Tag Archives: Today In Gay History

Gay History - March 24, 1987: ACT UP Stages Its First Major Protest In NYC, 17 Arrested - Video

Gay History – March 24, 1987: ACT UP Stages Its First Major Protest In NYC, 17 Arrested – [Video]

March 24, 1987 – ACT UP stages its first major demonstration on Wall Street in New York City.

Outraged by the government’s mismanagement of the AIDS crisis, LGBT and straight allies unite to form the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. ACT UP.

ACT UP’s first demonstration takes place three weeks later on March 24th, 1987 on Wall Street, the heart of the  the financial center in NYC, to protest the profiteering of pharmaceutical companies (especially Burroughs Wellcome, manufacturer of AZT). Over 250 people participated in the protest and seventeen were arrested.

ACT UP’s flyer for the event listed its demands:

NO MORE BUSINESS AS USUAL!

Come to Wall Street in front of Trinity Church at 7AM Tuesday March 24 for a

MASSIVE AIDS DEMONSTRATION

To demand the following

1. Immediate release by the Federal Food & Drug Administration of drugs that might help save our lives.

These drugs include: Ribavirin (ICN Pharmaceuticals); Ampligen (HMR Research Co.); Glucan (Tulane University School of Medicine); DTC (Merieux); DDC (Hoffman-LaRoche); AS 101 (National Patent Development Corp.); MTP-PE (Ciba-Geigy); AL 721 (Praxis Pharmaceuticals).

2. Immediate abolishment of cruel double-blind studies wherein some get the new drugs and some don’t.

3. Immediate release of these drugs to everyone with AIDS or ARC.

4. Immediate availability of these drugs at affordable prices. Curb your greed!

5. Immediate massive public education to stop the spread of AIDS.

6. Immediate policy to prohibit discrimination in AIDS treatment, insurance, employment, housing.

7. Immediate establishment of a coordinated, comprehensive, and compassionate national policy on AIDS.

President Reagan, nobody is in charge!

AIDS IS THE BIGGEST KILLER IN NEW YORK CITY
OF YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN

The first few minutes of the clip below from Fight Back Fight AIDS: 15 Years of ACT UP and the tweet from ACT UP below is the only remaining footage of the first protest.

Fight Back Fight AIDS: 15 Years of ACT UP clip from Frameline on Vimeo.

Gay History – January 26: Nikola Tesla Was Hot and Asexual, The First Gay Wedding License, and RENT Opens Off B’Way

Today in Gay History – January 26

1886 – Serbian Nikola Tesla (July 1856 – 7 January 1943) was issued nearly 300 patents in the US for his ground-breaking career focusing on electricity. He was an inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist who is best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current(AC) electricity supply system. Likely asexual, Tesla never married, explaining that his chastity was very helpful to his scientific abilities. Tesla chose to never pursue or engage in any known relationships, instead finding all the stimulation he needed in his work.

1958 — Comedian Ellen Degeneres (born January 26, 1958) is born. Degeneres is the first star of a television sitcom ever to come out — in 1997 — to the public, an act many see as having dramatically improved the climate for LGBT actors, though she almost instantly lost her show. Her current success in daytime talk television was unforeseeable at the time and she had no reason to think she would not have to go back to stand-up comedy clubs forever at the time she risked her television career.  In 2008, she married her longtime girlfriend Portia de Rossi (born 31 January 1973),  Australian and American actress, model, and philanthropist.

1971 –Look Magazine includes a gay couple from Minnesota, Jack Baker and Mike McConnell, as part of that week’s cover article on “The American Family.” Baker and McConnell are also noteworthy as they are the first same-sex couple in the U.S. to be granted a marriage license.

Jack Baker and Mike McConnell were married by a young Methodist minister in Mankato, MN in 1971. Baker had legally changed his name to the gender-neutral Pat Lynne McConnell to get the marriage license. By the time the state of MN figured  out that the bride was actually a male it was already too late. The two were officially married.

While Minnesota did try to null and void their marriage Baker and McConnell fought back furiously and predicted they would win eventually, but the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that their marriage was illegal. However, their license was never revoked

1996 – Rent opens off Broadway in the New York Theater Workshop for a six-week run. The creator, Jonathan Larson (February 4, 1960 – January 25, 1996), died unexpectedly the morning of Rents first preview performance Off Broadway. He suffered an aortic dissection, believed to have been caused by undiagnosed Marfan syndrome, in the early morning on January 25, 1996. 

Rent is loosely based on Giacomo Puccini‘s opera La Bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and create a life in New York City‘s East Village in the thriving days of bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of poverty and HIV/AIDS.

2011, Uganda – David Kato Kisule (c. 1964 – 26 January 2011), founding member of Sexual Minorities Uganda, is murdered. He was the founder and leader of the LGBT rights movement in Uganda where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death. He was a Ugandan teacher and LGBT rights activist, considered a father of Uganda’s gay rights movementand described as “Uganda’s first openly gay man”. He served as advocacy officer for Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG). Kato was murdered in 2011 allegedly by a male sex worker, shortly after winning a lawsuit against a magazine which had published his name and photograph identifying him as gay and calling for him to be executed.

Fictional Gay History – January 6, 1854: Happy Birthday Sherlock! – The Mysterious Gay (Closet) Case of Sherlock Holmes & Watson

January 6, 1854 –  On this is the date, Arthur Conan Doyle tells us his most famous character Sherlock Holmes was born.  Although a figment of Doyle’s imagination, and despite many denials by literary historians Holmes friendship with his assistant Dr. Watson leaves very little to the reader’s imagination in many of his famous adventures. 

EXHIBIT 1:

We have these quotes which are taken verbatim from Dr Watson’s narrations.

