Today in LGBT History – JUNE 10

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 – JUNE 10

356 BC, Babylon near Al-Ḥillah, Iraq – Alexander III of Macedon (July 21, 356 BC-June 13, 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, 36, dies in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II, in Babylon. He  overthrew the Persian empire, carried Macedonian arms to India, and laid the foundations for the Hellenistic world of territorial kingdoms. Already in his lifetime the subject of fabulous stories, he later became the hero of a full-scale legend bearing only the sketchiest resemblance to his historical career. Alexander became legendary as a classical hero in the mold of Achilles, and he features prominently in the history and mythic traditions of both Greek and non-Greek cultures. He became the measure against which military leaders compared themselves, and military academies throughout the world still teach his tactics. He is often ranked among the most influential people in human history. Alexander earned the epithet “the Great” due to his unparalleled success as a military commander. He never lost a battle, despite typically being outnumbered. Alexander’s sexuality has been the subject of speculation and controversy. However, there is some evidence that Alexander may have been bisexual, which in his time was not controversial.

1566, Switzerland – Bartholome Tecia (1550-June 10, 1566), 15, is convicted of sodomy and drowned in the Rhone River. On 10 June 2013, at the initiative of Network, a Swiss non-governmental organization, a commemorative plaque was unveiled on the banks of the Rhone in Geneva at the site of Bartholome’s murder. It reads: “In 1566, as Bartholomé was led to his death, no one stood, as we stand today, to decry the State-sanctioned killing of a child on suspicion of homosexuality,” said Marcia V.J. Kran of the UN Human Rights Office. “No one was prepared, as we are today, to challenge homophobic prejudice, to insist on the equal worth and equal rights of every person, irrespective of their sexual orientation and gender identity. It would be beautiful to think that out of this one sad, lonely death in the Rhone, more than four centuries ago, might come some good; that passers-by who see this plaque will pause and reflect on the folly of homophobia; and that we can all draw from Bartholomé’s story the strength to continue our modern day struggle to achieve equality for LGBT people everywhere.”

1899, Germany – Anita Berber was born in Dresden on June 10th 1899 to Felix and Lucie Berber. Felix was First Violinist with the Municipal Orchestra and Lucie, an aspiring actress and singer.Through 1916/17, Anita’s star was rising and she not only toured throughout Germany and Austria with the Sacchetto Troupe but also performed solo at the Berlin Wintergarten and was featured twice on the front cover of glossy women’s magazine Die Dame. By 1918 she had made her first of nine silent films, was becoming a sought-after model and was touring her own solo programme. By 1921 her sham marriage had collapsed completely, Von Nathusius divorced her and she dated a string of beautiful women, including activist and bar owner Lotte Hahm (1890-1967), the young Marlene Dietrich (December 27, 1901 – May 6, 1992). But it was stylish bar-owner Susi Wanowski who won her heart and very quickly became her lover, manager and secretary. On the night of July 13, 1928, Anita collapsed while performing at a Beirut nightclub, and was diagnosed with an advanced state of pulmonary tuberculosis. Four months later, on November 10, 1928, she died and was buried in a paupers grave at St. Thomas Friedhof in Neuköln. She was 29. The graveyard is now disused and her grave is gone.

1922 – Judy Garland (born Frances Ethel Gumm; June 10, 1922 – June 22, 1969) was an American actress, singer, dancer, and vaudevillian. During a career that spanned 45 years, she attained international stardom as an actress in both musical and dramatic roles, as a recording artist, and on the concert stage.  Garland began performing in vaudeville as a child with her two older sisters, and was later signed to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as a teenager. Although she appeared in more than two dozen films with MGM and received acclaim for many different roles, she is often best remembered for her portrayal of Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz (1939). Garland had a large fan base in the gay community and became a gay icon. Reasons given for her standing among gay men are the admiration of her ability as a performer, the way her personal struggles mirrored those of gay men in the United States during the height of her fame, and her value as a camp figure.Her lifelong addiction to drugs and alcohol ultimately led to her death in London from a barbiturate overdose at age 47.

