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Learning our history IS resistance! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!
Today in LGBT History – May 24
1610 – The Virginia Colony passes the first anti-sodomy law of the American colonial period.
1919, Germany – First feature film, “Ander Als die Andern/Different from the Others,” is screened for members of the press at the Apollo Theater in Berlin. The film is about a romantic relationship between two men and intended to educate viewers of the hardships faced by homosexuals under Germany’s recently enacted anti-sodomy laws. It starred Conrad Veidtand Reinhold Schünzel. It was co-written by Richard Oswald and Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld(14 May 1868 – 14 May 1935)who also had a small part in the film and partially funded the production through his Institute for Sexual Science, with the aim of presenting the story as a polemic against the then-current laws under Germany’s Paragraph 175, which made homosexuality a criminal offense. The film was banned across Germany in 1920.
1953 – A Mattachine Foundation circular estimates total membership in the society at over 2,000. There are almost 100 different discussion groups meeting in California from San Diego to the Bay Area.
1974 – From the USSR comes a rare public acknowledgment of the country’s repressive policies against gay men and lesbians. American news services report that noted film director Sergei Paradzhanov (January 9, 1924 – July 20, 1990)has been given six years’ hard labor for crimes including “partial homosexuality” and “incitement to suicide.” In 1948 he was convicted of homosexual acts (which were illegal at the time in the Soviet Union) with a MGB officer named Nikolai Mikava in Tbilisi. He was sentenced to five years in prison, but was released under an amnesty after three months. He is one of all estimated 1,000 persons arrested each year on charges related to homosexuality.
1976 – Tales of the Citycolumn by Armistead Maupin (born May 13, 1944) first appears in the San Francisco Chronicle. The stories become the play and the book; It is among the first fiction works to address a disease that initially affected gay men (it would later be identified as AIDS), and feature many minority characters and homosexual relationships.
1988, UK – Section 28 is enacted. It states that local authorities “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality,” or teach of the acceptance “of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.” It was repealed on June 21, 2000 in Scotland by the Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000, one of the first pieces of legislation enacted by the new Scottish Parliament, and on November 18, 2003 in the rest of the United Kingdom by section 122 of the Local Government Act 2003.
1993 – Open lesbian Roberta Achtenberg (born July 20, 1950) becomes Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development(HUD). She is the first openly lesbianor gaypublic official in the United States whose appointment to a federal position was confirmed by the United States Senate.
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(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!)