Today in LGBT History – June 5

We should indeed keep calm in the face of difference, and live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the diversity of humanity.  —George Takei

Learning our history IS resistance! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!


Today in LGBT History – June 5: June is LGBT Pride month!

1465, Spain – In a location around Ávila, a group of Castilian noblemen depose King Henry IV (Enrique IV) of Castile(5 January 1425 – 11 December 1474)  in effigy instead proclaimed his half-brother Prince Alfonso, better known as Alfonso the Innocent, as king. This ceremony became known by its detractors as the farce of Ávila. The accusations against the king: he was sympathetic with Moslems; he was a homosexual; he was of peaceful character; and he was not the true father of his daughter, the infanta Juana. As each charge is read, one of the symbols of rank is removed from the statue. Finally, with the cry “¡A tierra, puto!” the statue was thrown from the platform while the mob laments the death of the king. Then Enrique’s half-brother, Alfonso, age 12, was brought forth, proclaimed and crowned the new king.

1887 – Ruth Fulton Benedict (June 5, 1887 – September 17, 1948) is born. She was an American anthropologist and folklorist. She entered graduate studies at Columbia University in 1921, where she studied under Franz Boas. She received her PhD and joined the faculty in 1923. Margaret Mead(December 16, 1901 – November 15, 1978), with whom she shared a romantic relationship, and Marvin Opler, were among her students and colleagues.A U.S. 46¢ Great Americans series postage stamp in her honor was issued on October 20, 1995. Benedict College in Stony Brook University has been named after her.

1967 – A Los Angeles homophile group called Pride mobilizes a crowd of several hundred demonstrators on Sunset Boulevard to protest police raids on gay bars.

1974 – Chad Allen (born June 5, 1974) is an American actor. Beginning his career at the age of seven, Allen is a three-time Young Artist Award winner and GLAAD Media Award honoree. He was a teen idol during the late 1980s as David Witherspoon on the NBC family drama Our House and as Zach Nichols on the NBC sitcom My Two Dads before transitioning to an adult career as Matthew Cooper on the CBSwestern drama Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman. He announced his retirement from acting in April 2015. In November 2006, The Los Angeles Daily News wrote in passing that Allen’s partner, actor Jeremy Glazer (born November 1, 1978), was also in the film Save Me. In a September 2008 interview with Out.com, Allen stated that he was currently in a three-year relationship and had been sober for eight years. In May 2009, Allen was the recipient of a GLAAD Media Award: the Davidson/Valentini Award.

1981 – HIV/AIDS (though these words are not used yet) is first mentioned in print. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)– June 5, 1981 / Vol. 30 / No. 21- reports the case of an unusual pneumonia in Los Angeles. “In the period October 1980-May 1981, five young men, all active homosexuals, were treated for biopsy-confirmed Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia at three different hospitals in Los Angeles, California.”

1984 – Rock Hudson (November 17, 1925 – October 2, 1985) becomes the first major celebrity to be diagnosed with HIV but he doesn’t announce it until 1985. He was a prominent actor and ‘heartthrob’ of the Hollywood Golden Age. Hudson was voted Star of the Year, Favorite Leading Man, and similar titles by numerous film magazines. He completed nearly 70 films and starred in several television productions during a career that spanned more than four decades. He was nominated for an Oscar in 1956 for Giant. Hudson died from AIDS-related complications in 1985, becoming the first major celebrity to die from an AIDS-related illness. According to some colleagues, Hudson’s homosexual activity was well known in Hollywood throughout his career,and former co-stars Elizabeth Taylor and Susan Saint James claimed that they knew of his homosexuality as did Carol Burnett. Hudson’s revelation had an immediate impact on the visibility of AIDS, and on the funding of medical research related to the disease. Among activists who were seeking to de-stigmatize AIDS and its victims, Hudson’s revelation of his own infection with the disease was viewed as an event that could transform the public’s perception of AIDS. Following Hudson’s death, Marc Christian(June 23, 1953-June 12, 2009), Hudson’s former lover, 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. 

1986 – The first issue of Q-Notesis published. Q-Notes is a newsletter of the Charlotte, NC organization called Queer City Quordinators. It transitions to a bi-weekly newspaper and is now on line. It is the largest LGBT print news publication in the Southeast. Q-Notes was originally started in 1983 as a monthly newsletter, named Queen City Notes On May 12, 2006, Q-Notes merged with the Raleigh, N.C., based The Front Page, a Raleigh, N.C. LGBT newspaper founded in 1979.

2010 – Portugal becomes the eighth country to approve same-sex marriage.

2014 – The documentary Letter to Anitahas its world premiere at the Pride of the Ocean Film Festival. LETTER TO ANITA is the heart-wrenching story of Anita Bryant’s anti-gay campaign, its shattering effect on one Florida family, and the redemptive power of forgiveness. The Andrea Meyerson film is narrated by Meredith Baxter and tells a story of LGBT history through the journey of activist and educator Ronni Sanlo. Sanlo’s wife Kelly Watson is executive producer.


Stand up, speak out, share your story!

Warmly,

Ronni

 

(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 ronnisanlo@gmail.com. Thanks!)

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