Today in LGBT History – OCTOBER 8

Musings of an Aging Lesbian

Yesterday I wrote about having the courage to show up and be ourselves, something I’m better at doing as an older woman than when I was younger. But yesterday I witnessed the courage to show up in a much younger woman and I’m impressed. I edit books and help people self-publish. I began working with a young woman who is recovering from being a self-cutter. As part of her therapy, she is writing a book about her experiences as a cutter during a time when she was institutionalized by her parents. With each chapter, my heart and my respect reach out to her. I hope every person who is a cutter will read this book of hope and find the help they need. The book is entitled BUSTED! More about it later when it’s on the market.

Show up, be yourself. You’re worth it!

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 8

1904, Germany – At a meeting of the Scientific Humanitarian Committee, one of the earliest gay organizations, women’s rights leader Anna Rueling (15 August 1880 – 8 May 1953) urges feminists to unite with “Uranian” (lesbian) women and men in the fight for social reform, citing concerns and goals common to both movements. She criticized the women’s movement for not taking an active role in ending the oppression of lesbians. Anna was a German journalist whose speech was the first political speech to address the problems faced by lesbians. One of the first modern women to come out as homosexual, she has been described as “the first known lesbian activist“.

1958 – Urvashi Vaid (born October 8, 1958) is an Indian-American LGBT rights activist. Vaid spent ten years working in global philanthropic organizations, serving as Executive Director of the Arcus Foundation (2005-2010) and Deputy Director of Governance and Civil Society Unit of the Ford Foundation (2000-2005). For more than 10 years, Vaid worked in various capacities at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), the oldest national LGBT civil rights organization; first as its media director, then as executive director, and as director of its Policy Institute Think-tank. From 1983 to 1986, Vaid was staff attorney at the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), where she initiated the organization’s work on HIV/AIDS in prisons. Vaid has lived in New York City and Provincetown, Massachusetts, with her partner comedian Kate Clinton since 1988. 

1970 – In New York City, two policemen invade a private club to interrupt a Daughters of Bilitis business meeting. The blatantly harassing nature of the police action persuades many members of the low profile group of the need for action. The Daughters of Bilitis, also called the DOB or the Daughters, was the first lesbian civil and political rights organization in the United States. 

1971, Australia – The first gay rights demonstration in Sydney takes place. It’s held outside the headquarters of the Liberal Party. Gay writer and activist Dennis Altman (born 16 August 1943) is one of about 70 protesters. He is an Australian academic and pioneering gay rights activist.

1972 – Demonstrators at the annual convention of the Association for the Advancement of Behavioral Therapy protest the continued use of “aversion therapy” to “treat” homosexuality.

1985 – Latina activists form the Austin, TX Latina Latino Lesbian and Gay Organization (ALLGO).

1997 – An episode of the Ellen DeGeneres’ (born January 26, 1958) sitcom titled “Roommates” receives an adult content warning because it contains a kiss between Ellen and another woman. The censorship reportedly infuriated Ellen, with her telling reporters: “I never wanted to be an activist, but now they’re turning me into one.”

2003, Canada – The first gay character comes out on Degrassi: The Next Generation. Marco, played by Adamo Ruggiero, comes out in the two-part episode titled “Pride.”

Stand up, speak out, share your story!




(Historical information obtained from a variety of sources including QUIST at,, #LavenderEffect,, #ArronsGayInfo, #AllThingsQueer, #RSLevinson, #AmaraDasWilhelm,, #SafeSchoolsCoalition, 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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