Pretty small-p proud of myself for actually managing to post one fact a day over on my Facebook. Came very close to missing the 28th but managed to get it in right under the wire at 11:59 pm and some change.
If I do this again next year or for another month, I’m going to plan things out a bit better, I think. That way I don’t find myself going “Auugh, what do I post about!?” and I can theme things a bit better. But, this was fun, I learned a lot and I hope other folks did too.
Here are the Pride Fun Facts #21-30:
Pride Fun Fact #21: Stephen Rhodes was the first openly gay driver to compete in NASCAR’s national touring series. He came out at 17, prior to his debut in 2003 in two Craftsman Truck Races.
Source: Stephen Rhodes (Rading Driver) @ Wikipedia
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Pride Fun Fact #22: Okay, this is less of a ‘fun fact’ and more of a grammar lesson/brief bit on linguistics but bear with me, okay? This is important stuff.
These days when people talk about someone’s ‘pronouns’ they’re probably referring to ‘personal pronouns’ – which include he/him, she/her, they/them and other constructions often referred to as ‘neopronouns.’
While people who sneer at such things like to believe that neopronouns are some newfangled thing the ‘kids today’ came up with along with their LiveTumblrs and their SnapToks and their InstaBooks, that’s not true. Not by a long shot.
The neopronoun ‘ou’ was coined in 1789. Other examples include ne (ca. 1850), heesh (ca. 1860), er (1863), ve (1864), en, han, and un (1868), le (1871), e (1878), and ip (1884). The composer C.C. Converse created the pronoun ‘thon’ in 1884 and it was included in a couple different dictionaries.
More recent creations Include tey (1971), xe (1973), ey (1975) and ve (1980).
Source: Nonbinary pronouns are older than you think
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Pride Fun Fact #23: Though this one isn’t all that”fun.” TW: suicide
Alan Turing (June 23, 1912-June 7, 1954) was an English mathematician and computer scientist who is considered the father of modern computing. During World War II, he worked as a codebreaker, specifically on breaking German Naval codes. He helped break the Enigma codes, helping the Allies win the war in the Atlantic.By one estimate, Turing’s efforts shortened the war in Europe by two years and saved an estimated 14 million lives.
In 1946, Turing was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by King George VI for his wartime service as a codebreaker.
In 1952, after a break in at his home, Turing’s homosexuality was revealed to the authorities. Since homosexuality was illegal in the UK, Turing and his lover were arrested, charged and tried for “gross indecency.”
Turing agreed to chemical castration as an alternative to prison. He was given DES, a form of estrogen as a way to curb his libido. Additionally, he list his security clearance and was barred from working in cryptanalysis. He was also refused entry to the United States.
On June 7, 1954, Turing died from cyanide poisoning. An inquest ruled it a suicide, though others believe the cyanide was ingested accidentally.
The British government apologized for its mistreatment of Turing and in 2014, he was pardoned for the “gross indecency” charge — which led to the passing of a law granting an amnesty to other men who’d been convicted or cautioned for homosexuality in England and Wales .
Source: Alan Turing @ Wikipedia and Alan Turing Law @ Wikipedia
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Pride Fun Fact #24: From 1965 to 1969, a series of Annual Reminder protests were held on July 4 at Independence Hall in Philadelphia to remind people that LGBTQ Americans didn’t have the same basic civil rights protections.
The protests were pickets, with marchers adhering to a strict dress code to show that LGBT people were presentable and employable. They carried signs with slogans like “15 million homosexual Americans ask for Equality, Opportunity, Dignity”
Source: Annual Reminder @ Wikipedia
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Pride Fun Fact #25: According to a February 2021 Gallup poll, 5.6% of American adults (18+) identify as LGBT. This is roughly 18 million people. Of that group, 54.6% identify as bisexual, 24.5% as gay, 11.7% as lesbian and 11.3% as transgender. Another 3.3% identify with some other non-heterosexual group such as queer or same-gender loving.
Because people could identify with multiple groups, the numbers don’t add up to 100%.
Looking at groups by age, the two largest groups are Generation Z at 15.9% and Millennials at 9.1%. Both of which easily outnumber Generation X (3.8%), Boomers (2.0%) and Traditionalists/Silent Generation at (1.3%).
