Today in LGBT History – July 8

As I sit in my rocker and write my history blog each morning, I’m deeply grateful for so many things: for my wife and our home, for the sea outside our door, for the sweet fragrance of growy things here in the Olympic Peninsula, for the history I learn about my LGBT past and the people who paved the way. Life is good indeed!

Today in LGBT History – July 8

1950 – Harry Hay (April 7, 1912 – October 24, 2002) and Rudi Gernreich (August 8, 1922 – April 21, 1985) meet and later found the Mattachine Society, one of the earliest homophile organizations in the U.S. Hay was a prominent American gay rights activist, communistlabor advocate, and Native American civil rights campaigner. He was a founder of the Mattachine Society, the first sustained gay rights group in the United States, as well as the Radical Faeries, a loosely affiliated gay spiritual movement. Gernreich was an Austrian-born American fashion designer whose avant-garde clothing designs are generally regarded as the most innovative and dynamic fashion of the 1960s. He purposefully used fashion design as a social statement to advance sexual freedom, producing clothes that followed the natural form of the female body, freeing them from the constraints of high fashion.

1978 – A group of men attacked homosexuals in Central Park, injuring several with baseball bats, including former Olympic and world champion ice skater Dick Button (born July 18, 1929)

1980 – The Democratic Rules Committee states that it will not discriminate against homosexuals. At their National Convention on August 11-14, the Democrats become the first major political party to endorse a homosexual rights platform.

1981, Canada – In Montreal the owner of Sauna David is found guilty of keeping a common bawdyhouse. The charges were the result of a police raid on bathhouse April 26, 1980.

LGBT Fact: The director of Wheatland, the home and presidential library of President James Buchanan, admits that it can’t be refuted that Buchanan might have been gay. In an effort to allow historians the opportunity to fully research this, the library has taken down the portrait of Ann Coleman, the one woman Buchanan ever romanced. James Buchanan, Jr. (April 23, 1791 – June 1, 1868) was the 15th President of the United States (1857–61), serving immediately prior to the American Civil War. He is the only president from Pennsylvania, the only president to remain a lifelong bachelor, and the last president born in the 18th century. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the 17th United States Secretary of State and served in the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives. Buchanan and William Rufus King (April 7, 1786 – April 18, 1853) lived together in a Washington boardinghouse for 10 years from 1834 until King’s departure for France in 1844. King referred to the relationship as a “communion”, and the two attended social functions together. Contemporaries also noted the closeness. Andrew Jackson called them “Miss Nancy” and “Aunt Fancy.” During Buchanan’s presidency, his orphaned niece, Harriet Lane, whom he had adopted, served as official White House hostess

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,, 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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