Post(s) tagged with "history"

The Bar at Le Monocle (estimate to be mid 1930s)

The Bar at Le Monocle (estimate to be mid 1930s)

Le Monocle was a well-know lesbian bar located in Montmartre section of Paris, France that was open from the 1920s thru the early 1940s.
During the 1920s, Paris gained a reputation for the variety of its nighttime options and for its  free and easy attitude toward life in general. As a result, many gay and lesbian nightclubs opened and flourished. Among these was Le Monocle,  which is credited with being one  of the first, and certainly the most famous of lesbian nightclubs. It  was opened by Lulu de Montparnasse in the Montmartre area, which at that  time was the main gathering place for Parisian lesbians who were often seen at Montmartre’s outdoor cafes or dancing at the Moulin Rouge. Le Monocle’s scene was describe by Florence Tamagne as, “All the women there dressed as men, in Tuxedos, and wore their hair in a bob.”  
The name Le Monocle derived from a fad at the time where women who identified as lesbian would sport a monocle to indicate sexual preference. The writer Colette once obsevered the fad by describing women in the area as “often affecting a monocle and a white carnation in the buttonhole.”  (as seen in the photo above of Le Monocle)

Le Monocle was a well-know lesbian bar located in Montmartre section of Paris, France that was open from the 1920s thru the early 1940s.

During the 1920s, Paris gained a reputation for the variety of its nighttime options and for its free and easy attitude toward life in general. As a result, many gay and lesbian nightclubs opened and flourished. Among these was Le Monocle, which is credited with being one of the first, and certainly the most famous of lesbian nightclubs. It was opened by Lulu de Montparnasse in the Montmartre area, which at that time was the main gathering place for Parisian lesbians who were often seen at Montmartre’s outdoor cafes or dancing at the Moulin Rouge. Le Monocle’s scene was describe by Florence Tamagne as, “All the women there dressed as men, in Tuxedos, and wore their hair in a bob.”  

The name Le Monocle derived from a fad at the time where women who identified as lesbian would sport a monocle to indicate sexual preference. The writer Colette once obsevered the fad by describing women in the area as “often affecting a monocle and a white carnation in the buttonhole.”  (as seen in the photo above of Le Monocle)

Matthew Shepard was attacked 13 years ago tonight ⇢

I remember very clearly when the news about Matthew Shepard broke 13 years ago.  I was a senior in college, 3 years into a wonderful relationship, and finally out to almost everyone in my life, and yet every time I went home to my extremely tiny southern town I feared what my openness would mean for my safety.  Hearing about Matthew brought that fear into stark reality and I cried.  I could not imagine then where we are today, both in the advancements that we have made and all the work that needs to be done.

Matthew’s death was what triggered so many of my generation to get involved in advocacy and none of us should ever forget what happened that day in 1998. 

******

Thirteen years ago tonight Matthew Shepard was lured to a rural road, tied up, crucifixion style, pistol whipped then left for dead, simply because he was gay. He wasn’t found for nearly a day, still barely alive in the 30 degree weather, the only part of his face not covered by blood was where the tears had streamed down. The attack on Matthew, and his subsequent death a few days later, was a galvanizing moment for the gay community. It was one of only a handful of moments I can think of, in the twenty years that I’ve been out, that something changed in all of us, nationwide, at a much larger, meta level.


Within a day of hearing of the story I set up a Web site to help coordinate news about his attack.  It was called Matthew Shepard Online Resources.  The site, and its accompanying bulletin board, quickly became the main organizing point for our community and our allies, and for a good year it advocated for amending the US’ already existing hate crimes law to include gender, disability and sexual orientation.  The Republicans blocked legislation, and it wouldn’t become law for another eleven years.

