Our lives have depth, in part, because we can’t make sense of everything. Life doesn’t make sense; it’s more complicated than our linear way of knowing. Mystery and spirit run through our days like rivers and sustain us. Life is a blend of possibility and impossibility. — Author and poet Patrice Vecchione, from the blog of Rev. Michael Piazza
Learning our 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.
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 by American playwright Tony Kushner (born July 16, 1956), opens on Broadway. Angels in America received 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 Weekly in 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 England where 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 email@example.com. Thanks!)