Today in LGBT History – September 20

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Today in LGBT History – September 20

365 BC – Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia (356 BC—323 BC) is born. He was King of Macedonia and conqueror of the Persian Empire. He is considered one of the greatest military geniuses of all time. Alexander spent his childhood watching his father transform Macedonia into a great military power, winning victory after victory on the battlefields throughout the Balkans. Historians believe Alexander was gay.

1890, Germany – Dr. Erwin Gohrbandt studied medicine at the Military Medical Academy and graduated in 1917 then worked at the Charité Universitätsmediz inBerlin. He did the initial operations on the first two transsexuals in modern surgery. In Berlin in 1931, Dora R, born as Rudolph R, became the first known transgender woman to undergo vaginoplasty. According to Dr. Felix Abraham, a psychiatrist working at the Institute for Sexual Science where Dora was employed as a domestic servant, her first step to feminization was made by means of castration in 1922. In 1931 a penis amputation was done, then a highly experimental vaginoplasty was performed by Dr. Erwin Gohrbandt who later becomes a decorated surgeon-general in the Luftwaffe.

1917, France – Bisexual American painter Romaine Brooks (May 1, 1874 – December 7, 1970) had a three-year affair with Russian ballerina Ida Rubinstein  (September 21,1883 – September 20, 1960), painting portraits of her during that time. One was the “Weeping Venus “which was featured on this day at the opening of Expo Centre Pompidou Metz.

1958 – The New York chapter of Daughters of Bilitis is formed by a group of lesbians including Barbara Gittings (July 31, 1932 – February 18, 2007). They meet at the offices of the Mattachine Society of New York. The chapter is the first lesbian organization on the East Coast

1971 – John Singer(October 21, 1944 – June 5, 2000), later known as Faygele ben Miriam, and fellow activist Paul Barwick(born 1946) apply for a marriage license in Seattle. Singer was a U.S. activist for LGBT rights, and a gay marriage pioneer, filing one of the first gay marriage lawsuits in American history after being denied a marriage license at the King County Administration Building in SeattleWashington in 1971. The case, Singer v. Hara, was the best-known gay marriage case in the state of Washington until Andersen v. King County in 2006. Barwick served three years in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, working as a police officer. He currently lives in San FranciscoCalifornia, his residence for the last 30 years

1973 – In their so-called “battle of the sexes,” tennis star Billie Jean King (born November 22, 1943) defeats Bobby Riggs in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 at the Houston Astrodome. 

1980 – Bruce Mailman (1939-June 9, 1994) opens the Saint disco in New York City, heralding what many gay New Yorkers remember as the zenith of the clone era. He was an East Villageentrepreneur, Off-Broadway theatre-owner and founder of The Saint and New St. Marks Baths. In 1979, he bought the building that would become the New Saint Marks Baths at 6 St. Marks Place. He sought to provide a cleaner environment for a gay bathhouse than had been the case prior. He claimed it was the largest bathhouse in the world.In 1981 he bought the neighboring 8 St. Marks with hopes of doubling the size. In 1980 he bought the Fillmore East and converted it to The Saint nightclub. Both institutions ran into trouble with the advent of the AIDS crisis. Mailman died of AIDS complications in 1994.

1996 – President Clinton announced his signing of a bill outlawing same-sex marriages, but said it should not be used as an excuse for discrimination, violence or intimidation against gays and lesbians. 

1996, Saudi Arabia – Twenty-four Filipino workers receive the first 50 lashes of their 200-lash sentence for alleged “homosexual behavior.” Despite protests from Amnesty International, the government goes ahead with the sentence and later deports the workers.

2010, Peru – LGBT activist Alberto Osorio was found murdered in his apartment in Lima. Eight similar crimes against LGBT individuals in Peru occurred in the same year.

2011 – The military’s Don’t’ Ask Don’t Tell policy is officially repealed. It had been in effect since 1993.

2013 –Cassidy Lynn Campbell, 16, becomes the first transgender public-school homecoming queen in the U.S., at Marina High School in Huntington Beach, CA.

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(Historical information obtained from a variety of sources including QUIST at,, Lavender Effect,, 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 Thanks!)

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