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Showing posts from February, 2010

This Week in LGBT History: February 28 - March 6

This week marks the end of February and the beginning of March. In March of 1649, Sarah White Norman became the first woman in North America to be convicted on charges of lesbianism. 351 years later, in March of 1990, a group of activists from ACT-UP formed a new LGBT rights organization called Queer Nation.

On February 28, 1895, The Marquess of Queensbury delivered a letter to Oscar Wilde which accused him of lewd behavior and sodomy. Wilde had been romantically involved with The Marquess' son, Bosie Douglas.

On March 1, 1895, Oscar Wilde filed libel charges against The Marquess of Queensbury.

On March 2, 1942, American Rocker Lou Reed was born.

On March 3, 1975, the State of Arkansas became the first State in the American south to pass a bill decriminalizing homosexual activity (though, the State re-criminalized sodomy at a later date).

On March 4, 1948, American equal rights advocate Jean O'Leary was born. O'Leary was instrumental in helping to launch the first National Comi…

This Week in LGBT History: February 21-27

First, a correction from last week's post. In my haste, Bill Tilden was born on February 10, 1893. I incorrectly stated that he was born on February 20th.
On February 21, 1903, the New York Police Department staged the first recorded law enforcement action targeting gay bathhouses when it raided the city's Ariston Baths. Dozens of men were arrested, with some actually sentenced to jail time.
On February 22, 1892,the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay was born.
On February 23, the New York Supreme Court, in People v. Uplinger et al. ruled in favor of a gay man who had brought a case against the loitering law. The loitering and solicitation statutes were overturned by this decision.
On February 24, 1977, the State of Wyoming repeals its sodomy laws.
On February 25, 1982, Wisconsin became the first US State to ban discrimination based upon sexual orientation.On February 26, 2004: Rosie O'Donnell and Kelli Carpenter were married in a ceremony in San Francisco. When newly elected Mayor G…

Ten Books for Your LGBT History Collection

Today's aficionado of LGBT history and culture benefits from a wealth of literature ranging from academic histories to memoirs to journalistic investigations. While no bibliography can be truly comprehensive, what follows is a list of ten books which bring unique perspectives on important subjects relevant to the study of the history of LGBT people.

And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic. by Randy Shilts

The AIDS epidemic has had a devastating impact on many communities, but none more so than the gay male community, especially during the early years of the crisis in the 1980's. This definitive history of that era is one of two titles on this list authored by the legendary gay journalist Randy Shilts.

From the review: "In the first major book on AIDS, San Francisco Chronicle reporter Randy Shilts examines the making of an epidemic. Shilts researched and reported the book exhaustively, chronicling almost day-by-day the first five years of AI…

LC--Guess who’s back? Back again?

Guess who’s back? Back again?:
"Bicoastal, bigenerational and bipartisan–and now bi-z… SHOWBIZ NIGHT! In show 58, we spoke to Hollywood Historian, Laurie Provost–previous guest John Provost’s wife. This author and comedian shared with us some of the coolest stories from Hollywood history. It was really fun!

Laurie and Ace discussed her husband John’s time on Lassie as Timmy, and Lance and I asked her about Hollywood’s Haaaaaauuunted Hiiiistory… woooooooo!

Do you know anyone who needs to be a guest on Lundon Calling? Do you know anyone who’s been affected by the Military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy? Anyone who wants to come on and talk about LGBT history, or where the movement is heading in the future? Let us know–we’d really love to talk to you about having them on!

For now, check out Show 58–the RETURN OF PHIL!"
Make sure you take a listen to Show 58!

TBP--Pressure HRC: Demand leadership from Obama

Today I'm helping out with a huge blog swarm to put pressure on the Human Rights Campaign to use its status in DC to keep the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" repeal front and center on the Hill--to prevent this momentum from being squandered. We are hearing that the lawmakers are looking to turn this into a huge, long, drawn-out multi-year process. Let's be blunt. We could lose Congress in November. We can't wait until after the election. We can't wait until its politically expedient. We need this now. Let's end this institutionalized homophobia and discrimination.

My latest Bilerico Post: "Pressure HRC: Demand leadership from Obama":
"When I blog about federal bills, I'm usually talking about ENDA - I still think this is our number one priority on the Hill - but there's another big priority that we need to move on now. We need a full repeal of the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military. 4010407179_83b9a3a781.jpg…

What to do about a problem like Louie?