1929 – Fannie Mae Clackum (June 10, 1929 – August 16, 2014) was the first person to successfully challenge her discharge on the grounds of homosexuality from the U.S military. Fannie Mae Clackum served as a US Air Force Reservist in the late 1940s and early 1950s. When the Air Force suspected her and Grace Garner of being lesbians, it arranged for a four-person overnight trip and motel stay. The U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations used those events as the basis of a series of interrogations in April 1951 when the pair were accused of being lesbians. They refused to accept the dishonorable discharges the Air Force offered them and demanded a court-martial. They were demoted from corporal to private, discharged in early 1952 and lived together in Marietta, Georgia. They spent eight years fighting their discharges in the US Court of Claims claiming denial of due process when denied courts-martial and discharged administratively. They prevailed in 1960 when the court invalidated the discharges and awarded them their back military pay for the remainder of their enlistment periods. The court, after recounting the Air Force’s account of its investigation, said: “One’s reaction to the foregoing narrative is ‘What’s going on here?'”[4] The court found it “unthinkable” that the Air Force would burden them with undesirable discharges “without respect for even the most elementary notions of due process of law”. Theirs is the earliest known case of the successful appeal of a discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces on grounds of homosexuality, though the case turned on due process claims, not homosexuality as the basis for their exclusion from military service. Lillian Faderman states that Clackum’s victory “suggests that in somewhat saner times [1961] an objective court could understand how outrageous the military’s tactics were.”

1956 – The Mattachine Society of New York holds its first public meeting. About 30 people attend the meeting, which takes place at the Diplomat Hotel.

1974 – Dustin Lance Black (born June 10, 1974) is an American screenwriter, director, film and television producer, and LGBT rights activist. He has won a Writers Guild of America Award and an Academy Award for the 2008 film Milk. Black is a founding board member of the American Foundation for Equal Rightsand writer of 8, a staged reenactment of the federal trial that led to a federal court’s overturn of California’s Proposition 8.Black has been in a relationship with British Olympic diver Tom Daley since 2013. They live together in London. In October 2015, it was announced that Black and Daley had become engaged, they married on May 6, 2017 at Bovey Castle in Devon. On  February 14, 2018, Black and Daley announced they were expecting their first child. Robert Ray Black-Daley was born on June 27, 2018.

1976 – West Virginia is the 16th state to repeal its sodomy laws. 


1979, Spain – A policeman shoots and kills a gay man in a bar in Renteria near the Basque city of San Sebastian. Basque nationalist groups join forces with EHGAM, a Basque Gay Liberation organization, and stage a series of protest rallies and a general strike, culminating in a demonstration in which 2,000 lesbian and gay EHGAM supporters march through San Sebastian.

1986 – Edward Sagarin (September 18, 1913 – June 10, 1986) dies. Sagarin is known by his pen name Donald Webster Cory. He was an American professor of sociology and criminology at the City University of New York, and a writer. His book The Homosexual in America: A Subjective Approach, published in 1951, was considered “one of the most influential works in the history of the gay rights movement,” and inspired compassion in others by highlighting the difficulties faced by homosexuals.

2003, Canada – The Ontario Court of Appeals strikes down Canada’s ban on same-sex marriage, ruling that denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples violates Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, part of the Canadian Constitution. This makes Ontario the first place in North America to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Two other Canadian provinces, British Columbia and Quebec, follow suit in July, 2003 and March, 2004. Similarly, Massachusetts will become the first U.S. State to marry lesbian and gay couples when its Supreme Judicial Court rules on November 18, 2003 that, beginning May 17, 2004 Massachusetts must begin treating same-sex couples equally.

2016 – On this day in 2016, an Oregon circuit court ruled that a resident, Jamie Shupe, could legally change their gender to non-binary. The Transgender Law Center believes this to be “the first ruling of its kind in the U.S.” He has since become a vocal critic of the concept of gender identity.Lambda Legal fired Shupe as a client in 2017, citing his “inappropriate media statements that are harming the transgender community”.Shupe is a critic of transgender surgeries, cautioning against what he says are high complication rates. He has also expressed opposition to transgender people serving in the military. In January 2019, Shupe announced that he no longer identified as non-binary and was returning to identifying as male.


Stand up, speak out, share your story!

Warmly,

Ronni

 

(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, out.com, Safe Schools Coalition, and/or Wikipedia. If you wish to edit an item or add an item, please send an email to me at ronnisanlo@gmail.com. Thanks!)

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