I just read an article about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and how poor his family was when he was growing up. He said, “We couldn’t afford Thanksgiving dinner and prayed someone would invite us over their house to eat.” That took me back to the years I was extremely poor (and homeless at one point during that time). Had it not been for my lesbian friends in Orlando, I would have not have had much to eat…daily. But I specifically remember one Thanksgiving. I had my children that day. I bought a small turkey meal with food stamps (getting food stamps embarrassed me tremendously so I would allow myself that luxury only when my children were visiting me.) I had no furniture so I got some boxes and threw a sheet over them. Voila! A multi-tiered table! I “took” some sporks from the local KFC for our utensils, and I “borrowed” some flower from a garden I passed while walking (I had no car) the day before. My children and I sat on the floor for this fine dining experience, with the covered boxes and served meal before us. It certainly wasn’t elegant but the meal and the day were filled with love. I’ve had 70 Thanksgivings in my lifetime. This is the only one for which I remember many of the details…and I’m grateful.
Today in LGBT History – November 26
1865 – Mary Edwards Walker (November 26, 1832 – February 21, 1919) a Union army surgeon of the American Civil War, becomes the only woman (as of 2017) to receive the United States’ highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor. She was captured by Confederate forces after crossing enemy lines to treat wounded civilians and arrested as a spy. She was sent as a prisoner of war to Richmond, Virginia, until released in a prisoner exchange. There are surviving photographs of the hero wearing male clothing, and Walker is said to have been arrested for impersonating a man, because she insisted on her right to wear clothing that she thought appropriate. She was an American abolitionist, prohibitionist, prisoner of war and surgeon. Walker was a member of the central woman’s suffrage bureau in Washington, and solicited funds to endow a chair for a woman professor at Howard University medical school. Walker was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2000.
1962, Morocco –Morocco adds same-sex penalties to its Penal Code.
1978 – ABC airs “A Question of Love,” a TV movie about lesbian lovers in a custody battle over their children-complete with ‘parental discretion advised’ warnings. The lesbian couple was played by the Gena Rowlands and Jane Alexander. The next high profile movie about lesbians would be 16 years later when Glenn Close and Judy Davis starred in Serving in Silence.
1982 – Lesbians Cris Williamson (born 1947) and Meg Christian (born 1946) play Carnegie Hall, the first openly lesbian or gay act to do so. Cris Williamson is an American feminist singer–songwriter, who achieved fame as a recording artist, and who was a pioneer as a visible lesbian political activist, during a time when few who were not connected to the Lesbian community were aware of Gay and Lesbian issues. Williamson’s music and insight has served as a catalyst for change in the creation of women-owned record companies in the 1970s. Meg is an American folk singer associated with the music movement.
1990 – The Minneapolis Minnesota civil rights commission rules that Roman Catholic officials violated anti-discrimination laws by evicting the LGBT Catholic organization Dignity from holding services in a church owned facility.
2003 – In the United States Senate, the Federal Marriage Amendment is introduced by Wayne Allard of Colorado, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Jim Bunning of Kentucky, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, and Jeff Sessions of Alabama
2015, Bolivia – The Justice Minister announces the passage of the Law of Gender Identity which allows transgender people to change their legal documents. The bill was initially proposed by Raysa Torriani, a transgender woman and trans activist, three years earlier. The “Law of Gender Identity” will legally recognize the identity of 1,500 self-identified transgender people living in Bolivia . “Now, the sisters and brothers who want to change their name and sex, by an administrative resolution, can change their information” in the records of various government institutions, said Virginia Velasco, the minister of justice of Bolivia.
Speak out, share your story, keep LGBT history alive.
(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, 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!)