If my member of Congress doesn't represent my views, and yet is invulnerable to electoral challenge, what, if anything, can I do as a citizen to influence public policy?

As a resident of the 1st Congressional District of Texas, I have the distinct displeasure of calling myself a constituent of Louie Gohmert, aka Screwie Louie, aka the douche-bag of the universe. Louie Gohmert isn't just kind of conservative—he is a lunatic wingnut conservative. There is no issue I am aware of, from taxes to health care, to foreign policy, on which Gohmert speaks for me in Congress. On the issue of LGBT equality, Gohmert has gone out of his way to pander to the religious right, at one point actually going to the floor of the House of Representatives to make a speech comparing gays and lesbians to pedophiles and practitioners of beastiality. If you aren't familiar with Louie Gohmert, this YouTube clip offers a nice glimpse at his absurdity.

Given what I know about Gohmert's ideology and hi…

CBS Reports: "The Homosexuals"

(h/t) Citizen Crain:

This video of Mike Wallace's 1967 special report for CBS News provides a fascinating look at how the media treated LGBT issues in pre-Stonewall America. Included in this special are viewpoints from anti-gay crusader and "reparative therapy" advocate Charles Socarides; and Mattachine Society member Warren Adkins (aka Jack Nichols).

The video is a must watch for anyone interested in the portrayal of LGBT people in the media and the history of the gay rights movement.

LGBT History: Valentine's Day Edition

Today is Valentine's Day, which is the day when lovers celebrate their romantic affection for one another. While most commercial representations of this traditional festival depict the relationships of heterosexual couples, we know that the rituals of the day are observed just as earnestly by same-sex couples. It is, therefore, serendipitous that the first weekly installment of the Ameriqueer LGBT History Project is posted on Valentine's Day.

On February 14, 1953, the trailblazing lesbian couple of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon celebrated Valentine's Day by moving in together in an apartment in the Castro District of San Francisco. The couple shared their lives together until Martin's death in 2008. Throughout their decades-long relationship, Martin and Lyon were leaders in the fight for gay rights and women's rights. The two women were among the founders of the Daughters of Bilitis, became the first lesbian couple to join the National Organization for Women, and were…

TBP--Creating change right where you are

My latest--"Creating change right where you are" @ The Bilerico Project:
"This past week I attended the Annual Creating Change Conference put on by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in various locations throughout this big gay nation of ours every year. This year the all-encompassing leadership conference was held in Dallas Texas, and--let me just tell you--everything really is bigger there. Well, everything except for the cell-phone reception, but that's another story.

I have a confession to make. I was a virgin until this past Wednesday. A conference virgin, silly. I'd attended dozens of LGBT conferences in my life, but never a Creating Change. I was close to attending--and considered joining the local planning committee--when it was in Detroit, my hometown. However, I was on my way to Illinois, and didn't really want to take on a new commitment, only to be out of state when the conference occurred. So I've never been.

And now? I can't wait to a…

On Joining Ameriqueer

Those of you who saw the earlier post here memorializing Lawrence King may have noticed that I am a new contributor to the Ameriqueer blog. I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself and fomally announce the new feature that I will be launching here: The Ameriqueer LGBT History Project.

If you are on twitter, you may already know me as @therealpatrick. I have been tweeting under that screen name for nearly a full year. My participation in this blog arose after a series of conversations on Twitter and via email with the founder of Ameriqueer about the current state of the LGBT community and the political movement to extend LGBT equality. Our conversations left me searching for some way to recommit to activism and to increase my personal participation in the movement in some useful way.

The Ameriqueer LGBT History Project is the first step toward enhancing my community involvement and one that I hope will yield long term dividends for me personally as well as for the readers of…

O&A--When California's John Perez becomes the openly gay Speaker, he won't be the first.

Check out my latest Out & About Illinois magazine Blog--When California's John Perez becomes the openly gay Speaker, he won't be the first:
"Phil Reese, February 12, 20010 -- Two months ago, Assemblyman John Perez became the first openly gay person selected for state House Speaker in history, but when he gets sworn in on March 1, he will be the second openly gay person to assume that position.

