We must stand “…vigorously and vocally against the racism that again is marching in the bright light of day in our country, empowered by unveiled racist rhetoric and politics emanating from our nation’s capital. This is not a partisan issue; it is a moral issue that no moral American should tolerate silently. —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 2
1894, UK – Annie Winifred Ellerman (2 September 1894 – 28 January 1983) is born in Kent, England. Writing under the name Bryher, she is an early feminist. She was a major figure of the international set in Paris in the 1920s, using her fortune to help many struggling writers. With her lesbian lover Hilda Doolittle(H.D.) (September 10, 1886 – September 27, 1961) and Scottish writer Kenneth Macpherson, she launched the film magazine Close Up, which introduced Sergei Eisenstein’s work to British viewers. From her home in Switzerland, she helped to evacuate Jews from Hitler’s Germany, and then became a popular historical novelist.
1907 – Evelyn Hooker (September 2, 1907 – November 18, 1996) is born. She published the first ever scientific findings that homosexual men are no less well-adjusted mentally than heterosexual men. The American Psychological Association said about her in honoring her with a 1991 award: “When homosexuals were considered to be mentally ill, were forced out of government jobs, and were arrested in police raids, Evelyn Hooker courageously sought and obtained research support from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to compare a matched sample of homosexual and heterosexual men. Her pioneering study, published in 1957, challenged the widespread belief that homosexuality is a pathology by demonstrating that experienced clinicians using psychological tests … could not identify the nonclinical homosexual group. This revolutionary study provided empirical evidence that normal homosexuals existed, and supported the radical idea then emerging that homosexuality is within the normal range of human behavior … Her research, leadership, mentorship, and tireless advocacy for an accurate scientific view of homosexuality … has been an outstandingcontribution to psychology in the public interest.”
1956 – Elizabeth A. Birch (born September 2, 1956) is an American attorney and former corporate executive who chaired the board of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force from 1992-1994. Birch was worldwide director of litigation for Apple Computer and general counsel for its Claris subsidiary until 1995.She served as the Executive Director of the Human Rights Campaignfrom January 1995 until January 2004. In 2000, Birch became the first leader of an LGBT organization to address a national political convention when she gave a prime-time speech at the Democratic National Convention. In 2004, Birch launched Birch & Company, a consulting firm, with offices in Washington, D.C. and New York. Birch ran Rosie O’Donnell‘s production company, KidRo Productions, Inc. and oversaw O’Donnell’s For All Kids Foundation until 2007. She had a relationship with Hilary Rosen, former chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America. They adopted twins, a boy and a girl, in Texas. The couple separated in 2006.
1967 – First issue of The Advocateis published. It was a small newspaper under the name The Los Angeles Advocate. The Advocatefocuses on news, politics, opinion, and arts and entertainment of interest to lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) people. The magazine is the oldest and largest LGBT publication in the United States and the only surviving one of its kind that was founded before the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City.
2005 – Brokeback Mountainpremiers at the Venice Film Festival. It’s one of the first major motion pictures with worldwide distribution to focus on same-sex love as the main storyline. It is an American neo-westernromanticdrama filmdirected by Ang Lee and produced by Diana Ossana and James Schamus. Adapted from the 1997 short story of the same name by Annie Proulx, the screenplay was written by Ossana and Larry McMurtry. The film stars Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, and Michelle Williams, and depicts the complex emotional and homosexual relationship between Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist in the American West from 1963 to 1983. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards, the most nominations at the 78th Academy Awards, where it won three—Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score.
2013 – Diana Nyad (born August 22, 1949), an out lesbian, is the first person to swim the 110 miles from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. She’s an American author, journalist, motivational speaker, and long-distance swimmer. On her fifth attempt and at age 64, she became the first person confirmed to swim from Cuba to Floridawithout the aid of a shark cage, swimming from Havana to Key West. Nyad has said a factor in her determination while swimming was her anger about, and her desire to overcome, sexual abuse she experienced as a child.
Stand up, speak out, share your story!
(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!)