Today in LGBT History – JULY 9

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 9

1550, Italy – Jacopo Bonfadio  (c. 1508 – July 1550) is tried and beheaded for sodomy, most likely because he published gossipy accounts of wealthy Genoese families. He was an Italianhumanist and historian. Several humanists were tried for sodomy during this time as well, but Bonfadio is one of few to be executed.

1775, UK – Matthew Gregory Lewis (9 July 1775 – 16 May 1818) is born. He was an English novelistand dramatist, often referred to as “Monk” Lewis, because of the success of his 1796 Gothic novelThe Monk. Silly, stilted, and great fun to read, the genre was the high camp of its day. His most famous work was Ambrosio, The Monkwritten in 1795. Like most Gothic novels, it takes place in a Latin country. In this case in a monastery where Ambrosio, the head of the order, meets Matilda. She sneaks into his bed disguised as a man and quickly reveals she is a woman. After humping him into a frenzy he turns into a satyr and can’t get enough. In real life, Lewis was in love with a 14-year-old boy who brought him nothing but misery. 

1893 – Dorothy Thompson (July 9, 1893 – January 30, 1961) is born in Lancaster, New York. Thompson, a newspaper writer and radio commentator, was expelled from Germany by Hitler because of her critical reports on Nazism. Thompson fell in love with Baroness Hatvany, better known as Christa Winsloe (23 December 1888 – 10 June 1944), the author of Madchen in Uniform about girls in love in a boarding school. Other lovers include Gertrude Franchot Tone(1876 – 1953)the feminist politician and mother of actor Franchot Tone. In 1939 she was recognized by Time magazine as the second most influential woman in America next to Eleanor Roosevelt(October 11, 1884 – November 7, 1962), and was featured on the cover. She was married three times, most famously to second husband and Nobel Prize in literature winner Sinclair Lewis. She is regarded by some as the “First Lady of American Journalism.”

1926, Italy – Mathilde Krim (July 9, 1926 – January 15, 2018) is born. She was a medical researcher and the founding chairman of AMFAR,American Foundation for AIDS Research.She devoted her life to the fight against HIV/AIDS, in particular raising the public’s awareness of the devastating disease.  In 1950, she married David Danon, an Israeli man she met at University of Geneva School of Medicine. Krim died at home in Kings Point, New York on January 15, 2018, aged 91.

1965 – Courtney Michelle Love (July 9, 1964) is born. She’s an American singer, actress, writer, and visual artist. Prolific in the punk and grunge scenes of the 1990s, Love has enjoyed a career that spans four decades. Love has drawn public attention for her uninhibited live performances and confrontational lyrics, as well as her highly publicized personal life following her marriage to Kurt Cobain. Love has consistently advocated for LGBT rights,and identifies as a feminist. She has been noted as a gay icon since the mid-1990s,and has jokingly referred to her fan base as consisting of “females, gay guys, and a few advanced, evolved heterosexual men.”

1969 – The Mattachine Society of New York invites activists to gather in Greenwich Village for the first “gay power” meeting. Called the “Homosexual Liberation Meeting,” it was held at the Freedom House in Midtown Manhattan with over 100 attendees.

1986, New Zealand – The Parliament passes the Homosexual Law Reform Act, decriminalizing sex between men and establishing the same legal provisions for all sexual relations.

2008, Croatia – The Croatian parliament approves new law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression in all areas.

2018 – Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz (1945 – July 9, 2018) was a Jewish-American essayist, poet, academic, and political activist against racism and for economic and social justice. She later added Kantrowitz to her name to honor her Jewish roots. Kaye/Kantrowitz was active in the Harlem Civil Rights Movement as a teenager. When she was 17, she worked with the Harlem Education Project. About this she said “It was my first experience with a mobilizing proud community and with the possibilities of collective action.” In 1990, she served as a founding director for Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ), a progressive Jewish organization focused mostly on anti-racist work and issues of economic justice. Kaye/Kantrowitz served on the JFREJ board from 1995 to 2004. Of her work with JFREJ, Kaye/Kantrowitz said: “Though Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz taught the first women’s studies course at the University of California, Berkeley, she also taught at Hamilton CollegeBrooklyn College/CUNYVermont College, and  Jewish studieshistory and comparative literature at Queens College. Kaye/Kantrowitz died on July 9, 2018, of Parkinson’s disease, aged 73.

Stand up, speak out, share your story!




(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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