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 29
LGBTQ PRIDE: 50 Years since Stonewall
1626, Vatican City – Pope Urban the Eighth gives Catalina de Erauso (Feb. 10, 1592-1650) the right to live as a man named Francisco de Loyola who became a conquistador. Catalina de Erauso (in Spanish) or Katalina Erauso (in Basque), also known in Spanish as La Monja Alférez was a personality of the Basque Country, Spain and Spanish America in the first half of the 17th century. For nearly 400 years, Catalina Erauso’s story has remained alive through historical studies, biographical stories, novels, movies and comics. New scholarship has questioned Erauso’s sexual orientation and gender identity. While Erauso never mentions specifically in his memoir being attracted to a man, there are numerous instances of relationships with other women.
1892, Germany – Henry Gerber (June 29, 1892– December 31, 1972) is born in Bavaria. He emigrated to the United States in 1913. He and others in his family settled in Chicago because of its large German immigrant population.In 1917, Gerber was briefly committed to a mental institution because of his homosexuality. When the United States declared war on Germany, Gerber was given a choice: be interned as an enemy alien or enlist in the Army. Gerber chose the Army and was assigned to work as a printer and proofreader with the Allied Army of Occupation in Coblenz. During his time in Germany, Gerber learned about Magnus Hirschfeld (14 May 1868 – 14 May 1935) and the work he and his Scientific-Humanitarian Committee were doing to reform anti-homosexual German law, especially Paragraph 175which criminalized sex between men. Gerber traveled to Berlin which supported a thriving gay subculture and subscribed to at least one homophile magazine.He absorbed Hirschfeld’s ideas, including the notion that homosexual men were naturally effeminate.Following his military service, Gerber returned to the United States and went to work for the post office in Chicago. He created the first gay rights organization in the United States, the Society for Human Rights which received a charter from the State of Illinois, and produced the first American publication for homosexuals, Friendship and Freedom.A few months after being chartered, the group ceased to exist in the wake of the arrest of several of the Society’s members including Henry. Despite its short existence and small size, the Society has been recognized as a precursor to the modern gay liberation movement.
1936, Germany – In preparing Berlin for the Olympics, 52 gay men were taken to Mauthausen concentration camp.
1968, West Germany – The anti-gay Paragraph 175, adopted in 1871, is eased. After WWII, gay men liberated from the concentration camps were sent to prison rather than set free. Those still alive in 1968 were finally released. Paragraph 175was repealed in 1994.
1969 – New York City’s Mattachine Action Committee issues a flier urging organized demonstrations in protest of the previous night’s police raid on the Stonewall Inn.
1972, Canada – Gays demonstrate at Queen’s Park (site of the Ontario legislature in Toronto) to protest the omission of sexual orientation from amendments to Ontario Human Rights Code then being considered by legislature. It is the first public gay action around rights code reform.
1973 – The first bisexual religious organization, The Committee of Friends of Bisexuality, is founded by Stephen Donaldson (July 27, 1946 – July 18, 1996)(aka Donny the Punk) in Ithaca, New York. They issue the “Ithaca Statement on Bisexuality” supporting bisexuals. The Statement, which may have been “the first public declaration of the bisexual movement” and “was certainly the first statement on bisexuality issued by an American religious assembly,” appeared in the Quaker Friends Journal and The Advocate in 1972.
1977 – Coors Beer Company takes out a full-page ad in The Advocate announcing that the Coors family did not contribute in any way to the defeat of Miami’s gay rights ordinance. Coors was already reeling from a union boycott.
1977, Canada – A Gallup Poll shows that 52 percent of Canadians believe gay people should be protected against discrimination under new Canadian Human Rights Act.
1989 – The Washington Times reports that VIP officials in the Reagan and Bush administrations were implicated in a federal investigation into a gay prostitution ring. After being identified as one of those under investigation, Elizabeth Dole’s adviser Paul Balach was forced to resign. Republican National Committee chairman Lee Atwater stated that it was wrong for people to be forced out of their jobs because of something that is strictly a personal matter.
1993, Ireland – Ireland decriminalizes same-sex relations for consenting adults and sets the age of consent at 17 for all sexual activities.
1998 – Researchers at the 12th World Conference on AIDS report that a drug-resistant strain of HIV had been identified.
1999– California adopts a domestic partner law allowing same-sex couples equal rights, responsibilities, benefits, and protections as married couples. Enacted in 1999, the domestic partnership registry was the first of its kind in the United States created by a legislature without court intervention. Initially, domestic partnerships enjoyed very few privileges—principally just hospital-visitation rights and the right to be claimed as a next of kin of the estate of a deceased partner.
2002, Croatia – The first Pride parade, in Zagreb, occurs.
2008 – Thomas Beatie (January 20, 1974), a transman, gives birth. Born Tracy Lehuanani LaGondino, he s an American public speaker, author, and advocate of transgender and sexuality issues with a focus on trans fertility and reproductive rights. Beatie had gender reassignment surgery in 2002 and became known as ‘The Pregnant Man’ after he became pregnant through artificial insemination in 2007. Beatie chose to become pregnant because his wife Nancy was infertile. Beatie’s first pregnancy resulted in an ectopic pregnancy with triplets, requiring emergency surgery and resulting in the loss of all three fetuses. Beatie has since given birth to three children. The couple filed for divorce in 2012. The Beatie case is the first of its kind on record, where a documented legal male gave birth within a traditional marriage to a woman, and for the first time, a court challenged a marriage where the husband gave birth.
2009 – The U.S. government apologizes to openly gay Frank Kameny (May 21, 1925 – October 11, 2011) for firing him in 1957. John Berry, Director of the Office of Personnel Management in the Obama administration, formally apologizes and presents Kameny with the Theodore Roosevelt Award, the department’s most prestigious honor. Kameny was an American gay rights activist, referred to as “one of the most significant figures” in the American gay rights movement. In 1957, Kameny was dismissed from his position as an astronomer in the U.S. Army‘s Army Map Service in Washington, D.C. because of his homosexuality, leading him to begin “a Herculean struggle with the American establishment” that would “spearhead a new period of militancy in the homosexual rights movement of the early 1960s.” Kameny formally appealed his firing by the U.S. Civil Service Commission. Although unsuccessful, the proceeding was notable as the first known civil rights claim based on sexual orientation pursued in a U.S. court.
2012– Fred Karger (January 31, 1950) ends his bid for president, making him the nation’s first openly gay Republican presidential candidate. He did not get far. Karger is an American political consultant, gay rights activist and watchdog, former actor, and politician. His unsuccessful candidacy for the Republican nomination for the 2012 U.S. Presidential electionmade him the first openly gay presidential candidate in a major political party in American history. Although he had not held elected or public office, Karger has worked on nine presidential campaigns and served as a senior consultant to the campaigns of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Gerald Ford. Karger was a partner at the Dolphin Group, a California campaign consulting firm. He retired after 27 years and has since worked as an activist on gay rights causes including protecting the gay bar The Boom by using his organization Californians Against Hate to investigate The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) as well as the National Organization for Marriage‘s campaigns to repeal the state’s same-sex marriage law.
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!)
For references and a complete listing today’s events, please go to my blog at www.ronnisanlo.com/blog