Musings of an Aging Lesbian
Yesterday’s gray day didn’t stop us from going out on the boat. The water was smooth and there were no other boats in Sequim Bay. A perfect day to think about next steps while enjoying being in the moment!
I’m working on a project that will bring lesbian herstory to life. I’ve gathered a gaggle of old gals to do some brainstorming and then I’ll connect with some younger women to so the same. My question here is: what do you want to know about old lesbian herstory?
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 25
51 AD, Rome – Titus Flavius Domitianus (51-96) was born in Rome. The Emperor is the first recorded case of a married man leaving his wife for a man, a mime named Paris. After a public outcry Titus killed Paris and went back to his wife. However, he continued his affairs with young men; his wife had him assassinated.
1783 – Deborah Sampson Gannett (December 17, 1760 – April 29, 1827) is honorably discharged from the Massachusetts Regiment of the Continental Army after serving under the name Robert Shirtliff. Wounded in one of several battles in which she fought, Sampson had escaped discovery for almost a year and a half until falling sick with a fever. One of the earliest American examples of a passing woman, Sampson formed several attachments with women while dressed as a man. She married Benjamin Gannett in 1785. She petitioned Congress for a pension and ultimately received a military pension. Sampson died of yellow fever at the age of 66 on April 29, 1827. During World War II the Liberty Ship S.S. Deborah Gannett (2620) was named in her honor. It was laid down March 10, 1944, launched April 10, 1944 and scrapped in 1962. In her speech at the Democratic National Convention on July 26, 2016, Meryl Streep named Sampson in a list of women who had made history. Deborah Sampson’s story, as narrated by Paget Brewster, was re-enacted in the Season 5 premiere of Drunk History. Evan Rachel Wood portrayed Sampson.
1929 – David McReynolds (October 25, 1929 – August 17, 2018) is born. He appeared on the Socialist Party ballot, becoming the first openly gay individual to run for President of the United States. He was a pacifist activist who described himself as “a peace movement bureaucrat” during his 40-year career with Liberation magazine and the War Resisters League. He lived in New York City. In 1951 he joined the Socialist Party of America (SPA) and in 1953 he graduated from UCLA with a degree in political science. Between 1957 and 1960, he worked for the editorial board of the left-wing magazine Liberation. He was openly gay and wrote his first article about living as a gay man in 1969.
1970 – Richell Rene “Chely” Wright (born October 25, 1970) is an American country music singer and activist. On the strength of her debut album in 1994, the Academy of Country Music (ACM) named her Top New Female Vocalist in 1995. Wright’s first Top 40 country hit came in 1997 with “Shut Up and Drive“. Two years later, her fourth album yielded a number one single, the title track, “Single White Female“. Overall, Wright has released seven studio albums on various labels, and has charted more than fifteen singles on the country charts. As of May 2010, Wright’s previous eight albums and 19 singles released had sold over 1,500,000 copies and 10,000,000 digital impressions to date in the United States. In May 2010, Wright became one of the first major country music performers to publicly come out as lesbian. In television appearances and an autobiography, she cited among her reasons for publicizing her homosexuality a concern with bullying and hate crimes toward gays, particularly gay teenagers, and the damage to her life caused by “lying and hiding”.In 2010, Wright was named the National Spokesperson for the organization GLSEN. Wright was named one of Out magazine’s annual 100 People of the Year. Metro Source New York Magazine named her as one of the 20 people We Love in 2010.
1979 – The Front Page, the first LGBT newspaper in Raleigh, NC, is published.
1984 – Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (born October 25, 1984), known professionally as Katy Perry, is an American singer and songwriter. Perry is a LGBT rights activist. She supported Stonewall during their “It gets better….. today” campaign to prevent homophobic bullying, and dedicated the music video to her song “Firework” to the It Gets Better Project. Perry told Do Something in November 2008 that she was proud to be a gay activist, saying “I’ve always been a very open-minded person, but I definitely believe in equality.” She confirmed that she voted against Proposition 8, an amendment (ultimately ruled unconstitutional) that legally defined marriage as a union solely between a man and a woman in California. In June 2012, Perry expressed her hopes for LGBT equality, commenting “hopefully, we will look back at this moment and think like we do now concerning [other] civil rights issues. We’ll just shake our heads in disbelief, saying, ‘Thank God we’ve evolved.’ That would be my prayer for the future.” In December 2012, Perry was awarded the Trevor Hero Award by The Trevor Project for her work and activism on behalf of LGBT youth. On March 18, 2017, she received a Nation Equality Award from Human Rights Campaign for “using her powerful voice and international platform to speak out for LGBTQ equality”, with the organization further stating that “Katy’s message of inclusion and equality continues to inspire us and the world”.
2006 – The New Jersey Supreme Court rules that state lawmakers must provide the rights and benefits of marriage to gay and lesbian couples.
2012 – Allyson Robinson becomes the leader of OutServe-SLDN, working on LGBT issues in the military. She is the first transgender person to do so. She attended West Point before gender reassignment, graduated in 1994, majored in physics, and was then commissioned as an officer serving in the U.S. Army until 1999. She held the rank of Captain. Also prior to transition, she became an ordained Baptist minister, earning a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from the Baylor University‘s George W. Truett Theological Seminary. Robinson has been married to Danyelle Robinson since 1994. They have four children.
2018 –Higher Education lost a pioneer LGBT researcher with the death of Dr. Rob Rhoads. Rob was Professor of Education in the Higher Education and Organizational Change Division in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, and Director of the Globalization and Higher Ed Research Center. His research interests included globalization and university reform in China and the United States; social movements and the university; university and society relationships; university and economic/social change in the developing world; academic citizenship; the American community college; multiculturalism and student activism. Rob often collaborated with others as he explored LGBT issues in education and higher ed. He died on this day after a long batter with cancer.
Stand up, speak out, share your story!
(Historical information obtained from a variety of sources including QUIST at facebook.com/quistapp, Back2Stonewall.com, #LavenderEffect, DataLounge.com, #ArronsGayInfo, #AllThingsQueer, #RSLevinson, #AmaraDasWilhelm, out.com, #SafeSchoolsCoalition, and/or Wikipedia. If you wish to edit an item or add an item, please send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!)