The Yellow Face, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

One day in early spring he (Holmes) had so far relaxed as to go for a walk with me in the Park, where the first faint shoots of green were breaking out upon the elms, and the sticky spearheads of the chestnuts were just beginning to burst into their fivefold leaves. For two hours we rambled about together, in silence for the most part, as befits two men who know each other intimately

The Return of Sherlock Holmes

“This gentleman,” said he, with a wave in my direction. “Is it discreet? Is it right? “Dr Watson is my friend and partner.” [said Holmes].

The Man with the Twisted Lip, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

“I moved my head to look at the cabinet behind me. When I turned again, Sherlock Holmes was standing smiling at me across my study table. I rose to my feet, stared at him for some seconds in utter amazement, and then it appears that I must have fainted for the first and the last time in my life. Certainly a grey mist swirled before my eyes, and when it cleared I found my collar-ends undone and the tingling after-taste of brandy upon my lips. Holmes was bending over my chair, his flask in his hand.”

EXHIBIT 2:

And let us not forget the Holmes story “The Three Students” where Watson states that he and Holmes had left London quickly and secretly for reasons which could not be gone into. This story is set in 1895 which is the same year that Oscar Wilde was on trial for “gross indecency”.  Some people argue that Doyle had Holmes fled London for fear of being dragged into the scandal.

VERDICT:

Is elementary my dear Watson.

GAY!

Happy Birthday Sherlock you old Queen!

Gay History - January 3, 1752: Gay Swiss Historian Johannes von Müller Born

Gay History – January 3, 1752: Gay Swiss Historian Johannes von Müller Born

Johannes von Müller (1752-1809). A gay man born in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, Müller was the most important Swiss historian of the 18th century.

Müller was born of modest means and whose father was a clergyman and rector of the gymnasium. In his youth, his maternal grandfather, Johannes Schoop (1696–1757), roused in him an interest in the history of his country.

He was respected and liked by many major intellectuals, including Goethe, Herder, Gleim, and Bonnet. Friedrich Schiller relied on his History of the Swiss Confederation for the writing of William Tell.

In 1773, Müller fell in love with the Swiss nobleman Karl Viktor von Bonstetten, with whom he remained friends until Müller’s death. A mutual friend, Friederike Brun, indiscreetly published Müller’s early love letters to Bonstetten in 1798. The letters document a literary tradition of male-male love, and indicate an awareness of their imitation of Winckelmann.

JOHANNES VON MÜLLER TO CHARLES-VICTOR DE BONSTETTEN

8th August, 1776

Any mistakes I may make in the future will be your fault; that is only if you neglect your letter-writing – your friendship can never grow cold – might I let myself be surprised by a passion. Tell me why I love you more as time passes. You are now incessantly in me and around me. My dearest friend, how much better it is to think of you than to live with the others! How is it possible to desecrate a heart that is consecrated to you? I need you more than ever; over and above these immutable, laudable plans for a useful life and an immortal name I have forsworn everything that is considered to be pleasant and delightful – not only pleasure but love, not only revels, but good living, not only greed, but ambition. B. is everything to me, you make all my battles easy and all abstinence sweet. Thus you live in my mind and especially in my heart. You write to me often, but it does not seem enough to me; you often address only the historian, and do not embrace your friend often.

Later in life, Müller was the dupe of an elaborate scheme to defraud him by exploiting his homosexuality. One of his former pupils (and perhaps lovers) invented a Hungarian Count Louis von Batthyani and penned letters to Müller in which the Count expressed his love and inclination.

Müller responded with letters of unfettered passion and an awareness that this friendship and its depiction in letters far exceeded his earlier relationship with Bonstetten, possibly the purest expression of eighteenth-century homosocial desire that exists.

After a year and more than a hundred letters, when the fiction could no longer be sustained, Müller was financially and psychologically destroyed.  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe  was one of several friends who helped him recover.

Rictor Norton commissioned the English translation of the love letters. Please check out his website by CLICKING HERE

Johannes von Müller - Wikipedia

Gay History – January 2, 1857: Martha Carey Thomas Feminist Lesbian Educator and Suffragist Born

Martha Carey Thomas was born in Baltimore, Maryland January 2, 1857.

Thomas an American educator and suffragist went on to become the dean and later president of Bryn Mawr University.

Growing up, Thomas was strongly influenced by the staunch feminism of her mother and her mother’s sister Hannah Whitall Smith who became a prominent preacher in their Quaker religion. Her father, a physician, was not completely happy with feminist ideas, but his daughter was fiercely independent and he supported her in all of her independent endeavors. Though both her parents were orthodox members of the Society of Friends, Thomas’ education and European travel led her to question those beliefs and develop a love for music and theater, both of which were forbidden to Orthodox Quakers.

Thomas went to Sage College, a women’s school at Cornell University.

She graduated from Cornell University in 1877.  Cornell offered her both the position of professor of literature and dean of Sage College, but she did not consider either.

She did graduate work in Greek at Johns Hopkins University but withdrew because she was not permitted to attend classes. She did further graduate work at the University of Leipzig, but that university did not grant degrees to women. She then went to the University of Zurich and earned a Ph.D. in linguistics, summa cum laude, in 1882 for her dissertation which was a philological analysis of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. This dissertation continued to be highly regarded by specialists eighty years later.She was the first woman and the first foreigner to receive such a doctorate from the university. She then spent some time in Paris, where she attended lectures by Gaston Paris at the Sorbonne, and then went back home to the United States.

In 1882, Thomas wrote a letter to the trustees of Bryn Mawr College, requesting that she be made president of the university. However, she was not granted the position as the trustee were concerned about her relative youth and lack of experience.  Instead, Thomas entered in 1884 as the dean of the college and chair of English.

