Today in LGBT History – October 17

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 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 – October 17

976, Cordoba, Spain – Hisham II becomes Caliph at age 11. He is the openly homosexual son of the openly homosexual Al-Hakam II, Both kept male harems.

1535, Rome – Pope Paul III wrote a letter to his son, Duke Pier Luigi Farnese  (19 November 1503 – 10 September 1547), on this day that scolded him for having male lovers with him on an official mission to the court of the Emperor.

1920 – Actor Montgomery Clift (October 17, 1920 – July 23, 1966) is born in Omaha, Nebraska. His sexuality was carefully guarded from fans but few in Hollywood did not know. Clift burned himself out and was dead at the age of 46.  

1980 – The first Black Lesbian Conference, with over 200 women in attendance, took place in San Francisco, California, which grew from the first National Third World Lesbian and Gay Conference held in Washington, D.C., the previous year.

1992 – 400,000 people view the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt which (then) has over 20,000 panels covering 13 acres.

1995 – The Advocate publishes a ground-breaking interview with Barney Frank, Steve Gunderson and Gerry Studds, the three openly gay members of the U.S. Congress at that time.

1995 – For the first time in its history, the United Nations considers lesbian and gay rights abuses at its International Tribunal on Human Rights Violations Against Sexual Minorities. Following testimony from a number of women and men who have suffered abuse ranging from torture to forced institutionalization, the tribunal recommends that the UN document sexual orientation and gender identity issues around the world and integrate them into the organization’s human rights agenda.

1977, Canada – An appeal of an obscenity conviction against Vancouver’s Gay Tide is heard before the Supreme Court of Canada. It is the first time a gay civil rights case is heard by the Supreme Court.

1998 – Santa Cruz, CA, attorney Melinda Whiteway is appointed co-chair of the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association, making her the first transgendered person to co-chair a national gay and lesbian organization. The National Gay and Lesbian Law Association is the only queer law association to be affiliated with the American Bar Association.

 Speak out, share your story, keep LGBT history alive.




(Historical information obtained from a variety of sources including QUIST at,, Lavender Effect,, 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 Thanks!)


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