Gay History Month – October 23rd: “Transvestitism”, Gay Hero Harry Hay, and Jerry Falwell Still Rots In Hell. YEA!

Harry Hay

 

Did you know that on October 23rd……..

1766: Christoffel Bosch van Leeuwarden, a seventy year old porter in the Netherlands, was convicted of seduction to sodomy and sentenced to three years of prison labor.

1907: The Molte v. Harden trial began in Germany. Journalist Maximillian Harden accused General Kuno Count von Moltke of being in a homosexual relationship. Moltke filed a civil suit, and though Harden was acquitted the verdict was later overturned and he was found guilty.

1937:  Mattachine Society founder Harry Hay’s former lover Stanley Haggart wrote to him after marrying a woman in an attempt to change his sexuality, “To think it had to take a marriage with its wedding night experiences to show me where my real affinity lies. Every cell in me screamed out in protest at my desecration of my body. At that time I knew that I belonged to you and you to me.”

1977: Two thousand people demonstrated in downtown Montreal to protest October 22 bar raids. Police attack the demonstrators with motorcycles and billy-clubs and made further arrests.

1979: Former Winnipeg Free Press publisher Richard Malone pleads guilty to charges of buggery and obstructing justice. He is given a one-year sentence, following a “juvenile sex ring” investigation in February 1979.

1993: In Helena Montana the state supreme court ruled that “transvestitism” is not a sufficient reason to deny a father joint custody of his 3-year old child.

1998: The Los Angeles City council condemns the “Making Sense of Homosexuality” conference, organized by the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality,otherwise known as NARTH saying that claims of “curing” homosexuals creates an atmosphere that can lead to anti-gay violence.

1999:  Religious right leader Rev. Jerry Falwell and evangelical Christian supporters met with Rev. Mel White and gay Christians for an anti-violence forum.  Shockingly, it did not stop the violence.

2002:  Pioneering gay rights activist Harry Hay (photo above)  dies of lung cancer in hospice care. A  founder and architect of the modern gay rights movement in 1950, Hay and four others formed one of the nation’s first gay rights organizations, the Mattachine Society. Hay’s believed in the cultural minority status of homosexuals which led him to take a stand against assimilation.

“We pulled ugly green frog skin of heterosexual conformity over us, and that’s how we got through school with a full set of teeth,” Hay once explained. “We know how to live through their eyes. We can always play their games, but are we denying ourselves by doing this? If you’re going to carry the skin of conformity over you, you are going to suppress the beautiful prince or princess within you.”


Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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