In 1885 Thomas, together with Mary Elizabeth Garrett, Mamie Gwinn, Elizabeth King, and Julia Rogers, founded The Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore Maryland. The school would produce well-educated young women who met the very high entrance standards of Bryn Mawr College.

In 1908, she became the first president of the National College Women’s Equal Suffrage League. She was also a leading member of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. After 1920 she advocated the policies of the National Woman’s Party. She was one of the early promoters of an equal rights amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Thomas lived for many years in a relationship with Mamie Gwinn.  After Gwinn left Thomas in 1904 to marry (a love triangle fictionalized in Gertrude Stein’s Fernhurst), Thomas started another relationship with Mary Garrett they shared the campus home, living together until Garrett’s death. Miss Garrett, who had been prominent in suffrage work and a benefactor of Bryn Mawr, left Martha $15,000,000 to be disposed of as she saw fit.

Thomas retired in 1922, at age sixty-five. The Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers, which was founded at Carey’s behest in 1921, was a sort of “grand finale”  bookending Thomas’ legacy as an earlier shaper of the college.  Thomas, spent the last two decades of her life traveling the world in luxury, including trips to India, the Sahara, and France.

Martha Carey Thomas died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, of a coronary occlusion. She had returned to the city to address Bryn Mawr College on the fiftieth anniversary of its founding. Her ashes were scattered on the Bryn Mawr College campus in the cloisters of the Thomas Library.

Gay History – December 18, 1980: New York State Court of Appeals Strikes Down Sodomy Law

new-york-sodomy

With the state of New York and especially New York City being such a mecca of progressive ideals its hard to believe that it was not until December 18, 1980 that New York became the twenty-fourth state in the nation to legalize homosexuality.  The Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, struck down the New York’s consensual sodomy law in a 5-2 decision. The court ruled that the law violated Constitutional rights to privacy and equal protection, noting that the law banned anal and oral sex only when those acts were performed by unmarried couples. Married couples were exempt under the law. Writing for the majority, Judge Hugh Jones wrote:

“We express no view as to any theological, moral or psychological evaluations of consensual sodomy. It is not the function of the Penal Law or our governmental policy to provide for the enforcement of moral or theological values. …the People have failed to demonstrate how government interference with the practice of personal choice in matters of intimate sexual behavior out of view of the public and with no commercial component will serve to advance the cause of public morality or do anything other than restrict individual conduct and impose a concept of private morality chosen by the State.”

The Court concluded its ruling by stating:

“In sum, there has been no showing of any threat, either to participants or the public in general, in consequence of the voluntary engagement by adults in private, discreet, sodomous conduct. Absent is the factor of commercialization with the attendant evils commonly attached to the retailing of sexual pleasures; absent the elements of force or of involvement of minors which might constitute compulsion of unwilling participants or of those too young to make an informed choice, and absent too intrusion on the sensibilities of members of the public, many of whom would be offended by being exposed to the intimacies of others. Personal feelings of distaste for the conduct sought to be proscribed by New York Penal Law § 130.38 and even disapproval by a majority of the populace, if that disapproval were to be assumed, may not substitute for the required demonstration of a valid basis for intrusion by the State in an area of important personal decision protected under the right of privacy drawn from the United States Constitution – areas, the number and definition of which have steadily grown but, as the Supreme court has observed, the outer limits of which it has not yet marked.

GAY HISTORY – The Life and Death of Rock Hudson and His Impact on the AIDS Epidemic (November 17, 1925 – October 2, 1985)

In the 1985 Rock Hudson, a leading Hollywood actor, became the first major hollywood celebrity to die of AIDS-related complications.

While his career developed in 1950’s Hollywood, Rock Hudson and his agent Henry Willson kept the actor’s personal life out of the headlines. In 1955, Confidential magazine threatened to publish an exposé about Hudson’s secret homosexual life. Willson stalled the article by disclosing information about two of his other clients. Willson provided information about Rory Calhoun‘s years in prison and the arrest of Tab Hunter at a gay party in 1950. According to some colleagues, Hudson’s homosexual life was well known in Hollywood throughout his career, and former co-stars Elizabeth Taylor and Susan Saint James claimed that they knew of his homosexuality, as did Carol Burnett.

Soon after the Confidential incident, Hudson married Willson’s secretary Phyllis Gates. Gates filed for divorce after three years in April 1958, citing mental cruelty. Hudson did not contest the divorce and Gates received alimony of $250 a week for 10 years. Gates never remarried.

An urban legend states that Hudson “married” Jim Nabors in the early 1970s. Not only was same-sex marriage not recognized under the laws of any American state at the time, but, at least publicly, Hudson and Nabors were nothing more than friends. According to Hudson, the legend originated with a group of “middle-aged homosexuals who live in Huntington Beach” sent out joke invitations for their annual get-together. One year the group invited its members to witness “the marriage of Rock Hudson and Jim Nabors”, at which Hudson would take the surname of Nabors’ most famous character, Gomer Pyle, becoming Rock Pyle.

The “joke” was evidently already in the mainstream by the very early 1970s. In the October 1972 edition of MAD magazine (issue no. 154), an article entitled “When Watching Television, You Can be Sure of Seeing…”, gossip columnist ‘Rona Boring” (a take on then gossip columnist Rona Barrett) states: “And there isn’t a grain of truth to the vicious rumor that movie and TV star Rock Heman and singer Jim Nelly were secretly married! Rock and Jim are just good buddies! I repeat, they are not married! They are not even going steady!”  Those who failed to get the joke spread the rumor and as a result, Hudson and Nabors never spoke to each other again.

