Today in LGBT History – March 24

Any way you cut it, one of the biggest threats to life as a teen in the U.S. today is being shot. People have been shot to death en masse in grocery stores, movie theaters, nightclubs, and libraries, on school campuses and front porches, and at concerts ― anywhere and everywhere, regardless of socioeconomic background, skin color, age, ethnicity, religion, gender, geographical location.     —Emma Gonzalez 

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

Today in LGBT History – March 24

1794, France – Anacharsis Cloots (24 June 1755 – 24 March 1794),, originally known as Jean-Baptiste du Val-de-Grâce, baron de Cloots, was an orator and a New Atheist long before New Atheism was a thing. He was embroiled in revolutionary politics before being used as a scapegoat by the same revolutionaries who guillotined him on this day.  Some of his oratory indicates that he was likely an outspoken ally of lesbians and gay men.

1942 – Margarethe “Grethe” Cammermeyer (born March 24, 1942) served as a colonel in the Washington National Guard and became a gay rights activist. In 1989, responding to a question during a routine security clearance interview, she disclosed that she is a lesbian. The National Guard began military discharge proceedings against her. On June 11, 1992, she was honorably discharged. Cammermeyer filed a lawsuit against the decision in civil court. In June 1994, Judge Thomas Zilly of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington ruled that her discharge and the ban on gays and lesbians serving in the military were unconstitutional. She returned to the National Guard and served as one of the few openly gay or lesbian people in the U.S. military while the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy was in effect, until her retirement in 1997. In 2012, after same-sex marriage was legalized in Washington state, Cammermeyer and her wife Diane Divelbess became the first same-sex couple to get a license in Island County.

1971 – In defiance of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, a federal judge grants U.S. citizenship to a 24-year old gay man from Cuba, ruling that an applicant’s homosexuality cannot, in itself, bar a person from becoming a citizen

1976, Argentina – A military coup leads to seven years of brutal dictatorship, during which gay and lesbian meeting places are frequently raided, and some 400 gay men are “disappeared”- kidnapped, tortured, and killed -by military commandos.

1986 – William Hurt wins the Oscar for Best Actor for his role as a homosexual window dresser in Kiss of the Spider Woman. It’s the first time someone wins an Oscar for portraying a gay character.

1987 – ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) stages its first major political action in the financial heart of New York City to demand that the federal government stop dragging its feet on the approval of new drugs that might benefit people with AIDS. Seventeen protesters are arrested for obstructing traffic when they sit down in the intersection of Broadway and Wall Street.

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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