History helps us see that we have a rich past as LGBT people. We’ve been rendered invisible in the history books but our existence is as long and colorful as humankind. The purpose of this bog, therefore, is to share the good, the bad, and ugly, and the fabulousness of being lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. At times I may include Jewish and other histories as well since the Holocaust and other significant events of must be remembered as well. Remembering and sharing our history is an act of resistance.
We’re here, we’re queer, and we’ve been around a heck of a long time! Enjoy!
Keep LGBT history alive! Write the stories of your life and share with others.
Today in LGBT History – November 4
1929, India – Shakuntala Devi (4 November 1929 – 21 April 2013) is born. She wrote the first study of homosexuality in India, The World Of Homosexuals. It treated homosexuality in an understanding light and is considered a pioneer in the field. In the documentary For Straights Only, she said that her interest in the topic came out of her marriage to a homosexual man and her desire to look at homosexuality more closely to understand it. She was an Indian writer and mental calculator, popularly known as the “human computer.” A child prodigy, her talent earned her a place in the 1982 edition of The Guinness Book of World Records. As a writer, Devi wrote a number of books, including novels as well as texts about mathematics, puzzles, and astrology.
1946 – Photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (November 4, 1946 – March 9, 1989) is born. He was an American photographer, known for his sensitive yet blunt treatment of controversial subject-matter in the large-scale, highly stylized black and white medium of photography. His most controversial work is that of the underground BDSM scene in the late 1960s and early 1970s of New York City. The homoeroticism of this work fueled a national debate over the public funding of controversial artwork.
1960 – FDNY Firefighter, president emeritus of FireFLAG/EMT and LGBT Rights activist Tom Ryan (Nov. 4, 1960)is born. Ryan retired from FDNY in 2003, after a distinguished FDNY career, and is a hero of 9/11. He has worked tirelessly for the issues effecting LGBT Firefighters and Emergency Workers, continues to speak out on issues of homophobia in the fire services, the rights of domestic partners, and discrimination toward the gay community.
1976 – Syndicated columnist Nicholas von Hoffman’s column “Out of TV’s Sitcom Closet” appears. It stated that Americans were experiencing the “Year of the Fag” and claimed the National Gay Task Force was controlling at least one sitcom.
1980 – Barney Frank (born March 31, 1940) (D, Mass.) is elected to his first term in the US House of Representatives. He served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts from 1981 to 2013. As a member of the Democratic Party, he served as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee (2007–2011) and was a leading co-sponsor of the 2010 Dodd–Frank Act, a sweeping reform of the U.S. financial industry. Frank, a resident of Newton, Massachusetts, is considered the most prominent gay politician in the United States.
2008 – California voters ban same-sex marriage with Proposition 8, becoming the first U.S. state to do so after marriages had been legalized for same-sex couples. The amendment to California’s constitution passed by a margin of 52% to 47% and overturned the state supreme court’s ruling in May in favor of same-sex marriage.
2008 – Arizona and Florida voters pass constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage.
2008 – Arkansas voters pass Act 1, which effectively bans adoption by same-sex couples, by a margin of 54% to 41%. Florida had done so in 1978.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!)