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 13
100 BC, Italy – Caius Julius Caesar (July 13, 100 BC – March, 15, 44 BC), is born in Rome. He had an affair with Nicomedes IV of Bithynia early in his career according to some historians. Caesar was referred to as the Queen of Bithynia by some Roman politicians as a way to humiliate him. Catullus wrote two poems suggesting that Caesar and his engineer Mamurra were lovers,but later apologized.Mark Antony charged that Octavian had earned his adoption by Caesar through sexual favors. Suetonius described Antony’s accusation of an affair with Octavian as political slander. Octavian eventually became the first Roman Emperor as Augustus.
1863 – Mary Emma Woolley (July 13, 1863 – September 5, 1947) is born today. She was an American educator, peace activist and women’s suffrage supporter. She was the first female student to attend Brown University and served as the 11th President of Mount Holyoke College from 1900 to 1937. . In 1900, Woolley was one of 60 signers of the “Call for the Lincoln Emancipation Conference to Discuss Means for Securing Political and Civil Equality for the Negro”, a document which created the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.She lived in a lesbian relationship with Professor Jeanette Marks (1875-1964)for fifty-five years.
1888 – According to an article in Ohio’s Springfield Daily Republic, James Chesser marries George Ann Holly who is actually one George Burton, discovered to be a male person after a medical exam. They are a young interracial couple living in Fort Smith, Arkansas from May to July of 1888. Both men were charged with sodomy. This is thought to be the first case where two men were duly married to one another.
1934, Germany – Hitler gave a speech in response to a retaliation that occurred after the murder of Ernst Rohm. The speech equated being homosexual with being a traitor.
1935, France – Monique Wittig (July 13, 1935 – January 3, 2003) is born in Haut-Rhin, France. ,She was a French author and feminist theoristand one of the founders of the Mouvement de Libration des Femmes (MLF) (Women’s Liberation Movement). On August 26, 1970, accompanied by numerous other women, she put flowers under the Arc de Triomphe to honor the wife of The Unknown Soldier. This symbolic action was considered to be the founding event of French feminism. Defining herself as a radical lesbian, she and other lesbians during the early 1980s in France and Quebec reached a consensus that “radical lesbianism” posits heterosexuality as a political regime that must be overthrown.
1943 – Daniel Joseph “Danny” Lockin (July 13, 1943 – August 21, 1977)was an American actor and dancer who appeared on stage, television, and film. He was best known for his portrayal of the character Barnaby Tucker in the 1969 film Hello, Dolly!. On the night of August 21, 1977, Lockin went to a gay bar in Garden Grove, Californiaand left with Charles Leslie Hopkins who already had a police record and was on probation at the time. Several hours later, Hopkins called police to say that a man had entered his apartment and tried to rob him.Upon arrival, police found Lockin’s body on the floor of Hopkin’s apartment. He had been stabbed 100 times and bled to death.His body had also been mutilated after death.Hopkins claimed he had no idea how the dead body got in his apartment.He was arrested, convicted of voluntary manslaughter, and sentenced to a four-year prison term.
1953 – Danitra Vance(July 13, 1954 – August 21, 1994) is born. She was an African American comedian and actress best known as a cast member on the NBC sketch show Saturday Night Live during its eleventh season and for work in feature films like Sticky Fingers (1988), Limit Up (1990) and Jumpin’ at the Boneyard (1992). Vance was the first African American woman to become an SNL repertory player in 1985. She was awarded an NAACP Image Award in 1986 and later won an Obie Award for her performance in the theatrical adaptation of Spunk, a collection of short stories written by Zora Neale Hurston.She died of breast cancer in 1994.
1968 – Robert Gant (born Robert John Gonzalez; July 13, 1968) is born. He is an American actor. Between 2002 and 2005, Gant appeared on television in Showtime’s Queer as Folk as Ben Bruckner. Gant supports such organizations as Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) and Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing (GLEH).
1970 – In response to a letter asking if she considered homosexuality a disease, advice columnist Dear Abby responded “No! It is the inability to love at all which I consider an emotional illness.”
