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 – MAY 2
1895 – Lorenz Hart (May 2, 1895 – November 22, 1943) was born in New York. He was the lyricist half of the Broadway songwriting team Rodgers and Hart. Some of his more famous lyrics include “Blue Moon,” “Mountain Greenery,” “The Lady Is a Tramp,” “Manhattan,” “Where or When,” “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered,” “Falling in Love with Love,” “Have You Met Miss Jones?,” “My Funny Valentine,” “I Could Write a Book“, “This Can’t Be Love“, “With a Song in My Heart“, “It Never Entered My Mind“, and “Isn’t It Romantic?“. Richard Rogers wrote the perfect scores for Hart’s words. They became some of the best songs of the ’20s and ’30s. It was a closely guarded secret that Hart was gay. No one knew until a biography came out 30 years after his death.
1902 – Mabel Hampton (May 2, 1902 – October 26, 1989) was an American lesbian activist, a dancer during the Harlem Renaissance, and a philanthropist for both black andlesbian/gayorganizations. In the 1920s, Hampton danced in all-black productions for Harlem Renaissance notables, including Jackie “Moms” Mabley. This artistic, political and cultural milieuprovided Hampton access to other dancers, artists, and gays and lesbians.In addition to her financial contributions to gay and lesbian organizations, Hampton marched in the first National Gay and Lesbian March on Washington, and she appeared in the films Silent Pioneers and Before Stonewall.In 1984 she said, “I, Mabel Hampton, have been a lesbian all my life, for 82 years, and I am proud of myself and my people. I would like all my people to be free in this country and all over the world, my gay people and my black people.”
1948 – Cal Anderson (May 2, 1948 – August 4, 1995)is born. Cal grew up in Tukwila, Washington, graduated from Foster High School, served in Vietnam and became the first openly gay member of the Washington State legislature. There, Anderson worked for civil rights for gay, lesbian and bisexual people as well as such issues as campaign finance reform and easier voter registration. He died of complications from AIDS on August 4, 1995. On April 10, 2003, Seattle’s Broadway Park was renamed Cal Anderson Park in his honor.
1972 – J. Edgar Hoover (January 1, 1895 – May 2, 1972), the homophobic first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, dies and leaves the bulk of his estate to Clyde Tolson (May 22, 1900 – April 14, 1975), his “companion” of over 40 years.
1993 – “Angels in America: Millennium Approaches,” a two-part play byAmerican playwright Tony Kushner (born July 16, 1956), opens on Broadway. Angels in Americareceived numerous awards, including the 1993 and 1994 Tony Awards for Best Play. The play’s first part, Millennium Approaches, received the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
1994 – One of the oldest LGBT magazines, The Metro Weeklyin Washington DC, was first published.
1998, UK – Justin Fashanu (19 February 1961 – 2 May 1998), the first Black soccer player to earn a million dollars and the first pro soccer player to come out while playing, commits suicide. After moving to the United States, in 1998 he was questioned by police when a seventeen-year-old boy accused him of sexual assault. He was charged and an arrest warrant for him was issued in Howard County, Maryland on 3 April 1998, but he had already left his flat. According to his suicide note, fearing he would not get a fair trial because of his homosexuality, he fled to Englandwhere he killed himself in London in May 1998. His suicide note stated that the sex was consensual.
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!)