Sunday, 31 July 2011
b. July 31, 1932
d. February 18, 2007
Barbara Gittings is a Gay Pioneer who participated in the first organized annual gay civil rights demonstrations, helped convince the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders, and helped persuade libraries to include gay content.
"As a teenager, I had to struggle alone to learn about myself and what it meant to be gay. Now for  years I've had the satisfaction of working with other gay people all across the country to get the bigots off our backs, to oil the closet door hinges, to change prejudiced hearts and minds, and to show that gay love is good for us and for the rest of the world too. It's hard work---but it's vital, and it's gratifying, and it's often fun!"
In the 1950's gay activism was in its infancy. Describing those years, Gittings says, "There were scarcely 200 of us in the whole United States. It was like a club---we all knew each other." Barbara Gittings began her career in activism in 1958 when she founded the New York chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis, the first lesbian organization. She edited DOB's national magazine The Ladder from 1963 to 1966.
In 1965 Gittings marched in the first gay picket lines at the White House and other Federal sites in Washington, DC to protest discrimination by the Federal government. She joined other activists in the first annual demonstrations for gay and lesbian civil rights held each July 4 from 1965 to 1969 at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. These yearly protests laid the groundwork for the Stonewall rebellion in 1969 and the first New York gay pride parade in 1970.
In the 1970's Gittings campaigned with Frank Kameny and others to have homosexuality removed from the American Psychiatric Association's list of mental disorders. She recruited "Dr. H. Anonymous," a gay psychiatrist who appeared, masked, on a panel at the 1972 APA conference to tell his colleagues why he couldn't be open in his own profession. In 1973, when the de-listing was announced, a Philadelphia newspaper headline announced: "Homosexuals Gain 'Instant Cure'."
Gittings also crusaded to make gay literature available in libraries. Though not a librarian, Gittings found a home in the Gay Task Force of the American Library Association, the first gay caucus in a professional organization. She edited its Gay Bibliography and wrote a history of the group, Gays in Library Land. Her campaign to promote gay materials and eliminate discrimination in libraries was recognized in 2003 by an honorary lifetime membership conferred by the American Library Association.
- "Gay Liberation: From Task Force to Round Table." Interview in American Libraries: The Magazine of the American Library Association, December 1999, pp. 74-76.
- Bullough, Vern L., ed. Before Stonewall: Activists for Gay and Lesbian Rights in Historical Context. Haworth Press, 2002.
- Marcus, Eric. Making Gay History: The Half-Century Fight for Lesbian and Gay Equal Rights. HarperCollins, 2002.
- VIDEO: Gay Pioneers, Equality Forum/WHYY, 2005
- VIDEO: Out of the Past, PBS, 1998
Selected works by Barbara Gittings:
- "Gays in Library Land." In Daring to Find Our Own Names, James V. Carmichael, Jr., 1998.
Thursday, 28 July 2011
Monday, 25 July 2011
"I am not going to war. I will go, of course, if my country needs me, but I think that first they should take the great mass of men who aren't good for anything else, or are only good for the lower grades of work. Actors, musicians, great writers, artists of every kind--isn't it a pity when people are sacrificed who are capable of such things--of adding to the beauty of the world."
He managed to salvage his reputation in 1923 with the lead role in The Covered Wagon. That success opened the doors to five more hit films in the next year, and with that his financial security was assured. He retired from filmmaking and lived with James Vincent. his devoted partner of forty years until Kerrigan died in 1947 at the age of 67."
Saturday, 23 July 2011
b. July 23, 1899
d. October 5, 2000
Ruth Ellis, who lived to be 101, was credited with being the oldest known lesbian and GLBT civil rights activist.
- Boykin, Keith. “Ruth Ellis’s Tale of Two Cities: A Modern Fairy Tale in Black & White.” 16 May 2009
- Ellis, Ruth. “Giving Back: The Gay Spot – Detroit, Michigan 1941 – 1971." 16 May, 2009
- Ellis, Ruth. “Struggling for Our Rights: Coming of Age in Springfield, Illinois 1899 – 1919.” 16 May, 2009
- Ruth Ellis – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 17 May, 2009
- Welbon, Yvonne. “Ruth Ellis: The Oldest 'Out' Lesbian Known.” 16 May, 2009
- Living With Pride: Ruth Ellis @ 100 directed by Yvonne Welbon
- NPR Interview
- Short Biography from University of Vermont
- The Ruth Ellis Center
- Ruth Ellis (at Matt & Andrey Komasky Biographies of LGBT People)
d. February 18, 1876
|Charlotte Cushman: Original Photo, 1870|
It's always wonderful to find such shining gems from 19th century LGBT history. You can learn more about this fascinating woman on Wiki.She was America's greatest 19th century tragic and dramatic actress during the eras of Edwin Forrest and Edwin Booth. She performed in England many times, and she had fond friendships with a number of women, one of the few semi-openly lesbian performers of her time. A rare original photograph circa 1870 of Charlotte Cushman.
