Today in LGBT History – July 14

Kelly and I spent a delightful day in Seattle then saw the play Fun Home by Alison Bechtal at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theater. The play was about Alison’s family, her father being gay and committing suicide, and her own coming out. Fantastic!

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 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 in bed with one of his students. 

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. He was 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 drag – and out – 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.

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 is gay or has AIDS. 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.[45] 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. According to Stone, Cohn’s “absolute goal was to die completely broke and owing millions to the IRS. He succeeded in that.”[41] 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.

2005 – A 21-year-old Tampa man was charged with murder after his 3-year old son was pummeled into unconsciousness and then died after the man thought the child was gay.

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.

Let your voice speak out and change the world! 




(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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