1917: In Russia, the Bolsheviks repeal the entire criminal code in favor of “revolutionary justice.” Among the laws nullified are those relating to sex acts between men.
1922: The God of Vengeance opens at the Provincetown Playhouse. The drama, translated from Yiddish and performed in English for the first time, includes the first lesbian scenes on the American stage.
1988: The film adaptation of Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy opens in the United States.
1993: In Texas, Williamson County commissioners reverse the previous week’s decision to deny Apple Computer tax breaks for a new facility in the county because of its policy of extending benefits to employees’ same-sex domestic partners. Several of the commissioners, however, continue to express condemnation of “the gay lifestyle.”
1783: In West Point, New York, Deborah Sampson is honorably discharged from the Massachusetts Regiment. Wounded in one of several battles in which she fought, Sampson had escaped discovery for almost a year and a half until falling sick with a fever. One of the earliest American examples of a passing woman, Sampson formed several attachments with women while dressed as a man. She later marries and receives a military pension.
1926: The Captive, a melodrama about a young woman seduced by an older woman (her “shadow”), creates a sensation on Broadway for its lesbian undertones. 1991: California Governor Pete Wilson vetoes AB 101 a gay and lesbian employment rights bill, inciting what some call Stonewall II, a month of marches and angry protests across the state. … Read More
1969: The Mattachine Action Committee of New York City issues a flier urging organized demonstrations in protest of the previous night’s police raid on the Stonewall Inn. 1981: Two fifteen-year-old lndiana boys stab to death a thirty-seven year-old gay man in a parking lot in Burnham, Illinois. They are later caught and charged with murder … Read More
1954: Alan Turing, considered to be the father of modern computer science, commits suicide by cyanide poisoning, 18 months after being given libido-reducing hormone treatment for a year as a punishment for homosexuality. He is only 41 years old. 1977: Florida Governor Reubin Askew signs a law prohibiting gay men and lesbians from adopting children. … Read More
1981: The first official documentation of the condition to be known as AIDS is published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The L.A. Times reports the first mention of AIDS in the mainstream American press. 1983: Torch Song Trilogy-Harvey Fierstein’s poignant, autobiographical four-hour comedy about … Read More
1960: In San Francisco, the Daughters of Bilitis sponsors a three-day national convention of lesbians, perhaps the first public gathering focused on the topic of lesbianism in the United States. 1977: Wyoming repeals its laws against homosexual acts between consenting adults. 1987: With wife Tammy Faye weeping at his side, disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker goes … Read More