Musings of an Aging Lesbian
I have been posting This Day in LGBT History on FaceBook and on my blog for about eight years. I’ve decided that the LGBT history work will come to an end on December 31st. I announced this on FaceBook yesterday and have received nearly 100 comments of thanks which I deeply appreciate. I won’t stop doing our history, of course. After all, it’s in my blog archives. As of this month, I am focusing on being an aging lesbian and on the disappearance of lesbian spaces and culture and even the word lesbian. I hope you will join me on this adventure as we look back at the lives of lesbian sheros, bad girls, and bad-ass women.
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 27
1992 – Allen Schindler (December 13, 1969 – October 27, 1992), an American sailor, is beaten to death by his shipmates for being gay. He was killed in a public toilet in Sasebo, Nagasaki, Japan, by Terry M. Helvey, who acted with the aid of an accomplice, Charles Vins, in what Esquire called a “brutal murder”. The case became synonymous with the debate concerning GBT members of the military that had been brewing in the United States culminating in the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” bill. The events surrounding Schindler’s murder were the subject of ABC’s 20/20 episode and were portrayed in the 1997 TV film Any Mother’s Son. In 1998, Any Mother’s Son won a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Made for TV Movie.
1998, Canada – Glen Murray (born October 26, 1957), an out gay man, was elected mayor of Winnipeg, Manitoba. He served as the 41st Mayor of Winnipeg, Manitoba from 1998 to 2004, and was the first openly gay mayor of a large North American city. He subsequently moved to Toronto, Ontario, and was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as a Liberal Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Toronto Centre in 2010, serving until 2017. Murray has been involved in HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention throughout his life. He was a founding member of the Canadian AIDS Society he was also the Director of Health Education and HIV Prevention Services at the Village Clinic in Winnipeg. Murray was part of the World Health AIDS service organization’s working group for the Global Program on AIDS. Murray was awarded for his efforts in 2003 by Egale Canada as he was the national recipient of an award for “Fighting for LGBT Justice & Equality.”
2006, Italy – Italian member of Parliament Daniele Capezzone (September 8, 1972) comes out as bisexual. From 14 July 2001 to 4 November 2006, he was secretary of the Italian Radicals, a liberal, pro-market economy, libertarian movement associated with the Transnational Radical Party. He has been one of the youngest party-secretaries in Italy so far. In 2006-2008, he was the President of the 10th Permanent Commission (Productive Affairs, Trade and Tourism) of the Italian Chamber of Deputies. He is currently the spokesman for the People of Freedom.
2009 – Polyamorous lesbian writer Natalie Clifford Barney (October 31, 1876 – February 2, 1972) is honored with an historic marker in her hometown of Dayton, Ohio. She was an American playwright, poet and novelist who lived as an expatriate in Paris. Barney’s salon was held at her home at 20 rue Jacob in Paris’s Left Bank for more than 60 years and brought together writers and artists from around the world, including many leading figures in French literature along with American and British Modernists of the Lost Generation. She worked to promote writing by women and formed a “Women’s Academy” (L’Académie des Femmes) in response to the all-male French Academy while also giving support and inspiration to male writers from Remy de Gourmont to Truman Capote. She was openly lesbian and began publishing love poems to women under her own name as early as 1900, considering scandal as “the best way of getting rid of nuisances” (meaning heterosexual attention from young males). She opposed monogamy and had many overlapping long and short-term relationships, including on-and-off romances with poet Renée Vivien (11 June 1877 – 18 November 1909) and dancer Armen Ohanian (1887–1976) and a 50-year relationship with painter Romaine Brooks (May 1, 1874 – December 7, 1970). Her life and love affairs served as inspiration for many novels, ranging from the salacious French bestseller Idylle Saphique to The Well of Loneliness, the most famous lesbian novel of the twentieth century. By the end of Barney’s life her work had been largely forgotten. In 1979, Natalie Barney was honored with a place setting in Judy Chicago‘s feminist work of art The Dinner Party. In the 1980s Barney began to be recognized for what Karla Jay calls an “almost uncanny anticipation” of the concerns of later feminist writers. English translations of some of her memoirs, essays, and epigrams appeared in 1992, but most of her plays and poetry are still untranslated.
2014, Germany – The Senate of the German Land of Berlin issues a positive statement on Intersex people.
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!)