Shortly after Hudson’s press release disclosing his illness, William M. Hoffman, the author of As Is, a play about AIDS that appeared on Broadway in 1985, stated: “If Rock Hudson can have it, nice people can have it. It’s just a disease, not a moral affliction.”

At the same time, Joan Rivers was quoted as saying: “Two years ago, when I hosted a benefit for AIDS, I couldn’t get one major star to turn out. … Rock’s admission is a horrendous way to bring AIDS to the attention of the American public, but by doing so, Rock, in his life, has helped millions in the process. What Rock has done takes true courage. Morgan Fairchild said that “Rock Hudson’s death gave AIDS a face. In a telegram Hudson sent to a September 1985 Hollywood AIDS benefit, Commitment to Life, which he was too ill to attend in person, Hudson said: “I am not happy that I am sick. I am not happy that I have AIDS. But if that is helping others, I can at least know that my own misfortune has had some positive worth.”

Hudson, a friend of Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy, made a simple plea to the White House for help to get him transferred to a hospital in France in his greatest hour of need. 

“Only one hospital in the world can offer necessary medical treatment to save life of Rock Hudson or at least alleviate his illness,” Dale Olson, Hudson’s longtime friend and publicist wrote. Although the commanding officer had denied Hudson admission to the French military hospital initially, Olson wrote that they believed “a request from the White House … would change his mind.”

First Lady Nancy Reagan denied Hudson’s the request.

On the morning of October 2, 1985, Hudson died in his sleep from AIDS-related complications at his home in Beverly Hills at age 59, less than two months before what would have been his 60th birthday. Hudson requested that no funeral be held. His body was cremated hours after his death and a cenotaph was later established at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Cathedral City, California.

Hudson’s revelation had an immediate impact on the visibility of AIDS, and on the funding of medical research related to the disease. Among activists who were seeking to de-stigmatize AIDS and its victims, Hudson’s revelation of his own infection with the disease was viewed as an event that could transform the public’s perception of AIDS.

Rest in Peace Rock.

Gay History Month – October 24: Cole Porter, Paul Lynde and TIME Magazine’s 1969 Article “The Homosexual in America.”

Time Homosexuals in America

Today In Gay History: October 24th.

44 B.C.:  Marcus Tullius Cicero; Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul and constitutionalist when talking about his relationship with Mark Antony when he was younger, insinuated that he ‘established him (Mark Antony) in a fixed and stable marriage, as if he had given you a stola.’  A stola is the traditional garment of a married Roman woman. ‘Although Cicero’s sexual implications are clear, the point of the passage is to cast Anthony in the submissive role in the relationship and to impugn his manhood in various ways.  Please don’t tell Cleo. 

1926: The New York Times prints a book review of Dr. Joseph Collins’ The Doctor Looks at Love and Life.” Dr. Collins countered the claim that homosexual love is pathological and that homosexuals are psychopaths or neurotic, saying that he knew many well-balanced homosexuals of both sexes who have distinguished themselves in various fields from arms to the pulpit. He also stated that “Genuine homosexuality is not a vice, it is an endowment.”

1937: Legendary composer and songwriter Cole Porter’s legs are crushed when the horse he was riding while out in the Hamptons falls on top of him.

1966: Paul Lynde makes his first appearance on the game show Hollywood Squares and it becomes the gayest show on television without knowing it.  Or maybe they did.!

 1969 : Just a mere 4 months after the riots at the Stonewall Inn  TIME Magazine’s weekly cover story is “The Homosexual in America.”

It was not kind.

The article stated:

Homosexuals are present in every walk of life, on any social level, often anxiously camouflaged; the camouflage will sometimes even include a wife and children, and psychoanalysts are busy treating wives who have suddenly discovered a husband’s homosexuality. But increasingly, deviates are out in the open, particularly in fashion and the arts. Women and homosexual men work together designing, marketing, retailing, and wrapping it all up in the fashion magazines. The interior decorator and the stockbroker’s wife conspire over curtains. And the symbiosis is not limited to working hours. For many a woman with a busy or absent husband, the presentable homosexual is in demand as an escort –witty, pretty, catty, and no problem to keep at arm’s length. Rich dowagers often have a permanent traveling court of charming international types who exert influence over what pictures and houses their patronesses buy, what decorators they use, and where they spend which season.

The once widespread view that homosexuality is caused by heredity, or by some derangement of hormones, has been generally discarded. The consensus is that it is caused psychically, through a disabling fear of the opposite sex. The origins of this fear lie in the homosexual’s parents. The mother–either domineering and contemptuous of the father, or feeling rejected by him–makes her son a substitute for her husband, with a close-binding, overprotective relationship. Thus, she unconsciously demasculinizes him. If at the same time the father is weakly submissive to his wife or aloof and unconsciously competitive with his son, he reinforces the process. To attain normal sexual development, according to current psychoanalytic theory, a boy should be able to identify with his father’s masculine role.

Lack of procreation or of marriage vows is not the issue; even Roman Catholic authorities hold that an illicit hetero sexual affair has a degree of “authentication,” while a homosexual relationship involves only “negation.” Roman Catholic thought generally agrees that homosexuality is of and in itself wrong because, as New York’s Msgr. Thomas McGovern says, it is “inordinate, having no direction toward a proper aim.” Even in purely nonreligious terms, homosexuality represents a misuse of the sexual faculty and, in the words of one Catholic educator, of “human construction.

Even in purely nonreligious terms, homosexuality represents a misuse of the sexual faculty and, in the words of one Catholic educator, of “human construction.” It is a pathetic little second-rate substitute for reality, a pitiable flight from life. As such it deserves fairness, compassion, understanding and, when possible, treatment. But it deserves no encouragement, no glamorization, no rationalization, no fake status as minority martyrdom, no sophistry about simple differences in taste—and, above all, no pretense that it is anything but a pernicious sickness.

