There’s nothing more daring than showing up, putting ourselves out there and letting ourselves be seen. —Brene Brown
Learning our history is resistance! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!
Today in LGBT History – March 10
1778 – From George Washington’s letters: Lt. Enslin of Col. Malcolm’s regiment tried for attempting to commit sodomy with John Monhort, a soldier. His Excellency the Commander in Chief approves the sentence and with the Abhorrence and Detestation of such Infamous Crimes order Lt. Enslin to be drummed out of Camp tomorrow morning by all the Drummers and Fifers in the Army never to return. Enslin was “dismissed with Infamy.” Little to nothing is known about the early life of Frederick Gotthold Enslin (born 1740), but it is believed he was educated and from a family of high standing in Europe, possibly southern Germany, due to reports that his command of the English language was outstanding and his penmanship was well formed. His approximate year of birth was 1740. When Enslin enlisted, he was given the appointment of lieutenant in the Continental Army. His assignment was under the command of Col. William Malcolm and Lt. Col. Aaron Burr. Malcolm’s regiment was formed in mid-1777, and placed into the 3rd Pennsylvania Brigade after a lengthy encampment at Valley Forge. For the rest of his life — and to present day — he would become known as the first person to be dishonorably discharged due to his sexual orientation.
1924, UK – Angela Morley (born Walter “Wally” Stott, 10 March 1924 – 14 January 2009) is born. She was an English composer and conductor. She attributed her entry into composing and arranging largely to the influence and encouragement of the Canadian light music composer Robert Farnon. In 1972, Morley underwent sex reassignment surgery. Later in life, she lived in Scottsdale, Arizona. She became the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Academy Award when she was nominated for one in the category of Best Music, Original Song Score/Adaptation for The Little Prince (1974), a nomination shared with Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe, and Douglas Gamley.
1934 – John Rechy (born March 10, 1931) is born in El Paso, Texas. He is a Mexican American novelist, essayist, memoirist, dramatist and literary critic. In his novels, he has written extensively about gay culture in Los Angeles and wider America, among other subject matters, and is among the pioneers of modern LGBT literature. City of Night, his debut novel published in 1963, was a best seller and is widely considered a seminal work in 20th century in literature. Drawing on his own background, he has contributed to Chicano literature, notably with his novel The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gomez, which has been taught in several Chicano literature courses throughout the United States. An outspoken activist, former hustler, and bodybuilder, he said he was once told by a drag queen “Your muscles are as gay as my drag.” He laughed and agreed.
1971, France – Guy Hocquenghem (10 December 1946 – 28 August 1988) and others, mostly lesbian activists, disrupt a Paris conference on the “problem” of homosexuality. The demonstration leads to the formation the following month of a Gay Liberation group, Front Homosexual d’Action Revolutionnaire. Guy was a French writer, philosopher, and queer theorist. Though Hocquenghem had a significant impact on leftist thinking in France, his reputation has failed to grow to international prominence. Only the first of his theoretical tracts, Homosexual Desire (1972) and his first novel, L’Amour en relief (1982) have been translated into English. Although Race d’Ep! was shown at Roxie Cinema in San Francisco in April 1980 and released in America as The Homosexual Century, like Hocquenghem, the film is virtually unknown. Hocquenghem died of AIDS-related complications on 28 August 1988, at age 41.
1979, Canada – International Women’s Day in Toronto includes a call for an end to harassment of lesbians as one of four demands. It is the first time lesbian rights becomes an upfront issue.
1985 – William M. Hoffman’s (April 12, 1939 – April 29, 2017) play about AIDS “As Is” opens at New York City’s Circle Rep Theater. Less than six weeks later, Larry Kramer’s (born June 25, 1935) The Normal Heart opens at the Public Theater. Hoffman, who was an American playwright, editor and educator, died on April 30, 2017. Until the time of his death, he was an Associate Professor of Theatre at Lehman College at The City University of New York.
1987 – AIDS advocacy group ACT UP (The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) is formed in response to the devastating affects the disease has had on the gay and lesbian community in New York. The group holds demonstrations against pharmaceutical companies profiteering from AIDS-related drugs as well as the lack of AIDS policies protecting patients from outrageous prescription prices.
1994, Germany – Paragraph 175, the section of the German Penal Code that outlaws sexual acts between men, is finally repealed. It was used heavily by the Nazis to persecute gay and bisexual men.
2009, Israel – In Tel Aviv, Uzi Even (born 18 October 1940) and his life partner Amit Kama was the first same-sex male couple in Israel whose right of adoption has been legally acknowledged. The Israeli Court rules in their favor. Even is an Israeli professor emeritus of physical chemistry at Tel Aviv University and a former politician well known for being the first openly gay member of the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament). In 2004, Even and Kama married in Canada. On 10 March 2009, the Israeli Family Court ruled that Even and Kama could legally adopt their foster son, Yossi Even-Kama, making them the first same-sex male couple in Israel whose right of adoption was legally acknowledged. In December 2012 Even set yet another legal precedent by divorcing Kama. The divorce was granted by the Family Court, since the Rabbinical Court does not recognize same-sex marriage. This might lead the way for straight couples to bypass the religious establishment as well, which, in Israel, holds monopoly on marriage and divorce affairs.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!)