May 25 in LGBTQ History

1895: Oscar Wilde is convicted of gross indecency and sentenced to two years’ hard labour. 1913: Colonel Alfred Redl, former chief of Austrian counterintelligence, commits suicide when it becomes known that he has been blackmailed, on account of his homosexuality, into working for the Russians for the past year. Later in the century, the Redl…

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May 23 in LGBTQ History

1920: Harvard University establishes an ad hoc committee to investigate homosexual activity at the school. Following two weeks of inquiries, Harvard expels several students. The tribunal becomes known as the “Secret Court” after records filed under that name are discovered in 2002. 1975: “As you no doubt expected, I am declining your invitation to participate in…

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May 9 in LGBTQ History

1970: Ingrid Montano, a teacher in Phoenix, Arizona, resigns after being condemned by community Ieadcrs for having invited a homosexual to come and speak to one of her high school sociology classes. Although she has the support of her principal, she submits her letter of resignation, declaring, “I refuse to compromise on certain issues, and…

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April 28 in LGBTQ History

1978: Following the recent gay rights defeat in Dade County, Florida,voters in St. Paul, Minnesota, vote to repeal their four year-old gay rights ordinance by a margin of 2 to 1. 1981: Former Beverly Hills hairdresser Marilyn Barnett files a multimillion-dollar “palimony” suit against tennis pro Billie Jean King, claiming the two had a lesbian…

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April 25 in LGBTQ History

1965: An estimated 150 people participate in a sit-in when the manager of Dewey’s restaurant in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania refused service to several people he thought looked gay. Four people are arrested, including homophile rights leader Clark Polak of Philadelphia’s Janus Society. All four are convicted of disorderly conduct. Members of the society also leaflet outside the…

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April 19 in LGBTQ History

1978: 1,500 gays and supporters rally on the steps of the state capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota, in support of the gay rights provision in the city’s human rights ordinance. 1989: In one of the Navy’s worst peacetime tragedies, a gun turret explosion aboard the U.S. battleship Iowa kills forty-seven sailors while the ship is…

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March 20 in LGBTQ History

1961: The United States Supreme Court denies certiorari to Frank Kameny’s petition to review the legality of his firing by the United States Army’s Map Service in 1957, bringing his four-year legal battle to a close. 1970: Twenty-three year old David Bowie marries nineteen year old American Mary Angela Barnett. A few years later, Bowie…

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February 7 in LGBTQ History

1977: The U.S. State Department lifts its ban on the employment of LGBT people and announces that it will consider gay applicants on a case-by-case basis going forward. 1978: The Oklahoma State House of Representatives passes a so-called “Teacher Fitness” statute, which allows local school boards to fire homosexual teachers or any teacher “advocating ….

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February 1 in LGBTQ History

1978: Tom of Finland has his first U.S. exhibit at Robert Opel’s Fey Way Gallery in San Francisco. 1979: A gang of teenage boys stands outside Tennessee Williams’s home in Key West, Florida, and begins throwing beer cans and firecrackers at the house while chanting “Come on out, faggot!” The incident is just the latest…

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