Today in LGBT History – October 18: Spirit Day…Wear purple!

Learning our history IS resistance! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!


Today in LGBT History – October 18: Spirit Day…Wear purple!

Spirit Day is an annual LGBTQ awareness day observed on the third Thursday in October. Started in 2010 by Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan, it was initially created in response to a rash of widely publicized bullying-related suicides of gay school students in 2010, including that of Tyler Clementi. Promoted by GLAAD, observers wear the color purple as a visible sign of support for LGBTQ youth and against bullying during National Bullying Prevention Month, as well as to memorialize LGBTQ victims of suicide. Since 2010, Brittany, with the help of GLAAD, has inspired many celebrities, companies, and schools to wear purple and stand up against bullying. The name “Spirit Day” comes from the purple stripe of the Rainbow flag, whose creator Gilbert Baker defined it as “representing ‘spirit'”.

1884, Uganda – Danieri Basammula-Ekkere Mwanga II Mukasa (1868–1903) of Buganda ascends to the throne as the 31stking of Buganda (now Uganda), reigning from 1884 to 1888. He keeps a harem of young boys along with his 16 wives. He was Kabaka of Buganda from 1884 until 1888 and from 1889 until 1897.

1894 Harris Olney, 28, and James Dalton, 25, were found dead in a room at the Metropolitan Hotel in New York. They had gone to bed, deeply intoxicated, leaving the gas turned on full steam. Olney was a well-known jockey. Dalton, 25, was a frequenter of race tracks. Olney rode Pierre Lorillard’s famous horse Pontiac when he won the “Suburban Handicap” in 1885 at Sheepshead Bay Race Track at the Coney Island Jockey Club in Sheepshead Bay, New York.

1914 – Rhoda Bubendey Metraux (18 October 1914, New York City – 26 November 2003) was a prominent anthropologist in the area of cross-cultural studies, specializing in Haitian voodoo and the Iatmul people of the middle Sepik River in Papua New Guinea. She collaborated with Alfred Metraux, on mutual studies of Voodoo in Haiti. During World War II, Metraux headed the section on German morale for the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Rhoda Metraux was also an important professional and personal partner of Margaret Mead (1901–1978). Mead and Rhoda Metraux were a close-knit professional team whose work greatly influenced American anthropology in the late 20th century. They shared a house in Greenwich Village in New York City from 1955 to 1966 and an apartment on Central Park West from 1966 until Mead’s death in 1978.

1953 – Tim Gill (born October 18, 1953) is born in Hobart, Indiana. He is an American software entrepreneur, philanthropist, and creator of the Gill Foundation, one of the first major foundations to benefit the LGBTQ community. He is the single largest individual donor to the LGBT rights movement in U.S. history, having personally committed more than $422 million since the early 1990s,Gill is also the founder of the pioneering page layout software company Quark, Inc.Gill sold his 50 percent stake in the company in 1999 for a reported $500 million. Gill’s latest venture is JStar LLC, a smart home technology start-up that invented Josh.ai, a voice-controlled home automation system using JStar’s own artificial intelligence technology platform. Gill married his husband Scott Miller in Massachusetts in 2009.They live in Denver, Colorado.

1956, Czechoslovakia – Martina Navratilova (born October 18, 1956) is born in Prague. In 2005, Tennis magazine selected her as the greatest female tennis player for the years 1965 through 2005 and she is considered one of the best, if not the best, female tennis players of all time. Martina emigrated to the U.S. in 1975. She became a U.S. citizen in 1981. In 1981, she came outas bisexual and revealed that she had a sexual relationship with author Rita Mae Brown(born November 28, 1944). Navratilova and Nancy Lieberman (born July 1, 1958), her next girlfriend,gave an interview to Dallas Morning News, where Navratilova reiterated that she was bisexual and Lieberman identified herself as straight. Navratilova has since identified herself as a lesbian. From 1984 to 1991, Navratilova had a long-term relationship with Judy Nelson, whom she met at a tournament in Fort Worth in 1982. Their split in 1991 included a much-publicized legal wrangle. On September 6, 2014, Navratilova proposed to her longtime girlfriend former model Russian Julia Lemigova(born 20 June 1972)at the US Open. They married in New York on December 15, 2014.

1977 – Citizens United to Protect Our Children, an anti-gay organization in Portland OR, announced they had failed to get enough signatures to get a recall election of Mayor Neil Goldschmidt after he declared Portland Gay Pride Day.


1986 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Bowers v. Hardwick to uphold Georgia’s sodomy law which banned consensual sodomy between married and non-married people, and with it similar laws in twenty-five other states and the District of Columbia.

1990 – Three white supremacists, Robert John Winslow, Stephen Nelson, and Procter Baker, are convicted of conspiring to blow up Neighbours Disco, a gay bar in Boise, Idaho.

1990 – Former Supreme Court justice Lewis Powell declared that he believed he made a mistake by voting to uphold Georgia’s sodomy laws in the 1986 Bowers v Hardwick case.

1991 – Admiral Frank B. Kelso, chief of naval operations, announced that the explosion of the USS Iowa gun turret #2 which killed forty-seven men had been proven not to have been caused by a wrongful intentional act and apologized to the family of Clayton Hartwig (Dec. 29, 1964-April 19, 1989). Hartwig had been accused of intentionally causing the blast as an act of suicide following the break-up of a homosexual affair. It was not proven that he was homosexual.


Stand up, speak out, share your story!

Warmly,

Ronni

 

(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 ronnisanlo@gmail.com. Thanks!)

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