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 23
1933 – The New York tabloid Broadway Brevities, under the headline “F*GS TICKLE NUDES,” publishes an article warning that “pansy men of the nation” were invading steam baths and turning them into replicas of the orgy houses in Rome at the time of Nero. (Asterisk is only to keep from getting banished from Facebook.)
1965 – The word ‘transgenderism’ is first used in a medical text by Dr. John F. Oliven to mean transsexualism. It is given quite a different meaning and popularized by Virginia Prince (November 23, 1912 – May 2, 2009) in the 1970s. Prince claims to have invented the word herself and uses it to define people who live full time in their chosen gender without necessarily having had or even wanting to have gender-confirming surgery.
1967 – The first gay and lesbian bookstore opens in New York, the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop. It was founded by Craig Rodwell(October 31, 1940 – June 18, 1993) on November 24, 1967. Initially located at 291 Mercer Street,it moved in 1973 to Christopher Street and Gay Street in New York City‘s Greenwich Village neighborhood. The bookstore closed on March 29, 2009 citing the Great Recessionand challenges from online bookstores. Also in 1967, Rodwell began the group Homophile Youth Movement in Neighborhoods (HYMN) and began to publish its periodical, HYMNAL. In November 1969, Rodwell proposed the first gay pride parade to be held in New York City by way of a resolution at the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations meeting in Philadelphia, along with his partner Fred Sargeant (HYMN vice chairman), Ellen Broidy and Linda Rhodes. The first march was organized from Rodwell’s apartment on Bleecker Street. In March 1993, Rodwell sold his bookshop to Bill Offenbaker. Rodwell died on June 18, 1993 of stomach cancer. Rodwell is considered by some to be quite possibly the leading rights activist in the early homophile movement of the 1960s.
1973 – In New York City, 325 people attend the first conference of the Gay Academic Union. The pioneering Lesbian and Gay Studies group, which was founded the previous March, includes Martin Duberman (born August 6, 1930), John D’Emilio (born 1948), Jonathan Ned Katz (born 1938), and Joan Nestle (born May 12, 1940) among its members
1973, Germany – Germany’s sexuality laws, Paragraph 175, stays on the books but is significantly amended. The only remaining crime is sex with a minor.
1981 – The New York City Council votes for the tenth time not to pass a gay anti-discrimination ordinance.
1983 – A Louisville, Kentucky bank, which fired a branch manager for refusing to end his association with Dignity, an organization for GLBT Catholics, was cleared of charges of discrimination and violating the employee’s freedom of religion.
1992, Australia – Prime Minister Paul Keating revokes the country’s restrictions on gay men and lesbians in the military
1996 – Sir Elton John (born 25 March 1947) is honored as the founder of the Elton John AIDS Foundation at a gala celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. He is an English singer, pianist, and composer. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriting partner since 1967. They have collaborated on more than 30 albums to date. In his five-decade career Elton John has sold more than 300 million records, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world. He established the Elton John AIDS Foundationin 1993 and a year later began hosting the annual Academy Award Party, which has since become one of the highest-profile Oscar parties in the Hollywood film industry. Since its inception, the foundation has raised over US$200 million. John, who announced he was bisexual in 1976 and has been openly gaysince 1988, entered into a civil partnership with David Furnish on 21 December 2005, and, after same-sex marriage became legal in England and Wales in 2014, wed Furnish on 21 December 2014. On 24 January 2018, it was announced that John would be retiring from touring and would soon embark on a three-year farewell tour, which began in September 2018.
1998 – The Georgia Supreme Court votes 6-1 to overturn the state’s sodomy law. In the majority opinion, Chief Justice Robert Benham wrote, “We cannot think of any other activity that reasonable persons would rank as more private and more deserving of protection from governmental interference than consensual, private, adult sexual activity.” Since the decision was based on the Georgia constitution rather than the U.S. constitution, the decision could not be appealed.
2011, Belize – The Belize Council of Churches rallies to oppose the decriminalization of homosexual acts at the Belize Action/Family Forum. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Belize face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT citizens. Same-sex sexual activity was illegal in Belize until 2016, when the Supreme Court declared Belize’s anti-sodomy law unconstitutional. Belize also has a law prohibiting foreign homosexuals from entering the country, although the law has never been enforced. Regardless, Belize held its first Pride Week in August 2017.
2014, Brazil – The world’s first largest same-sex wedding with 160 couples takes place in Rio de Janeiro. It was the fifth time mass same-sex weddings were held in Brazil. (The following year 185 couples married.) Claudio Nascimento of Rio Sem Homophobia (Rio without Homophobia) says, “It is an affirmative action to call attention to all of the achievements and challenges in the area of civil and human rights of the LGBT community.” Brazil broke the Guinness World Record for the largest pride parade in 2009 with 4 million attendees. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Brazil since May 16, 2013, though it had already been legally recognized since 2004.
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!)