We need to change what we say and what we allow to be said in front of us. —Brene Brown
Learning our history is resistance! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!
Today in LGBT History – March 6
1475, Italy – Michelangelo Buonaroti is born in Caprese. He will one day paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and sculpt the David. He is widely believed by historians to have been homosexual. The great painter had several lovers, but none so loved as Tommasso Cavalieri to whom he wrote exquisite love sonnets.
1923 – Shortly after The God of Vengeance moves to Broadway, the producer, the theater owner, and 12 cast members are arrested and charged with “presenting an obscene, indecent, immoral and impure theatrical production.” The play had previously been performed successfully and without interference in nine countries in Europe. Although a jury rules against the play two months later, the verdict is later overturned on appeal.
1972 – The American Bar Association passes a resolution recommending that consensual sex acts between people of the same sex be decriminalized.
1978, Canada – Ontario Provincial Police officer Paul Head is arrested in Hamilton and charged with gross indecency and contributing to juvenile delinquency, for having sex with his under-age lover. He is forced to resign. The gross indecency charge was later dropped in exchange for a plea of guilty to contributing to juvenile delinquency, for which Head was given a suspended sentence.
1981, Canada – The founding meetings of the Toronto Gay Community Council are held. It was the first city-wide coordinating organization of gay and lesbian groups in Canada. The council remained in operation until Sep 1984.
1981, Canada – A Gay Freedom Rally in Toronto hears speakers including novelist Margaret Atwood and NDP MP Svend Robinson denounce bath raids.
1987 – Vermont becomes the first state to hand out condoms to prisoners on request
1994 – Jonathan Schmitz and Scott Amedure tape a Jenny Jones Show about secret crushes. Schmitz expected his admirer to be a woman, not his gay neighbor. When Schmitz found Amedure, a 32-year-old unemployed gay man, telling a television audience about a fantasy that involved Schmitz, he became embarrassed and, his lawyers said, enraged. Three days after the taping, on March 9, 1995, Schmitz received an anonymous, sexually suggestive note on his doorstep and assumed it came from Amedure. Schmitz purchased a 12-gauge shotgun, went to Amedure’s mobile home and fired two shots at close range into Amedure’s chest. A few minutes later, Schmitz dialed 911 from a pay phone at a gas station near his sister’s house. He said, “I just walked in the room and killed him.” Schmitz was later convicted of second-degree murder. Although the conviction was overturned, Schmitz was again found guilty in a second trial and sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison. In a civil suit, a jury found the Jenny Jones Show liable for the murder and awarded the Amedure family $25 million.
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!)