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 5
1513, Panama – Spanish conquistador Vasco Nunez de Balboa discovers a community of cross-dressing males in present-day Panama and, according to reports, feeds at least 40 of them to his dogs.
1698, England – William Minton, a 19 year old servant, is used as bait to entrap Capt. Edward Rigby, the first homosexual victim of entrapment by the Society for the Reformation of Manners. He was tried for sodomy. These Societies were formed in Tower Hamlets, London, in 1690, with their primary object being the suppression of bawdy houses and profanity. A network of moral guardians was set up, with four stewards in each ward of the City of London, two for each parish, and a committee, whose business it was to gather the names and addresses of offenders against morality, and to keep minutes of their misdeeds. By 1699 there were nine such societies, and by 1701 there were nearly 20 in London, plus others in the provinces, all corresponding with one another and gathering information and arranging for prosecutions.
1961 – New York Times critic Howard Taubman launches an attack on “the increasing incidence of homosexuality on the New York stage” in an article headlined “Not What It Seems: Homosexual Motif Gets Heterosexual Guise.”;
1969 – The Homosexual Information Center protests at the offices of the Los Angeles Times because of the newspaper’s refusal to print the word “homosexual” in ads. The Times would not print an ad announcing a group discussion on homosexuality.
1970 – The New York Times reports that the Gay Activists Alliance’s petition to incorporate as a non-profit organization was rejected because of the use of the word “gay” in the organization’s name.
1973 -The Supreme Court of the United States in Wainwright v. Stone finds that the sodomy law of Florida is not unconstitutionally vague, reversing a Fifth Circuit ruling.
1974 – Elaine Noble (born January 22, 1944) becomes the first openly gay or lesbian individual to be elected to a state legislature in the United States when she is elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Inspired by Noble, Minnesota state legislator Allan Spear comes out in a newspaper interview. In 1986 Noble and Ellen Ratner formed a LGBT alcohol and drug treatment center in Minneapolis called the Pride Institute. More recently she has worked as a healthcare administrator and a realtor. Noble had a relationship with writer Rita Mae Brown in the 1970s and has since retained privacy regarding her personal life. She lives in Florida
1985 – The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passes legislation to protect people with AIDS from discrimination.
1992 – A New York State Bar Association committee issues a recommendation that low-income same-sex couples be granted access to state-subsidized housing.
1992 – A clause prohibiting anti-gay verbal abuse in public schools was repealed by the Fairfax (VA) county board of education because of complaints that it encouraged homosexuality.
1998 – The US Congress kills an amendment by Rep. Frank Riggs (R-CA) which would have barred San Francisco from spending federal housing money to implement its domestic partner ordinance.
2004, Canada – A judge in Saskatchewan rules that same-sex couples have the right to marry in that province.
2008 – Strauss v. Horton, a legal challenge to Proposition 8, is filed. Proposition 8, known informally as Prop 8, was a California ballot proposition and a state constitutional amendment passed in the November 2008 California state elections. The proposition was created by opponents of same-sex marriage in advance of the California Supreme Court’s May 2008 appeal ruling, In re Marriage Cases, which followed the short-lived controversy and found the previous ban on same-sex marriage (Proposition 22, 2000) unconstitutional. Proposition 8 was ultimately ruled unconstitutional by a federal court (on different grounds) in 2010, although the court decision did not go into effect until June 26, 2013, following the conclusion of proponents’ appeals.
2009, Viet Nam – Pham le Quynh Tram, born intersex and assigned male at birth, successfully petitions the government for legal recognition as a woman. In 2013, he People’s Committee of the southern province of Binh Phuoc ordered the local Department of Justice to revert to recognizing Tram as a male and to refer to her as Pham Van Hiep, her birth name. In addition to the Department of Justice rescinding Tram’s initial recognition, the officials who first approved it are reportedly ordered to be penalized.
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!)