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May 14: Magnus Hirschfeld vs. the Nazis

Pioneering sex researcher and gay liberation advocate Magnus Hirschfeld was born in Kolberg, Prussia on this date in 1868. He earned a medical degree in 1892 and five years later cofounded the Wissenschaftlich-humanitäre Komittee (Scientific-Humanitarian Committee) in Berlin, which sought to repeal the criminalization of homosexuality in paragraph 175 of the Imperial Penal Code of […]

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June 30: Jacob Israel de Haan

Jacob Israel de Haan, a gay Dutch poet and journalist, was assassinated at age 42 by a member of the Haganah on this date in 1924, five years after he had settled in Palestine. De Haan was opposed to Zionist nationalism and became an international spokesman for Orthodox Jewish sects that shared his opposition on […]

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June 5: Faygele ben Miriam

Faygele ben Miriam (John F. Singer, pictured here in a photo by Geoff Manasse), who filed one of the first gay marriage lawsuits in the U.S. after being denied a marriage license in Seattle in 1971, died of cancer at 56 on this date in 2000. The New York born-and-raised Singer came out in the […]

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June 3: Allen Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg, the author of “Howl,” “Kaddish,” and numerous other stunning poems that brought Jewish and homosexual content, as well as outrage at the inhumanity of modern American capitalism, to the forefront of American intellectual consciousness, was born (first name Irwin) in Newark, New Jersey on this date in 1926. Ginsberg became the most enduring […]

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May 8: Nazism and Homosexuality

A speech by West German President Richard von Weizsäcker on this date in 1985, marking the 40th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, included the first acknowledgment of Nazi persecution of gay men by a public official. It would take until 1990 for a reunified Germany to repudiate Paragraph 175, the […]

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November 4: Gay, Gay, Is There Another Way?

Cabaret singer Frances Faye, who peppered her performances with innuendo about bisexuality and lesbianism way before the gay liberation movement opened the stage door closet, was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1912. She became a nightclub singer at 15, appeared in a Bing Crosby film, wrote a hit song for the Andrew Sisters, […]

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October 17: Spirit Day and Sojourn

Sojourn, the Southern Jewish Regional Network for Gender and Sexual Diversity, founded by Rabbi Joshua Lesser, the leader of Atlanta’s Reconstructionist Congregation Bet Haverim, is the sole Jewish organization among eighteen faith-based organizations listed at the website for this year’s Spirit Day, October 17th. Founded in 2010 by teenager Brittany McMillan to oppose bullying and […]

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June 28: Jews and the Stonewall Uprising

Patrons of the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village resisted arrest and police harassment in the wee hours on this date in 1969, setting in motion a weekend of rioting, protest, and organizing that gave rise to the modern gay liberation movement. Several Jewish women were among the organizers of the Gay Liberation Front, which immediately […]

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September 2: The Stonewall Cop

Seymour Pine, the Jewish New York cop who led the raid that resulted in the Stonewall Uprising of June 28, 1969, died on this date in 2010 at age 91. Pine was a deputy police inspector and commander of the police department’s vice squad for Lower Manhattan. He later apologized for the raid, in which he led […]

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