To celebrate the upcoming World Series, I compiled a random list of “First Recorded Homosexual Person, Place or Reference” and organized it in the format of the all-American game.
The LGBT National Anthem
“Glad to be Gay” was performed by Tom Robinson from the album “Power in the Darkness.” Great Britain, 1978. The first commercially successful gay political song. Sorry, it is not “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor.
The Boys and Girls of Summer at Bat:
#1: The First Gay Pope
– Benedict IX (1020-1055) turned the Vatican into a male brothel, he was the first pope known to be homosexual or bisexual at best.
#2: The First Gay Political Party Recognized by a Constitution
– April 2010, The Philippine Supreme Court recognized Ang Ladlad (Out of the Closet) as a legitimate political party for the first time. The justices said the party complied with all legal requirements and that there is no law against homosexuality.
#3: The First Gay Pride
– NYC June 28, 1970. Thousands of gay men and lesbians took over Sixth Avenue to commemorate the first anniversary of Stonewall.
#4: The First Openly Gay Rabbi
– Allen Bennett, Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, has the distinction of having come out in the New York Times in 1978. “Staying in the closet is an emotional death sentence,” he said. “You can do it one person at a time.”
#5: The First Advocate of Gay Rights
– Heinrich Hössli, (1784-1864) in 1836 published the first volume of Eros: Die Männerliebe der Griechen (“Eros: The Male-love of the Greeks”), a defense of same-sex love.
#6: The First Openly Gay European Mayor
– Bertrand Delanoe,Paris-France, 2001.
'TOP' of the 7th: The First Openly Lesbian Musicians To Play Carnegie Hall
– Cris Williamson & Meg Christian, November 1982. Indigo Girls were 18.
Seventh Inning Stretch
Gayest City: – Berlin, Germany 1932, with over 300 gay bars and cafes.
'BOTTOMs' of the 7th: The First Gay Musical Group To Play Carnegie Hall
– The NYC Gay Men’s Chorus, Christmas 1981. Ricky Martin was 10 years old, two years later he joined Menudo.
#8: The First Gay Monument
– Amsterdam, 1985, “The Stichting Homomonument,” on the river Amstel, in memory of all men and women persecuted because of their homosexuality. Bless those “coffee shops” and Amstel Light.
#9: The Last Execution for Homosexuality in the West
– Britain, 1836, but the death penalty for sodomy was not outlawed until 1861. Sodomy was struck down in the U.S. in 2003. In other countries the death penalty for homosexual behavior is still enforced.
#10: The First Country To Ban Discrimination Against Gays in the Military
– The Netherlands,1974.
#11: The First National Coming Out Day
– October 11, 1988. Is it a coincidence that Oct. 11 is also Eleanor Roosevelt’s birthday? I heard Lincoln is quite mad, he wanted Feb. 12.
#12: The First Gay Doll
– Gay Bob, 1978, produced by Out of the Closet Inc. The Cher Doll came later.
#13: The First Professional Athlete to Come Out of the Closet
David Kopay, 1975, played, among other teams, for the San Francisco Forty-Niners (ding ding). Martina Navratilova and Billy Bean came later.
#14: The First Transgender Politicians
Italy’s Luxuria, 2006, the first openly transgender Member of Parliament in Europe, and the world’s second openly transgender MP after New Zealander Georgine Beyer.
#15: The First Gay Marriage
– The first recorded mention of the performance of same-sex marriages occurred during the early Roman Empire. Cicero states that the younger Curio was “united in a stable and permanent marriage” to Antonius. Gay marriages continued until Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. After that they opened the Vatican.
#16: The First Gay Games
– 1982, San Francisco, where else?
MVP: The First, Openly Straight, Triple X Porn Star Elected MP
– Ilona Staller, better known as La Cicciolina, Italian politician, porn star, and singer, 1987. She continued to make hardcore pornographic films while in office.
UMPIRE: DAVID MICHAEL PALLONE (October 5, 1951) is a former Major League Baseball umpire who worked in the National League from 1979 to 1988. On April 30, 1988 Pallone was involved in a highly controversial confrontation with Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose. The incident led to temporarily stopping the game and Pallone was taken out of the game. In September of that year Pallone was forced to resign. He was outed in a New York Post article a few months later. Pallone went on to write his autobiography, "Behind the Mask: My Double Life in Baseball" about his experience as a gay man working in baseball. The book became a New York Times bestseller.
To view more LGBT History Month stories, visit sfgn.com/history2021.
Pier Angelo was born in Italy, moved to England at the age of 17 and learned English at the Nelson School of English. He attended college and graduate school in Manhattan. In 2009 he founded SFGN with Norm Kent. Now he’s retired with his husband Tom and his Affenpinscher Cabbage. He still enjoys writing his column Off The Wall for SFGN.