My wife Kelly has begun naming three things that bring joy into her life each day and now I’m doing it, too. It’s a lovely way to review our days and to remind myself that there are so many things for which to be grateful. In this crazy political day, it’s a refreshing way to remember that there are many good things for which to be thankful. As I write this morning, this place brings such joy to my heart: the fragrance of the forest and the sea together, the eagles fishing off the snag in our back yard, the stunning sunrises over Mt. Baker, the glorious sunsets over the Pacific, our home, our family and friends… and especially, I’m thankful for the joy I feel each day with Kelly. Life is good indeed….
Today in LGBT History – June 5
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.
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.
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, 5 young men, all active homosexuals, were treated for biopsy-confirmed Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia at 3 different hospitals in Los Angeles, California.”
1984 – Rock Hudson (born Roy Harold Scherer, Jr.; November 17, 1925 – October 2, 1985) becomes the first major celebrity to be diagnosed with HIV but he doesn’t announce it until1985. 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, 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-Notes is 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, printed on 8.5×11 paper and distributed by the now defunct Queen City Quordinators, a local non-profit LGBT community organization. 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 Anita has 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.
The best resistance is to speak OUT!
(Historical information obtained from a variety of sources including QUIST at facebook.com/quistapp, Back2Stonewall.com, Lavender Effect, Arron’s Gay Info, All Things Queer, RS Levinson, 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!)