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 3
1818, Greece – On this day the Lion of Chaeronea is discovered by a British architect named George Ledwell Taylor. The Lion was erected by the Sacred Band of Thebes which was a troop of select soldiers consisting of 150 pairs of male lovers which formed the elite force of the Theban army in the 4th century BC. Its predominance began with its crucial role in the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC. It was annihilated by Philip II of Macedon in the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC. Built to honor their dead, the statue was surrounded by 254 buried skeletons. Plutarch’s Life of Pelopidas, which contains the most detailed account of the Sacred Band, is considered a highly reliable account of the events. Chaeronea is a village in Boeotia, Greece,
1926 – Allen Ginsberg (June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997) is born. Irwin Allen Ginsberg was a gay American poet of Jewish origin, and one of the leading figures of both the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the counterculture that soon would follow. He vigorously opposed militarism, economic materialismand sexual repression and was known as embodying various aspects of this counterculture, such as his views on drugs, hostility to bureaucracy and openness to Eastern religions. Ginsberg is best known for his poem “Howl” in which he denounced what he saw as the destructive forces of capitalismand conformity in the United States. In 1956, “Howl” was seized by San Francisco police and US Customs. In 1957, it attracted widespread publicity when it became the subject of an obscenity trial, as it described heterosexual and homosexual sex at a time when sodomy laws made homosexual acts a crime in every U.S. state.
1948 – The Kinsey Report on male sexuality is published, shocking the nation with its revelation of the high incidence of same-sex acts among American men.
1967 – Anderson Hays Cooper (born June 3, 1967) is an American journalist, television personality, and author. He is the primary anchor of the CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360°. The program is normally broadcast live from a New York City studio; however, Cooper often broadcasts live from CNN’s studios in Washington, D.C., or on location for breaking newsstories. In addition, he is a major correspondent for 60 Minutes. Cooper was born in New York City, the younger son of the writer Wyatt Emory Cooper and the artist, fashion designer, writer, and heiress Gloria Vanderbilt. Cooper is openly gay; according to The New York Times, he is “the most prominent openly gay journalist on American television.”Cooper and his boyfriend, gay bar owner Benjamin Maisani (born Jan. 27, 1973) have been dating since 2009. Cooper considered coming out to the public when same-sex marriage became legal in New York in July 2011. In 2014, the couple purchased the Rye House, a historic estate in Connecticut. AppleCEO Tim Cook(born November 1, 1960)turned to Cooper for advice before he subsequently made the decision to publicly come out as gay.
1989 – The United States postal service supposedly issues the first “Lesbian and Gay Pride” postage stamp. If anyone can find a photo or graphic of it, please message it to me. Thanks!
1991 – Eva Le Gallienne (January 11, 1899 – June 3, 1991) dies. She was a British-born American stage actress, producer, director, translator, and author. A Broadway star by age 21, Le Gallienne consciously ended her work on Broadway to devote herself to founding and running the Civic Repertory Theater, in which she was both director, producer, and lead actress. Noted for her boldness and idealism, she became a pioneering figure in the American Repertory Movement, which enabled today’s Off-Broadway. A versatile and eloquent actress herself (playing everything from Peter Pan to Hamlet), Le Gallienne also became a respected stage coach, director, producer and manager. The Civic Repertory Theatre Company was backed by the financial support of one of her lovers, Alice DeLamar(April 23, 1895 – August 31, 1983), a wealthy Colorado gold mine heiress. Le Gallienne never hid her lesbianism inside the acting community, but reportedly was never comfortable with her sexuality, struggling privately with it. In 1918, while in Hollywood, she began an affair with the actress Alla Nazimova(May 22, 1879 – July 13, 1945)who was at her height of fame, and who at that time wielded much power in the acting community. The affair ended reportedly due to Nazimova’s jealousy. Nonetheless, Nazimova liked Le Gallienne very much, and assisted in her being introduced to many influential people of the day. It was Nazimova who coined the phrase “sewing circles” to describe the intricate and secret lesbian relationships lived by many actresses of the day. Le Gallienne also was involved for some time with actresses Tallulah Bankhead (January 31, 1902 – December 12, 1968),Beatrice Lillie(29 May 1894 – 20 January 1989) and Laurette Taylor(April 1, 1883 – December 7, 1946)during that time.
2000, Italy – Italian Agricultural Minister Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio (born 13 March 1959)announces that he’s bisexual, becoming the first openly bi member of the Italian government.
2007, Japan – The first openly lesbian politician, Kanako Otsuji (born December 16, 1974),holds a public wedding ceremony with her partner of four years, Maki Kimura, despite lack of legal recognition. Kanakois a Japanese LGBT rights activist and member of the House of Representatives for the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan. She is also former member of the House of Councilors. She was also a member of the Osaka Prefectural Assembly (April 2003–April 2007). One of only seven women in the 110-member Osaka Assembly, Otsuji represented the Sakai-ku, Sakai City constituency. In May 2013, after her party member of the House resigned, Otsuji became the nation’s first openly homosexual member of the Diet, but her term in office expired in July. She won a seat in the 2017 general election and became the first openly homosexual member of the House of Representatives.
2012, Argentina – A six-year-old girl named Luana, who was born male, becomes the first transgender child in Argentina to have her new name officially changed on her identity documents. She is believed to be the youngest to have her gender identity officially acknowledged anywhere.
2018 – Guyana held its first gay pride parade, with the country’s gay rights activists accusing the three-year old government as well as the opposition of breaking their election campaign promises to outlaw discrimination against vulnerable groups.Guyana which was the site of the infamous Reverend Jim Jones and the Jonestown mass suicide in 1978 is the only country in South America where homosexuality remains criminalized, with sentences which can include life imprisonment, although they are rarely enforced.
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!)