Today in LGBT History – November 22

From Sarah Schulman: “Probably the central question of our time is: Why do people not care what is true? We are living this crisis regarding everything we hold dear: The destruction of the earth, the collapse of a social contract, legal rights to access and protection, the right to be bodily safe. I have a proposal of one way to understand this: I think we are ruled by a distorted sense of “loyalty” to the groups we identify with: whether cliques, families, communities, races, religions, or national identities. We believe that “loyalty” to one’s group, unfortunately means helping others in that group hurt or punish people they are upset with or uncomfortable with. And sometimes just asking someone to question themselves or their group is falsely construed as an attack or threat, and therefore seen as deserving of punishment. This group identity supersedes any effort to understand what actually is happening, or to parse complexities, and mutual participation in escalating conflict. Therefore people who think they have something to protect – by necessity- shut out what is actually happening, so that we can avoid nuances and complex understandings of situations in which we are implicated. Currently this is the way we can feel “loyal” to our groups. When white immigrants came here, they were often politically radical. Many white ethnic groups worked to unionize industrial labor: factories, mills and mines. But when these people assimilated enough to become “White” their loyalties shifted from identities as workers and outsiders, to identities as Whites. And Whiteness became the thing to protect at any cost, because it represented the feeling of normalcy.  What we need, I believe, is a paradigm shift in which loyalty is defined by encouraging each other to be self-critical without risking being abandoned for telling the truth. We need to re-define loyalty as the responsibility to help each other negotiate, and look at our own participation. Only when we allow nuance: ie the possibility of mistakes or wrong-doing or misunderstanding, can we try to understand what is actually happening.”

Tell the truth. Tell  YOUR truth.

I invite you to go to Kelly’s and my Facebook page cleverly called Resist with Kelly and Ronni. Also, use Resistbot on your phones to text your legislators. Just text to 50409 and type resist. They’ll guide you through the rest.

Today in LGBT History – November 22

1869, France – French gay author and the 1947 Nobel Prize winner for literature Andre Gide (22 November 1869 – 19 February 1951) is born. He was a French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1947 “for his comprehensive and artistically significant writings, in which human problems and conditions have been presented with a fearless love of truth and keen psychological insight.” Gide’s career ranged from its beginnings in the symbolist movement, to the advent of anticolonialism between the two World Wars. In his journal, Gide distinguishes between adult-attracted “sodomites” and boy-loving “pederasts”, categorizing himself as the latter.

1913, UK– British gay composer, conductor and pianist Benjamin Britten (22 November 1913 – 4 December 1976) is born. He was an English composer, conductor and pianist and a central figure of 20th-century British classical music, with a range of works including opera, other vocal music, orchestral and chamber pieces. His best-known works include the opera Peter Grimes (1945), the War Requiem (1962) and the orchestral showpiece The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra (1945).

1943 – Former World number one professional tennis player Billie Jean King (November 22, 1943) is born. She  won 39 Grand Slam titles: 12 in singles, 16 in women’s doubles, and 11 in mixed doubles. King won the singles title at the inaugural WTA Tour Championships. King often represented the United States in the Federation Cup and the Wightman Cup. She was a member of the victorious United States team in seven Federation Cups and nine Wightman Cups. For three years, King was the United States’ captain in the Federation Cup. King is an advocate for gender equality and has long been a pioneer for equality and social justice. In 1968, King realized that she was attracted to women, and in 1971, began an intimate relationship with her secretary, Marilyn Barnett (born Marilyn Kathryn McRae on January 28, 1948). King acknowledged the relationship when it became public in a May 1981 ‘palimony‘ lawsuit filed by Barnett, making King the first prominent professional female athlete to come out as a lesbian.

1963 – President John F. Kennedy is assassinated.

1980 – Mae West (August 17, 1893 – November 22, 1980) dies in LA at the age of 88. Rumors that she was really a man were finally proven false. She was an American actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter, comedian, and sex symbol whose entertainment career spanned seven decades.

2004, UK – Lord Peter Mandelson (born 21 October 1953) is the first openly gay Commissioner of the European Union. He is a British Labour politician, president of international think tank Policy Network and Chairman of strategic advisory firm Global Counsel. Reinaldo Avila da Silva (born September 1972, a Brazilian-British translator was his partner from 1998 to 2007 when “Mandy” met Marco Coretti, owner of a chic boutique close to the Spanish Steps in Rome.

2011 – An independent arbiter rules that Baltimore County, Maryland must extend spousal benefits to the same-sex spouses of two police officers who legally married in another state.


Speak out, share your story, keep LGBT history alive.





(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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