Today in LGBT History – June 20

I find it beyond ironic that a Republican senator who is an NRA supporter and a homophobe was shot by man wielding a rifle, saved by a Black lesbian police officer, then underwent surgery with a Muslim physician. I hope he has enough courage to change his stance on his isms and his wrong-sided gun laws.

To make it even worse (well, for me), at the College Republican National Committee convention on Friday, featured speaker Caitlyn Jenner joked about an attack on a group of Republican lawmakers, saying, “Liberals can’t even shoot straight.” Caitlyn, if it weren’t for liberals, you’d be just another transperson on the street. To quote Mike Piazza again this week, Caitlyn Jenner “has lived a life of extraordinary white privilege but, like the turtle on the fence post, has no recognition that she didn’t get there by herself. She has the luxury to ridicule liberals because liberals sacrificed, fought, and, yes, in some cases, died to win her acceptance and support for making her transition… Race, fame, and money may buy her access, comfort, and toleration. We “liberals,” however, are the only reason she has any equality or civil rights, and ingratitude is a sure sign of someone with a tiny soul.”


Today in LGBT History – June 20

1732 – The Georgia Colony was established with English Law automatically established, 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 Truman Capote and Howard Hughes.

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of the first volume of the diary in Body PoliticJohn D’Emilio said that “A Gay Diary is, unquestionably, the richest historical document of gay male life in the United States that I have ever encountered….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, Kennebec County, 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) is a BritishAmerican actor 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 played Martin Crane in the American sitcom Frasier on NBC from 1993 to 2004. He has 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 has scarcely talked about his private life,[5] but in a 2002 article he revealed he has been in several relationships, although he has never married.[6] Mahoney lives in Oak Park, Illinois.

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 Award and 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 Philippe Honore.

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-American men who were on the down-low and 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 Life,” in 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 who had organized a group to discuss sexism within that organization. Co-founders Joan NestleDeborah EdelSahli CavalloPamela Oline, and Julia Stanley wanted 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”.

1981, Canada – In Montreal the third annual Gay Pride Week (called “Gai-e lon la”) draws nearly fifteen thousand lesbians and gay men. It coincides with La fête nationale.

1988 – Tucson Mayor Thomas J. Volgy declares Lesbian/Gay Pride Week. He was the first mayor in the southwest to publically 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 – 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.

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, 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.”

Speak truth to power 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!)

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