Advertisement

Robert Spitzer, the APA, and Homosexuality

On this date in 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (with Jews making up about 30 percent of its membership) declared that “by itself, homosexuality does not meet the criteria for being a psychiatric disorder” and removed it from the second edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-II). Dr. Robert L. Spitzer, […]

Read More

Bette Midler

Singer, songwriter, actress Bette Midler was born in Honolulu on this date in 1945. Her mother was a seamstress and her father a house painter. From 1966 to 1969, Midler appeared on Broadway as Tevye’s eldest daughter, Tsaytl, in Fiddler on the Roof, shortly before developing her persona as “the Divine Miss M” at the Continental […]

Read More

January 4: Gay Men’s Health Crisis

Larry Kramer, Paul Rapoport, and Nathan Fain were among six gay activists who gathered eighty men in Kramer’s apartment and founded Gay Men’s Health Crisis on this date in 1982 — in response to reports that a rare form of cancer called Kaposi’s sarcoma was affecting young gay men in New York and San Francisco. […]

Read More

December 16: Heather Has Two Mommies

Lesléa Newman’s children’s book, Heather Has Two Mommies, was self-published on this date in 1989 in a press run of 4,000 copies. As the first children’s book to deal with a lesbian couple raising children, Heather has been on the American Library Association’s list of most-often banned books every year since it appeared. In 1990, […]

Read More

November 3: I Write the Songs

The internationally adored and much-mocked Barry Manilow (Barry Pincus) released “I Write the Songs” on this date in 1975. The song (written by Bruce Johnston) reached #1 on the Billboard chart by January and won a Grammy Award for “Song of the Year.” Manilow would have five bestselling albums in 1978 alone; he has by […]

Read More

August 22: Dorothy Parker

Writer and public wit Dorothy Parker was born in Long Branch, New Jersey on this date in 1893. She was the daughter of a Jewish father, whom she hated, and a Scottish Protestant mother, and she married (for the first time), she said, to escape her Jewish name (Rothschild) — yet the memorial garden dedicated […]

Read More

O My America: The Black Lives Matter Platform

YOU DON’T HAVE TO AGREE WITH ALL THE RHETORIC TO GIVE IT SUPPORT by Lawrence Bush THE BLACK LIVES MATTER Platform, issued at the very end of July by a coalition of some thirty organizations based in the African-American community and endorsed by sixty, is a spirited, radical, impressive mix of universalist politics and black-identity […]

Read More

July 10: Jerry Herman on Broadway

Composer and lyricist Jerry Herman, who wrote the scores for Hello, Dolly!, Mame, and La Cage aux Folles, among other hit productions, was born in Jersey City on this date in 1931. Herman immersed himself in musical theater at the University of Miami, then burst upon the Broadway scene in 1961, writing music and lyrics […]

Read More