Today in LGBT History – JUNE 9

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 9

1892 – Cole Porter (June 9, 1891 – October 15, 1964) is born in Peru, Indiana. He was an American composer and songwriter. Classically trained, he was drawn towards musical theatre. After a slow start, he began to achieve success in the 1920s, and by the 1930s he was one of the major songwriters for the Broadway musical stage. Unlike many successful Broadway composers, Porter wrote the lyrics as well as the music for his songs. Porter maintained a luxury apartment in Paris, where he entertained lavishly. His parties were extravagant and scandalous, with “much gay and bisexual activity, Italian nobility, cross-dressing, international musicians and a large surplus of recreational drugs”.In 1918, he met Linda Lee Thomas, a rich, Louisville, Kentucky-born divorcée eight years his senior. She was beautiful and well-connected socially; the couple shared mutual interests, including a love of travel, and she became Porter’s confidant and companion. The couple married the following year. She was in no doubt about Porter’s homosexuality, but it was mutually advantageous for them to marry. For Linda, it offered continued social status and a partner who was the antithesis of her abusive first husband. For Porter, it brought a respectable heterosexual front in an era when homosexuality was not publicly acknowledged. They were, moreover, genuinely devoted to each other and remained married from December 19, 1919, until her death in 1954. Cary Grant played Porter in the film “Night and Day” which ignored Porter’s closeted gay life. Porter died of kidney failure on October 15, 1964, in Santa Monica, California, at the age of 73.

1918 – John Hospers (June 9, 1918 – June 12, 2011) is born. He was an American philosopher and political activist. In 1972 he was the first presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party. His libertarianism was inspired by Ayn Rand, the self-declared philosopher and cult hero of the free market, with whom he was, for a limited time, close friends.He was emeritus professor in philosophy at the University of Southern California. Many contemporaries considered him to be the first openly gay candidate for President but since his death his family have strenuously denied that he was gay. 

1927 – Victoria Woodhull (September 23, 1838 – June 9, 1927), one of the primary leaders of the woman’s suffragemovement, dies. In 1872, Woodhull was the first female candidatefor President of the United Statesfrom the Equal Rights Party, supporting women’s suffrage and equal rights. While likely not lesbian, Woodhull was an activist for women’s rights and labor reforms, and an advocate of free love, by which she meant the freedom to marry, divorce, and bear children without government interference. Woodhull, with sister Tennessee (Tennie) Claflin, became the first female stockbrokers and in 1870 they opened a brokerage firm on Wall Street. Woodhull, Claflin & Company opened in 1870, with the assistance of the wealthy Cornelius Vanderbilt, an admirer of Woodhull’s skills as a medium. On May 14, 1870, Woodhull and Claflin used the money they had made from their brokerage to found a newspaper, the Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly, which at its height had national circulation of 20,000. Its primary purpose was to support Victoria Claflin Woodhull for President of the United States. The 1980 Broadway musical Onward Victoria was inspired by Woodhull’s life. The Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership was founded by Naomi Wolf and Margot Magowan in 1997. In 2001, Victoria Woodhull was inducted posthumously into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. The Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance is an American human rights and sexual freedom advocacy organization, founded in 2003, and named in honor of Victoria Woodhull.Victoria Bond composed the opera Mrs. President about Woodhull. It premiered in 2012 in Anchorage, Alaska. In March 2017, Amazon Studios announced production of a movie based on her life, starring Brie Larson as Victoria Woodhull.

1983 – Franco Zeffirelli (February 12, 1923) comes out. He is an Italian director, designer, and producer of operatheatre, motion pictures, and television, particularly noted for the authentic details and grand scale of his opera productions and for his film adaptations of Shakespeare. He is also a former senator (1994–2001) for the Italian center-rightForza Italia party. Some of his operatic designs and productions have become worldwide classics. Zeffirelli has preferred to be discreet about his personal life.He considers himself “homosexual” rather than gay; he feels the term “gay” is less elegant.Zeffirelli has adopted two adult sons, men he has worked with for years and who now live with him and manage his affairs.

2014 – Laverne Cox(May 29, 1984) is on the cover of today’s issue of Time. She is interviewed for the article “The Transgender Tipping Point: America’s Next Civil Rights Frontier” by Katy Steinmetz, which ran in that issue and the title of which was also featured on the cover. Cox is the first openly transgender person on the cover of Time. Cox is an American actress, reality television star, television producer, and LGBT advocate. She became known for her portrayal of Sophia Burset on the Netflix television series Orange Is the New Black, for which she became the first openly transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in the acting category, and the first to be nominated for an Emmy Award since composer/musician Angela Morley(10 March 1924 – 14 January 2009)in 1990.

Stand up, speak out, share your story!




(Historical information obtained from a variety of sources including QUIST at,, Lavender Effect,, Arron’s Gay Info, All Things Queer, RS Levinson, Amara Das Wilhelm,, Safe Schools Coalition, and/or Wikipedia. If you wish to edit an item or add an item, please send an email to me at Thanks!)

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