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This Week In Gay History, January 25th

Here are a few moments in gay history that occurred on this week in the past (last week in gay history):

  • January 25th
    • 69 years ago, the Evening Star reports that President Eisenhower refuses to release breakdowns of security risk firings, which included people suspected of “homosexuality”. This was a major face of the Lavender Scare, a period of time where LGBTQ people were placed under public scrutiny as communists themselves and a risk to U.S. society. Senator Joseph McCarthy attempted to paint a majority of the security firings as being communist enemies within the U.S. government, but details later reported would reveal a majority of the firings which occurred were due to perceived sexual orientation and other categories which did not involve communist (sympathy), espionage, or treason. Defends Stand on Loyalty Cases, Evening Star (Article, January 1954).
  • January 26th
    • 141 years ago, Oscar Wilde visits New York City and addresses large crowds in the public. Oscar Wilde was considered the “apostle of aesthetic faith” referring to the aestheticism art movement which gained popularity during this period. Oscar Wilde, Morning Appeal (Article, 1882).
  • January 27th
    • Did someone say gay pirates? 124 years ago, the Philipsburg Mail shares the legend of Mary Read and Anne Bonny, two, possibly queer, pirates said to travel with notable pirates of the time in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, then known as the Spanish Main. It was not uncommon for there to be stories of women who would dress as men in the 19th century in order to obtain jobs excluded to women. In addition, it was found there were examples of pirates who went to see for more liberty and to pursue same-sex relationships on the seas. Under The Black Flag, Philipsburg Mail (Article, 1899).

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