Yesterday, The Rhode Island House of Representatives selected and swore in Majority Leader Gordon Fox as the 222nd Speaker of one of the oldest legislatures in the nation. The legislature of predominately Catholic state of Rhode Island--which is only one of two New England states without marriage equality, and the only state to never have passed a marriage equality bill--is now being led by an openly gay African American. In March, 4% of state legislatures in America will be led by out and proud gay folks.

This is real progress.

In 1989 Republican US Senator Mark Hatfield's po…

Lawrence Fobes “Larry” King. (1993-2008): Never Forget

For as long as I have been aware that there is such a thing as a “gay community” I have been fascinated by its history and its culture. I believe that learning about history has the power not just to educate and illuminate, but also to liberate. It is because of this belief that I have proposed a new feature for Ameriqueer: The Ameriqueer LGBT History Project.

Beginning this Sunday, and every Sunday for the next year, I will write weekly blog entries summarizing the noteworthy anniversaries, birthdays, and other milestones in queer history. Before the first of these weekly posts, though, I wanted to take a moment to remember one special anniversary that is at least partially responsible for inspiring me to undertake this project.

Today marks the second anniversary of the shooting and death of Lawrence Fobes “Larry” King. At the age of 15, Larry had been out of the closet for a third of his life. According to friends and classmates at E.O. Green Junior High School in Ventura County Calif…

LC--When the cat’s away…

I just posted to my Lundon Calling blog about the shenanigans that went down on that show while I was away in Dallas. How dare they lie about my age on air while I was in hostile territory! After all, my last initials are J.R!

When the cat’s away…:
"OK, so I’m a week behind on blogging, but I have a good excuse. While Ace and Lance were recording the 57th show, I was off in Dallas, TX at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s annual LGBT leadership conference, Creating Change! It was an amazing conference! I met some pretty fantastic people: I met Matt Foreman, Mike Rogers and Kate Kendell all for the first time, not to mention bloggers like George Cole and Chris Bartlett! I also learned so much at the brilliant workshops, and–of course–loved seeing my blogging buddies Bil Browning, Jerame Davis, Adam Bink, Waymon Hudson and his hubby Anthony and Michael Crawford. Finally, I had two great roommates–Zack Ford and Adam Taylor. Both are great bloggers and social networkers a…

Gail Collins: Illinois' Political Culture Is Even Worse Than New York's

Gail Collins: Illinois' Political Culture Is Even Worse Than New York's:
"Illinois and New York both have such awful political cultures that it's tough to decide which state is the biggest loser, writes Gail Collins. Both states have governors who were forced out by scandals and whose successors are mired in controversy, although at least Eliot Spitzer isn't going to be appearing on Celebrity Apprentice, Collins writes in the New York Times..."
Oh, and it gets better!

Make an impact NOW!

The UP Center of Champaign County:
"Want to make an impact? Help the UP Center empower LGBT youth and families now! Give now.

“I’ve been trying to find a coming out support group for years in this community. I’m so glad this center is coming to Champaign so that I can finally find others to talk to with similar experiences and concerns.”

Many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) people living in the Midwest share feelings of isolation and being scared to come out to family and friends, feeling they have nowhere to turn for assistance. In order to provide a central location for LGBTQ individuals to find support and resources, several dedicated members of the community have come together to form The Uniting Pride (UP) Center.

As with any new initiative that requires physical space, The UP Center’s biggest challenge is raising finances to open a facility large enough to meet the needs of the community. Now we need your help. We are asking you to give whatever you…

Exclusive Pics: Lt. Dan Choi back in service? | The Bilerico Project

In case you haven't heard, Dan Choi got called back to his unit after Adml. Mullen's statement on DADT. Not sure if his Commander has actually had a change of heart or if the Government is just trying to silence the biggest voice against DADT we have. Either way, read the post bellow at and be the judge.

Exclusive Pics: Lt. Dan Choi back in service? | The Bilerico Project

PS, I need a favor from you, dear reader. Please share this widely: in email, facebook, twitter and so forth. We need to make people aware of what's going on. This is an important move here, and we all need to be very aware ahead of time if Dan Choi is suddenly forced to go quiet. Dan's answer to Jeff's questions are powerful, however. "Actions speak louder than words." By joining his unit he hopes to be a powerful force from the inside. This is the man who on CSPAN, MSNBC, CNN in October ripped the tape from his mouth on the National Equality March's stage in a…