Today in LGBT History – March 11

In our moments of most intense joy, we realize how vulnerable we are. —Brene Brown

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

Today in LGBT History – March 11

222, Italy – Elagabalus (c. 203 – March 11, 222) is assassinated at age 18 because of his relationship with Hierocles, a charioteer. Elagabalus was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan dynasty, he was Syrian, the second son of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. In his early youth he served as a priest of the god Elagabalus in the hometown of his mother’s family, Emesa. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Elagabalus, barely 14 years old, became emperor, initiating a reign remembered mainly for sex scandals and religious controversy. Elagabalus developed a reputation among his contemporaries for extreme eccentricitydecadence, and zealotry. He suffers one of the worst reputations among Roman emperors.

1967 – “Doctor Who” actor John Barrowman (born 11 March 1967) is born. He  is a Scottish-American actor, singer, presenter and writer. Born in Glasgow, Scotland, he moved to the United States with his family in 1975. Encouraged by his high school teachers, Barrowman studied performing arts at the United States International University in San Diego before landing the role of Billy Crocker in Cole Porter‘s  Anything Goes in London’s West End. Barrowman is openly gay: he met his husband, Scott Gill, during a production of Rope at the Chichester Festival Theatre in 1993, after Gill came to see Barrowman in the play. He nearly got the role of Will in “Will and Grace” in 1998, but he lost the part when producers thought he was ‘too straight’. Barrowman is gay and Eric McCormack, who got the part, is straight.

1975 – Madison, Wisconsin passes a bill granting civil rights protection to gays and lesbians.

1998, Denmark – Torben Lund (born November 6, 1950)  and Yvonne Herlov (born 1942), the first two openly gay and lesbian members of the Danish Parliament, took office. Lund came out as gay in 1998, becoming Denmark’s first openly gay member of the Folketing. In 1999, he married his partner Claus Lautrup. He served in the Folketing from 1981 to 1998[1] and in the European Parliament from 1999 to 2004. Herlov was elected to the Folketing (Danish parliament) in 1977 from Sorø, serving until 1979, again from 1981 to 1984 from Slagelse, and from 1987–88 from Odense. In 1994 she was appointed Social Minister in the first Nyrup Rasmussen cabinet. She subsequently served as Minister of Health in the second Nyrup Rasmussen cabinet, from 1994 to 1996, where she focused particularly on reform of HIV policy, and compensation for previous mistreatment of hemophiliacs

2003 – The first transgender person, Reuben Zellman, is accepted in the Reform Judaism Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rabbi Zellman is now the assistant rabbi and music director of Congregation Beth El in Berkeley, CA.

2007 – The first openly LGBTQ person, Rabbi Toba Spitzer, is chosen to head an American rabbinical association, in Arizona. Rabbi  Spitzer became the first openly lesbian or gay person chosen to head a rabbinical association in the United States in 2007, when she was elected president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association at the group’s annual convention, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Spitzer leads Congregation Dorshei Tzedek in West Newton, Massachusetts.

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(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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