Today in LGBT History – September 1

John McCain and George Bush fought a sometimes vicious primary battle. Barack Obama soundly defeated McCain to become president. Still, all three men found a path to friendship because, I suspect, all three found a way to expand the capacity of their souls. Perhaps our goal should be to live in such a way that our biggest “enemy” could deliver our eulogy with integrity and passion, and that we might be able to fill the air with appreciation and praise if we had to speak at the funeral of someone with whom we had great disagreements.  —Rev. Michael Piazza

Learning our history IS resistance! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!


Today in LGBT History – September 1

1864, Ireland – Sir Roger Casement (September 1, 1864 –August 3,1916) is born in Kingston, Ireland. A former British diplomat he joined the Irish nationalists. Casement was captured and tried for treason. At his trial, the fact he is gay is used as further evidence of his evil ways and he is hanged. Described as the “father of twentieth-century human rights investigations,” he was honored in 1905 for the Casement Report on the Congo and knighted in 1911 for his important investigations of human rights abuses in Peru. He then made efforts during World War I to gain German military aid for the 1916 Easter Rising that sought to gain Irish independence. Casement’s remains lay in state at Arbour Hill in Dublin for five days during which time an estimated half a million people filed past his coffin. After a state funeral, the remains were buried with full military honors in the Republican plot in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublinwith other Irish republicans and nationalists. The President of the Republic of IrelandÉamon de Valera, who in his mid-eighties was the last surviving leader of the Easter Rising, attended the ceremony, along with an estimated 30,000 others.

1937 – Actress, writer, comedian Mary Jean “Lily” Tomlin (September 1, 1939) is born. She is an American comedian, writer, singer, and producer, and an openly lesbian feminist. Tomlin was the 2003 recipient of the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain prize for humorists. Tomlin began her career as a stand-up comedian, and performed Off-Broadway during the 1960s. Her breakout role was performing as a cast member on the variety show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In from 1969 until 1973. She currently stars on the Netflix series Grace and Frankie as Frankie Bernstein. Her performance as Frankie garnered her three consecutive nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Her signature role was written by her wife (then partner), Jane Wagner, in a show titled The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe which opened on Broadway in 1985 and won Tomlin the Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Play.

1939, Poland – German invasion of Poland begins WWII. Thousands of gay men are called to military service yet over 20,000 civilians are convicted under Paragraph 175 for homosexuality. More than 7,000 servicemen are also convicted, sent to prison, then forced to return to the front. Gay men had to wear the pink triangle as indication their homosexuality.

1939 – The first openly gay judge in the United States was Stephen M. Lachs(born September 1939) is born. He appointed by Governor Jerry Brownto the Los Angeles County Superior Court in 1979-1999.Before leaving office in 1981, Brown appointed three more gay and lesbian judges to the California courts, including the nation’s first openly lesbian judge, Mary Morgan, who served on the San Francisco municipal court.

1949 – Leslie Feinberg (September 1, 1949 – November 15, 2014) was an American,butchlesbianand transgender activist, communist, and author. Her writing, notably Stone Butch Blues  (1993) and her pioneering non-fiction book, 1996’sTransgender Warriors, laid the groundwork for much of the terminology and awareness around gender studies and was instrumental in bringing these issues to a more mainstream audience. Feinberg described herself as “an anti-racist white, working-class, secular Jewish, transgender, lesbian, female, revolutionary communist.” Feinberg’s widow, Minnie Bruce Pratt(born September 12, 1946), wrote in her statement regarding Feinberg’s death that Feinberg did not really care which pronouns a person used to address her: “She preferred to use the pronouns she/zie and her/hir for herself, but also said: ‘I care which pronoun is used, but people have been respectful to me with the wrong pronoun and disrespectful with the right one. It matters whether someone is using the pronoun as a bigot, or if they are trying to demonstrate respect.” Feinberg’s last words were reported to be “Hasten the revolution! Remember me as a revolutionary communist.”

1959, Paraguay – Radio host Bernardo Aranda is assassinated. 108 gay men were arrested for the alleged murder and their names were publicly released. “108” became a slang term for homosexuality in Paraguay.

1961 – Czechoslovakiaand Hungary decriminalize sodomy.

1961, Rome – The Vaticandeclares that anyone who is “affected by the perverse inclination” towards homosexuality should not be allowed to take religious vows or be ordained within the Roman Catholic Church.

