Posts in tag

lesbian history


Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir iceland february 1

On this day February 1: Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir

The world’s first-ever out lesbian head of government became Prime Minister of Iceland on February 1 2009. Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir was also the world’s first openly LGBTIQ+ head of government. Note: Openly gay Per-Kristian Foss served as acting PM of Norway for a short period in 2002 while the current PM was overseas. A member of …

Claire Waldoff january 22

On this day January 22, Claire Waldoff

Legendary German cabaret and recording artist Claire Waldoff died on January 22 1957. Claire and longtime partner Olga von Roeder (Olly) are buried together in Stuttgart’s Pragfriedhof cemetary. Claire Waldoff began her entertainment career aged 18, giving up her ambition to train as a doctor following her parent’s divorce. In 1906, she moved to Berlin. …

Mademoiselle de Raucourt january 15

On this day January 15: Mademoiselle de Raucourt

The French tragedienne Mademoiselle de Raucourt died on January 15, 1815. Her love affairs with men and women, of whom she preferred the latter, scandalised Europe. However, her royal admirers bailed her out of trouble, even after death. The daughter of an actor, La Raucourt’s debut at the Comédie Française proved a great success. During …

Rosa Bonheur january 13

On this day January 13: Rosa Bonheur, artist

A January 13, 1858 newspaper advertisement invited the public to an English exhibition of The Horse Fair. The monumental painting brought French artist Rosa Bonheur international fame. The openly lesbian painter became the first woman to receive France’s highest award, the Legion of Honour. In 1928, the Kansas City Times recalled Rosa Bonheur as one …

abnormal daughter dr eve jones january 8

On this day January 8: Dr Eve Jones on ‘abnormal’ daughter

On January 8 1966, Dr Eve Jones, a Chicago psychologist with a syndicated parenting column, answered a query from a mother worried about her potentially ‘abnormal’ daughter. The jottings of Dr Jones and her correspondents illustrate why LGBTIQ+ people so dislike the word ‘normal’. And remind us to guard against the human inclination to ‘other’ …

Gladys Bentley december 30 brown bomber of gayety

On this day December 30: the risk-gay Gladys Bentley

On December 30 1947, North Hollywood’s Doll House advertised the risk-gay Gladys Bentley as their entertainment for the following night. It was no doubt one hell of a New Year’s Eve party. Gladys Bentley was one of the most memorable live acts ever to tread a stage. She sang, danced, cracked jokes, and flirted with …

florence nightingale december 29 lady of the lamp

On this day December 29: Florence Nightingale

On December 29 1977, Canberrans reached for the smelling salts when the Canberra Times reported that a new book would depict Florence Nightingale, the sainted Lady of the Lamp, as a lesbian. “In The Private Life of Florence Nightingale, author Dr Richard Gordon tells the story of Florence as a lesbian who has a passionate …

Pat McDonald december 26

On this day December 26: Pat McDonald aka Dorrie Evans

On December 26, 1940, actor Miss Patricia McDonald sped back to Sydney to perform at a matinee performance after spending Christmas Day with her parents on their yacht. That was typical of Pat McDonald, the hardworking actor who later starred in Number 96 and Sons and Daughters. In the 1970s, she shared a very public …

Radclyffe Hall the well of loneliness

On this day December 15: Radclyffe Hall in the US

On December 15, 1928, The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall hit US bookstores. American newspapers didn’t quite know what to make of the lesbian novel, then banned in England, or of its monocled author. The Morning Post lauded the writer as one of England’s foremost literary women while finding her appearance rather startling. “Miss …

women behind bars Free Sandra Wilson wendy bacon december 9

On this day December 9: Free Sandra Willson protest

On December 9, 1976, Women Behind Bars demonstrated outside the NSW Royal Commission into Prisons. The Free Sandra Willson campaign sought the release of Australia’s then longest-serving female prisoner. Women Behind Bars accused the NSW government of keeping Sandra Willson locked up “because she is a lesbian and because jail has not broken her spirit.” …

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