Ten years later Time would publish another gay-themed cover story, this one titled “How Gay is Gay”, which offered a  more positive and accurate portrayal.

1978: Diana Ross stars as Dorothy in the movie version of The Wiz, which opens in theaters. It’s not nearly successful as the Broadway musical.

1981: The first National Conference on Lesbian and Gay Aging took place in California. Sponsored by the National Association For Gay and Lesbian Gerontology, it sought to “dispel myths about older lesbians and gay men, advance research, establish programs and services for lesbian and gay elders, and encourage and provide support for lesbian and gay gerontologists.”

1987: Elizabeth Kirby Lewallen was named the new president of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays at the organization’s Sixth International convention in Washington DC.

1992: Thirty-five religious leaders in northwest Vermont joined to condemn two acts of hate-motivated violence, one anti-gay and one anti-Semitic.

Gay History Month- October 21, 1985: Dan White The Man Who Murdered Harvey Milk Commits Suicide – Read His Full Confession

Dan White and Harvey Milk

October 21, 1985Dan White, the man who murdered both Harvey Milk and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, commits suicide.

Harvey Milk was the first openly gay individual to be elected to office in California. White a fellow San Francisco supervisor assassinated San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Milk, on Monday, November 27, 1978, at San Francisco’s City Hall.  In a controversial verdict that led to the coining of the legal slang the”Twinkie Defense,” White was convicted of manslaughter rather than murder. White served five years of an only seven-year prison sentence.

White’s release was carried out with great secrecy. The afternoon before his scheduled release, he was transferred 200 miles south to a facility in the Tehachapi mountains north of Los Angeles. The next morning, he was handed over to the Los Angeles Parole Department which had arranged for an apartment for him somewhere in LA. He was given $200 in cash, the standard amount given to released prisoners. The press was given no information other than that White had been secretly released and his parole was not to exceed one year. White remained in hiding for a period of nine months During that period, he contacted his old friend, San Francisco Detective Frank Falzon, whom he had not talked to since the trial. White invited Falzon to join him in L.A., saying that he wanted to explain the whole thing.

Falzon claimed that at that meeting, White confessed that not only was his killing of Moscone and Milk premeditated, but that he had actually planned to kill Carol Silver and Willie Brown as well. Falzon quoted White as having said, “I was on a mission. I wanted the four of them. Carol Ruth Silver, she was the biggest snake … and Willie Brown, he was masterminding the whole thing. (Meaning his not being to withdraw his resignation from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.)

Less than two years after his release, Dan White returned to San Francisco, methodically taped a garden hose to the tailpipe of his car , stuck the other end through a car window, turned on the ignition and died. In his hands, he clutched photographs of his three children and his wife.

Dan White did not kill himself out of guilt.  He did it because his killing Harvey Milk was going to follow him for the rest of his entire life.

Scott Smith, Milk’s lover and business partner, said he was “stunned” by White’s death but not upset. “He got away with murder,” Smith said. “I suppose what goes around comes around.”

Many refer to Dan White even today as ” The most hated man in San Francisco’s history.” 

And rightfully so.

Please take a few minutes to read Dan White’s confession to the murder of  Mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk. Also watch the video below: Dan White News Footage Of Arrest, Trial & The White Night Riots.

—————————————————————————–

People’s Exhibit 54 in the Trial of Dan White

“Today’s date is Monday, November 27th, 1978. The time is presently 12:05. We’re inside the Homicide Detail, room 454, at the, Hall of Justice. Present is Inspector Edward Erdelatz, Inspector Frank Falzon and for the record, sir, your full name?

“A Daniel James White.

“Q Now, Dan, before I go any further I have to advise you of the Miranda rights. Number 1 you have the right to remain silent. Number 2 Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. Three- You have the right to talk to a lawyer and have him present with you while you are being questioned. 4. If you can­not afford to hire a lawyer, one will be appointed to represent you before any questioning, if you wish one. Do you understand each of these rights I have explained to you?

“A I do.

“Q And having these rights in mind, do you wish to ah. . .tell us about the incident involving Mayor George Moscone and Super­visor Harvey Milk at this time?

“A I do.

“Q Would you, normally in a situation like this ah. . .we ask questions, I’m aware of your past history as a police officer and also as a San Francisco fireman. I would prefer, I’ll let you do it in a nar­rative form as to what happened this morning if you can lead up to the events of the shooting and then backtrack as to why these events took place.

“A Well, it’s just that I’ve been under an awful lot of pressure lately, financial pressure, because of my job situation, family pressure because of ah. . . .not being able to have the time with my family. It’s just that I wanted to serve the people of San Francisco well an I did that. Then when the pressures got too great, I decided to leave. After I left, my family and friends offered their support and said whatever it would take to allow me to go back in to office-well they would be willing to make that effort. So since I felt the responsibili­ty for the people that elected me I went to Mayor Moscone and told him that my situation had changed because of the support of family and friends and I’d like to be, retain my seat, to be appointed to my seat. Initially he told me that he felt that I was an elected represen­tative of District 8, that I was doing an outstanding job, people of District 8 were lucky to have me, and that if it came to a legal ruling that he would appoint me, reappoint me, because of the type of per­son I was. So with that in mind I tried to set my personal affairs in order, preparing to take my seat. And then it came out that Super­visor Milk and some others were working against me to get my seat back on the board. I learned of this I was in the City Attorney’s of­fice, when Supervisor Milk called, stating that he, he was of that mind. He didn’t speak to me, he spoke to the City Attorney but I was in the office and I heard the conversation and that he was going to try to prevent me from taking my seat again. I went back to the Mayor and he told me that he had had some comments made to him that he felt that some of the people in District 8 didn’t want me to, to serve, and I told him that these were people that had op­posed me in my election, had traumatized my family by taking me, taking, pressing charges against me at the District Attorney’s office twice on false charges. They put a lot of pressure on me and my family.