Noah Baron from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism has a very nice post up about Matthew’s attack and his legacy:

It is necessary to speak out - as Jews, as Americans, as human beings - against the ugliness that reared its head that October day 13 years ago. No person deserves to die the way Matthew Shepard did. No person should have to live in fear simply because of who they are. To speak out - to decry this violence, to oppose bigotry, to take a step closer to a better world - is not merely an option; it is a fundamental obligation. As it is written, “Do not stand idly by while your neighbor bleeds” (Leviticus 19:16).

It is not enough, then, to simply refrain from homophobia or refrain from violence. Rather, we must speak out, to stop the violence, to stanch the blood of our neighbors. Matthew Shepard was not simply a victim at the hands of his attackers; he was the victim at the hands a society that sent the message that who he was as a person was wrong. As Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel once said, “Few are guilty, but all are responsible.” We are all responsible; every additional week that we do not work for justice, every day that passes in which we do not imbue in our children an ethic of acceptance and uprightness, every moment of our silence is an act of violence against our LGBT brothers and sisters.

As the Mishna tells us, “It is not our responsibility to finish the task, but we may not refrain from starting it.” It may be that we will never eradicate homophobia - or Islamophobia, or transphobia, or anti-Semitism - in our lifetimes; the task itself often feels overwhelming. But that is no excuse, for silence is not an option.

Rudolf Brazda, last of the Pink Triangles, tells his story

From a piece done for French television.

Rudolf Brazda, believed last surviving gay concentration camp prisoner, dies at 98 
By Associated Press, Published: August 4
BERLIN — Rudolf Brazda, believed to be the last surviving person who was sent to a Nazi concentration camp because of his homosexuality, has died, a German gay rights group said Thursday. He was 98.
The Berlin branch of the Lesbian and Gay Association, or LSVD, said that Brazda died on Wednesday. It didn’t give details of the location or cause of death.
Brazda was sent to the Nazis’ Buchenwald concentration camp in August 1942 and held there until its liberation by U.S. forces in 1945.
Nazi Germany declared homosexuality an aberration that threatened the German race, and convicted some 50,000 homosexuals as criminals. An estimated 10,000 to 15,000 gay men were deported to concentration camps, where few survived.
When a memorial to the Nazis’ gay victims was unveiled in Berlin in 2008, the LSVD said the last ex-prisoner that it knew of had died three years earlier. But the group said it was then contacted by Brazda, who visited the memorial at its invitation and became an honorary member.
Brazda was born in 1913. He grew up in the eastern German town of Meuselwitz and repeatedly ran into trouble with Nazi authorities over his homosexuality before being sent to Buchenwald.
Brazda lived in the Alsace region of eastern France after World War II. Earlier this year, he was named a knight in the country’s Legion of Honor.
Berlin’s openly gay mayor, Klaus Wowereit, who met Brazda in 2008, said he learned with regret of his death.
“He is an example of how important the work of remembrance is for our future,” Wowereit said. “Fewer and fewer people can give information about repression under the Nazi dictatorship authentically and from their own experience.”

Rudolf Brazda, believed last surviving gay concentration camp prisoner, dies at 98 

By Associated Press, Published: August 4

BERLIN — Rudolf Brazda, believed to be the last surviving person who was sent to a Nazi concentration camp because of his homosexuality, has died, a German gay rights group said Thursday. He was 98.

The Berlin branch of the Lesbian and Gay Association, or LSVD, said that Brazda died on Wednesday. It didn’t give details of the location or cause of death.

Brazda was sent to the Nazis’ Buchenwald concentration camp in August 1942 and held there until its liberation by U.S. forces in 1945.

Nazi Germany declared homosexuality an aberration that threatened the German race, and convicted some 50,000 homosexuals as criminals. An estimated 10,000 to 15,000 gay men were deported to concentration camps, where few survived.

When a memorial to the Nazis’ gay victims was unveiled in Berlin in 2008, the LSVD said the last ex-prisoner that it knew of had died three years earlier. But the group said it was then contacted by Brazda, who visited the memorial at its invitation and became an honorary member.

