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 27
1903, Germany – “I am of the firm conviction,’ Sigmund Freud famously wrote to the newspaper Die Zeit in 1905, that homosexuals must not be treated as sick people.”
1951 – The Belgium postal service issues stamps with gay lovers Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud. Jean Nicolas Arthur (20 October 1854 – 10 November 1891) was a French poet who is known for his influence on modern literature and arts, which prefigured surrealism. Rimbaud was known to have been a libertine and for being a restless soul, having engaged in an at times violent romantic relationship with fellow poet Paul Verlaine, which lasted nearly two years. Paul-Marie Verlaine (30 March 1844 – 8 January 1896) was a French poet associated with the Decadent movement. He is considered one of the greatest representatives of the fin de siècle in international and French poetry. Rimbaud and Verlaine began a short but torrid affair. They led a wild, vagabond-like life spiced by absinthe and hashish, and were known as the “poets from hell.”
1970 – Forty members of the Gay Activist Alliance including Vito Russo (July 11, 1946 – November 7, 1990), Morty Manford (1950-1992), Jim Owles (1947-1993), Arnie Kantrowitz (born November 26, 1940,, and Arthur Evans, and Columbia graduate student Pete Fisher invade the offices of Harper’s Magazine with a news crew from WOR-TV New York to protest the article “Homo/Hetero: The Struggle for Sexual Identity which presented homosexuality as a mental illness. The article was written by Joseph Epstein who lamented homosexuals as “an affront to our rationality”. GAA president Arthur Evans verbally attacked editor Midge Decter for publishing an article which would add to the suffering of homosexuals. Although the Harper’s zap falls to elicit an official response from the magazine, it has an enormous impact oil future media coverage of lesbian and gay issues, in addition to leading to GAA’s national Television debut in a three part television news series on gay liberation.
1977, Canada – A meeting between Quebec Human Rights Commission and representatives of the gay group ADGQ results in public recommendation that the government amend Human Rights Charter to include sexual orientation.
1990 – The United States Congress repeals a law barring homosexuals from being admitted into the United States on grounds of mental illness.
1992, Canada – The Federal Court of Canada orders the military to lift the ban on gay and lesbian service personnel. The Defense Department declined to appeal the decision.
1992 – Allen Schindler (December 13, 1969 – October 27, 1992) , a gay 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.
October 27, 1997 – BET-TV withdrew an invitation to Keith Boykin (born August 28, 1965) to appear on a show with Angie and Debbie Winans. The Winans objected to his presence on the show which featured their anti-gay song “It’s Not Natural.” Keith Boykin is a CNN political commentator and a former White House aide to President Bill Clinton. He teaches politics at the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University in New York. Boykin’s wrote the book For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Still Not Enough August, 2012. From December 2003 until April 2006, Boykin served as president of the board of the National Black Justice Coalition, a Washington-based civil rights organization dedicated to fighting racism and homophobia which he co-founded.
1997 – Tommy Windsor, a top investigator with the South Carolina’s Attorney General’s office, is forced to resign after emailing derogatory comments about people of color and homophobic slurs.
1999, Canada – The Ontario provincial government changed 67 statutes to give same-sex couples equal treatment as heterosexual couples.
1999 – U.S. Democratic presidential candidates Al Gore and Bill Bradley promised that if elected they would do everything in their power to ensure equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans.
2005 – WNBA basketball player Sheryl Swoopes (born March 25, 1971) comes out. She is a retired American professional basketball player. She was the first player to be signed in the WNBA, is a three-time WNBA MVP, and was named one of the league’s Top 15 Players of All Time at the 2011 WNBA All-Star Game. Swoopes has won three Olympic gold medals. She was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. In 2017, she was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
Speak out, share your story, keep LGBT history alive.
(Historical information obtained from a variety of sources including QUIST at facebook.com/quistapp, Back2Stonewall.com, Lavender Effect, DataLounge.com, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!)