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 13
LGBTQ PRIDE: 50 Years since Stonewall
1845, UK – Richard Barnfield’s poem “The Affectionate Shepherd” is published. Barnfield (1574 – 1620) was an English poet. His obscure though close relationship with William Shakespearehas long made him interesting to scholars. It has been suggested that he was the “rival poet” mentioned in Shakespeare’s sonnets.Barnfield is the only Elizabethan male poet apart from Shakespeare—whom he admired—to address love poems to a man.
1898, Germany – The Reichstag debates a petition urging the revocation of Paragraph 175. Promoted by Magnus Hirschfeld (14 May 1868 – 14 May 1935)and signed by dozens of prominent German opinion leaders, the motion is supported by only one political party in the Reichstag, the Social Democratic Party led by August Bebel. The Reichstag votes against reform. It made homosexual acts between males a crime.
1903 – Marriage of painter Romaine Brooks (May 1, 1874 – December 7, 1970), born Beatrice Romaine Goddard to John Ellingham Brooks (1863–1929). Romaine was bisexual and John was gay. Goddard never revealed exactly why she married him. The marriage lasted only one year. She is best known for her images of women in androgynous or masculine dress, including her self-portrait of 1923, which is her most widely reproduced work. In 1911 Brooks became romantically involved with Ida Rubinstein (21 September 1883 – 20 September 1960), the white Russian Jewish actress and dancer who was the rock star of her day and created a sensation with Serge Diaghilev‘s Ballets Russes. The longest and most important relationship of Brooks’ life was her three way partnership with writerNatalie Clifford Barney(October 31, 1876 – February 2, 1972)and Lily de Gramont (23 April 1875 – 6 December 1954)with whom she formed a trio that lasted the rest of their lives. Natalie was notoriously non-monogamous, a fact that both Lily and Romaine had to accept and put up with. Romaine met Natalie in 1916 at a time when she had been involved with Lily for approximately nine years. After a brief dust-up that resulted in Natalie’s offering Lily a marriage contract while at the same time refusing to give up Romaine, the three women formed a stable lifelong triangle where no woman was a third wheel. Lily, one of the most glamorous taste-makers and aristocrats of the period, summed up their values when she stated, “Civilized beings are those who know how to take more from life than others.” Gender fluidity and sexual freedom were paramount for women of Brooks’ circle. Barney was an American-born writer who hosted a literary salon on Paris’s Left Bank. When Brooks and Barney met, Barney was already in a close long-term relationship with Duchess Elisabeth de Clermont-Tonnerre(23 April 1875 – 6 December 1954), which would last until the Duchess’ death in 1954. Brooks and Barney were together for 50 years.
1926 – Comedian Paul Lynde (June 13, 1926 – January 11, 1982) is born in Mt. Vernon, Ohio. He was an American comedian, voice artist, actor and TV personality. A noted character actor with a distinctively campy and snarky persona that often poked fun at his barely in-the-closethomosexuality, Lynde was well known for his roles as Uncle Arthur on Bewitched and the befuddled father Harry MacAfee in Bye Bye Birdie. He was also the regular “center square” panelist on the game show Squares from 1968 to 1981, and he voiced two Hanna-Barberaproductions; he was Templeton the gluttonous rat in Charlotte’s Web and The Hooded Claw in The Perils of Penelope Pitstop. ABC had reservations about Lynde, most notably his offscreen behavior, alcoholism, and the persistent rumors of his homosexuality. Lynde became sober and drug-free in early 1980. Lynde’s private life and sexual orientation were not acknowledged or discussed on television or in other media during his lifetime. Asked on the original Hollywood Squares, “Why do motorcyclists wear leather?” Lynde answered, “Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.”
1957 – David Stroh Buckel (June 13, 1957 – April 14, 2018) is born. He was an American LGBT rights lawyer and an environmental activist. He died on April 14, 2018, by self-immolation as a protest against the use of fossil fuels. Buckel was a senior counsel and marriage project director at Lambda Legal, the American organization that focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities.In 1996, Buckel represented Jamie Nabozny in Nabozny v. Podlesny, a case heard in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit regarding the protection Nabozny did not receive while at school. Buckel represented Nabozny in his claims stemming from “consistent and significant anti-gay bullying and abuse.” In 2000, Buckel was the lead lawyer for of the estate of Brandon Teena, a transgender man who was raped and murdered in Nebraska, when Teena’s family recovered damages against negligent law enforcement officers. Buckel stated, “It’s a very important case, not only within Nebraska but nationally.” The story inspired the 1999 biographical film Boys Don’t Cry.Buckel and his husband, Terry Kaelber, were raising a daughter, Hannah Broholm-Vail. They co-parented Hannah with Rona Vail and Cindy Broholm. On April 14, 2018, Buckel’s body was found by a passerby in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. It appeared that he had burned himself to death. Next to the body was a note in a manila envelope marked “To the police”. The text of the note, which also was emailed to The New York Times, stated: “Most humans on the planet now breathe air made unhealthy by fossil fuels, and many die early deaths as a result—my early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves.”
