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 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. 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. This work documents not only Custine’s travels through the Russian empire, but also the social fabric, economy, and way of life during the reign of Nicholas
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.
1987 – The Human Rights Campaign Fund (HRCF) begins running ads in response to an amendment introduced in the Senate by Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) and passed by the house and senate to restrict funding to AIDS organizations which distributed gay-related prevention literature.
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 – 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 – Episcopal bishop A. Theodore Eastman issues an order to clergy in Maryland not to bless same-sex unions.
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.
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 Faggot,” 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
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 17 September 2010 in a private ceremony in Bonn. Westerwelle died of leukemia at the age of 54.
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!)