Gay History 101: November 5, 2014

PEOPLE

Sappho was a Greek lyric poet, born on the island of Lesbos. Her birth was sometime between 630 and 612 BC, and it is said that she died around 570 BC. Sappho's poetry centers on passion and love for various people and both sexes. The word lesbian derives from the name of the island of her birth, Lesbos, while her name is also the origin of the word sapphic; neither word was applied to female homosexuality until the 19th century. The narrators of many of her poems speak of infatuations and love (sometimes requited, sometimes not) for various females.

Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir (born 4 October 1942) is a former politician and the former Prime Minister of Iceland. She became active in the trade union movement, serving as an officer. Elected an MP from 1978 to 2013, she was appointed as Iceland's Minister of Social Affairs and Social Security, serving from 1987–1994 and 2007–2009. She was been a member of the Althing (Iceland's parliament) for Reykjavík constituencies since 1978, winning re-election on eight successive occasions. She became Iceland's first female Prime Minister and the world's first openly lesbian head of government on 1 February 2009.

Anastasia Bucsis (born 30 April 1989) is a Canadian speed skater. She competed at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver in the women's 500-metre competition. In addition, she participated in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics for women's long track, placing 28th in the 500 meters. Bucsis publicly came out as lesbian in 2013 at Calgary Pride. In June 2014, it was revealed that Buscis is in a same sex relationship with women’s hockey goaltender and three-time Winter Games gold medalist Charline Labonte.

DATES

1929: New York publisher Covici-Friede is convicted of obscenity for publishing Radclyffe Hall’s lesbian novel “ The Well of Lonelines.” The conviction is later appealed and overturned.

1955 : The Daughters of Billits, the first lesbian organization in the U.S. is founded in San Francisco by Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon.

1982: Cris Williamson & Meg Christian become the first openly lesbian musicians to play Carnegie Hall.

MUSIC

On the 1973 album “ Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John 'All The Girls Love Alice' is a cheery account of a lesbian who's happy to give it to all her classmates:

All the young girls love Alice

Tender young Alice they say

Come over and see me

Come over and please me

Alice it's my turn today.

If you want to learn more about your gay heritage and those who paved the way, through activism, sacrifice, courage, civil disobedience to give us a better and freer life you can visit The Stonewall Museum & Archives in Wilton Manors. We should all know who our gay heroes are and be thankful for what they did on our behalf.


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