Today in LGBT History – March 8

We have to be women we want our daughters to be.  —Brene Brown

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


Today in LGBT History – March 8

203 AD, Syria – Heliogablus (203-March 11, 222), who became Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, was born in Syria. The boy Emperor of Rome loved his men but was forced to create an heir so he married. He was so impressed with the pomp and circumstance of the marriage ceremony that he did it again twice in one night taking as his husband a young charioteer named Gorianus who was described by a contemporary as “hung like his horse” and as his wife, a boy named Hierocles. The wedding night with both was consummated before the wedding guests. Eventually Heliogablus was killed by his enemies with a sword up his posterior. He was 19. 

1702, UK – Anne (6 February 1665 – 1 August 1714) becomes queen of Great Britain. She was the Queen of EnglandScotlandand Ireland between 8 March 1702 and 1 May 1707.  On 1 May 1707, under the Acts of Union, two of her realms, the kingdoms of England and Scotland, united as a single sovereign state known as Great Britain. She continued to reign as Queen of Great Britain and Ireland until her death. Around 1671, she had met Sarah Jennings with whom she had a close relationship for nearly 50 years. Their relationship turned negative over time due to politics. Sarah started rumors that Anne was a lesbian and threatened to make their love letters public. Anne dismissed Sarah from the court forever. Sarah was supplanted in Anne’s affections by a cousin of hers, Abigail Hill. She had caught the Queen’s attention during Sarah’s frequent absences from Court, and Sarah was never again to be the Queen’s closest confidant.

1887, UK – Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge (born Margot Elena Gertrude Taylor; 8 March 1887 – 24 September 1963) was a British sculptor and translator. She is best known as the long-time lesbian partner of Marguerite Radclyffe Hall, author of The Well of Loneliness. Una Troubridge was an educated woman with achievements in her own right. Most notably she was a successful translator and introduced the French writer Colette to English readers. Her talent as a sculptor prompted Nijinsky to sit for her several times.

1909 – International Women’s Day — First celebrated in the US on February 28, 1909, the International Women’s Day has become a worldwide event to acknowledge women’s contribution to international peace and security and highlight their ongoing struggle for equality and security. While the first observance of a Women’s Day was held on February 28, 1909 in New York, March 8 was suggested by the 1910 International Woman’s Conference to become an “International Woman’s Day.” After women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia in 1917, March 8 became a national holiday there. The day was then predominantly celebrated by the socialist movement and communist countries until it was adopted in 1975 by the United Nations.

1948 – In New York City, the Veterans Benevolent Association incorporates “to unite socially and fraternally, all veterans and their friends, of good and moral character.” The group, which had about 100 members at its height, helps gay male veterans with legal and employment problems, besides holding social events attended by as many as 500.

1978 – The Lesbian Mothers Defense Fund is launched in Toronto by the group Wages Due Lesbians. It maintained women should be paid for rearing children pointing out that female parenting is a job that is 24/7. 

1954  – Pat Califia (born 1954), formerly also known by the last name Califia-Rice) is an American writer of non-fiction essays about sexuality and of erotic fiction and poetry. Califia is a bisexual trans man. Prior to transitioning, he identified as a lesbian and as such, wrote for many years a sex advice column for the gay men‘s leather magazine Drummer. His writings explore sexuality and gender identity, and have included lesbian erotica and works about BDSM subculture. Califia is a member of the third-wave feminism movement.

1970 – In the early morning hours, New York City police raid a gay bar called the Snake Pit for not having a license for dancing or selling alcohol, arresting 167 patrons. At the police station, one of the arrestees, an Argentine national named Diego Vinales so feared the possibility of deportation that he leapt from a second-story window of the police station, impaling himself on the spikes of an iron fence. He survived, though firemen were forced to cut out a section of the fence with Vinales still skewered on it, in order to move him to the hospital. One journalist remarked, “It is no crime to be *in* a place that is serving liquor illegally, the only crime is to run such a place. There were no grounds for hauling the customers away.” Though charges against other patrons were dropped, Vinales was rebooked for “resisting arrest” and officers were stationed outside his hospital room to prevent another escape. The community organized a protest march.

1979 – The New York Times runs a front-page photograph of six men being executed by firing squad in Iran for allegedly having committed crimes of “homosexual rape.” Since the Ayatollah Khomeini’s rise to power just four weeks earlier, there had been growing reports of gay men — as well as Jews, Baha’is, “blasphemers,” “heretics,” former members of the Iranian aristocracy, and others — being blackmailed, imprisoned, tortured, dismembered, hanged and/or shot. By the time Khomeini gets around to celebrating his first anniversary of his Islamic revolution, the body count is in the thousands.

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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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