1958 – The US. Supreme Court unanimously reverses three lower court rulings that an issue of ONE magazine seized in Los Angeles was obscene. The Court’s affirmation of free speech for gay and lesbian writing opens the way for more widely distributed publications. In January 1953, ONE, Inc. began publishing a monthly magazine called ONE, the first U.S. pro-gay publication,which sold openly on the streets of Los Angeles for 25 cents. In October 1954, the U.S. Post Office declared the magazine “obscene” and refused to deliver it. ONE, Inc. brought a lawsuit in federal court, which it won in 1958, when the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the lower court ruling in One, Inc. v. Olesen based on its recent landmark First Amendment case, Roth v. United States. The magazine ceased publication in December 1969.
1991 – In a letter to Tony Marco, founder of Colorado for Family Values, Brian McCormick of Pat Robertson’s National Legal Foundation suggested the use of the phrase “No Special Privileges” to campaign for anti-gay voter support for Amendment 2. He warned that it should not be used in the amendment since opponents could argue that gay rights laws are not special privileges but seek to make the rights of homosexuals equal to everyone else.
1993 – Rand Schrader (May 11, 1945 – June 13, 1993) dies. Rand was an AIDSand gay rights activist who also served as a judge of the Los Angeles Municipal Court. In 1991, Schrader announced that he had been recently diagnosed with AIDS. Schrader went public with his diagnosis in an attempt to increase AIDS awareness and to combat discrimination and misinformation associated with AIDS. Schrader’s long-time partner was entrepreneur David Bohnett(born April 2, 1956), who, after Schrader’s death, used his own entire life savings and the $386,000 benefits from Schrader’s life insurance to create the pioneering website GeoCities. Schrader had previously advocated for the establishment of an AIDS clinic. Shortly before Schrader’s death, in May 1993, the HIV/AIDS clinic at Los Angeles County – USC Medical Center was named in honor of him.
1994 – Gay man Bill T Jones (born February 15, 1952), an African-American choreographer, and lesbian Adrienne Rich (May 16, 1929 – March 27, 2012) , a Jewish poet and essayist, receive the MacArthur Genius Fellowships for their creative bodies of work. The MacArthur Fellows Program, MacArthur Fellowship, or “Genius Grant”, is a prize awarded annually by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation typically to between 20 and 30 individuals, working in any field, who have shown “extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction” and are citizens or residents of the United States.Jones choreographed and performed worldwide as a soloist and duet company with his late partner, Arnie Zane(September 26, 1948 – March 30, 1988), before forming the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in 1982. Adrienne was Rich a poet, an essayist, and a feminist theoretician. She is one of the few American writers who has continued to hold public interest for decades because of her awareness of the changes in herself, in society, and in the ways in which language can reflect and shape these changes.
1995 – Following Attorney General Janet Reno’s decision not to file a brief in the Colorado constitutional amendment case, and due to protests over a meeting with elected lesbian and gay officials for which security guards wore rubber gloves out of fear of HIV infection, the Clinton administration attempts to smooth relations with activists by naming the first-ever White House liaison to the gay and lesbian communities. Marsha Scott, 47, a deputy assistant to the President was appointed by President Clinton.
1998 – Vice President Al Gore meets with gay and lesbian political leaders at the White House. Gore vowed that he and President Clinton would oppose any federal legislation that would interfere with the ability of gays and lesbians to adopt children.
2006 – A fire in a Chicago public library damaged more than 100 books, mostly in the gay and lesbian collection. The Chicago Police Department later determined the fire was not a hate crime. A 21-year-old homeless woman was charged with setting the fire that damaged about 90 books in the gay and lesbian collection and 10 books in the branch’s African-American history collection. Erica Graham was charged with one count of attempted aggravated arson.
Stand up, speak out, share your story!
(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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!)