“Q Can you relate these pressures you’ve been under, Dan, at this time? Can you explain it to the Inspector Erdelatz and myself?

“A Well, it’s just that some of these people have charged me with taking money from big corporations and not recording it but I never did that. I never took money from anybody but the papers print it. Like, my constituents believe it. They, they asked me about it. These people that are irresponsible and bring these charges. Two months later the District Attorney said they’re unfounded but no one hears about it, that the charges are false. But my family suffers and I suf­fer for it, phone cans we get.

“Q These meetings that you were having with the Mayor, were they an occurring last week or, or were they going into the weekend, this past weekend?

“A No, I, I hadn’t spoke to the Mayor since last Saturday. This would be Saturday a week ago and he told me that I would have to show some support from the people of District 8 if I was going to be reappointed. I could see the game that was being played, they were going to use me as a scapegoat, whether I was a good supervisor or not, was not the point. This was a political opportunity and they were going to degrade me and my family and the job that I had tried to do and, and more or less hang me out to dry. And I saw more and more evidence of this during the week when papers reported that ah. . .someone else was going to reappointed. I couldn’t get through to the Mayor. The Mayor never called me. He told me he was going to call me before he made any decision, he never did that. An it was only on my, my own initiative when I went down today to speak with him. I was troubled, the pressure, my family again, my, my son’s out to a babysitter. My wife’s got to work, long hours, 50 and 60 hours, never see my family.

“Q Dan can you tell Inspector Erdelatz and myself, what was your plan this morning? What did you have in mind?

“A I didn’t have any, any devised plan or anything, it’s, I was leaving the house to talk, to see the Mayor and I went downstairs, to, to make a phone can and I had my gun down there.

“Q Is this your police service revolver, Dan?

“A This is the gun I had when I was a policeman. It’s in my room an ah. . .I don’t know, I just put it on. I, I don’t know why I put it on, it’s just. . .

“Q Where is this gun now, Dan?

“A I turned it in to Officer ah. . .Paul Chignell who I turned myself in to at Northern Station. I, I. . . . . . . .

“Q You turned yourself in, I wasn’t aware of that.

“A I turned myself in at Northern Station to Officer Paul Chignell who, who I could trust and I, I know would do things properly. An then, an then I, I went to the, to the Mayor’s office.

“Q You went directly from your residence to the Mayor’s office this morning?

“A Yes, my, my aide picked me up but she didn’t have any idea ah. . .you know that 1 had a gun on me or, you know, I just was going to the Mayor to, to see if he was going to reappoint me and if not, the reasons why. And I went in to see him an, an he told me he wasn’t going to reappoint me and he, and he wasn’t going to, intending to tell me about it. He had some, he told me he had a press conference scheduled and he was going to announce it at the press conference. Didn’t even have the courtesy to call me or tell me that I wasn’t go­ing to be reappointed. Then ah. . .I got kind of fuzzy and then just my head didn’t feel right and I, then he said, Let’s go into the, the back room an, an have a drink and talk about it. An ah. . . .

“Q Was this before any threats on your part, Dan?

“A I, I never made any threats.

“Q There were no threats at all?

“A I, I. . . .oh no.

“Q When were you, how, what was the conversation, can you explain to inspector Erdelatz and myself the conversation that ex­isted between the two of you at this time?

“A It was pretty much just, you know, I asked, was I going to be reappointed. He said, no I am not, no you’re not. And I said, why. He said, he said well I’ve had people in your district say they don’t want you and I, I reiterated that I told him before that these were people that had brought false charges against me and had been dog­ging me since I’ve been in office and that he had been in politics and he understood that there are going to be people that dislike you, you, not everybody as a 100% supporter but I told him that oh, you know, an overwhelming majority of the people in my district wanted me as their supervisor and I told him how a person told me last night that they had on their own gone out with neighbors and gathered over a thousand signatures in one day, my constituents, to keep me in of­fice. He knew that and he told me, it’s a political decision and that’s the end of it, and that’s it.

“Q Is this when you were having a drink in the back room?

“A No, no, it’s before I went to the back room and then he could obviously see, see I was obviously distraught and upset and then he said, let’s go in the back room and and, and have a drink and I, I’m not even a drinker, you know I don’t, once in a while, but I’m not even a drinker. But I just kinda stumbled in the back, went, went, went in the back room and he sat down and he was all, he was talk­ing and nothing was getting through to me. It was just like a roaring in my ears an, and then em. . . . .it just came to me, you know, he.
. . . .

“Q You couldn’t hear what he was saying Dan?

“A Just small talk that, you know it just wasn’t registering. What I was going to do now, you know, and how this would affect my family you know an, an just, just all the time knowing he’s going to go out an, an lie to the press an, an tell ’em, you know, that I, I wasn’t a good supervisor and that people didn’t want me an then that was it. Then I, I just shot him, that was it, it was over.

“Q Was he, was he using the telephone at the time or going to use the phone?

“A No.

“Q Not any time. . . .

“A I, I don’t even know if there’s a phone in that back room.

“Q What happened after you left there, Dan?