3.8% of LGBT Americans live in rural areas. 3-5% of rural adults and 10% of rural youth identify as LGBT.
Source: LGBT Identification Rises to 5.6% in Latest U.S. Estimate and Rural Queer History: Hidden in Plain Sight
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Pride Fun Fact #26: Hastiin Klah (also listed as Hosteen Klah) (Diné) was a master sand painter, chanter, weaver and healer among the Dine (Navajo) people. Among the Dine, there are traditionally four genders and Klah was considered a “Nádleehi” or “one who changes.” Based on historical evidence, it’s suspected he was probably intersex – though Nadleehi can also be born male.
Klah’s gender status was part of the reason why he was allowed to learn both weaving (a traditionally female craft) and chanting/ceremonial sandpainting (traditionally male). He was something of a prodigy in learning chants – most singers only master one or two chants, while he mastered at least eight.
Klah was born in 1867 in the Bear Mountain area near Fort Wingate, New Mexico. He demonstrated weaving and sandpainting at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
His weaving was and is controversial among the Navajo. Klah incorporated elements of the Navajo religion into his weaving, including depicting sand paintings. This was (and still is) regarded as sacreligious by some Navajo.
Klah also helped to document and preserve the Navajo religion through his friendship with Mary Cabot Wheelwright, a Boston heiress. The two collaborated in founding the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe, New Mexico. After his death in 1937, Klah was buried on the grounds of the Wheelwright Museum.
Source: 5 Two-Spirit Heroes Who Paved the Way for Today’s Native LGBTQ+ Community and Hosteen Klah @ Wikipedia
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Pride Fun Fact #27: This one is going to be long – and a lot of it isn’t going to be all that “fun” but it’s actual history and it needs to be discussed, so I’m hoping you’ll bear with me on this.
Tomorrow is the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which happened June 28, 1969 in Greenwich Village, New York City. I’ll be talking more about Stonewall itself tomorrow. Today I want to talk about the protests that happened prior to Stonewall. We’ll be looking at a few events that occurred from 1959 to 1969.
May 1959 – A group of trans women, drag queens, lesbians and gay men clashed with police at Cooper Do-Nuts, a 24-hour café in Los Angeles, California. Cooper Do-Nuts was located between two gay bars, so it was a popular place for gay people to hang out. At this time it was illegal in Los Angeles for a person’s gender presentation – how they dressed/presented themselves – to not match the gender on their ID, so police could and would harass LGBT people (especially trans women and/or drag queens) by asking for their ID, then arresting them, taking them in to be interrogated and fingerprinted but not booked. It was a scare tactic to prevent gay people from hanging around.
On the night of the riot at Cooper Do-Nuts, the police attempted to arrest several people. When one of the people who’d been arrested protested about the lack of room in the police car, onlookers began throwing coffee, donuts, cups and trash at the police until they left without making the arrests. The riot continued and police backup arrived, blocking off the street and arresting several people.
Some consider Cooper Do-Nuts to be the first gay uprising in the US, though others say that it was more of an isolated and local event that did have some lasting repercussions. If nothing else, the event serves as a reminder that the struggle for LGBT rights didn’t start on June 28, 1969.
May 31-June 2, 1964 – Not a protest, but a good thing. After witnessing first-hand the oppression and violence homosexuals faced, Rev. Ted McIlvenna wanted help improve things. With the support of the Methodist church, he convened the Mill Valley Conference at which sixteen clergymen – Methodist, Protestant Episcopal, United Church of Christ and Lutheran – met with thirteen leaders of the homosexual community to discuss ideas. Out of this meeting came the Council on Religion and the Homosexual (CRH), the first group in the US to use ‘homosexual’ in its name.
January 1, 1965 – The CRH, along with several other pro-LGBT groups, held a costume party at California Hall in San Francisco as a fundraiser. The San Francisco police, having been told of the event, agreed not to interfere with it – but on the evening of the ball, they showed up in force. They surrounded the building and focused klieg lights on the building, lighting it up to make it easier for them to take photographs of the over six hundred people who were attending the event. The police also repeatedly entered the event, allegedly as a ‘fire inspection’ but probably in the hopes of finding a reason to start making arrests. When two gay men, both attorneys, attempted to stop the fourth “inspection” they were arrested, along with two straight attorneys who were there to support the group’s right to assemble.
