Learning our history IS resistance! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!
Today in LGBT History – October 13
1307, France – All Knights Templar members are arrested in a single night by order of Philip IV. The Order is then abolished in 1312 over “charges of heresy and sodomy” in order to “neutralize a rival power and satisfy greed.”
1970, UK – Bob Mellors (1950 – 24 March 1996) and Aubrey Walter (born 1944)host the United Kingdom’s first Gay Liberation Front meeting at the London School of Economics. In 1970 Bob went to New York and became involved with the Gay Liberation Front (GLF),becoming friends with Aubrey during demos outside the Women’s House of Correction in New York. Meeting up with the Black Panthers helped to crystallize their ideas on gay liberation and they decided to create a London version of the GLF. Bob Mellors was found stabbed to death at his home in Warsaw on March 24, 1996.
1982 – Jerry Falwell and National Gay Task Force director Virginia Apuzzo (born June 26, 1941) debate gay rights on the Phil Donahue show. Ginny is a former executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force. She served as executive deputy of the New York State Consumer Protection Board and as the vice chair of the New York State AIDS Advisory Council.
1987 – In Washington DC, 600 people were arrested in an act of civil disobedience at the US Supreme Court to protest theBowers v. Hardwickdecision which upheld the constitutionality of Georgia’s sodomy law. It was the largest number to participate in an act of civil disobedience since the Vietnam War. (Federal law prohibits protesting on the steps of the US Supreme Court.)
1990, South Africa – The first Pride parade on the African content takes place in Johannesburg. Eight hundred people attend. It is organized by the Gay and Lesbian Organization of the Witwatersrand (GLOW) which was launched by gay anti-apartheid activist Simon Nkoli (26 November 1957 – 30 November 1998) in 1988. He said, “I cannot be free as a Black man if I cannot be free as a gay man.” He died of AIDS in 1998 in Johannesburg.
1993 – The Lesbian Avengers protest during a speech by Senator Sam Nunn (D) in New York City. Nunn fought to retain the military’s ban on gay and lesbian servicepersons.
1997 – The short story “Brokeback Mountain” by Annie Proulx is published in The New Yorker.
1999 – President Clinton renews his call to include gay men and lesbians in hate crimes legislation.
2002 – Myers Park Baptist Church leaves the Southern Baptist Convention to become the first queer affirming Baptist congregation, in Charlotte, NC.
2006 – In New York City, Michael Sandy (October 12, 1977 – October 13, 2006), the gay African American man from Brooklyn who was beaten and then chased into the path of a speeding car on the evening of Sunday, October 8th, dies on this day after his family instructed doctors to take him off life-support. Sandy, who turned 29 on Oct. 12th, had been in a coma, never to regain consciousness, and diagnosed brain dead since the attack. The three Brooklyn men who were charged with hate crimes in the attack on Sandy – John Fox, 19, Ilya Shurov, 20, and Gary Timmins, 16 – were charged with assault and robbery as hate crimes. On this day, NY police announced that the crimes would be upgraded to include murder.
2009 – Actor George Takei (born April 20, 1937) and his husband Brad Altman are the first same-sex couple to appear on “The Newlywed Game.” In October 2005, Takei revealed in an issue of Frontiers magazine that he is gay and had been in a committed relationship with his partner, Brad Altman, for 18 years; the move was prompted by then California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s veto of same-sex marriage legislation. Takei is an American actor, director, author, and activist. He is best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise in the television series Star Trek. He also portrayed the character in six Star Trek feature films and one episode of Star Trek: Voyager.
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!)