1981, Canada – Toronto City Council appoints former journalist-turned-lawyer Arnold Bruner to conduct a study into relations between the police and the gay community. The appointment is made five months after the infamous Toronto bathhouse raids.
1982, France – The Ministry of Health removes homosexuality from its official list of “mental illnesses.”
1982 – The US House of Representatives votes to begin an investigation into reports that a major homosexual prostitution ring was operating in Congress. After a year of hearings no evidence was presented to support the allegations. The reports were the result of accusations from a former page who flunked a lie detector test.
1984 – Hate-monger Jerry Falwell appeared on television and denied that he had ever referred to the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) as vile and satanic and its members “brute beasts” on his Old Time Gospel Hour. He offered $5,000 to anyone who could prove that he had. Rev. Jerry Sloan of MCC called Falwell’s toll-free number and purchased a copy of the tape as proof then demanded payment of the $5,000. When Falwell refused, Sloan sued and won.
1984 – Brothers debuts on Showtime as the first television show in the United States with a gay lead character. Two conservative men support their younger brother when he comes out as gay, and help him navigate being openly homosexual in 1980s Philadelphia.
1998 – A full-page ad claiming gay men and lesbians can overcome their sexuality by becoming Christian ran in the New York Times. The ads were opposed by many in the scientific and medical communities, including Dr. Dean Hamer (born 1951) of the National Institutes of Health who said the ads “fly in the face of scientific fact and are at odds with what we know from biological and psychological sciences.” Hamer is an American geneticist, author, and filmmaker. He is known for his research on the role of genetics in sexual orientation and human behavior, contributions to biotechnology and HIV/AIDS prevention, and popular books and documentaries on a wide range of topics.
1999 – Dr. Dean Edell wrote that “An investigation into the size of male sex organs reveals that homosexuals are generally better endowed than heterosexuals. This is a study done by the Kinsey Institute and researchers say there may be some relationship between innate sexual orientation tendencies and the size of genitalia. Researchers say they surveyed data gathered on 5,172 men and found penis sizes to be larger in homosexuals than heterosexuals based on five measurement standards. One reason for the differences in penile dimensions could be variations in prenatal hormone levels, according to the study published in the journal, Archives of Sexual Behavior.”
1999 – The Vatican orders Rev. Robert Nugent and Sister Jeannine Gramick to end their Maryland-based 22-year ministry to gays and lesbians. Jeannine Gramick, S.L., (born 1942) is a Catholic religious and advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights as a co-founder of New Ways Ministry. Robert Nugent, a Catholic priest, became nationally known for his pastoral work with gay men and lesbians, a ministry that was officially ended in 1999 when the Vatican declared it “erroneous and dangerous.”
2000 – “Love in Action’s” ex-gay poster boy Wade Richards revealed that “his sexual orientation has not in fact changed. “I am and always have been a homosexual, and I do not believe that ex-gay ministries can ever change an individual’s sexual orientation.”
2003 – Gay activists took over the general assembly of the Church of England demanding equality for gays in the church.
2009 – Opening of the Lateisha Green murder trial that lasts four weeks. Dwight DeLee is found guilty of a hate crime in the murder of the 22-year old transgender woman. DeLee is the second person in the country to be convicted of a hate crime for killing a transgender person.
2016 – Army Reserve officer Tammy Smith becomes the first openly gay U.S. general in American history. Tammy Smith (born c. 1963) is a Major General of the U.S. Army Reserve. She received her confirmation to Major General on July 13th, 2016 and was formally promoted to the position in a ceremony at the U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan in Seoul, Korea. Major General Smith is the Deputy Commanding General-Sustainment for Eighth Army. She also became the first female general officer to serve in an Eighth Army headquarters-level position. Prior to this position, she served as the Commanding General of the 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training),and served for a year in the Afghanistan War. Smith married Tracey Hepner on March 31, 2012, in a ceremony at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. The ceremony was officiated by a military chaplain. The District of Columbiabegan recognizing same-sex marriages in 2010,but because Smith was in the Army she could not enter into a marriage until after Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed. She is the first openly-gay U.S. flag officer to come out while serving since the repeal of the policy.Smith and her spouse Tracey Hepner are active in volunteer military family support event.
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!)