“A Well, I, I left his office by one of the back doors an, an I started, I was going to go down the stairs and then I saw Harvey Milk’s aide across the hall at the Supervisors an then it struck me about what Harvey had tried to do an I said, well I’ll go talk to him. I said, you know, at least maybe he’ll be honest with me, you know, because he didn’t know I had, I had heard his conversation and he was all smiles and stuff and I went in and, like I say, I, I was still upset an ah. . . .then I said, I wanted to talk to him an, an, an just try to explain to him, you know, I, I didn’t agree with him on a lot of things but I was always honest, you know, and here they were devious and then he started kind of smirking cause he knew, he knew that I wasn’t going to be reappointed. And ah, . . . .it just didn’t make any impres­sion on him. I started to say you know how hard I worked for it and what it meant to me and my family an then my reputation as, as a hard worker, good honest person and he just kind of smirked at me as if to say, too bad an then an then I just got all flushed an, an hot an I shot him.

“Q How long a conversation did you have with Mr. Milk?

”A It wasn’t very long, I, I, he was in his office when I came in to the supervisors’ area and I said, Harvey can I talk to you? He got up or he was standing up, I can’t remember an he, and he walked into the room and I shut my door and he and I were in there, then. . . .

“Q This occurred inside your room, Dan?

”A Yeah, in my office, yeah.

“Q And when you left there where did you go?

”A Well let’s see. When I left there I went into my aide’s room and I, an I took her keys to her car, an, an I ran out and went in the back to where her car is parked in, in the well and I took her car and I drove over to the, where did I drive to? I didn’t even know what I was doing an I. . . .

“Q Did you go back home?

“A No, no, no I drove to the, the Doggie Diner on, on Van Ness and I called my wife and she, she didn’t know, she. . . .

“Q Did you tell her Dan?

”A I called up, I didn’t tell her on the phone. I just said she was work. . . .see, she was working, son’s at a babysitter, shit. I just told her to meet me at the cathedral.

“Q Did she meet you?

”A Yeah. She. . . .

“Q St. Mary’s?

”A She took a cab, yeah. She didn’t know. She had knew I’d been upset and I wasn’t even talking to her at home because I just couldn’t explain how I felt and she had no, nothing to blame about it, she was, she always has been great to me but it was, I couldn’t tell anybody I didn’t, there was just, just the pressure hitting at me an just my head’s all flushed and expected that my skull’s going to crack. Then when she came to the church I, I told her and she kind of slumped an just she, she couldn’t say anything.

“Q How is she now do you, do you know is she, do you know where she is?

”A I don’t know now. She, she came to Northern Station with me. She asked me not to do anything about myself, you know that she, she loved me an she’d stick by me and not to hurt myself an then we just walked to Northern Station and went an talked to Of­ficer Chignell and that’s it.

“Q Is there anything else you’d like to add at this time?

“A Just that I’ve always been honest and worked hard, never cheated anybody or, you know, I’m not a crook or anything an I wanted to do a good job, I’m trying to do a good job an I saw this city as it’s going, kind of downhill an I was always just a lonely vote on the board and try to be honest an, an I just couldn’t take it any more an that’s it.

“Q Inspector Erdelatz?

[Inspector Erdelatz]: “Q Dan, when you went to Northern Station, what did you tell Officer Chignell?

“A I didn’t say anything, the police obviously knew. They all knew and I know most of them, I’ve worked with most of them, and sh. . . .they just, you know, checked me out, frisked me and I had the gun and took out my wallet and everything, an ah. . .that’s it, I told them I, I, I wasn’t going to say anything.

“Q Dan, right now are you under a doctor’s care?

“A No.

“Q Are you under any medication at all?

“A No.

“Q Have you. .have you carried a gun with you in the past, Dan, since you’ve been ah. . . .a Supervisor say?

“A I have, because there were some threats on my life you know from people that I dealt with before the board. I never told my wife about it, I never told anybody cause it, you know, that’s something you don’t want to hurt anybody else, you know, bring anybody else but. . . .

“Q When is the last time you had your gun with you prior to today?

”A I guess it was a few months ago. I, I was afraid of some of the threats that were made and I had a committee hearing coming up where some of these people were going to appear and I, and I know they had a history of violence an I, I just wanted to make sure protect myself you know this, this city isn’t safe you know and there’s a lot of people running around an well I don’t have to tell you fellows, you guys know that.

“Q When you left the Mayor’s office, Dan, you proceeded you say to Harvey Milk’s office?

”A I, I didn’t even know if he was there. Like I said, I, I saw his aide come out of the door and I said, well I’m going to go over and talk to Harvey and kind of explain to him you know, he, I worked hard for that job and we disagreed on things but hell, I never was devious and I never lied, just tried to do my best.

“Q To your knowledge was anybody aware of the fact that the shooting had occurred in the Mayor’s office?

”A I, I have no idea. I don’t even know.

“Q Was there anybody running about at that time or was any excitement?

”A There wasn’t anybody in the hall ah. . .across the hall, like I say, was his aide an, an I, and then I passed two people in the hall that were walking an, an by the Mayor’s office, and they didn’t seem excited or anything.

“Q How long did you converse with Supervisor Milk prior to the shooting?

”A Oh it’s, maybe a minute or so, a minute and a half maybe.

I, I don’t know, it was a short time.

“Q Was there anybody else present at that time?

”A No, no I wanted to talk to Harvey and see, make him under­stand but he kind of smirked at me, he knew I wasn’t getting the job back,

“Q And this, when Inspector Falzon asked you about what had transpired when, when you were with the Mayor, you mentioned that there was a roaring in your ears, is that right?

”A Yeah, it’s just like my head was going to burst, you know, I just. . .

“Q Had that ever happened to you in the past, Dan?

”A Yeah, it had, it had when I was under this pressure at home an at night I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t sleep last night. I wasn’t even with my wife in bed, I was on the couch cause I didn’t want to bother her. I couldn’t sleep, I never even slept. It’s just, I don’t know I, it felt like my head was going to burst.

“Q When you left your home this morning Dan, and was it your intention to confront the Mayor, Supervisor Milk or anyone else with that gun?

