427 BC – Philosopher Plato was born on this day in Athens. Platonic love today means love without sex. For Plato it meant sex with young men. Plato was born with the name Aristocles. He was sur-named Plato because of his exceptionally well-developed broad shoulders and well developed body.
For Plato, the only type of real love is the love between two men, and he has dedicated two of his dialogues to that subject: the Symposium and the Phaedrus.
In his Symposium, Plato has Aristophanes tell a tale of human origins in which everyone was once a four legged creature until Zeus cut each in half. Each half tried to reunite with its mate and this explains the nature of human beings:
“Men who are a section of that double nature which was once called androgynous [made up of a man and a woman] are lovers of women, adulterers are generally of this breed, and also adulterous women who lust after men. The women who are a section of the woman do not care for men, but have female attachments: the female companions [that is, lesbians] are of this sort. But they who are a section of the male follow the male, and while they are young, being slices of the original man, they have affection for men and embrace them [the Greek verb implies a sexual sense], and these are the best of boys and youths, because they have the most manly nature. [bracketed material in Crompton] (Crompton, 2003, p. 58).
To Plato homo-erotic love is related to education and gaining knowledge, and this in his opinion made it superior to other types of love.
1961 – Birth date of Boy George. The British singer (Culture Club) was born George Dowd. In “Take It Like A Man”, George told his side of his relationship with Culture Club drummer Jon Moss (also Kirk Brandon). He said many of the songs he wrote for Culture Club were directed at Moss.
1972 – In Montreal, a gay rights group, FLH, opened a new gay center with a dance. Police raided it and charged forty people for being found in an establishment selling liquor without a permit. The charges were later dropped, but attendance dwindled at the center. The organization folded within a few months.
1978 – An application to register “Gayweek” magazine’s name was denied by the US Patent office on the grounds that it was immoral.
1983 – Byron High in Philadelphia, the first high school in America founded for gay, lesbian, and bisexual students, graduated its first class of five students.
1985 – TWA flight 847 was hijacked by Lebanese terrorists.
Two gay hostages from TWA Flight 847 hid their homosexuality from hijackers, fearing they would kill them because Muslims punish gays with death.
When the hostages returned to the US, two gay lovers who had been on the plane, Victor Amburgy and Jack McCarty of San Francisco although most news outlets described Amburgy and McCarty as “friends and roommates”, walked arm in arm for their official greeting by President and Mrs. Reagan.
Neither of the men’s parents knew before the hi-jacking they were gay.
2002 – For the second year in a row, the G.W. Bush administration turned down a request to recognize June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. In preceding months, Bush issued proclamations honoring February as African-American History Month and March as National Women’s History Month. During his time in office, President Clinton issued proclamations honoring June as National Gay and Lesbian Pride Month.
2004 – Gay activists sailed on this date to Australia’s uninhabited Coral Sea Islands Territory and raised the rainbow flag, proclaiming the territory independent of Australia, calling it the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands. One of the group’s members, Dale Parker Anderson, was declared Emperor, as Dale I. The “secession” was staged in protest at a decision to ban same-sex marriage made by the Australian federal parliament.
2006 – Four young men suspected of beating a recording artist while yelling anti-gay slurs were arraigned on assault and hate-crime charges in New York, but did not enter a plea. They were accused of chasing and jumping Kevin Aviance, 38, in the city’s East Village
2007 – Massachusetts lawmakers blocked a proposed constitutional amendment that would have let voters decide whether to ban same-sex marriage in the only state that allowed it at the time.
2007 – On this date Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Congressman Barney Frank (D- MA) wrote a public letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urging the State Department to investigate reports of violent persecution of homosexual Iraqis by Islamic groups and militias