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 14
1454, Italy – Angelo Poliziano (July 14, 1454 – September 24, 1494) is born in Montepulciano, Tuscany. He wrote under the name Politian and was considered the successor to Ovid. He was a tutor to the children of Lorenzo de Medici. Young men flocked from throughout Europe to study under him. He died at 42 of a heart attack while in bed with one of his students.
1897 – Annie Hindle (1840s – July 14, 1897) died. She was the first popular male impersonator performer in the United States. Born in the 1840s in England, she and her adoptive mother, Ann Hindle, migrated to New York City in 1868. Hall performed as a male impersonator in solo acts and in minstrel shows from 1868 to 1886.She performed as a male impersonator on the American variety stage from 1868 and 1886 and received high reviews and steady bookings. Her skills in male impersonation astounded her audience. A review of one of her performances at the Adelphi Theater in Galveston, Texas, noted, “Annie Hindle has proved a great success. As a male impersonator her sex is so concealed that one is apt to imagine that it is a man who is singing.”Hindle’s male impersonation career ended in 1886 when she married her dresser Annie Ryanwhile on a tour through the mid-west. Hindle dressed in male clothing and gave her name as Charles and a local Baptist minister performed the ceremony.
1895 – Karl Heinrich Ulrichs (August 28, 1825 – July 14, 1895) dies. Ulrichs was an openly gay lawyer who was among the earliest to call for the repeal of Germany’s sodomy law Paragraph 175. He was truly a pioneer of the modern gay rights movement.
1926 – Charles Pierce (July 14, 1926 – May 31, 1999) was one of the 20th century’s foremost female impersonators, particularly noted for his impersonation of Bette Davis. He was born on this day in Watertown, New York. Throughout his career, Pierce appeared in numerous television shows (Fame, Laverne and Shirley, Designing Women, Starsky & Hutch, and Love, American Style) as well as feature films. He died of cancer on May 31, 1999.
1960 – Jane Lynch (born July 14, 1960) is an American actress, singer, and comedian. She is best known for her role as Sue Sylvester in the musical television series Glee. Lynch is openly lesbian; in 2005, she was named one of Power Up‘s “10 Amazing Gay Women in Showbiz.” Lynch married clinical psychologist Lara Embry on May 31, 2010, in Sunderland, Massachusetts, whom she first met a year earlier at a fundraiser in San Francisco. In June 2013, Lynch announced that she and Embry were divorcing after three years of marriage. The divorce was finalized in January 2014.
1983 – Rep. Gerry Studds (D-MA) (May 12, 1937 – October 14, 2006) comes out. He was the first openly gay member of Congress. Studds and partner Dean T. Hara (his companion since 1991) were married in Boston on May 24, 2004, one week after Massachusetts became the first state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage.
1986 – In an interview with People magazine, Roy Cohn (February 20, 1927 – August 2, 1986) denies that he was gay (he was) or that he had AIDS (he did). When Cohn brought on G. David Schine as chief consultant to the McCarthy staff, speculation arose that Schine and Cohn had a sexual relationship. Cohn died of AIDS in 1986. During Senator Joseph McCarthy‘s investigations into Communist activity in the United States during the Second Red Scare, Cohn served as McCarthy’s chief counsel and gained special prominence during the Army–McCarthy hearings. He was also known for being a Justice prosecutor at the espionage trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and later for representing Donald Trump during his early business career. In 1984, Cohn was diagnosed with AIDS and attempted to keep his condition secret while receiving experimental drug treatment. He participated in clinical trials of AZT, a drug initially synthesized to treat cancer but later developed as the first anti-HIV agent for AIDS patients. He insisted to his dying day that his disease was liver cancer. He died on August 2, 1986, in Bethesda, Maryland, of complications from AIDS, at the age of 59. Cohn’s “absolute goal was to die completely broke and owing millions to the IRS. He succeeded in that.” He was buried in Union Field Cemetery in Queens, New York.
1987 – In Williamson, West Virginia, a public swimming pool was closed temporarily by Mayor Sam Kapourales who ordered a scrub-down of the diving board, lounge chairs, and locker room, the pool drained and refilled, and 16 times the normal amount of chlorine added because he learned that a man with AIDS had gone swimming in the pool.
1998 – The city council of West Hartford, Connecticut voted not to allow same sex couples access to family rate discounts at the city pool.
2004, Canada – Canada’s Yukon Territory became the most northern area of the world to legalize same-sex marriage.
2011 – The Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Education Act, also known as the FAIR Education Act is signed into law in California. The act requires that political, economic, and social contributions of LGBTQ people are included in educational curricula in California public schools. It also prohibits discrimination regarding school activities and groups. The bill was originally introduced by then-Senator Sheila James Kuehl.
2014 – The Los Angeles OUTFEST premiere of the documentary Letter to Anita, the heart-wrenching documentary by award-winning filmmaker Andrea Meyerson that explores the painful legacy of singer Anita Bryant’s infamous anti-gay campaign of the late 1970s.
2016 – The Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announces that he will name the Military Sealift Command fleet oiler for USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206). The ship is the second of the John Lewis-class oilers built by General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego, Calif.
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!)