”A No, I, I, what I wanted to do was just, talk to him, you know, I, I ah, I didn’t even know if I was going to be reappointed or not be reappointed. Like I say, they didn’t contact me, they didn’t tell me ah. . .I just was going down there to talk to him, you know, an ah. . .why do we do things, you know, why did I, it, I don’t know, No, I, I just wanted to talk to him that’s all an at least have him be honest with me an tell me why he was doing it, not because I was a bad Supervisor or anything but, you know, I never killed anybody before, I never shot anybody. . . .

“Q What did. . . .

“A . . . . . . . . .I didn’t even, I didn’t even know if I wanted to kill him. I just shot him, I don’t know.

“Q What type of gun is that you were carrying, Dan?

“A It’s a 38, a 2 inch 38.

“Q And do you know how many shots you fired?

”A Uh. . . .no I don’t, I don’t. I, out of instinct when I, I reload­ed the gun ah. . .you know, it’s just the training I guess I had, you know.

“Q Where did you reload?

“A I reloaded in my office when, when I was I couldn’t out in the hall.

“Q When you say you reloaded, are you speaking of following the shooting in the Mayor’s office?

”A Yeah.

“Q What or where were you carrying that gun when you left your house this morning?

”A I was carrying it in the holster on my hip, you know. . . .ah. . .ah. . . .under my vest.

“Q And how many bullets did you have with you?

”A I, I, I don’t know, I ah. . .the gun was loaded an, an I had some ah. .extra shots you know, I just, I, cause, I keep the gun with, with a box of shells and I just grabbed some.

“Q Are you referring to some loose. . . .

“A Yeah. . . .

“Q . . . . . . . . .bullets?

“A Yeah, yes.

“Q Inspector Falzon?

[Inspector Falzon]: “No, questions. Is there anything you’d like to add Dan before we close this statement?

”A Well it’s just that, I never really intended to hurt anybody. It’s just this past several months, it got to the point I couldn’t take it and I never wanted the job for ego or you know, perpetuate myself or anything like that. I was just trying to do a good job for the city.

“Q Inspector Erdelatz and I ah. . .appreciate your cooperation and the truthfulness in your statement. At this time, we’ll close this statement, it’s now 12:30 in the afternoon. Thank you.”

[End of Tape]

.

Gay History Month – October 15: Virgil, Foucault, Cole Porter, and Lucy Was A Gay Ally

Gay/LGBT History Month - October 15th: Virgil, Foucault, Cole Porter, and Lucille Ball - Lucy, Honey I'm HOMO!

October 15th.

70 BC:  Virgil an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period is born. Virgil is traditionally ranked as one of Rome’s greatest poets. His Aeneid has been considered the national epic of ancient Rome from the time of its composition to the present day and his works had a deep influence on Western literature, most notably the Divine Comedy of Dante, in which Virgil appears as Dante’s guide through hell and purgatory.

Many historians believe that Virgil was homosexual, and he had an especially close relationship with a man named Alexander, whom he wrote about in the guise of “Alexis”.

1926:  Michel Foucault a French philosopher, historian of ideas, and literary critic is born in Poitiers, France. Foucault became active in a number of left-wing groups involved in anti-racist campaigns, anti-human rights abuses movements, and the struggle for penal reform. He went on to publish The Archaeology of KnowledgeDiscipline and Punish, and The History of Sexuality, his so-called genealogies which emphasized the role power plays in the evolution of discourse in society. Foucault died in Paris of neurological problems compounded by HIV/AIDS; he was the first public figure in France to have died from the disease, with his partner Daniel Defert founding the AIDES charity in his memory.

1951:  I Love Lucy premieres on CBS.

In 1980 Lucille Ball showed her support for her gay fans and co-workers. (see above.)

Luuuuuucy!  Honey!  I’m HOMO!

1952: Members of the Mattachine Society form One, Inc. to promote gay education and research.  In January 1953 ONE, Inc. began publishing ONE Magazine, the first U.S. pro-gay publication, and sold it openly on the streets of Los Angeles. In October 1954 the U.S. Post Office Department declared the magazine ‘obscene’. ONE sued, and finally won in 1958, as part of the landmark First Amendment case, Roth v. United States.The magazine continued until 1967.

1964:  Composer and songwriting legend Cole Porter passes away of kidney failure at age 75. Porter who was gay, or at the very least bisexual  did indeed have a committed, lifelong relationship with his wife Linda, who knew he was gay from the start and not only tolerated but often encouraged his lifestyle–as long as he was not too flamboyant. In his career Cole Porter would write over 900 pieces of music.  His Broadway hit musicals include:  Anything GoesCan-Can and Silk Stockings .

1967:  Vikki Carr’s camp classic “It Must Be Him” enters the top-10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart .

1973 : The formation of the National Gay Task Force announced in New York City.   The National Gay Task Force is later to be known as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, then changed again to just three words The Task Force in 2012 and then changed yet again in 2014 to the National LGBT Task Force and now in 2018 it is the National LGBTQ Task Force.  Who knows maybe one day now 40+ years later when its done playing with its name it will actually find a “task”.

1977:  The Santa Barbara, California, board of education voted to ban discrimination against GLB students, making it the first US school board to do so.

1977: Federal district court Judge Kimba Wood ruled that shareholders of Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores Inc. should be allowed to vote on retaining a company policy that would forbid employment of gays and lesbians. Now you know why its called “Cracker” Barrel.

1999:  Washington Times columnist Cal Thomas reported that George W. Bush told a small group of conservative Republicans he would not knowingly appoint a practicing homosexual as an ambassador or department head if elected president.  Unfortunately he was, and of course he didn’t.