Twenty-five of the most prominent lawyers in San Francisco joined the defense team for the four and the judge on the case directed the jury to find them not-guilty before the defense even had a chance to state their case. This case marked a turning point in gay rights on the West Coast.
May 21, 1966 – On Armed Forces Day, 1966, a coalition of homosexual rights organizations across the US arranged simultaneous demonstrations to protest the exclusion of homosexuals from the United States armed forces. Protests occurred in Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.
Just a note: on May 14, 1966, over 400,000 college students took a draft deferment examination in hopes of being exempted from the draft. Of the 1.8 million students who were eligible for a draft deferment due to being a student, 1 million registered to take the test, which was also given on May 21st (also June 3rd & 24th).
Ok, this is getting long enough, so last one for now:
On New Year’s Eve, December 31st, 1966, plainclothes police infiltrated the crowd at the Black Cat Tavern, a gay bar in Los Angeles, California. This was at a time when it was still routine for police to arrest LGBT people for gathering together, even in private. And since it was New Year’s Eve, the police knew they’d have the chance to catch people engaging in illegal behavior.
Their chance came at midnight. While “Auld Lang Syne” was being sung, couples kissed and embraced to celebrate. Something that was likely happening in bars across Los Angeles. But here, the couples were both of the same sex, which made the act “lewd behavior” and, therefore, a crime.
That was all the excuse the police needed to start beating patrons and making arrests. Fourteen arrests were made and two of those arrested were later required to register as sex offenders, a charge they unsuccessfully fought in court.
The event is often described now as the Black Cat Tavern Riot, but that’s inaccurate. There never was a riot. The only violence was perpetrated by the police, who beat patrons and staff. There were peaceful protests on February 11, 1967, in the form of a picket against police brutality against the LGBT community.
The raid on the Black Cat and a later raid on a gay club called the Patch in August 1968 led to the Rev. Troy Perry, a gay Pentecostal minister from rural Tennessee to found the Metropolitan Community Church after his boyfriend, who’d been arrested at the Patch, told Perry “God doesn’t care about us.”
New Year’s Eve Jan. 1 1965: A Night for Gay Rights
Protest on Wheels, from Tangents magazine, May 1966
Black Cat Tavern @ Wikipedia
The Patch (bar) @ Wikipedia
Rev. Troy Perry @ Wikipedia
1966 in the Vietnam War
List of LGBT Actions in the United States before Stonewall
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Pride Fun Fact #28: The Stonewall Inn was a mob-owned gay bar in Greenwich Village, New York City. Since legitimate bars could not or would not serve the gay community, the Mafia saw a business opportunity. By the mid-1960s, the Genovese crime family controlled the majority of gay bars in Greenwich Village. In 1966, Tony “Fat Tony” Lauria, a member of the Genovese family, bought the Stonewall inn and renovated the place, turning it into a gay bar. He bribed the police at New York’s 6th Precinct around $1,200 a month to turn a blind eye to the club and, in exchange, the cops would tip off the Stonewall Inn if there was going to be a raid.
The Stonewall Inn wasn’t a great establishment. Fat Tony had renovated the place on the cheap, cutting corners when it came to safety and hygiene. There was no fire exit and no running water behind the bar, so drinks were served in dirty, used glasses. The liquor was either bootlegged or stolen and was watered down but served at top shelf prices.
On top of that, there was money to be made in extorting wealthy patrons, which ended up being the most profitable part of Stonewall’s operations.
The Mob would sometimes allow “show raids” by the police to appease other, neighboring businesses. Because liquor wasn’t stored on site, the Inn could be easily reopened the next day and if a few patrons ended up humiliated by the arrests, so what? It wasn’t like they had many (or any) other places to go.
The Stonewall served a variety of clientele from wealthy, established businessmen to drag queens to street kids who considered the Stonewall to be their one safe haven in a world that hated them. It wasn’t much but it was a place to go for a drink or to dance and meet up with friends.
On June 24, 1969, the police raided the Stonewall Inn, confiscating the alcohol on site and arresting some of the employees. They planned to raid the place again on the 28th in hopes of shutting Stonewall down for good.
