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 28
1929 – Lesbian Katharine Lee Bates (August 12, 1859 – March 28, 1929), author of the song America the Beautiful, dies. Bates was a full professor of English literature at Wellesley College. She lived in Wellesley with Katharine Comanwho was a history and political economy teacher and founder of the Wellesley College School Economics department. The pair lived together for twenty-five years until Coman’s death in 1915.
1931 – Writer Jane Rule (28 March 1931 – 27 November 2007)is born in New Jersey. In 1956, Rule moved to Canada. Her 1975 work “Lesbian Images” set down what it meant for her to be a lesbian and compared her experiences with other famous women. It was hailed as a landmark and helped earn her an Order of British Columbia medal. In 1964, Rule published Desert of the Heartafter 22 rejections from publishers. Rule’s novel was later made into a movie by Donna Deitch, released as Desert Hearts (1985). The Globe and Mail said, “the film is one of the first and most highly regarded works in which a lesbian relationship is depicted favourably.” Rule taught at Concord Academy in Massachusetts where she met Helen Sonthoff (September 11, 1916 – January 3, 2000). Rule and Sonthoff lived together until Sonthoff’s death in 2000. Rule surprised some in the gay community by declaring herself against gay marriage, writing, “To be forced back into the heterosexual cage of coupledom is not a step forward but a step back into state-imposed definitions of relationship. With all that we have learned, we should be helping our heterosexual brothers and sisters out of their state-defined prisons, not volunteering to join them there.” The ashes of Jane Vance Rule were interred in the Galiano Island Cemetery next to those of her beloved Helen Hubbard Wolfe Sonthoff.
1962 – Alexandra Scott Billings (born March 28, 1962) is an American actress, teacher, singer, and activist. Billings is among the first openly transgender women to have played a transgender character on television, which she did in the 2005 made-for-TV movie Romy and Michele: In The Beginning.
1979, Canada – Toronto’s police chief and the police association president both issue statements apologizing after an anti-gay article called The Homosexual Fadappears in the police association newsletter
1986 – Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (born March 28, 1986), known professionally as Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She is known for her unconventionality and provocative work as well as visual experimentation. Gaga began her musical career performing songs at open mic nights and school plays. She studied at Collaborative Arts Project 21 (CAP21)through New York University‘s Tisch School of the Arts before dropping out to become a professional musician. After Def Jam Recordings canceled her contract, Gaga worked as a songwriter for Sony/ATV Music Publishing, where shesigned a joint deal with Interscope Recordsin 2007.She rose to prominence the following year with her debut album, a dance-pop and electropop record titled The Fame, and its chart-topping singles “Just Dance” and “Poker Face“. A follow-up EP, The Fame Monster (2009), featuring the singles “Bad Romance“, “Telephone“, and “Alejandro“, also proved successful. Gaga’s second full-length album Born This Way (2011) explored electronic rock and techno. In 2012, Gaga launched the Born This Way Foundation (BTWF), a non-profit organization that focuses on youth empowerment. As a bisexual woman, Gaga actively supportsLGBT rights worldwide. She attributes much of her early success as a mainstream artist to hergay fans and is considered a gay icon.
1989 – 2500 ACT-UP activists demonstrate at the New York City hall protesting Mayor Koch’s handling of the AIDS crisis. Over 100 protestors went to jail.
1990 – With the opening of the Robert Mapplethorpe (November 4, 1946 – March 9, 1989)exhibit less than two weeks away, law enforcement officials in Cincinnati, Ohio, warn the local Contemporary Arts Center to cancel the exhibit or risk prosecution under the city’s stringent anti-obscenity laws. “These photographs are just not welcome in this community,” says the local chief of police. “The people of this community do not cater to what others depict as art.” After the exhibit finally opens, a Cincinnati grand jury indicts the center’s director, Dennis Barrie, on charges of obscenity and pandering.
2002 – In Mississippi, the George County Timespublishes a letter from George County Justice Court Judge Connie Wilkerson which read, in part, “In my opinion, gays and lesbians should be put in some type of mental institution.” Because of the bias expressed in such a statement, an ethics violation complaint was filed against Wilkerson.
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!)