Today in LGBT History – OCTOBER 21

Musings of an Aging Lesbian

Brene Brown said: Connection is why we’re here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. Do you feel connected in that vulnerable way? At 72, I’m finally getting it. I do have a few – very few – connections to people with whom I feel safe enough to be vulnerable, but I’m learning to extend myself further. I’m beginning to reach out further and allow myself the vulnerability with others, to expand my circle of people for whom a deeper friendship. After a lifetime of playing my cards close to my chest – a tactic that didn’t work very well anyway – I’m allowing myself to feel freedom in connections. In all honesty, this thought of being authentic, of being vulnerable with others, began when my dear student Mandy died by suicide at UCLA in 2004. Regardless that she was a multiple attempter and suffered from bipolar disorder, I felt back then that if I been more vulnerable with her, perhaps I could have saved her. It took a year of therapy for me to get it. Connect with others. It a sweet feeling of being alive.

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 21

1797, Netherlands – Reinder Pieters van Workum of Frisia is convicted of seduction to sodomy and sentenced to flogging, ten years in prison, and banishment for life.

1893 – On this day Alice Mitchell (November 26, 1872- March 31, 1898) and Freda Ward (1875 – February 23, 1892)  make the cover of “The Mascot,” a New Orleans periodical. Alice, 18, killed Freda, 17, on Jan. 25, 1892. The cover reads, “Good God! The Crimes of Sodom and Gomorrah Discounted.” The editors referred to it as a “story of licentious, horrible love.”

1939 – In New York, police raid a masked drag ball, arrest 99 men, and charged them with masquerading as females.

1964 – The film “My Fair Lady,” directed by gay George Cukor (July 7, 1899 – January 24, 1983, is released and goes on to with best Picture and Best Director.

1977, Canada – Days of protest rallies are held across Canada protesting job discrimination with focus on John Damien (1933-1986), a judge with the Ontario Racing Commission who was fired for being gay.

1979 – Letters between Eleanor Roosevelt (October 11, 1884 – November 7, 1962) and journalist Lorena Hickok (March 7, 1893 – May 1, 1968) are made available. Many of the letters are of a romantic nature.

1983 – Through a spokesperson, the Orthodox Eastern Churches in the United States threaten to withdraw from the National Council of Churches if the predominantly gay and lesbian Metropolitan Community Church is allowed to join. In response, the council decides to table the group’s application for membership

1985 – Dan White, who murdered both Harvey Milk (May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978) and San Francisco mayor George Moscone, commits suicide.

1986 -U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop calls for the use of condoms to prevent HIV transmission.

1992 – The University of Iowa board approved a policy to extend spousal insurance benefits to same sex couples and unmarried heterosexual couples.

1993 – Openly gay author James Leo Herlihy (February 27, 1927 – October 21, 1993) dies in Los Angeles at age 66. Herlihy wrote “Midnight Cowboy” and “Season of the Witch.”

1993 – Yale University announces that it would begin extending health benefits to the domestic partners of same-sex couples. Universities preceding Yale to make this decision included Stanford, Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Chicago and the University of Iowa.

1998 – U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher releases a report with recommendations for suicide prevention. The report recognizes that gay and lesbian youth are a high-risk group and recommends target prevention efforts.

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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