Today in LGBT History – JUNE 20

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 20

LGBTQ PRIDE: 50 Years since Stonewall

1732 – The Georgia Colony was established with English Law automatically set up, including the buggery statute. Officials of the colony would later re-affirm their acceptance of the statute.

1909 – Errol Leslie Flynn(June 20,1909 – October 14, 1959)is born. He was an Australian-born American actor who achieved fame in Hollywood after 1935. He was known for his romantic swashbuckler roles in Hollywood films, as well as frequent partnerships with Olivia De Havilland. He became an American citizen in 1942. Known as one of the greatest of Hollywood womanizers, it was a surprise when biographers revealed that he also slept with men. They include author Truman Capote (September 30, 1924 – August 25, 1984) and American business magnate, investor, record-setting pilot, film director, and philanthropistHoward Hughes (December 24, 1905 – April 5, 1976)

.1917 – Donald Vining (June 20, 1917 – January 24, 1998), was a diarist. At best, Vining had minor success as a playwright and short story writer. His importance rests in the five volumes of his published diary, appearing between 1979 and 1993. In his review of the first volume of the diary in Body PoliticJohn D’Emilio said that “A Gay Diary is, unquestionably, the richest historical document of gay male life in the United States that I have ever encountered…. It chronicles a whole life in which homosexuality is but one part and an ever-changing part at that…. It illuminates a critical period in gay male American history.” D’Emilio discusses the earlier years of the diary at some length in his Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities: The Making of a Homosexual Minority. Many of Vining’s original diaries for the 1932–1958 period are now at Yale University. There is a substantial archive of Vining’s playscripts, correspondence, and related material in the Humanities and Social Sciences Library of the New York Public Library. He died in New York City on January 24, 1998 at the age of 80, and is buried alongside Richmond Purinton at Forest Grove Cemetery, Augusta, Maine.

1923 – Fred G. Thompson was arrested and tried for the murder of Richard Tesmer. Thompson had posed as Mrs. Frances Carrick for the previous 14 years. Thompson/Carrick was found not guilty. The judge ruled that Frank Carrick, husband of Fred/Frances, did not have to testify due to spousal immunity. The jury acquitted her after two hours. Fred G. Thompson was born in Columbus, Ohio. At age thirteen, his father kicked him out, and he went to Chicago, started living as female and took a job as a chambermaid. Later Frances used her high soprano voice and became a singer in a cabaret. In 1912 Frances married Frank Carrick, a chauffeur, in Crown Point, Indiana. The two of them were arrested on suspicion that there was something amiss in their relationship but they were able to produce a valid marriage license and so were let go.

1940 – John Mahoney (June 20, 1940 – February 4, 2018)is a BritishAmericanactor born on this day in Blackpool, LancashireEngland. Mahoney started his career on the stage in 1977 as the body double for Steve McQueen and moved into film in 1980. He also worked as a voice actor, and performed on Broadway and in Chicago theatre. He is best known for his role as the retired police officer father of Kelsey Grammer’s character, Dr. Frasier Crane, in the popular American TV series “Frasier.” Along with David Hyde Pierce, Mahoney is godfather to Frasier co-star Jane Leeves‘ son, Finn. Mahoney scarcely talked about his private life, but in a 2002 article he revealed he has been in several relationships, although he has never married. Mahoney lived in Oak Park, Illinois. He died in a Chicago hospice on February 4, 2018, ofcomplicationsfromthroat cancer, originally diagnosed in 2014. He was 77 years old. 

