Florida…hot, humid, and full of loving women in The Villages! I love my Helen Schwartz. I’ve known Helen since 1980. She’s part of my history, my story. Helen was out before people came out publicly. Helen served in the Army then moved to Key West with her partner and bought an entire city block. That block is where 515 United is situated. 525 United was the location of Pearl’s Rainbow Inn, and it’s now a focal point of my historical novel about the lesbian history of Key West.
Our history is intertwined. Yours. Mine. And those who came before us. It’s imperative that we share our stories and tell the stories of those who are no longer here. We must…
Today in LGBT History – July 26
1944, UK – Mick Jagger (born 26 July 1943) is born in Dartford, England. Androgynous, gender defiant, and ambisexual, Jagger has come to symbolize rock from the 60s and 70s. Look-alike ex-wife Bianca once claimed he married her because “he wanted to achieve the ultimate by making love to himself.”
1979 – The Advocate magazine first mentions “bears” in print. Bears are “usually hunky chunky types reminiscent of railroad engineers and former football greats.
1981 – Dr. Jeanette Howard Foster (November 3, 1895 – July 26, 1981), author of Variant Women in Literature, dies on this date in Arkansas. Dr. Foster was an American librarian, professor, poet, and researcher in the field of lesbian literature. She pioneered the study of popular fiction and ephemera in order to excavate both overt and covert lesbian themes. Her years of pioneering data collection culminated in her 1956 study Sex Variant Women in Literature, which has become a seminal resource in LGBT studies. Initially self-published by Foster via Vantage Press, it was photoduplicated and reissued in 1975 by Diana Press and reissued in 1985 by Naiad Press with updating additions and commentary by Barbara Grier.
1985 – US Senators Pete Wilson (R-CA) and Alfonse D’Amato (R-NY) attempt to hold a briefing on AIDS for Republican senators. Not a single Senator shows up for it.
1989 – In a response to political outcries over a Robert Mapplethorpe (November 4, 1946 – March 9, 1989) exhibit, Jesse Helms leads a fight in the U.S. Senate to curtail National Endowment for the Arts funding for “obscene or indecent art,” including artworks that depict “sadomasochism, homoeroticism, the exploitation of children, or individuals engaged in sex acts.” The measure was overwhelmingly adopted.
1990 – President George H. W. Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act which prohibits discrimination against various groups of people including those living with AIDS.
2007 – Fox News host/homophobe Bill O’Reilly apologizes on the air for errors in a widely criticized June 21 segment that reported a “nationwide epidemic” of violent lesbian gangs terrorizing neighborhoods and schools. O’Reilly was fired in 2017 for sexual harassment.
Let your voice speak out and change the world!
(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, 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!)