Today in LGBT History – October 24

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 our 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 24

44 BC, Italy – The first written reference to same-sex marriage appears when Cicero insults promiscuous Mark Antony whose father Curio “established you in a fix and stable marriage, as if he had given you a stola.” A stola is a traditional garment worn by married Roman women. Cicero’s sexual implications are clear, the point of which is to cast Antony in the submissive role in the relationship and to impugn his manhood.

1679, Sweden – Lisbeth Olsdotter is charged with abandoning her husband and children, cross-dressing, marrying a woman, bigamy, and homosexuality. She is also charged with theft and fraud related to taking a job as a soldier. She is convicted and sentenced to death.

1926 – The New York Times prints a book review of “The Doctor Looks at Love and Life” by Dr. Joseph Collins. In the chapter on homosexuality, Dr. Collins counters the claim that homosexual love is pathological and that homosexuals are psychopaths or neurotic, saying that he knew many well-balanced homosexuals of both sexes who have distinguished themselves in various fields from arms to the pulpit. He also stated that “Genuine homosexuality is not a vice, it is an endowment.”

October 24, 1962 – Actor and openly gay dad B. D. Wong (Oct. 24, 1962) is born. He won a Tony for his performance in M. Butterfly and starred in the TV drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Wong began a long-term relationship with talent agent Richie Jackson in 1988. In 2000, the couple had twin sons – Boaz Dov, who died 90 minutes after birth, and Jackson Foo Wong – through a surrogate mother, using Wong’s sperm and an egg donated by Jackson’s sister. In 2003, Wong wrote a memoir about his experiences with surrogacy titled Following Foo: the Electronic Adventures of the Chestnut Man. Wong and Jackson ended their relationship in 2004. Wong amicably co-parents his son with his ex-partner Jackson and Jackson’s partner, Jordan Roth (born November 13, 1975). Jackson is the executive producer of the Showtime series Nurse Jackie. Roth is the President and majority owner of Jujamcyn Theaters, where he oversees five Broadway theatres, including the St. James, Al Hirschfeld, August Wilson, Eugene O’Neill and Walter Kerr.

1966 – Paul Lynde June 13, 1926 – January 11, 1982) makes his first appearance on the game show Hollywood Squares. He was an American comedian, voice artist, actor and TV personality. A noted character actor with a distinctively campy and snarky persona that often poked fun at his barely in-the-closet homosexuality, Lynde was well known for his roles as Uncle Arthur on Bewitched and the befuddled father Harry MacAfee in Bye Bye Birdie. He was also the regular “center square” panelist on the show Hollywood from 1968 to 1981, and he voiced two Hanna-Barbera productions; he was Templeton the gluttonous rat in Charlotte’s Web and The Hooded Claw in The Perils of Penelope Pitstop.

1981 – The first National Conference on Lesbian and Gay Aging was held in California. Sponsored by the National Association For Gay and Lesbian Gerontology, it sought to “dispel myths about older lesbians and gay men, advance research, establish programs and services for lesbian and gay elders, and encourage and provide support for lesbian and gay gerontologists.”

1987 – Elizabeth Kirby Lewallen was named the new president of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) at the organization’s Sixth International convention in Washington DC.

1992 – Thirty-five religious leaders in northwest Vermont join to condemn two acts of hate-motivated violence, one anti-gay and one anti-Semitic.

2002 – Pioneering gay activist Harry Hay  (April 7, 1912 – October 24, 2002) dies. A founder and architect of the modern gay rights movement in 1950, Hay and four others formed one of the nation’s first gay rights organizations, the Mattachine Society. Hay was a prominent American gay rights activist, communist, labor advocate, and Native American civil rights campaigner. He was a founder of the Mattachine Society, the first sustained gay rights group in the United States, as well as the Radical Faeries, a loosely affiliated gay spiritual movement. As late as 2000 Hay continued to speak out against assimilation, saying, “The assimilationist movement is running us into the ground.”  While in hospice care Hay died of lung cancer on October 24, 2002 at age 90. His ashes, mingled with those of his partner John Burnside, were scattered in Nomenus Faerie Sanctuary, Wolf Creek, Oregon


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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