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 25
LGBTQ PRIDE: 50 Years since Stonewall
1844 – Thomas Cowperthwait Eakins (July 25, 1844 – June 25, 1916) was an American realistpainter, photographer,sculptor, and fine arts educator who is born on this day. He is widely acknowledged to be one of the most important artists in American art history. No less important in Eakins’ life was his work as a teacher. As an instructor he was a highly influential presence in American art. The difficulties which beset him as an artist seeking to paint the portrait and figure realistically were paralleled and even amplified in his career as an educator, where behavioral and sexual scandals truncated his success and damaged his reputation. Eakins was a controversial figure whose work received little by way of official recognition during his lifetime. Since his death, he has been celebrated by American art historians as “the strongest, most profound realist in nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century American art.” The nature of Eakins sexuality and its impact on his art is a matter of intense scholarly debate. Strong circumstantial evidence points to Eakins having been accused of homosexuality during his lifetime, and there is little doubt that he was attracted to men, as evidenced in his photography, and three major paintings where male buttocks are a focal point: The Gross Clinic, William Rush, and The Swimming Hole. The latter, in which Eakins appears, is increasingly seen as sensuous and autobiographical.
1962 – U.S. Supreme Court rules in MANual v. Daythat photos of nude and semi-nude men designed to appeal to homosexuals are not obscene and may be sent through the U.S. mail. It was the first case in which the Court engaged in plenary review of a Post Office Department order holding obscene matter “nonmailable.”
1963 – Openly gay pop star George Michael is born on this day in 1963. Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou (June, 25 1963 – December 25, 2016), known professionally as George Michael, was an English singer, songwriter, record producer, and philanthropist who rose to fame as a member of the music duo Wham! He was best known for his work in the 1980s and 1990s, including hit singles such as “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and “Last Christmas“, and albums such as Faith (1987) and Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 (1990). Since 2012, Michael had been in a relationship with Fadi Fawaz, an Australian celebrity hairstylist and a freelance photographer of Lebanese descent based in London.It was Fawaz who found Michael’s body on Christmas morning 2016.
1970 – The Vatican issues a statement reaffirming its stance that homosexual unions are a “moral aberration that cannot be approved by human conscience.”
1972 – The Rev. Dr. William R. Johnson (born June 12, 1946 in Houston, Texas) was the first openly gay person ordained in the United Church of Christ (UCC) and the first such person ordained in the history of Christianity. His ordination took place on June 25, 1972 at the Community UCC in San Carlos, California, authorized by the Golden Gate Association of the Northern California/Nevada Conference UCC. His ordination is the subject of the Michael Rhodes documentary film, A Position of Faith (1973; released on video in 2005). Throughout his career, Bill provided counsel and support to hundreds of LGBT seminarians and clergypersons in the UCC and ecumenically. Bill was the primary author of the extensive body of social justice policies regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons adopted by UCC General Synods and the UCC Executive Council dating back to 1973. Bill Johnson retired from active ministry on July 1, 2013 at the 29th UCC General Synod in Long Beach, CA, having served in ministry for 41 years.
1972 – Jeanne Sobelson Manford (December 4, 1920 – January 8, 2013) marches with her son Morty in the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade in New York City. She carries as sign that reads: Parents of Gays: Unite in Support of Our Children. She is a co-founder of PFLAG, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays for which she was awarded the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal.
1977, Toronto – The newly formed Coalition to Stop Anita Bryant organizes demonstration in Toronto. It is the first of several coalitions and public actions across Canada reacting to Bryant’s anti-gay crusade.
1978 – First Rainbow flag, designed by Gilbert Baker (June 2, 1951 – March 31, 2017) flies at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day parade. Baker’s flag became widely associated with LGBT rightscauses, a symbol of gay pride that has become ubiquitous in the decades since its debut. In 2015, the Museum of Modern Art ranked the rainbow flag as an internationally recognized symbol as important as the recycling symbol.Baker died at home in his sleep on March 31, 2017 at age 65, in New York City. The New York City medical examiner’s office determined cause of death was hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.Upon Baker’s death, California state senator Scott Wiener said Baker “helped define the modern LGBT movement”. In Baker’s memory, NewFest and NYC Pride partnered with a design team to create ‘Gilbert’, a rainbow fontinspired by the Rainbow Flag.As well, on June 2, 2017, the 66th anniversary of his birth, Googlereleased a Google Doodle honoring Baker.
