Learning our history IS resistance! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!
Today in LGBT History – October 28
1824, France — Astolphe-Louis-Léonor, the Marquis de Custine (18 March 1790 – 25 September 1857), is beaten and left for dead after propositioning a male soldier in Saint-Denis. The scandal forces him out of the closet, but he recovers and lives the rest of his life as an open ‘sodomite’ with his partner Edward St. Barbe (1585-1642). Custine maintains a successful social life in Paris. He was a French aristocrat and writer who is best known for his travel writing, in particular his account of his visit to Russia La Russie en 1839.
1903, Germany – “I am of the firm conviction,’ Sigmund Freud famously wrote to the newspaperDie Zeitin 1905,that homosexuals must not be treated as sick people.” Freud was an Austrianneurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treatingpsychopathologythrough dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst.
1951 – The Belgium postal service issues stamps with gay lovers Paul Verlaine (30 March 1844 – 8 January 1896)and Arthur Rimbaud (20 October 1854 – 10 November 1891). Rimbaud was a French poet who is known for his influence on modernliterature and arts, which prefigured surrealism. He 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 Verlainewhich 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 – Kate Millet (September 14, 1934 – September 6, 2017), American feminist writer, artist, activist, and author of her 1970 book Sexual Politics,comes out as a lesbian. She becomes a seminal influence on second-wave feminism. She joins a growing women’s movement to acknowledge her sexual orientation at a Daughters of Bilitis meeting in New York City.
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), Arthur Evans, and Columbia graduate student Pete Fisher invade the offices of Harper’s Magazinewith 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.
1987 – At the University of Vermont in Burlington nineteen people are arrested in a demonstration protesting the CIA’s exclusion of gays and lesbians.
1990 – The United States Congress repeals a law barring homosexuals from being admitted into the United States on grounds of mental illness.
1990 – During a campaign speech, US Congressman Jesse Helms refers to gays and lesbians as “disgusting people marching in the streets demanding all sorts of things, including the right to marry each other.”
1990 – Placido Domingo and Andre Watts raise $1.5 million at a fundraiser for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis.
1992, Canada – The lesbian comic book “Hothead Paisan #7” was seized from Toronto Women’s Bookstore. Officials sited “sexual degradation” as the reason for the seizure, though it contained no sex. The prohibition was lifted seven months later.
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), 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.
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 EnoughAugust, 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 – The National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum condemned gospel singers Angie and Debbie Winans for their anti-gay song “It’s Not Natural,” and BET-TV for providing them with a one-sided forum to promote their homophobic views. Earlier in the year, BET-TV refused to air MeShell NdegeOcello’s video “Leviticus Fa**ot,” about a black gay teenager’s struggle to come to terms with his sexuality.
1998, UK – Welsh secretary Ron Davies resigns after British tabloids reported he was robbed at knifepoint in a London park while looking for a male sexual companion. Bisexual Ronald Davies (born 6 August 1946) is a Welsh politician, former Secretary of State for Wales, former Member of Parliament and former member of the Welsh Assembly. He describes himself as a politician belonging to the “traditional left” who had “spent his life looking for a socialist progressive party”. He was a member of the Labour Party until 2004, then joining Forward Wales
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. In 2011, she married a longtime male friend.
2009 – President Barack Obama signs into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Shepard (December 1, 1976 – October 12, 1998), 21, was tortured and killed in Laramie, Wyo., because he was gay. Byrd (May 2, 1949 – June 7, 1998), a 49-year-old black man, was chained to the back of a truck and dragged to death in Jasper, Texas. The hate crimes prevention law requires the FBI to track hate crimes based on gender and gender identity, and gives the Department of Justice the power to prosecute crimes motivated by the victim’s race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
2009, Germany -The first openly gay member of the German government, Guido Westerwelle (27 December 1961 – 18 March 2016) takes office as Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister to Angela Merkel. He was a German politician who served as Foreign Minister in the second cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel and as Vice Chancellor of Germany from 2009 to 2011, being the first openly gay person to hold any of these positions. He was also the chairman of the Free Democratic Party of Germany (FDP) from May 2001 until he stepped down in 2011. A lawyer by profession, he was a member of the Bundestag from 1996 to 2013. On 20 July 2004, Westerwelle attended Angela Merkel’s 50th birthday party accompanied by his partner, Michael Mronz. It was the first time he had attended an official event with his partner and this was considered his public coming-out. The couple registered their partnership on September 17, 2010 in a private ceremony in Bonn. Westerwelle died of leukemia at the age of 54.
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(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, out.com, 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!)