Today in LGBT History – OCTOBER 10

Musings of an Aging Lesbian

One of my favorite books is Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. I quote her often. This morning I read: Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness. I do believe it takes both truth and courage to age gracefully. My wife Kelly often speaks about how we have only a few good years left. Perhaps. Likely. I’m 72 and she’s 67. Not spring chickens. And we’ve been together for only eight years, so it’s not like we’ve had a lifetime to plan and share and do. But she’s right. Time is running short and it’s no longer necessary to hide who I am. To be in my truth, to feel my courage, is to allow myself the luxury of vulnerability. To be in my truth, I would like to have more time with my children and grandchildren, to know who they really are, and to share my soul with them. To be in my truth, I’m grateful that my bucket list is now empty, thanks to Kelly’s loving generosity and willingness to travel the world with me. And to be in my truth is to say that I’m deeply grateful to be sitting here typing this musing as I watch the sun rise over the cold but calm water of the Strait.

What does vulnerability feel like to you?

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 10

1915 – Albert D. J. Cashier (December 25, 1843 – October 10, 1915) dies. Born Jennie Irene Hodgers, he was an Irish-born immigrant who served as a male soldier in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He lived as a man in Illinois, voted in elections and later claimed a veteran’s pension. On May 5, 1911, Cashier was moved to the Soldier and Sailors home in Quincy, Illinois. He lived there as a man until his mind deteriorated and was moved to the Watertown State Hospital for the Insane in March 1913.  Attendants at the Watertown discovered his female body when giving him a bath, at which point he was forced to wear a dress.

1936, Germany – The Reich Central Office for Combatting Abortion and Homosexuality forms. The main function was to gather data on homosexuals that led to arrests. Through 1945, an estimated 100,000 gay men were arrested and sent to concentration camps or prison, wearing the pink triangle. When the camps were liberated, they were not freed but sent to prison from the camps until the anti-gay Paragraph 175 was repealed in 1968. There is little data on the number of lesbians arrested though it is known that they had to wear the black triangle. German lesbians were usually sent to Spring of Life homes for impregnation. Jewish lesbians were sent to their deaths in the camps.

1949 – Newsweek Magazine publishes a story entitled “Queer People,” calling gays perverts and comparing them to exhibitionists and sexual sadists. It challenged the idea that homosexuals hurt no one but themselves.

1971 – Seven lesbians, including Barbara Gittings (July 31, 1932 – February 18, 2007), break new ground on U.S. television when they appear on The David Susskind Show

1972 – The US Supreme Court dismisses Baker v. Nelson, a Minnesota case filed by a gay couple seeking to marry, “for want of a substantial federal question.” Richard John Baker v. Gerald R. Nelson, 291 Minn. 310, 191 N.W.2d 185 (1971) is a case in which the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that a state law limiting marriage to persons of the opposite sex did not violate the U.S. Constitution. Baker appealed, and on October 10, 1972, the United States Supreme Court dismissed the appeal “for want of a substantial federal question.” Because the case came to the U.S. Supreme Court through mandatory appellate review (not certiorari), the dismissal constituted a decision on the merits and established Baker v. Nelson as precedent, though the extent of its precedential effect had been subject to debate. In May 2013, Minnesota legalized same-sex marriage and it took effect on August 1, 2013. Subsequently, on June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court explicitly overruled Baker in Obergefell v. Hodges making same-sex marriage legal nationwide.

1973, Canada – Toronto City council passes a resolution banning discrimination in municipal hiring on the basis of sexual orientation. It’s the first such legislation in Canada.

1987 – Two thousand gay and lesbian couples exchange vows in a mass wedding held on the steps of the I.R.S. building in Washington, DC

1995 – The United States Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Romer v. Evans, the case that would eventually overturn Colorado’s Amendment 2 which said that homosexuals and bisexuals were not a protected class.

1996, Argentina – The city of Buenos Aires enacts legislation banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and repeals laws that allowed police to arrest lesbians and gay men and hold them without charge for 24 hours.

2008 –  In Kerrigan v. Commissioner of Public Health, the Connecticut Supreme Court rules in a 4-3 vote that the state’s constitution protects the right to same-sex marriage.

2010, Serbia – A thousand people march in the second Belgrade Pride parade, drawing 6000 violent anti-gay protestors.

Stand up, speak out, share your story!




(Historical information obtained from a variety of sources including QUIST at,, #LavenderEffect,, #ArronsGayInfo, #AllThingsQueer, #RSLevinson, #AmaraDasWilhelm,, #SafeSchoolsCoalition, and/or Wikipedia. If you wish to edit an item or add an item, please send an email to me at Thanks!)

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