The raid occurred after midnight on the 28th of June. The place was packed when eight undercover cops (six men, two women) entered the place. They singled out drag queens and others who were cross-dressing for arrest, using New York’s anti-masquerade law as justification for the arrests. Other patrons were allowed to leave without being arrested. Outside the bar, many of these patrons gathered with onlookers, watching as a paddy wagon arrived and police started loading employees and others who’d been arrested on board.
Exactly what started the riots is unknown – or, more correctly, stories vary. Some witness accounts say that the crowd began fighting back after police roughed up Storme DeLarverie, a butch lesbian activist after she complained about her handcuffs being too tight.
Other reports hold that Marsha P. Johnson, a drag queen, threw a bottle or brick or shotglass and that started the fight. Marsha P. Johnson herself said that she wasn’t actually at Stonewall when the riot began. She was at later protests and did drop a brick through a parked police car’s window.
The fight on the 28th led to the police barricading themselves in the bar, waiting for reinforcements. The crowd used a parking meter to break through the door of the bar, while others threw beer bottles, trash and other objects including improvised firebombs made from bottles and lighter fluid.
When police reinforcements arrived, the crowd ran from them, then circled back and came up behind them. This lasted until around 4 in the morning, when things settled down. That first night, no one on either side was critically injured or killed, though the police did report some injuries.
Stonewall reopened the next night, despite not being able to serve alcohol. A crowd gathered outside, chanting slogans like “Gay Power” and “We shall overcome” The police again showed up to restore order, beating and tear gassing members of the crowd. Again, the protest lasted into the early hours of the morning. The protests continued over the next several nights, with gay activists gathering and spreading information and building the beginnings of what would become the gay rights movement of the 60s and 70s. As the protests went on, the mood of the crowd became less confrontational and isolated skirmishes replaced the larger-scale riots of earlier nights.
Newspaper coverage of the riots was less than sympathetic. The Village Voice referred to the protestors as “the forces of faggotry” and the New York Daily News ran the headline “Homo Nest Raided, Queen Bees are Stinging Mad.” The New York Times barely reported on the events, publishing a short article on the 30th of June about police routing ‘Village’ youths on page 22.
But the riots did have a lasting effect: they helped create a movement that lasted beyond the six days of riots and protests surrounding the events of June 28th. Several gay liberation groups were founded after Stonewall, joining with pre-Stonewall liberation groups to continue working for gay rights and liberation.
In November 1969, plans began to commemorate the Stonewall riots. Originally named Christopher Street Liberation Day (in honor of the street the Stonewall Inn was on), the name Pride became associated with the event, thanks to the efforts of organizers Brenda Howard, Robert A. Martin (aka Donny the Punk) and L. Craig Schoonmaker.
On June 24, 2016, Stonewall was designated a national monument, making it the first national monument in the US to be dedicated to LGBT rights and history.
THE GAY RIGHTS MOVEMENT AND THE MOB
The Stonewall Riots @ Wikipedia
What Happened at the Stonewall Riots? A Timeline of the 1969 Uprising
Timeline of LGBT History in New York City @ Wikipedia
Stonewall Forever: A Living Monument to 50 Years of Pride
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Pride Fun Fact #29: On June 28, 1970, roughly 3,000 to 8,000 people attended the first NYC Pride March. (Some estimates say as many as 20,000)
In 2019, for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, there were five million attending.
Source: NYC Pride March @ Wikipedia and Pride March: The First Fifteen Years
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Pride Fun Fact #30: In 1978, Gilbert Baker created the Rainbow Flag. At the time, the only internationally known symbol for the gay rights movement was the pink triangle, which the Nazis had used as a way of marking gay men and trans women in concentration camps. Baker wanted to create a symbol that celebrated the diversity and joy within the LGBTQ community, something that could be used in addition to the pink triangle and other symbols. In his own words:
“The rainbow is a part of nature, and you have to be in the right place to see it. It’s beautiful, all of the colors, even the colors you can’t see. That really fit us as a people because we are all of the colors. Our sexuality is all of the colors. We are all the genders, races, and ages.”
Source: Gilbert Baker Quotes and Reclaiming the Pink Triangle
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In Other News: Camp Nanowrimo for July 2021 starts in…about 2 hours and 45 minutes. I’m doing something for it, probably worldbuilding related. More on that next week when I post my goals for the 3rd round of AROW80 for 2021.
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