On This Queer Day – Your Month of May 2021, Day by Day in LGBTG History
Adriaan van den Berg
We are heading for midyear and I hope this year will be better than the last – and here to help it
being so, On This Queer Day brings you inspiration from LGBTG history for every day of the month of
May. Take each day of the month’s entry and muse upon it, consider it and try find something
inspirational in it – it is your history too! Selections from LGBTG history have been made from the
Ronni Sanlo archive and other sources of LGBTG history.
May 1 st – The month of May begins with the religion of Antinous commemorating the Sacred Boar
Hunt on the first of May when Antinous and his lover, the Emperor Hadrian hunted together in the
woods in Bythynium (Antinous’ home province) in the spring of the year 129 – Antinous was at the
pinnacle of his life and his followers see themselves as empowered at this time, which is equated
with being exactly six months from October’s Sacred Nights.
And in 1974, following the fall of the longstanding Salazar regime in Portugal, gay activists marched
in Oporto for the first time on this day, demanding an end to sodomy laws and a repeal of the
country’s statutes discriminating against gays and lesbians.
May 2 nd – The LGBTG magazine The Metro Weekly was first published on this day in 1994.
May 3 rd – On this day in 1989, Christine Jorgenson, the pioneer is sex reassignment surgery and
perhaps the most famous and outspoken figure in the transsexual and transgender community, died
of cancer at age sixty-two.
May 4 th – The Regina v. Wilde trial is depicted on the front page of The Illustrated Police New on this
day in 1895, showing the Wilde’s second trial of the year for sodomy.
May 5 th – On this day in 2011, Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court voted 10-0 for civil unions with the
same 112 legal rights as married couples.
May 6 th – The American Family Equality Council hosted its first International Family Equality Day on
this day in 2012. The Council advocates for LGBTG families.
May 7 th – One of the youngest victims of the 14thy century campaign against sodomy in Florence,
fifteen-year-old Giovanni de Giovanni was castrated and killed for having sex with other men on this
day in 1365.
May 8 th – Touko Laaksonen also known as Tom of Finland (d. 7 November, 1991), was born on this
day in 1920. He was a sex positive artist who successfully went from the underground to mainstream
in his stylized illustrations of leather men as iconic gay figures.
May 9 th – The Other Woman, a combination of several feminist newspapers in cooperation with
various lesbian writers, was first produced in Toronto on this day in 1972.
May 10 th – On this day in 320BC. Greece, Theocritus was born in Syracuse. He stylistically created the
verse form known as the Pastoral which was a stylized and artful form usually about shepherds and
cowherds who sing of love and friendship and which was highly homoerotic.
May 11 th – Fifty-two men were arrested on a floating gay nightclub called the Queen Boat on the Nile
in Cairo on this day in 2001. Fifty were charged with “habitual debauchery” and “obscene behavior”
under Article 9c of Law No. 10 of 1961 on the Combat of Prostitution. Another two men were
charged with “contempt of religion” under Article 98f of the Penal Code. The so-called “Cairo 52”
were vilified in the Egyptian media which printed their names and addresses and branded them as
agents against the State.
May 12 th – The first public meeting of the Homosexual Law Reform Society was held in the UK on this
day in 1960 and was attended by more than 1000 people.
May 13 th – Time Magazine reports on “The New Bisexuals” which “like homosexuals before them,
are boldly coming out of their closets, forming clubs, having parties and stalking out discotheques”
and the article cites the Kinsey sex study and feminism as causes for this heightened visibility.
May 14 th – The first gay rights organization, the Scientific Humanitarian Committee, was formed in
Germany by Berlin doctor Magnus Hirschfeld whose birthday this is. Born on this day in 1868, he
would also die on his birthday in 1935, but Hirschfeld had pioneered research into homosexuality
and advocacy for sexual minorities during the Weimar years in Germany.
May 15 th – On this day in 1855, Walt Whitman registers his anthology “Leaves of Grass” with the US
Copyright Agency. The collection of poems was considered an expression of homosexuality and lead
to years of controversy.
May 16 th – The Fifth BiNational Lesbian Conference in Vancouver drew women from across Canada to
organize the first ever lesbian pride march in the world on this day in 1981.
May 17 th – Pseudo-Demetrius I was Tsar from the 10th of June in 1605 until this day in 1606 when a
mob stormed the Kremlin and killed him after which his body was displayed next to that of his lover,
May 18 th – In Belgium on this day in 2006, Parliament voted to allow same-sex couples to adopt
May 19 th – On this day in 1897, Oscar Wilde was released from prison (after the trial mentioned
under the 4th). He would leave England not much later to spend the remaining three years of his life
in self-imposed exile in Italy and France.
May 20 th – The first Mr. International Leather competition was held on this day in 1979 and has been
held annually since.
May 21 st – Today is Harvey Milk Day paying tribute to the San Francisco politician and activist (b. 22
May, 1930) who was shot and killed 27 November, 1978 along with the mayor of the city by a
disgruntled fellow city supervisor
May 22 nd – According to an US Immigration and Naturalization Service report released on this day in
1967, the INS had since the 19trh century up until then excluded or deported more than 100 000
people from the USA for having a “mental or physical defect” because they were gay.
May 23 rd – On this day in 1791, France became the first country to decriminalize sex between men
when it created a new law system according to which rape was the only punishable crime and
sodomy, formerly a capital offense, was excluded.
May 24 th – On this day in 1974, American news services reported that Soviet film director Sergei
Paradzhanov had been given six years hard labor for crimes including alleged “partial
homosexuality” and “incitement to suicide” in the USSR. The case highlighted the plight of
homosexuals in the Soviet Union.
May 25 th – Oscar Wilde is convicted of “gross indecency” and is sentenced to two years hard labor in
prison on this day in 1895 – in May he was convicted and sentenced, in May two years later he
would be released.
May 26 th – Hawaiian Transgender leader Kim Coco Iwamoto was born on this day in 1968. She has
been recognized as an activist, an editorialist, as a policymaker, an advocate and a philanthropist.
May 27 th – Berlin doctor Magnus Hirschfeld co-founded the Institute for Sex Research, the
pioneering private research institute and counselling service on this day in 1919. It would later be
stormed and shut down by the Nazis.
May 28 th – The Leather Pride flag, design4ed by Tony DeBlase, debuts at the International Mister
Leather event in Chicago in 1989.
May 29 th – Melissa Ethridge is born on this day in 1961. She came out as a lesbian with her
breakthrough recording Yes I Am.
May 30 th – Columnist George Will applauded the efforts of Anita Bryant to stemmy homosexuality in
the USA in an essay in Newsweek on this day in 1977 in which he attributed gay rights to moral
May 31 st – Today is the birthday of poet Walt Whitman who wrote of men loving men in Leaves of
Grass born on this day in 1819. The collection of poems will be seen a breakthrough writing on
homosexuality and remains much loved till this day.
Interfaith Calendar – May 2021 –
May 1 st – The Sacred Boar Hunt – Religion of the Gay God Antinous.
– Beltanhe – Samhain – Wicca, Neo-Pagan
May 2 nd – Last Day of Ridvan – Baihai
– Pascha (Easter) – Christian.
May 3 rd – Saints Phillip & Jameds – Christian.
May 4 th – National Day of Prayer – USA, Interfaith.
May 8 th – Layt Al Kadr – Islam.
May 14 th – 16 th – Eiud Al Fitr – Ramadan Ends – Islam.
May 18 th – Tisha’a B’av – Jewish.
May 23 rd – Pentecost – Christian.
May 29 th Ascension of Baha’u’llah – Bahai.
May 30 th Trinity Sunday – Christian.