If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.― Rudyard Kipling, The Collected Works.
These snippets of LGBT history are the stories of our lives the stories of the giants on whose shoulders we stand. Learn about them then tell the stories…and remember.
Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!
Today in LGBT History – NOVEMBER 21
1777 – French diplomat Chevalier d’Eon (5 October 1728 – 21 May 1810) is formally presented to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette as a woman. Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Timothée d’Éon de Beaumont was a French diplomat, spy, freemasonand soldier who fought in the Seven Years’ War. D’Éon had androgynousphysical characteristics and natural abilities as a mimic, good features for a spy. D’Éon appeared publicly as a man and pursued masculine occupations for 49 years, although during that time d’Éon successfully infiltrated the court of Empress Elizabeth of Russia by presenting as a woman. For 33 years, from 1777, d’Éon dressed as a woman, identifying as female. Doctors who examined d’Éon’s body after death discovered “male organs in every respect perfectly formed,” but also feminine characteristics.
1966 – The term ‘gender identity’ is first used in a press release to publicize a new clinic for transsexuals at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. The concept is picked up by the media, and quickly becomes common currency around the world.
1972 – Jim Gaylord is fired from his teaching job in Tacoma, WA, via a letter. It read, in part: “The specific probable cause for your discharge is that you have admitted occupying a public status that is incompatible with the conduct required of teachers in this district. Specifically, that you have admitted being a publicly known homosexual.” In 2016, 42 years after he lost his job, Gaylord received an apology from the Tacoma School District.
1977, Canada – In Toronto, The Body Politic containing an article entitled “Men loving boys loving men” goes on sale. The article by Gerald Hannon sparked a controversy that eventually led to the folding of the paper.
1981 – Sergeant Charles H. Cochrane (August 5, 1943–May 5, 2008), a 14-year veteran of the NYPD, created shock waves by testifying before a New York City Council hearing in favor of a gay rights bill. Following on the testimony of a Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association Vice President who denounced the bill, and declared he didn’t know of any homosexual police officers, Cochrane stunned those present by announcing, “I am very proud of being a New York City Police Officer, and I am equally proud of being gay.” Cochrane’s public testimony lent significantly toward the official formation of the Gay Officers Action League, Inc., (G.O.A.L.) which became the first official police fraternal society in the world to represent LGBT professionals within the criminal justice system. Since that time, similar organizations for LGBT Law Enforcement Officers, Criminal Justice professionals as well as Firefighters and EMS personnel have been established around the world. Cochrane died of cancer on May 5, 2008 at the age of 64.
1987 – Having raided and closed down The Detour bar the night before, Los Angeles police raid and shut down the One Way bar over alleged violations to the city’s fire ordinance. In a series of raids on gay bars, the Los Angeles Police Department closed down the One Way for fire ordinance violations. The LAPD came to the conclusion that the manpower necessary to close the One Way would be ten police cars and several fire trucks and various other city vehicles.
1997 – The University of California Board of Regents votes to extend domestic partner benefits to partners of lesbian and gay employees.
1999 – British writer Quentin Crisp (25 December 1908 – 21 November 1999) dies at age 90. He was an English writer, raconteur and actor.From a conventional suburban background, Crisp enjoyed wearing make-up and painting his nails, and worked as a rent-boy in his teens. He then spent thirty years as a professional model for life-classes in art colleges. The interviews he gave about his unusual life attracted increasing public curiosity and he was soon sought after for his highly individual views on social manners and the cultivating of style. His one-man stage show was a long-running hit both in Britain and America and he also appeared in films and on TV. In 1995 he was among the many people interviewed for The Celluloid Closet, an historical documentary addressing how Hollywood films have depicted homosexuality.
2001 – Maryland’s Anti-discrimination Act becomes law. It prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in public accommodations, housing and employment. Maryland becomes the 12th state to enact such protections for homosexuals.
2006, Israel – Israeli Supreme Count recognizes international same-sex marriages.
2007 – Jennifer Granholm, governor of Michigan, issues an executive order prohibiting employment discrimination based on gender identity or expression in the public sector.
2014, Gambia – The Gambian president signs anti-homosexuality law which calls for the imprisonment for people caught in same-sex sexual activity.
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!)