Today in LGBT History – June 16

Yesterday, Kelly and I didn’t leave the house other than to take a walk. That happens so seldom and it was delightful. I love being in our home, writing my work in my rocker as I look out of the picture windows to see the water and the islands. The temperature yesterday was about 55 so the fireplace was on and I wore my house-toasties. There are many things in this world for which I’m grateful…being at home without starting the car is one of them.

 Today in LGBT History – June 16

1858, Sweden – King Gustav V of Sweden (June 16, 1858 – October 29, 1950) is born. was King of Sweden from 1907 until his death in 1950. An avid hunter and sportsman, he presided over the Games and chaired the Swedish Association of Sports from 1897 to 1907. Most notably, he represented Sweden (under the alias of Mr. G.) as a competitive tennis player, keeping up competitive tennis until his 80s, when his eyesight deteriorated rapidly. Allegations of a love affair between Gustav and Kurt Haijby led to the court paying 170,000 kronor under threat of blackmail by Haijby. This led to the so-called Haijby affair and several criticized trials and convictions against Haijby which spawned considerable controversy about Gustav’s alleged homosexuality.

1949, Columbia – Colombian-American author, poet, and journalist Jaime Manrique (16 June 1949) is born. His first poetry volume won Colombia’s National Poetry Award. In 1977, Manrique met the American painter Bill Sullivan. The couple lived between Colombia and Venezuela until the end of 1979. They remained partners until Sullivan’s death in 2010.

1961, Russia – On this date the ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev (March 17, 1938 –  January 6, 1993) defects from the Soviet Union at Le Bourget airport in Paris. He was director of the Paris Opera Ballet from 1983 to 1989 and its chief choreographer until October 1992. Named Lord of the Dance, Rudolf Nureyev is regarded as one of ballet’s most gifted male dancers. Depending on the source, Nureyev is described as either bisexual, as he did have heterosexual relationships as a younger man, or gay. He had a turbulent sex life, with numerous bathhouse visits and anonymous pickups. Nureyev met Erik Bruhn, the celebrated Danish dancer, after Nureyev defected to the West in 1961. Nureyev was a great admirer of Bruhn, having seen filmed performances of the Dane on tour in the Soviet Union with the American Ballet Theatre, although stylistically the two dancers were very different. Bruhn and Nureyev became a couple and the two remained together off and on, with a very volatile relationship for 25 years, until Bruhn’s death in 1986. In 1973 Nureyev met the 23-year-old American dancer Robert Tracy and a two-and-a-half-year love affair began. Tracy later became Nureyev’s secretary and live-in companion. 

1965— The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rules in Scott v. Macy that the United States Civil Service Commission “may not rely on a determination of ‘immoral conduct’ based only on such vague labels as ‘homosexual’ and ‘homosexual conduct’ as a ground” for disqualifying applicants for federal employment.

 1967 — Louisiana Supreme Court rules lesbian sex is illegal. The court rules that the state’s statutory ban on “unnatural carnal copulation” applies to women engaged in oral sex with other women.

1979, Canada – Montreal’s first major gay celebration, Gairilla Week, takes place. 

1981, Canada – Toronto Police raid two bathhouses, arresting twenty-one men on bawdyhouse charges. Raided were the Back Door Gym and Sauna and the International Steam Baths. 

1983 – The New York Times publishes its first front-page story on AIDS. Penned by veteran health reporter and physician Lawrence K. Altman, it was called “Rare Cancer Seen In 41 Homosexuals”

1988 – Delegates at the annual convention of Southern Baptists pass a resolution blaming gays for AIDS and condemning homosexuals as perverts and abominations who have depraved natures.

1990 – Queer Nation holds a Take Back the Night march in New York, protesting hate crimes against gays. Over 1,000 people attended.

1992 – Singer k.d. lang (born November 2, 1961) comes out in an interview with The Advocate, setting off a year of US. media reports on “lesbian chic.” Kathryn Dawn “K.D.” Lang, known by her stage name k.d. lang, is a Canadian pop and country singer-songwriter and occasional actress. Lang won the American Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for her 1989 album, Absolute Torch and Twang. On November 11, 2009, she entered into a domestic partnership with Jamie Price whom she had met in 2003. After separating on September 6, 2011, Lang filed for a dissolution of the partnership in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Los Angeles, California, on December 30, 2011. In 2011, Lang was inducted to Q Hall of Fame Canada in recognition of the work she has done to further equality for all peoples around the world.

1999 – The Southern Baptist Convention passed resolutions demanding the recall of openly gay James Hormel from his new post as Ambassador to Luxembourg and denouncing President Bill Clinton for issuing the nation’s first official proclamation of Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. Ironically, as the hate-mongers convention meeting got underway in Atlanta, Georgia, 600 rainbow flags hung on the light posts for the city’s Pride celebration.

2008 – Del Martin  (May 5, 1921 – August 27, 2008) and Phyllis Lyons (born November 10, 1924) are the first same-sex couple to be legally married in California, after a landmark ruling making California the second state to allow same-sex marriage went into effect. In San Francisco, Mayor Gavin Newsom, who helped launch the series of lawsuits that led the court to strike down California’s one-man-one-woman marriage laws, presided at the wedding of Del Martin, 87, and Phyllis Lyon, 84. Newsom picked the couple for the only ceremony in City Hall that Monday evening in recognition of their long relationship and their status as pioneers of the gay rights movement. 


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!)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.