April 4 in LGBTQ History

1971: Four “reformed” homosexuals go on The David Susskind Show to tout their conversions to heterosexuality and praise the therapy of sometime poet and literary critic Eli Siegel, whose doctrine of “Aesthetic Realism” teaches that homosexuality is the result of a distorted philosophical view of the world. Aesthetic Realists-who never use the word “homosexuality” but instead call it “H” (“How long have you been I-P” “ls she H?” “Do you think there’s a relationship between how your mother treated you and H?”)-number less than twenty, despite the fact that Siegel has been plying his theories in the academic world since 1945.

1976: Pope Paul VI takes the unprecedented step of publicly denying recent accusations that he is, despite his antigay stance, a practicing homosexual himself. “Pray for our humble person, who has been made the target of scorn and horrible and slanderous insinuations by a certain press lacking dutiful regard for honesty and truth.”

1981: Paris’ first Gay Pride Parade takes place in Paris, France.

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