1964 – The first photograph of lesbians appears on the cover of lesbian magazine The Ladder,showing two women from the back, on a beach looking out to sea. The Ladder was the first nationally distributed lesbian publication in the United States. It was published monthly from 1956 to 1970, and once every other month in 1971 and 1972. It was the primary publication and method of communication for the Daughters of Bilitis(DOB), the first lesbian organization in the US. It was supported by ONE, Inc. and the Mattachine Societywith whom the DOB retained friendly relations. The name of the magazine was derived from the artwork on its first cover, simple line drawings showing figures moving towards a ladder that disappeared into the clouds. The first edition of The Ladder appeared in October 1956, edited by Phyllis Lyon(born November 10, 1924), who co-founded the Daughters of Bilitis in 1955 with Del Martin (May 5, 1921 – August 27, 2008), both of whom had journalism experience. Many of its contributors used pseudonyms or initials. Lyon edited The Ladder as “Ann Ferguson” for the first few months but dropped the name as a way of encouraging their readers not to hide. In 1963, Barbara Gittings(July 31, 1932 – February 18, 2007) took over editing The Ladder, giving it a more politically urgent stance, and by adding “A Lesbian Review” under the title of the magazine. The line drawings on the cover were replaced with photographs of lesbians to make them more visible. The first woman who appeared in a photograph on the cover in May, 1964 was an unnamed model. The first woman who allowed her name to be printed was from Indonesia who had sent her picture and a letter explaining how isolated she was. In 1975, Arno Press released a nine-volume compilation of The Ladder in hardback as part of their series “Lesbians and Gay Men in Society, History, and Literature” with a short foreword by Barbara Grier (November 4, 1933 – November 10, 2011). Speaking to journalist and historian Rodger Streitmatter about The Ladder, Grier commented that “no woman ever made a dime for her work, and some … worked themselves into a state of mental and physical decline on behalf of the magazine.”

1969, Germany – West Germany repeals its laws prohibiting homosexual acts between consenting adults. It’s interesting to note that this change didn’t affect lesbians, as West German sex laws had never acknowledged the existence of lesbians.

1970 – Del Whan taught the first gay studies class at the University of Southern California, titled “Social Movement: Gay Liberation.” It evolved into USC’s first student group, The Gay Liberation Forum. USC approved it as a student organization in 1975. The name was changed to Gay Student Union.  

1977 – The Log Cabin Republicans club is formed in Southern California (originally called “Gay Republicans). Log Cabin Republicans was founded as a rallying point for Republicans opposed to the Briggs Initiativewhich attempted to ban homosexuals from teaching in public schools. In addition to sanctioning the termination of openly gay and lesbian teachers, the proposed legislation authorized the firing of those teachers that supported homosexuality. On October 22, 2016, the board members of LCR voted not to endorse the Republican nominee for President, Donald Trump.In defiance, the LCR statewide chapters of Colorado, Georgia, and Texas, along with the LRC countywide chapter of Orange County, California and the LCR city chapters of Houston, Texas; Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; and Cleveland, Ohio; voted to endorse Donald Trump. In Florida, at least one report claimed Trump was able to cut into the vote margin in heavily Democratic Broward County, Florida with the help of the local chapter of Log Cabin Republicans. Since 1977, LCR has expanded across the United States and has 34 chapters, representing 26 states and the District of Columbia.

1978 – The Gay Bob doll makes its debut in stores across the nation. He had a pierced ear and his box was shaped like a closet.


1979 – New Jersey decriminalizes private consensual adult homosexuals acts. 

1980 – John Boswell’s Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexualitydebuts in book stores. John Eastburn Boswell (March 20, 1947 – December 24, 1994) was an historian and a full professor at Yale University. Many of Boswell’s studies focused on the issue of religion and homosexuality, specifically Christianity and homosexuality. All of his work focused on the history of those at the margins of society. His first book, The Royal Treasure: Muslim Communities Under the Crown of Aragon in the Fourteenth Century, appeared in 1977. In 1994, Boswell’s fourth book, Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe, was published, but he died that same year from AIDS-related complications. Boswell was a Roman Catholic, having converted from the Episcopal Church of his upbringing, at age 15. He remained a daily-mass Catholic up until his death, despite differences with the church over sexual issues. Although he was orthodox in most of his beliefs, he strongly disagreed with his church’s stated opposition to homosexual behavior and relationships. He was partnered with Jerome Hart for some twenty years until his death. Hart and Boswell are buried together at Grove Street Cemetery, New Haven, Connecticut.

1982 – The Centers for Disease Control uses the term AIDS for the first time in September 1982, when it reported that an average of one to two cases of AIDS were being diagnosed in America every day.

2011, Lichtenstein – The law recognizing same-sex registered partnerships goes into effect.

2013, Japan – Yodogawa, a ward within the city of Osaka, is the first government in Japan to officially support LGBT inclusion.


Stand up, speak out, share your story!

Warmly,

Ronni

 

(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 ronnisanlo@gmail.com. Thanks!)

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