Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe. —Elie Wiesel
Learning our history IS resistance! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!
Today in LGBT History – June 30 June is LGBT Pride month!
1865 – Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) is fired from his job in the U.S. Dept. of the Interior on moral grounds after his boss finds an 1860 copy of Leaves of Grass. He was an American poet, essayist, and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalismand realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. His work was controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass, which was described as obscene for its overt sexuality. Though biographers continue to debate Whitman’s sexuality, he is usually described as either homosexual or bisexual in his feelings and attractions. His poetry depicts love and sexuality in a more earthy, individualistic way common in American culture before the medicalization of sexuality in the late 19th century. Though Leaves of Grass was often labeled pornographic or obscene, only one critic remarked on its author’s presumed sexual activity: in a November 1855 review, Rufus Wilmot Griswold suggested Whitman was guilty of “that horrible sin not to be mentioned among Christians.”Peter Doyle (June 3, 1843- April 19, 1907)was most likely the love of Whitman’s life.
1919, Germany – The film entitled Different from the Othersis released. It’s one of the first sympathetic portrayals of homosexuals. It wasproduced during the Weimar Republic, starring Conrad Veidt and Reinhold Schünzel. The story was co-written by Richard Oswald and Dr. Magnus Hirschfeldwho also had a small part in the film and partially funded the production through his Institute for Sexual Science, with the aim of presenting the story as a polemic against the then-current laws under Germany’s Paragraph 175which made homosexuality a criminal offense.
1957 – Ilene Chaiken (born June 30, 1957) is an American television producer, director, writer, and founder of Little Chicken Productions. Chaiken is best known as the co-creator, writer and executive producer of the television series The L Wordand is an executive producer on the hit television series Empire.Chaiken has been married to LouAnne Brickhouse, a former executive at Disney, since 2013.. Chaiken is co-parent to twin daughters Tallulah and Augusta with her former partner, English architect Miggi Hood.
1969 – In Kew Gardens, Queens, New York, a vigilante group cuts down trees and bushes in a local park popular as a gay male cruising area. Lamenting the loss of greenery, The New York Times runs nine different articles on the ensuing controversy. The Stonewall Uprising and the protests that follow are mentioned a total of three times.
1969 – Ben Patrick Johnson (June 30, 1969) is born. He is a model and voice-over actor. Johnson’s first national exposure came in 1994 when he was chosen as co-host for Extra, the TV entertainment magazine show. Extrademoted Johnson to Senior Correspondent shortly after he came out as gay in the LGBT press and on KABC talk radiowhere he had been director of production prior to Extra. Warner Bros. Television, the producers of Extra, declined to comment on the demotion.
1973, Canada – The first lesbian conference in Canada is held at the YWCA in Toronto.
1979 – A group of 40 people in Cincinnati, Ohio who had reserved a city park pool for a gay pride party were outnumbered and attacked by local residents who threw rocks and bottles at them. Police arrived, watched for a while, and then drove away. One man had to be rescued by a television news crew. Police refused to return even after several calls reporting a riot.
1981 – Florida governor Bob Graham signs the Bush-Trask Amendment into law. It denies state funding (including football money and scholarships) to any university or college that allows gay student organizations. The Florida (Gay and Lesbian Civil Right) Task Force, led by Ronni Sanlo (born March 20, 1947) and several teachers’ organizations fought the amendment in the Florida Supreme Court where it was struck down as unconstitutional.
1984 – The Unitarian Church votes to approve ceremonies uniting same-sex couples.
1986 – The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the sodomy law in the Bowers v. Hardwickdecision that criminalizes sex in private between consenting homosexual adults. The ruling is overturned in 2003 in the Lawrence v. Texasdecision.
1990 – A wreath is laid at the London Cenotaph in memory of gays killed during the Holocaust. Estimates are that 250,000 gay men were murdered in the death camps, with an unknown number of lesbians killed.
2005, Spain –In Madrid, the Parliament legalizes same-sex marriage, defying conservatives and clergy who opposed making traditionally Roman Catholic Spain the third country to allow same-sex unions.
2006 U.K. – Gay and lesbian naval personnel march in full uniform for the first time at the inaugural EuroPride parade. More than 40 sailors, ranging from able seamen to Royal Navy reserve commanders, led the parade in London. It was the first time that any military organization in the world allowed gay and lesbian service personnel to march in uniform at such an event. In 2000, the UK passed a landmark ruling to allow gay people to serve openly in the British armed forces.
2013, Russia – Putin signs an anti-gay propaganda law. The Russian federal law “for the Purpose of Protecting Children from Information Advocating for a Denial of Traditional Family Values”, also known in English-language media as the gay propaganda lawand the anti-gay law,is a bill that was unanimously approved by the State Duma on June 11, 2013, with MP Ilya Ponomarevas the only abstention.
2016 – Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announces that the Pentagon is lifting the ban on transgender people serving openly in the US military. The decision removes one of the last remaining barriers to LGBT participation in the armed forces.
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(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!)