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 24
LGBTQ PRIDE: 50 Years since Stonewall
1730, Amsterdam – Five men who had been found guilty of sodomy two days earlier are executed. Pietr Marteyn, Janes Sohn, and Johannes Keep are strangled and burned. Maurits van Eeden and Cornelis Boes are drowned in a barrel of water.
1895 – An article in the New York Times about intimacy between women states that fidelity could not exist between women because “there are no Davids and Jonathans among women.” The author claims that fundamental antagonism exists between women, and it is in woman’s nature to lack humanity.
1952 – Dale Jennings is arrested in his own home in Los Angeles for lewd conduct. Harry Hay and other Mattachine members create the Citizens Committee to Outlaw Entrapment to raise funds for Jennings’ legal defense and to publicize the case. William Dale Jennings (October 21, 1917 – May 11, 2000) was an American LGBT rights activist, playwright and author.
1970 – Police in New York City arrest Gay Activists Alliance members Tom Doerr (1947 – August 2, 1987), Arthur Evans (October 12, 1942– September 11, 2011), Jim Owles, Phil Raia, and Marty Robinson for staging a sit-in at the headquarters of the Republican State Committee. The men, who wanted to present their demands for “fair employment” practices to New York State Governor Nelson Rockefeller, become known as the Rockefeller Five.
1970 – Myra Breckinridge,starring Mae West and Raquel Welch, debuts. Myra Breckinridge is a 1970 American comedy film based on Gore Vidal‘s (October 3, 1925 – July 31, 2012)1968 novel of the same name. The film was directed by Michael Sarne, and featured Raquel Welch in the title role. It also starred John Huston as Buck Loner, Mae West as Leticia Van Allen, Farrah Fawcett, Rex Reed, Roger Herren, and Roger C. Carmel. Tom Selleck made his film debut in a small role as one of Leticia’s “studs”. Theadora Van Runkle was costume designer for the film, though Edith Headdesigned West’s costumes. Like the novel, the picture follows the exploits of Myron Breckinridge, a gay man who has a sex change and becomes Myra Breckinridge. She goes to Hollywood to turn it inside out. The picture was controversial for its sexual explicitness but unlike the novel, Myra Breckinridge received little to no critical praise and has been cited as one of the worst films ever made.
1971 – The Gay Activists Alliance hold a candlelight march to City Hall in New York to support a bill that would have added sexual orientation to New York City’s Human Rights Law.
1973 – In the final day of New Orleans Pride Weekend, the UpStairs Lounge, a gay bar located on the second floor of the three-story building at 141 Chartres Street in the French Quarterof New Orleans, Louisiana, was arsoned. Thirty-two people died as a result of fire or smoke inhalation. The official cause is still listed as “undetermined origin.”The most likely suspect, a gay man who had been thrown out of the bar earlier in the day, was never charged. He took his own life in November of 1974. Until the 2016 Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting, it was the deadliest known attack on a gay club in U.S. history.
1976, Canada – Gay activist Stuart Russell, along with four others, are fired from the Olympic organizing committee in Montreal for political activity and sexual orientation.
1978, Australia – Two thousand people march for gay rights in Sydney. Police revoke their permission to march and people were arrested and outed in the newspapers. This event is the beginning of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
1980, Canada – In Vancouver the Gay Alliance Toward Equality (GATE), one of Canada’s oldest and most active gay rights organizations, announces dissolution.
1984, The Netherlands – Rev. Herman Verbeek (17 May 1936 – 1 February 2013)of The Netherlands, the first openly gay member of the European Parliament, takes office. He was a priest in the diocese of Groningen, but in 1999, he was openly in conflict with the Groningen bishop about his views on sexuality, becoming openly gay.
1990 – Activists associated with Queer Nation distribute a manifesto emblazoned with the words “Queers Read This” at New York City’s annual Pride Celebration march. Headlined “I Hate Straights” and signed “Anonymous Queers,” the broadsheet is a harbinger of revitalized militancy among lesbian and gay activists.
1994, Philippines – The first Gay Pride march in Asia is celebrated in the Philippines.
2011 – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signs a law legalizing same-sex marriage. The law takes effect July 24th. The lawmore than doubles the number of Americans living in gay marriage states.
2016 – President Barack Obama announces the designation of the first national monument to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. The Stonewall National Monumentencompasses Christopher Park, the Stonewall Inn and the surrounding streets and sidewalks that were the sites of the 1969 Stonewall uprising.
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!)