1950 – Ellen Ratner (born June 20, 1950) is a publicly gay American news analyst on the Fox News Channel and appears on The Strategy Room and The Long and Short of It. She is also White House correspondent and bureau chief for Talk Media News, which she also manages, covering the White House and is heard on more than 400 radio stations across the US. Her brothers are New York City-based developer Bruce Ratner and the late human rights attorney Michael Ratner. Ratner attended Goddard College and Harvard for a Masters in Education. She is married to Cleveland resident Cholene Espinoza, the second woman to fly the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft in the U.S. Air Force.She is a military correspondent for Talk Radio News Service 

1952 – Indian poet, novelist, travel writer, librettist, children’s writer, biographer and memoirist Vikram Seth (June 20, 1952) is born. He has received several awards including Padma ShriSahitya Akademi AwardPravasi Bharatiya SammanWH Smith Literary Awardand Crossword Book Award. Seth’s collections of poetry such as Mappings and Beastly Tales are notable contributions to the Indian English language poetry canon. One of the most celebrated writers of his generation, Seth has expressly acknowledged his ten-year relationship with his former partner violinist Philippe Honore (born March 21, 1967).

1955 – Everette Lynn Harris (June 20, 1955 – July 23, 2009) was born on this day. He was an American author and openly gay. He was best known for his depictions of African-Americanmen who were on the down-lowand closeted. He authored ten consecutive books that reached The New York Times Best Seller list, making him among the most successful African-American or gay authors of his era. His best-selling novels explored the lives of black men in gay relationships. Harris was born in Michigan and worked as a computer salesman before taking up writing. He self-published his first book Invisible Lifein 1991. After struggling with his sexuality, he became one of the pioneers of gay black fiction. He died of heart disease in Los Angeles.

1966 – A four-part series on Chicago’s homosexuals began in the Chicago Daily News. It presented gays as deviants and transvestites.

1974 – The Lesbian Herstory Archives is founded. Lesbian members of the Gay Academic Union had organized a group to discuss sexism within that organization. Co-founders Joan Nestle(born May 12, 1940), Deborah EdelSahli CavalloPamela Oline, and Julia Stanleywanted to ensure that the stories of the lesbian community were protected for future generations. The  LHA is a New York City-based archive, community center, and museum dedicated to preserving lesbian history, located in Park SlopeBrooklyn. The Archives contain the world’s largest collection of materials by and about lesbians.[

1980 – The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence make their debut in San Francisco’s annual Gay Freedom Day Parade. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (SPI), also called Order of Perpetual Indulgence (OPI) is a charity, protest, and street performance organization that uses drag and religious imagery to call attention to sexual intolerance and satirizes issues of gender and morality. At their inception in 1979, a small group of gay men in San Francisco began wearing the attire of nuns in visible situations using high camp to draw attention to social conflicts and problems in the Castro District. In San Francisco alone where they continue to be the most active, between 1979 and 2007 the Sisters are credited with raising over $1 million for various causes, or almost $40,000 on average per year. Over the years the Sisters have named as saints hundreds of people who have helped on various projects behind the scenes organizing, coordinating actions or projects, performing at events as an artist or emcee or even serving the greater LGBT community. Rarely but sometimes they canonize community heroes who have recently died. It is customary for the Sisters to award sainthood with the addition of an elaborate “saint name”.

1988 – Tucson Mayor Thomas J. Volgy declares Lesbian/Gay Pride Week. He was the first mayor in the southwest to publicly issue such a proclamation.

1990 – President Bush declines an invitation to attend the 6th International Conference on AIDS and instead sponsors a fundraising event for homophobe hate-monger Jesse Helms.

1998, France – 50,000 people demonstrate in Paris to demand the legalization of same-sex marriage.

2003, Egypt – An Israeli tourist, charged with homosexuality, is held for 15 days in an Egyptian jail.

2009 – World Refugee Day. “World Refugee Day will go unnoticed by the majority of the world … Many are running for their lives on this day or dying. But whether it is noticed or not, today stands as one of the most important days of the year. It is a day of respect and remembrance for the most vulnerable people in the world.” – Angelina Jolie, Goodwill Ambassador, UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the U.N. refugee agency)

2013 – Exodus International, a group that claims it could cure same-sex attraction through prayer and therapy, announces it will close its doors after more than three decades. The organization’s leader, John Paulk (born April 13, 1963), who admitted to his own “ongoing same-sex attractions,” apologizes to gays, saying, “I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change.” 

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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