1979 – The opening of the movie Cruisingin New York is greeted by protests due to the nature of the depiction of “gay life” within the film. Cruising is an American crime thriller film written and directed by William Friedkin, and starring Al Pacino, Paul Sorvino and Karen Allen. It is loosely based on the novel of the same nameby The New York Times reporter Gerald Walker, about a serial killer targeting gay men, in particular those associated with the leather scene. The title is a play on words with a dual meaning, as “cruising” can describe police officers on patrol and also cruising for sex.
1984, France – Michel Foucault dies of AIDS in Paris. Michel Foucault (October 15, 1926 – June 25, 1984) dies, He was a French philosopher, historian of ideas, social theorist, and literary critic. Foucault’s theories primarily addressed the relationship between power and knowledge, and how they are used as a form of social control through societal institutions. Though often cited as a post-structuralist and postmodernist, Foucault rejected these labels, preferring to present his thought as a critical history of modernity. His thought has influenced academics, especially those working in sociology, cultural studies, literary theory and critical theory. Activist groups have also found his theories compelling. Foucault died in Paris of neurological problems compounded by HIV/AIDS; He became the first public figure in France to die from the disease, his partner sociologist Daniel Defert (born 10 September 1937) founded the AIDES charity in his memory.
1985 – It is revealed that actor Rock Hudson is battling AIDS. Born Roy Harold Scherer, Jr. (November 17, 1925 – October 2, 1985), he was an American actor, generally known for his turns as a leading man during the 1950s and 1960s. Viewed as a prominent ‘heartthrob’ of the Hollywood Golden Age, he achieved stardom with roles in films such as Magnificent Obsession (1954), All That Heaven Allows (1955) and Giant (1956), and found continued success with a string of romantic comedies co-starring Doris Day in Pillow Talk (1959), Lover Come Back (1961) and Send Me No Flowers (1964). After appearing in films including Seconds (1966), Tobruk(1967) and Ice Station Zebra (1968) during the late 1960s, Hudson began a second career in television through the 1970s and 1980s, starring in the popular mysteryseries McMillan & Wife and the soap opera Dynasty. According to the 1986 biography Rock Hudson: His Story by Hudson and Sara Davidson, Hudson was good friends with American novelist Armistead Maupin. The book also names certain of Hudson’s lovers, including Jack Coates, Tom Clark (who published a memoir about Hudson, Rock Hudson: Friend of Mine), actor and stockbroker Lee Garlington, and Marc Christian who later won a suit against the Hudson estate. Following Hudson’s death, Marc Christian sued his estate on grounds of “intentional infliction of emotional distress”. Christian claimed that Hudson continued having sex with him until February 1985, more than eight months after Hudson knew that he had HIV. Although he repeatedly tested negative for HIV, Christian claimed that he suffered from “severe emotional distress” after learning from a newscast that Hudson had died of AIDS. For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Hudson was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (located at 6116 Hollywood Blvd). Following his death, Elizabeth Taylor, his co-star in the film Giant, purchased a bronze plaque for Hudson on the West Hollywood Memorial Walk. In 2002, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars was dedicated to him.
1993 – President Bill Clinton appoints Kristine Gebbie as the nation’s first AIDS coordinator. Dr. Gebbie is best known for being the first U.S. AIDS Czar, from 1993 to 1994, during the Clinton Administration. She was a member of the President’s Commission on the HIV Epidemic, formed by President Reagan, and an outspoken opponent of the Reagan Administration policies on AIDS testing.
1998 – actress Kathy Najimy (February 6, 1957)is an American actress and comedian. She thanks the participants in San Diego gay pride for “being here because your being here gives me the chance to help my daughter love whoever the f**k she wants.”
2006 – First Transgender Pride march with over 2000 people is held, in San Francisco.
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 email@example.com. Thanks!)