Thursday, 21 July 2011
d. August 12, 1484
Sixtus IV (r. 1471-1484), born Francesco della Rovere, was notable enough to have the Sistine Chapel named after him. Like Julius III with Innocenzo, Sixtus made his lover Petro Riario - who was also his nephew - a cardinal. According to Crompton, this time writing in his monumental history Homosexuality and Civilization, Sixtus was labeled a “sodomite” in the dispatches of the Venetian ambassador and the diaries of Vatican insiders Stefano Infessura and Johann Burchard. Another nephew, Giuliano della Rovere, later achieved infamy as the “terrible pope” Julius II (1503-1513), Sixtus IV (1414-1482), is remembered for his art patronage, which included the erection and first decorations of the Sistine chapel. Among the artists most prominent in his reign was the Florentine homosexual Botticelli.This pope favored his scheming nephews, one of whom himself became pope under the name of Julius II. However, Sixtus was most devoted to another nephew, Raffaele Riario, whom he made papal chamberlain and bishop of Ostia. He elevated to the cardinalate a number of other handsome young men.
Sixtus IV has been accused of having had male lovers, the basis of this being the diary records of Stefano Infessura who recorded documented episodes, but also unsubstantiated rumours. He was accused of awarding benefices and bishoprics in return for sexual favours, and nominated a number of young men as cardinals, some of whom were celebrated for their looks. While it is indisputable that Sixtus favoured his relatives in the hope of having faithful executors of policy; there is less evidence of direct corruption or favouritism. The exception may perhaps be Giovanni Sclafenato, who was created a cardinal according to the papal epitaph on his tomb for "ingenuousness, loyalty and his others gifts of soul and body". The English theologian John Bale attributed to Sixtus "the authorisation to practice sodomy during periods of warm weather". However, such accusations by Protestant polemicists can be dismissed as attempts at anti-Catholic propaganda.
Sunday, 17 July 2011
Steven Hogan and Lee Hudson, Completely Queer: The Gay and Lesbian Encyclopedia, Henry Holt and Company, 1998,
Changing New York (1939)
Guide to Better Photography (1941)
Tuesday, 12 July 2011
b. July 12, 1854
d. March 14, 1932
b. July 12, 1864
d. January 5, 1943
"Black Leonardo." Time. 24 November 1991.
"Change Without Revolution ." Time. 5 January 1948.
"Dr. Carver Is Dead; Negro Scientist." The New York Times. 6 January 1943.
Fishbein, Toby. "George Washington Carver." e-Library@Iowa State University. 1 June 2010.
"George Washington Carver." The State Historical Society of Missouri. 1 June 2010.
"George Washington Carver.” The Field Museum. 24 May 2010.
"Science: Peanut Man." Time. 14 June 1937.
Published Works by George Washington Carver
How to Grow the Peanut and 105 Ways of Preparing it for Human Consumption (1918)
How to Grow the Tomato and 115 Ways to Prepare it for the Table (1918)
How the Farmer Can Save His Sweet Potatoes and Ways of Preparing Them for the Table (1937)
George Washington Carver: In His Own Words (1991)
Books about George Washington Carver
The Story Of George Washington Carver by Eva Moore (1990)
George Washington Carver: The Peanut Wizard by Laura Driscoll (2003)
George Washington Carver: Scientist, Inventor, and Teacher by Michael Burgan (2007)
George Washington Carver by Tonya Bolden (2008)
The Man Who Talks With The Flowers: The Intimate Life Story of Dr. George Washington Carver by Glenn Clark (2010)
Ben Parker: George Washington Carver (1940)
History Channel: George Washington Carver Tech: Modern Marvels (2002)
Franklin Springs Family Media: George Washington Carver: An Uncommon Way (2010)
Sunday, 10 July 2011
d. 16 April 1689
All women together, ought to let flowers fall upon the grave of Aphra Behn... for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds.
|Aphra Behn, by Mary Beale|
Aldrich R. and Wotherspoon G.- et alii : Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History Vol.1: From Antiquity to the Mid-Twentieth Century , Routledge, London, 2001
"Jerome Bolsec, with whom Calvin crossed swords in 1551, went on to publish a scurrilous (but highly entertaining) life of Calvin in 1577. His subject, according to Bolsec, was irredeemably tedious and malicious, bloodthirsty and frustrated. He treated his own words as if they were the word of God, and allowed himself to be worshipped by his followers. "In addition to frequently engaging in homosexual activity, he had an undiscriminating habit of indulging himself sexually with any female within walking distance. Thus, according to Bolsec, Calvin resigned his benefices at Noyon on account of the public exposure of his homosexuality."
