Today in LGBT History – July 22

I’m still on the theme of family. My two grandsons and their moms are with us this weekend. I love spending time with this family, watching the ways in which they all interact, and especially watching how the moms affirm the children. The boys are 7 and 3. The 7 year old has his own purse in which he keeps his lipstick. He was asking for a dress yesterday so they made one for him from one of their tee shirts. No judgement, no scolding, just loving the child just as he is in all of his glory. I’m so proud that these beautiful women and their sons are part of my family and me.

My daughter visited Seattle from Tampa over these last few days. She came here to be with us as we donated my father’s WWII letters and uniform to the Seattle Holocaust Center. I miss her terribly. She’s an historian and a tremendous LGBT ally.

Family can mean so many things, good and/or bad. For me, family is grounding. Family is home. And family, for me, begins with my wife. I feel very blessed to have such a large and interesting group of people in my life who makes up my family of origin. They would also have been my family of choice. And I have family of choice without whom my life would be not entirely full….

Today in LGBT History – July 22

1860, UK – Frederick William Rolfe (July 22, 1860 – October 25, 1913) is born.  He is better known as Baron Corvo but also calling himself Frederick William Serafino Austin Lewis Mary Rolfe. He was a flamboyant and decadent English writer, novelist, artist, fantasist and eccentric. His writings were an unashamed celebration of male love and friendships. His fantasy autobiography Hadrian the Seventh (1904) was successfully adapted by Peter Luke as a stage production in London in 1968, in which the part of Hadrian/Rolfe was played by Alec McCowen. Further productions with Barry Morse played in Australia, on Broadway, and in a short USA national tour.

1877, UK – In England, Ann Marrow is found guilty of impersonating a man so she could marry three different women and defraud them. Marrow was sentenced to three months in prison and had stand at the pillory at Charing Cross, where she was pelted so severely, primarily by female spectators, that she was  blinded in both eyes. The spectacle of the sentence was crucial in the very public unmasking of the female body hidden by the passing cross-dresser.

1896, UK – Film Director James Whale (July 22, 1889 – May 29, 1957) is born in Dudley, England. He directed such classics as Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, and The Invisible Man. His death was featured in the film Gods and Monsters where he was portrayed by out actor Sir Ian McKellan. James Whale lived as an openly gay man throughout his career in the British theatre and in Hollywood, something that was virtually unheard of in the 1920s and 1930s. He and David Lewis lived together as a couple from around 1930 to 1952. Whale committed suicide by drowning himself in his Pacific Palisades swimming pool on 29 May 1957 at the age of 67

1963 – Lesbian singer Emily Saliers (July 22, 1963), a member of the rock/folk duo Indigo Girls, is born on this date in New Haven, Connecticut. She has a passion for wine collecting, and is the co-owner of Watershed restaurant in Decatur, Georgia. Saliers married her longtime girlfriend, former Indigo Girls tour manager Tristin Chipman, at New York City Hall in 2013

1966 – Born on this day, Roland Tec is an American writer and movie director. His 1997 film All the Rage is widely considered a hallmark of the Queer Indie Film movement of the ’90s for what was then its unprecedented critical view of A-list gay male culture of perfection

1973, Canada – Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) given its first mission status in Canada. It begins holding services at Holy Trinity Church in Toronto under Rev Bob Wolfe.

1973 — Rufus Wainwright (July 22, 1973) is born. He is an openly gay  Grammy-nominated Canadian-American singer-songwriter. He released his first album in 1998 to great critical acclaim. He has contributed to several film soundtracks, including Moulin Rouge, I Am Sam, Heights, and Brokeback Mountain. Wainwright is the son of musicians Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle. In April 2010, Wainwright came out publicly in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in the United States because he wanted to marry his partner, Jörn Weisbrodt

1977, Canada – In Toronto a second march organized by the Coalition Against Anita Bryant to protest the homophobe’s visit to the city takes place.

1980 – The U.K. House of Commons extended the Sexual Offenses Act to cover Scotland, decriminalizing most private consensual sex acts between men.

1997 — Three same-sex couples sue the state of Vermont, on the grounds that banning same-sex unions is a violation of their state constitution. Baker v. Vermont, 744 A.2d 864 (Vt. 1999), was decided by Vermont Supreme Court on December 20, 1999. It was one of the first judicial affirmations of the right of same-sex couples to treatment equivalent to that afforded different-sex couples. The decision held that the state’s prohibition on same-sex marriage denied rights granted by the Vermont Constitution. The court ordered the Vermont legislature to either allow same-sex marriages or implement an alternative legal mechanism according similar rights to same-sex couples. The plaintiffs were Stan Baker and Peter Harrigan, Holly Puterbaugh and Lois Farnham, and Nina Beck and Stacy Jolles. Two of the couples had raised children together. The couples sued their respective localities and the state of Vermont, requesting a declaratory judgment that the denial of licenses violated Vermont’s marriage statutes and the state Constitution. The plaintiffs were represented by Mary Bonauto, an attorney with Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, and two Vermont attorneys, Susan Murray and Beth Robinson.[

2004 – A Federal appeals court declines to hear a challenge to Florida’s ban on gay adoption.

2008, Greece – An Athens court rules that the term lesbian “does not define status and personality and therefore the Lesbos islanders have no reason to complain that they felt personally slighted by its use.” The word lesbian is derived from the name of the island of lesbos where the Greek poet Sappho lived.

2010 – Argentina legalizes same sex marriage.

2011 – A bill to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is introduced in Congress, overturning the 1993 law prohibiting lesbian, gay, and bisexual people from serving openly in the US military.

2011, Norway – A lesbian couple, Hege Dalen and Toril Hansen, who had been camping on a neighboring island, use their boat to ferry forty people to safety as 69 other people are being shot and killed.

2013, Jamaica – Sixteen year old Dwayne Jones attends a party in Montego Bay dressed as a woman and dances with men. A mob identified Dwayne as male and killed him. His story gained international attention and outcry as an example of the anti-LGBT violence issues in Jamaica.

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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