Happy October! This is National LGBT History Month. Many events take place this month so be sure to read, to participate, to know our history. The month culminates, of course, with Halloween, a giant unofficial national LGBTQ party, so you have plenty of time to create your costume…the ultimate cos-play!
It’s 30 degrees as I type. I love the clear cold air. My wife not so much. Actually, she hates it, but we’re bundling up and going for a bike ride with the Sequim Women on Wheels group this morning, then on to a few rounds of pickleball, and finally to start our winter boat cleaning before we close our Ranger Tug Strait Knot up for the season. A good day indeed!
Because it’s National LGBT History Month, I found this reading from Daily OM exactly right: From Daily OM: At some point in our lives, or perhaps at many points in our lives, we ask the question, “Who am I?” At times like these, we are looking beyond the obvious, beyond our names and the names of the cities and states we came from, into the layers beneath our surface identities. We may feel the need for a deeper sense of purpose in our lives, or we may be ready to accommodate a more complex understanding of the situation in which we find ourselves. Whatever the case, the question of who we are is a seed that can bear much fruit.
Rudyard Kipling said: If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten. The snippets of LGBTQ history here are the stories of our lives, the stories of the giants on whose shoulders we all 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 – OCTOBER 1
1867, Germany – George Cecil Ives (1 October 1867 – 4 June 1950) is born. He was a German-English poet, writer, penal reformer and early homosexual law reform campaigner. He founded the Order of Chaerona, an underground society for gays and lesbians, as a way for members of sexual minorities to communicate and support one another. Ives stressed that the Order was to be an ascetic movement, not to be used as a forum for men to meet men for sex although he accepted a degree of ‘passionate sensuality’ could take place. He also believed that love and sex between men was a way to undermine the rigid class system as a true form of democracy. The society is named after the location of the battle where the Sacred Band of Thebes was finally annihilated in 338 BC. In 1914, Ives, together with Edward Carpenter, Magnus Hirschfeld, Laurence Housman and others, founded the British Society for the Study of Sex Psychology. At his death in 1950, George Ives left a large archive covering his life and work between 1874 and 1949. The papers were bought in 1977 by the Harry Ransom Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
1936, Spain – Francisco Franco is proclaimed Generalissimo and Head of State. His dictatorship lasts 40 years during which thousands of homosexuals are jailed, put in camps, or locked up in mental institutions for breaking the Vagrancy Act.
1953, Germany – Klaus Wowereit (born 1 October 1953) is a German politician, member of the SPD(Social Democratic Party), and was the Governing Mayor of Berlin from October 2001 to December 2014. He served as President of the Bundesrat (the fourth highest office in Germany) in 2001-02. His SPD-led coalition was re-elected in the 2006 elections. He was also sometimes mentioned as a possible SPD candidate for the Chancellorship of Germany (Kanzlerkandidatur) in the next German federal election, but that never materialized. Wowereit’s civil partner, Jörn Kubicki, is a neurosurgeon. They have been in a relationship since 1993.
1971 – Connecticut becomes the second state to abolish its laws prohibiting homosexual acts by consenting adults.
1971 – African Americans Donna Burkett, 25, and Manonia Evans, 21, apply for a marriage license in Wisconsin but the application is refused by the clerk. The two women file a lawsuit but the suit is dismissed. They have a wedding without a license on December 25, 1971.
1981 – The U.S. House of Representatives fails to pass a bill that would decriminalize homosexual acts between consenting adults in the District of Columbia.
1981 – The first issue of “The Newsletter” for lesbian and bisexual women is published in North Carolina.
1982 – Glenn Burke, (November 16, 1952 – May 30, 1995) comes out in an interview in Inside Sports. He was a Major League Baseball (MLB) player for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Oakland Athletics from 1976 to 1979. Burke was the first and only MLB player to come out as gay to teammates and team owners during his professional career and the first to publicly acknowledge it. He died from AIDS-related causes in 1995.
1986 – The Roman Catholic Church issues Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons.” In the document, Ratzinger clarifies the Church’s condemnation of the “homosexual inclination” as a “tendency toward an intrinsic moral evil” and an “objective disorder,” and criticizes Catholics who have been guilty of “an overly benign interpretation of the homosexual condition.”
1987 – The US Senate votes 75-23 to allow the former hospital at Presidio Army base to be used for a regional AIDS treatment facility in order to meet the projected needs of San Francisco. President Reagan said if the bill were passed by the House of Representatives, he would veto it.
1987 – ACT-UP disrupts evangelist Pat Robertson’s formal announcement of his candidacy for the Republican nomination for US President.
1989, Denmark – Axil (3 April 1915 – 29 October 2011) and Eigil Axgil (24 April 1922 – 22 September 1995) became the first gay couple to be legally married in Copenhagen. They had been together for 40 years, 32 of which were under a common last name. Ten other couples were married the same day. In 1989, Denmark became the first nation in the world to recognize registered partnerships for same-sex couples, nearly equal to (opposite-sex) marriage. (They do not include rights to adoption, artificial insemination, or religious wedding ceremonies in state Lutheran Churches.) On 1 October 1989 the Axgils and 10 other Danish couples were married by Tom Ahlberg, the deputy mayor of Copenhagen, in the city hall, accompanied by worldwide media attention. In 2013, Axel Axgil was named by Equality Forum as one of their 31 Icons of the LGBT History Month.
1991 – U.S. freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy (born October 1, 1991) is born. He is an openly gay American freestyle skier.
1991 – Abby Stein (born October 1, 1991) is an American transgender activist, author, blogger, model, and speaker. She is the first openly transgender woman raised in a Hasidic community, and is a direct descendant of Hasidic Judaism’s founder the Baal Shem Tov. In 2015, she founded the first support group nationwide for trans people of Orthodox Jewish background. Stein is also the first woman, and the first openly transgender woman, to have been ordained by an Orthodox institution, having received her rabbinical degree in 2011, before coming out as transgender. She has not worked as a rabbi since at least 2016.
1993, Canada – An Ottawa court ordered the Canadian government to grant a gay federal worker spousal and bereavement benefits equal to those heterosexual employees receive.
1993 – National Public Radio in the U.S. announced it would offer domestic partner medical and dental benefits to employees in same-sex relationships. The policy also included unmarried heterosexual couples.
1994 – Rodney Wilson, a Missouri high school teacher, creates LGBT history month. He gathers other teachers and community leaders who select October because public schools are in session and existing traditions, such as Coming Out Day (October 11), occur that month.
1996, Argentina – Buenos Aires police begin a campaign of raids on gay and lesbian clubs and arrests of cross-dressing patrons and transsexuals in an apparent protest against impending gay and lesbian rights measures.
1999, Columbia – The first sexual orientation-related case presented to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights occurs. Marta Alvarez, a lesbian inmate, campaigns (beginning in 1994) for the right to same-sex conjugal visits.
2005, France – The first Transgender demonstration takes place in Paris. France later becomes the first county to declassify transsexuality as an illness, in 2009.
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!)