from her job as associate rabbi when she came out as a lesbian in 1987. She left with some of her congregants and in 1988 they founded Shir Tikvah, a Reform congregation in Minneapolis. 

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!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.