Brazda was born in 1913. He grew up in the eastern German town of Meuselwitz and repeatedly ran into trouble with Nazi authorities over his homosexuality before being sent to Buchenwald.

Brazda lived in the Alsace region of eastern France after World War II. Earlier this year, he was named a knight in the country’s Legion of Honor.

Berlin’s openly gay mayor, Klaus Wowereit, who met Brazda in 2008, said he learned with regret of his death.

“He is an example of how important the work of remembrance is for our future,” Wowereit said. “Fewer and fewer people can give information about repression under the Nazi dictatorship authentically and from their own experience.”

Washington Post

Why LGBT History Is Important by David Mixner
An enormous amount of energy went into Governor Jerry Brown’s office  in California surrounding legislation insisting that the LGBT  community’s struggle and history be included in text books and class  room discussion. Happily, it was announced late Thursday that Brown had  signed the FAIR Education Act (SB 48, Leno) into law. Congratulations to  all involved in this great success, especially Senator Mark Leno, who  authored the bill, and Governor Brown whose signature made the bill a  reality.
A friend of mine today said he didn’t understand why it was so  important and shouldn’t we just be included with everyone else. Well, he  is right on the second point, we absolutely should be included with  everyone else in the text books. And as to his first point, nothing  could be more important.
There are many ways to kill people and one of the ways is to pretend  that they never existed at all. Remove all traces of their journey and  hope no one discovers their story. Often the issue of self-esteem among  young LGBT citizens stems from the fact that they think our common  denominator is just sexually based. They have no idea of their noble,  proud and heroic traditions and actions of their pioneers.
LGBT history is filled with dramatic courage, dignity and determination and innovative and extraordinary leaders.
Unlike other communities that have struggled to preserve and create  awareness about their history, we have seen systematic attempts to  destroy and distort our journey. When we lost so many of our  storytellers from AIDS, their surviving family members usually destroyed  any trace that their family member was a LGBT citizen or had AIDS. Tens  of thousands of stories of courage and heroism were lost. Boxes upon  boxes of historical documents were burned. The shame of the families  about their LGBT son or daughter made it even more difficult to keep our  history intact.
In addition, we have organized groups now attempting to quash any  positive role models, stories or epic struggles by this community. Some  have linked us to Nazis and others insist we are nothing but pedophiles.  Any positive portrayal of a community whose history is rich and full  would threaten those lies.
If you feel like you have come out of nothing then you might feel you  are nothing. If you think only sex is the basis of our journey then you  will miss the remarkable stories that define this community as one of  heroes, heroines and a very proud people.

Why LGBT History Is Important by David Mixner

An enormous amount of energy went into Governor Jerry Brown’s office in California surrounding legislation insisting that the LGBT community’s struggle and history be included in text books and class room discussion. Happily, it was announced late Thursday that Brown had signed the FAIR Education Act (SB 48, Leno) into law. Congratulations to all involved in this great success, especially Senator Mark Leno, who authored the bill, and Governor Brown whose signature made the bill a reality.

A friend of mine today said he didn’t understand why it was so important and shouldn’t we just be included with everyone else. Well, he is right on the second point, we absolutely should be included with everyone else in the text books. And as to his first point, nothing could be more important.

There are many ways to kill people and one of the ways is to pretend that they never existed at all. Remove all traces of their journey and hope no one discovers their story. Often the issue of self-esteem among young LGBT citizens stems from the fact that they think our common denominator is just sexually based. They have no idea of their noble, proud and heroic traditions and actions of their pioneers.

LGBT history is filled with dramatic courage, dignity and determination and innovative and extraordinary leaders.

Unlike other communities that have struggled to preserve and create awareness about their history, we have seen systematic attempts to destroy and distort our journey. When we lost so many of our storytellers from AIDS, their surviving family members usually destroyed any trace that their family member was a LGBT citizen or had AIDS. Tens of thousands of stories of courage and heroism were lost. Boxes upon boxes of historical documents were burned. The shame of the families about their LGBT son or daughter made it even more difficult to keep our history intact.