"Bolsec's biography makes much more interesting reading than the more deferential biographies of Theodore Beza [Calvin's cohort who was, himself, accused of homosexuality] and Nicolas Colladon."
Friday, 8 July 2011
"The job of the architect today is to create beautiful buildings. That's all."
Goldberger, Paul. “Philip Johnson, Architecture’s Restless Intellect, Dies at 98.” The New York Times. January 27, 2005
Lacayo, Richard. “Splendor in the Grass.” Time. June 28, 2007
“Philip Johnson.” Legacy. July 2, 2008
Stern, Robert A.M. “Philip Johnson.” Architectural Record. July 2, 2008
Filler, Martin. “ART; The Architect of a Master Builder’s Store of Art.” The New York Times. June 2, 1996
Mason, Christopher. “Behind the Glass Wall.” The New York Times. June 7, 2007
Smith, Roberta. “ART REVIEW; Philip Johnson and the Modern: A Loving Marriage.” The New York Times. June 7, 1996
“Times Topics: Philip Johnson.” The New York Times.
The Glass House (1949)
Trump International Hotel and Tower (1971)
IDS Tower (1973)
Pennzoil Place (1975)
Crystal Cathedral (1980)
Wells Fargo Center (1983)
One PPG Place (1984)
Sony Building (1984)
Puerta de Europa (1996)
The Urban Glass House (2006)
American Masters: Philip Johnson
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
b. July 6, 1943
d. June 22, 1988
Sgt. Leonard Matlovich was the first person to fight discrimination against gays and lesbians in the U.S. military.
"When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one."
Leonard Matlovich was a self-described "Air Force brat" who wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, an Air Force master sergeant. At age 19 he enlisted and volunteered for Vietnam. He served three tours of duty, earning the Bronze Star for bravery, the Purple Heart, and an Air Force commendation.
Matlovich was an unlikely champion of gay rights. Religiously and politically conservative, he was brought up in a Catholic family and converted to Mormonism as he attempted to control his homosexual inclinations through strict religious beliefs.
Sgt. Matlovich remained closeted in the gay-excluding military. But in March 1975, the decorated 12-year veteran handed his commanding officer a letter stating that "my sexual preferences are homosexual as opposed to heterosexual" and requesting a waiver of the military's anti-gay policies because of his exemplary service record.
The Office of Special Investigations declared Sgt. Leonard Matlovich unfit for military service and recommended that he be discharged. Matlovich's challenge to the ruling thrust him into the glare of headlines. The New York Times wrote about him, NBC made a television movie, and in 1975, Matlovich became the first openly gay person to be on the cover of Time Magazine.
In 1980 a federal judge ordered the Air Force to reinstate Matlovich with back pay. The Air Force negotiated a settlement with Matlovich and the federal court's ruling was vacated when Matlovich agreed to drop the case in exchange for a tax-free payment of $160,000.
After his case passed from the headlines, Matlovich became active in gay rights and AIDS organizations. In 1986, he was diagnosed with AIDS. When he died in June 1988, he was buried at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC with full military honors. His headstone does not bear his name; it reads simply "A Gay Vietnam Veteran." The words "Never Again" and "Never Forget" are chiseled beneath two triangles. Below them are these words:
"When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one."
Saturday, 2 July 2011
d. February 19, 2002
Civil rights pioneer Sylvia Rivera was one of the instigators of the Stonewall uprising, an event that helped launch the modern gay rights movement.
"I'm not missing a minute of this, it's the revolution!"
After Stonewall, Rivera joined the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) and worked energetically on its campaign to pass the New York City Gay Rights Bill. She was famously arrested for climbing the walls of City Hall in a dress and high heels to crash a closed-door meeting on the bill. In time, GAA eliminated drag and transvestite concerns from their agenda as they sought to broaden their political base. Years later, Rivera told an interviewer, "When things started getting more mainstream, it was like, `We don't need you no more'." But, she added, "Hell hath no fury like a drag queen scorned."
Sylvia Rivera (né Ray Rivera Mendosa) was a persistent and vocal advocate for transgender rights. Her activist zeal was fueled by her own struggles to find food, shelter, and safety in the urban streets from the time she left home at the age of ten. In 1970, Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson co-founded STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) to help homeless youth.
The Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP), an organization dedicated to ending poverty and gender identity discrimination, carries on Rivera's work on behalf of marginalized persons.
In 2005, a street in Greenwich Village near the Stonewall Inn was renamed in Sylvia Rivera's honor.