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 24
1933, Germany – A law was passes in Germany to allow surgical castrations as a crime prevention measure and a therapeutic treatment for homosexuality.
1955 – In the wake of the murder of a Sioux City, Iowa, boy earlier in the year, 29 men suspected of homosexuality are committed to mental asylums as a preventive measure authorized by the state’s “sexual psychopath” laws.
1959, UK – The first broadcast of a gay drama called Southstarring gay actor Peter Wyngarde (August 23, 1933 -15 January 2018)is aired. South, adapted by Gerald Savory from an original play by Julien Greenis considered “a milestone” in gay cultural history. Wyngarde’s flamboyant dress sense and stylish performances led to popular success, and he was considered a style icon in Britain and elsewhere in the early 1970s; Mike Myers credited Wyngarde with inspiring the characterAustin Powers.Wyngarde shared a flat in Earls Terrace, Kensington, with the actor Alan Bates(17 February 1934 – 27 December 2003) for some years in the 1960s. Bates (17 February 1934 – 27 December 2003) was a gay English actor known for his performance with Anthony Quinnin Zorba the Greek, as well as his roles in King of Hearts, Georgy Girl, Far From the Madding Crowdand The Fixerin which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
1974 – The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force protests an episode of NBC’s Police Woman “Flowers of Evil” (aired on November 8) that featured lesbian murderers in a home for aged women. The network agrees not to rerun the episode, but MCA-TV producer David Gerber keeps it in syndication release.
1984, UK – England’s first national conference on AIDS began, organized by the Terrence Higgins Trust. Terrence “Terry” Higgins (10 June 1945 – 4 July 1982) was among the first people known to die of an AIDS-related illness in the United Kingdom. In his memory, Martyn Butlerand Higgins’ partner Rupert Whitaker(born 1963) (Higgins’ partner) initiated the formation of the Terry Higgins Trust, later renamed the Terrence Higgins Trust, in 1982 with a group of concerned community-members and Terry’s friends including Tony Calvert. It was dedicated to preventing the spread of HIV, promoting awareness of AIDS, and providing supportive services to people with the disease.
1985 – At an AIDS candlelight vigil in San Francisco, activist Cleve Jones (born October 11, 1954) conceives The Names Project. Cleve is an American AIDS and LGBT rights activis. The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt has become, at 54 tons, the world’s largest piece of community folk art as of 2016. In 1983, at the onset of the AIDS pandemic, Jones co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation which has grown into one of the largest and most influential People with AIDS advocacy organizations in the United States.
1991 – Freddie Mercury (5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991), lead singer for Queen, dies of complications from AIDS. It was only the day before that he acknowledged that he had the disease. He left most of his estate to a former girlfriend, Mary Austen, who cared for him during his final months. The official cause of death is bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS. He was 45. In 1992, Mercury was posthumously awarded the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music, and a tribute concert was held at Wembley Stadium, London. As a member of Queen, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, theSongwriters Hall of Fame in 2003, and the Fame in 2004. In 2002, he was placed number 58 in the BBC’s 2002 poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. He is consistently voted one of the greatest singers in the history of popular music. While some commentators claimed Mercury hid his sexual orientation from the public,others claimed he was “openly gay“.
1997 – The Associated Press reports that Edgehill United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee announced that no weddings would be performed until same-sex couples were given the right to be married there.
1998 – Nearly 100 people demonstrate to protest the firing of lesbian Alicia Pedreira from Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children in Louisville. According to her termination notice, she was fired because her “admitted homosexual lifestyle is contrary to Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children core values.” Five other employees resigned in protest.
2008 – A lower court in Florida declares that the state’s ban on adoption by gay couples is unconstitutional.
2014, Ecuador – The Ecuador LGBT Film Festival Jury names Letter to Anitaas Best Documentary. The film, directed by Andrea Meyerson, tells the story of Anita Bryant’s anti-gay campaign and its effect not only on the life of lesbian Ronni Sanlo and her family but also on the budding LGBT civil rights movement.
2015, Viet Nam – The Vietnamese National Assembly passes a law that allows those who have undergone sex reassignment surgery to register under their preferred sex. However, sex reassignment surgery is illegal in Vietnam. The law comes into effect in 2017.
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!)