In addition, we have organized groups now attempting to quash any positive role models, stories or epic struggles by this community. Some have linked us to Nazis and others insist we are nothing but pedophiles. Any positive portrayal of a community whose history is rich and full would threaten those lies.

If you feel like you have come out of nothing then you might feel you are nothing. If you think only sex is the basis of our journey then you will miss the remarkable stories that define this community as one of heroes, heroines and a very proud people.

Source: davidmixner.com

Yesterday was the 42nd Anniversary of Stonewall.  Let us not forget where it all began!
The riots following the June 28, 1969 police raid on New York City’s  Stonewall Inn did not start the discussion on gay rights, but it  certainly became the catalyst for a national movement. When the  mafia-owned bar that offered a safe place for gay men and lesbians to  drink and dance was shut down as part of a citywide crackdown on  homosexual life, Greenwich Village erupted into several days of riots.  Violent police beat downs and open mocking of the authorities by the  protesters escalated the neighborhood protest into a full-scale rally  for acceptance and equality. Prior to the Stonewall riots the gay rights  movement had been mostly underground; only two years later there were  organized groups within every major city in America.
Stonewall’s legacy lives on today. After the New York State Senate  voted in favor of same sex marriage on Friday night, revelers from  around the city congregated in front of the bar to celebrate.
(via Stonewall Inn, 1969 - Top 10 Most Influential Protests - TIME)

Yesterday was the 42nd Anniversary of Stonewall.  Let us not forget where it all began!

The riots following the June 28, 1969 police raid on New York City’s Stonewall Inn did not start the discussion on gay rights, but it certainly became the catalyst for a national movement. When the mafia-owned bar that offered a safe place for gay men and lesbians to drink and dance was shut down as part of a citywide crackdown on homosexual life, Greenwich Village erupted into several days of riots. Violent police beat downs and open mocking of the authorities by the protesters escalated the neighborhood protest into a full-scale rally for acceptance and equality. Prior to the Stonewall riots the gay rights movement had been mostly underground; only two years later there were organized groups within every major city in America.

Stonewall’s legacy lives on today. After the New York State Senate voted in favor of same sex marriage on Friday night, revelers from around the city congregated in front of the bar to celebrate.

(via Stonewall Inn, 1969 - Top 10 Most Influential Protests - TIME)

This is an amazing photo and I totally agree with the comment at Bilerico.
"Fabulous vintage photo, ca.1910 - 1920. I have no idea who these lovely  women are or where they were performing but I sure wish I could have  watched their show!"
via www.bilerico.com

This is an amazing photo and I totally agree with the comment at Bilerico.

"Fabulous vintage photo, ca.1910 - 1920. I have no idea who these lovely women are or where they were performing but I sure wish I could have watched their show!"

via www.bilerico.com

Source: bilerico.com

Fighting For The Right To Marry, A Family Tradition : NPR
This is a wonderful story!

Fighting For The Right To Marry, A Family Tradition : NPR

This is a wonderful story!

NPR

As always, it’s difficult to pin the “gay” label on those who lived before the word “homosexual” came into being in 1869. Still, one of George Washington’s closest confidantes, Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, definitely qualifies as sexually suspicious. The Germans certainly believed so: they booted him from their ranks in 1776, after von Steuben was accused of homo relations. Unwanted in his homeland, the military office high-tailed it to the United States, where he joined Washington at Valley Forge in 1777. He would soon become the armed service’s first inspector general, and Washington’s Chief of Staff.

-

On The U.S. Army’s First Gay Discharge | The Bilerico Project

Interesting read, especially since they mentioned this guy in the Discovery Channel’s History of Us.

Source: bilerico.com

Where Pride Parades began 41 years ago.
Stonewall Bar in NYC 6/25/2010

Where Pride Parades began 41 years ago.

Stonewall Bar in NYC 6/25/2010

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