GLBT and GLBTI History

Tidbits Compiled by Joe Wright

Gay playwright Edward Albee was born on March 13,1928. He won two Pulitzer Prizes -- one for 'A Delicate Balance' and one for 'Seascape.' He is best known for his 1962 play 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?', which some critics have claimed secretly portrays a male couple in straight drag. Source: OutLook

Christian Haren, prominent AIDS activist, entrepreneur, and actor, died of AIDS on Feb.27,1996. Well known for his appearance in Marlboro cigarette advertisements, Haren won many awards for his work in AIDS education. Source: Out Look

Q: Which American author is credited with writing the first published story using the word "gay" to refer to homosexuality? A: Gertrude Stein in a short story titled "Miss Furr and Miss Skeene," published by Vanity Fair in 1922. Source: Out Look

When Mt. Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79 and covered the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, it preserved for later discovery gay-oriented graffiti inscribed on bathhouse walls. Source: Out Look

In the 1920s, two lesbian Chicago nightclubs, the Roselle Club and the Twelve-Thirty Club, were owned by women. By the 1930s, police had closed the clubs because "women in male attire were nightly patrons of the places." Source: OutLook

Q: Where did the U.S. government first engrave in stone the words "gay" and "lesbian"? A: In the U.S. Holocaust Museum's exhibit on gays and lesbians killed by Nazis in World War II. Source: OutLook

On Valentine's Day in 1993, the Lesbian Avengers erected a papier-mache sculpture of Alice B. Toklas beside the statue of her longtime lover, Gertrude Stein, in New York City's Bryant Park. Source: Out Look

Q: What was the first lesbian sorority to gain official recognition from a college or university? A: Lambda Delta Lambda, recognized by the University of California, Los Angeles, in February 1988. (Archives Note: In 1991, two Deaf lesbians pledged and became members of the Beta Chapter of Lambda Delta Lambda in San Francisco. The two: Drago and Susan Gonzalez.)

Thought to be the oldest lesbian and gay organization still in existence, the Dutch group Cultuuren Ontspannings-Centrum was founded in 1946. Source: Out Look

The first openly gay business in New York City was the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookstore, which opened its doors in 1967. Craig Rodwell, a former lover of Harvey Milk, was the store's proprietor. Source: Out Look

Bisexual poet and dramatist Edna St. Vincent Millay was born on February 22, 1982. Once, when she asked a psychologist's advice about her recurring headaches, the doctor inquired into her relations with women. Millay replied, "Oh, you mean I'm homosexual! Of course, I am, and heterosexual, too, but what's that got to do with my headache?" Source: Out Look

The week after Sonny and Cher's television series premiered in March 1975, Cher received 212 fan letters proposing marriage. Seventy-seven were from women. Source: OutLook

Q: What is a "gynander" ? A: Gynander, a combination of the Greek words for female and male, is an early-twentieth-century term for a butch lesbian. Source: OutLook

In 1978, using organically grown and dyed cotton, Gilbert Baker designed and made the first rainbow flag. While originally the flag was made with eight colors, hot pink and turquoise were eliminated because of the cost. Within the first two years of production, the flag became so popular that it used up the world's supply of purple flag cotton. Source: OutLook

Born on April 19, 1930, actor Dick Sargent is best known for his role of Darin on the television series *Bewitched*. Sargent came out as gay in 1991 when he was sixty years old. Source: OutLook

The word "mattachine", from the language of Provence, meant "little fool" and was frequently used to refer to court jesters in the Middle Ages. Often homosexual, these clowns could speak the truth in the face of consequences too stern for ordinary citizens. This meaning inspired the use of the word in the name of the 1950s gay liberation organization The Mattachine Society. Source: OutLook

In May 1981, a Morganville, New Jersey, cemetery set aside 10,000 burial plots and began marketing them to same-sex couples, who often were denied the option of being buried together. Source: OutLook

On May 14 in 1910, Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein began living together in Paris. They remained together until Stein's death thirty-nine years later. Source: OutLook

Q: Which famous nurse, born in May 1820, is alleged to have once said, "I have lived and slept in the same bed with English countesses an Prussian farm women...No woman has excited passions among woman more than I have" ? A: Florence Nightingale

Q: When did the first-ever Deaf Lesbian & Gay Awareness Week take place? A: May 1-7, 1994 in San Francisco, Calif. Source: National Deaf LGBT Archives

FBI director J. Edgar Hoover died on May 2, 1972. Hoover, who was notorious for his anti-gay activities, was alleged to be gay himself. To commemorate Hoover's death, the headline in the newspaper *Gay* read, "Ding! Dong! The Wicked Witch Is Dead." Source: OutLook

In 1970, Professor Louis Compton of the University of Nebraska taught the first gay studies course in the United States. It focused on the civil rights of homosexuals. Source: Out Look

On August 3, 1982, police entered Michael Hardwick's home, found him in bed with another man, and arrested him for sodomy. This led to an unsuccessful U.S. Supreme Court challenge of Georgia's sodomy laws. What were the police doing at Hardwick's house in the first place? They had a warrant to arrest him for failure to pay a parking ticket that he had already paid. Source: OutLook

Born on August 2, 1924, author James Baldwin was known for his writings on being African American and gay. At the gay of fourteen, Baldwin sought refuge from the harassment he received for having effeminate mannerisms by becoming a minister, preaching in Harlem churches. Source: OutLook

England's first gay newspaper, GAY NEWS, was founded on June 27, 1972. Five years later, its publishers lost a lawsuit charging them with blasphemy for having printed a poem in which gay imagery was used in connection with Jesus Christ. This was one of only two successful blasphemy lawsuits in England in over 100 years. Source: OutLook

In 1970, the National Organization for Women expelled which woman because she was a lesbian? a. Rita Mae Brown, b. Urvashi Vaid, c. Faye Wattleton Answer: a Source: Rainbow Gayme

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