Caeser is assassinated on this day in 44 BC. This is famously dramatized in William Shakespeare‘s play Julius Caesar, when Caesar is warned by the soothsayer to “beware the Ides of March.” So beware! Writing prompt: What is your favorite work by Shakespeare and why?
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 – MARCH 15
559, Turkey – “Men-corruptors” are blamed for the earthquake and plague in Constantinople by the Emperor of the Byzantine Empire.
1633, Sweden – Christina (8 December 1626 – 19 April 1689) becomes Queen at age six. She always wished to be a boy and is given the nickname “Girl King.” When she was fourteen her tutor remarked that “she is not at all like a female.” Christina is remembered as one of the most educated women of the 1600s, being educated as a royal male would have been. With her interest in religion, philosophy, mathematics and alchemy, she attracted many scientists to Stockholm, wanting the city to become the “Athens of the North.” She was intelligent, fickle and moody; she rejected what the sexual role of a woman was at the time. She caused a scandal when she decided not to marryand, in 1654, when she abdicated her throne and converted to Roman Catholicism. She changed her name from Kristina Augusta Wasa to Christina Alexandra. Christina revealed in her autobiography that she felt “an insurmountable distaste for marriage” and “for all the things that females talked about and did.” As she was chiefly occupied with her studies, she slept three to four hours a night, forgot to comb her hair, donned her clothes in a hurry and wore men’s shoes for the sake of convenience. Her unruly hair became her trademark. Her closest female friend was Ebba Sparre(1629 – 19 March 1662), a Swedish lady-in-waitingand noble, with whom she shared “a long time intimate companionship”.
1811, UK – The trial for two Scottish teachers Miss Marianne Woods and Miss Jane Piriebegins. They are accused of lesbian acts. One of the judges said that sex between women was “equally imaginary with witchcraft, sorcery or carnal copulation with the devil.”
1867, UK – Lionel Pigot Johnson (15 March 1867 – 4 October 1902) is born in Broadstairs, England. An influential poet and literary critic in his time, he was also the victim of one of the oldest ironies in the history of love. He made the mistake of introducing his young lover to a friend who quickly snatched him away. The young lover was Lord Alfred Douglas (22 October 1870 – 20 March 1945),and the friend, Oscar Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900).
1926 – Ruth Simpson (March 15, 1926 – May 8, 2008) was the founder of the United States’ first lesbian community center, an author, and former president of Daughters of Bilitis, New York. s president of the New York chapter of Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), Simpson organized gay rights demonstrations and educational programs for DOB members during the period 1969–71. Several times when NYC police, without warrants, illegally entered DOB’s lesbian center in lower Manhattan, Simpson stood between the police and the DOB women. On three occasions she was cited for court appearances by the police. She was also arrested at a Women Against Richard Nixon (WARN) rally, along withher partner of 37 years videographer Ellen Povill,author Ti-Grace Atkinson(born November 9, 1938)andlawyer Flo Kennedy(February 11, 1916 – December 21, 2000)and spent most of a day in jail until the women’s attorney gained their release.Ruth’s book From the Closet to the Courts was published in 1977 and republished in 2007. She also produced the weekly hour-long program “Minority Report” in Woodstock, New York from 1982 until her death in 2008.
1977 – The ABC sitcom, Three’s Company, premieres. The “sit” in the sitcom is that an unemployed straight chef (John Ritter‘s Jack Tripper) moves in with two female roommates, but in order to satisfy the landlord’s suspicions that there might be sexual impropriety, pretends he is gay. The show stays in the Nielsen Top Ten for the next six years.
1983 – A West Virginia kindergarten teacher, Linda Conway, is forced to resign from her job after parents complain that she LOOKS like a lesbian. She files a $1 million lawsuit against the school board. However, three years later the state supreme court confirms the school board’s right to dismiss her because of her appearance.
1985 – A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Associationconcludes that AIDS is NOT spread by casual contact.
2006, Czech Republic – The Czech House and Senate pass a bill allowing same-sex partner registration but President Vaclav Klaus vetoes it. The veto is overturned on this day and the law goes into effect on July 1, 2006.
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!)