Today in LGBT History – OCTOBER 2

I have sciatica. I try to ignore it but it surprises me in the mornings. Hurts like crazy when I first get up. But I’ve been taught some yoga stretches (royal dove is excellent). I do those before I ever open my computer each morning. Then I grab the ice pack and a cup of coffee, and I’m rollin’. Yesterday we road about 20 miles with Women in Wheels then played five games of pickleball mostly with a woman who teaches the sport. It was a great outdoor day which is probably why I[m on my icepack this morning. Aging is great but it’s a bit complicated at times…coordinating activities then remedies for the aftermath. But it’s all worth it.

I read this piece in the Daily Om by Madisyn Taylor. When we hide and try to be invisible and unseen by all, we are only really hiding from ourselves. It doesn’t do anyone any good when we try to hide. We are all beings of light and we are here to light the way for each other. When we let ourselves shine, we become a bright mirror that others can see their own reflected brilliance through, and they can’t help but want to shine also. Shine your light out into the world, bless those around you by sharing your gifts, and watch the universe glow.

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 2

1849, Benin – Explorer Frederick Forbes arrives in the Kingdom of Dahomey (1600-1894) where he saw thousands of Amazons. Amazon tribes have existed in multiple time periods and continents, characterized as female-bodied with traditionally male traits. The Dahomean state became widely known for its corps of female soldiers. Their origins are debated; they may have formed from a palace guard or from gbetos (female hunting teams). They were organized around 1729 to fill out the army and make it look larger in battle, armed only with banners. The women reportedly behaved so courageously they became a permanent corps. In the beginning, the soldiers were criminals pressed into service rather than being executed. Eventually, however, the corps became respected enough that King Ghezo ordered every family to send him their daughters, with the fittest being chosen as soldiers

1650 – The Plymouth colony court found Sara White Norman guilty of lewd behavior on a bed with Mary Vincent Hammon. She was given a warning and ordered to publicly acknowledge her unchaste behavior. Their trial documents are the only known record of sex between female English colonists in North America in the 17th century. Hammon was only admonished, perhaps because she was younger than sixteen, but in 1650 Norman was convicted and required to acknowledge publicly her “unchaste behavior” with Hammon, as well as warned against future offenses. This may be the only conviction for lesbianism in American history. Sarah White, of whom little is known, married Hugh Norman in 1639.  That year, Mary Vincent, then about 15, married Benjamin Hammon, who had arrived from London in 1634.  During the time of Sarah’s prosecution (1648-1650), her husband deserted her  and returned to England, Mary and her husband later had a number of children and she was widowed in 1703.

1949 – Anna-Lou “Annie” Leibovitz (born October 2, 1949) is an American portrait photographer. She photographed John Lennon on the day he was assassinated, and her work has been used on numerous album covers and magazines. She became the first woman to hold an exhibition at Washington’s National Portrait Gallery in 1991. Leibovitz’s partner was writer and essayist Susan Sontag from 1989 until Sontag’s death in 2004.

1955 – Paula Ettelbrick (Oct. 2, 1955-Oct. 5, 2011), who has died of ovarian cancer aged 56, was an internationally acclaimed US-based lawyer and one of the pioneers of the movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. A fiery activist, she would fight in the courtroom, and with federal and state representatives – and more often than not would win. During her 25-year career as an advocate for the LGBT community – which she began in 1986 at Lambda Legal as a staff lawyer, before progressing to become legal director – Ettelbrick held directorships in a number of high-profile lesbian and gay organisations. These included the National Centre for Lesbian Rights, the Empire State Pride Agenda, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. Ettelbrick was the first woman to lead the Stonewall Community Foundation.

1969 – A National Institute of Mental Health study, chaired by UCLA’s Dr. Evelyn Hooker, urges government bodies to decriminalize private sex acts between consenting adults.

1985 – Actor Rock Hudson (November 17, 1925 – October 2, 1985) dies of complications from AIDS. His death resulted in greater attention to the AIDS epidemic. A movie star and matinée idol, Hudson, 59, dies in his home in Beverly Hills. His will includes a bequest that sets up the American Foundation for AIDS Research with his friend Elizabeth Taylor as the founding chair.

1990, UK – Metropolitan police met with members of the London direct action group OutRage to discuss their concerns after several actions are directed at UK law enforcement agencies.

1997 – Variety magazine objected to the Motion Picture Association of America’s decision to give the movie Bent an NC-17 rating, pointing out that the sex scenes were far less graphic than heterosexual sex scenes in movies which receive R ratings.

1999-California governor Gray Davis signs three gay rights bills.

2014 – The first transgender bodybuilding competition in the U.S. is held during the FTM Fitness’ First Annual Conference in Atlanta. Shawn Stinson, a former Marine, is crowned the first winner.

Stand up, speak out, share your story!




(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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