November 20th People

November 20th

11-20-1942 Joe Biden – Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He is an American politician who is currently the 46th president of the United States. He was the 47th Vice President of the United States and one of the most powerful and outspoken LGBT allies.  Biden supported same-sex marriage before Obama and announced it publicly on May 6, 2012, while appearing on Meet the Press. While in the Senate, he voted against a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and voted for hate crime protections for the LGBT community. While in Florida in 2012, he called transgender discrimination “the civil rights issue of our time.” In August 2016, he performed his first wedding and it was a same-sex couple. Biden was also one of the first politicians to speak out against the abuse of gay and bisexual Chechen men. The Biden Foundation has prioritized promoting LGBT equality here and around the world. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama on January 12, 2017. On November 3, 2020, he was elected as the 46th President of the United States, beating Donald Trump by over five million votes.

11-20-1858 – 03-16-1940 Selma Logerlöf – Born in Mårbacka, Värmland, Sweden. She was a Swedish author,  teacher, and the first woman writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. In 1894, she met Sophie Elkan, a Jewish Swedish writer. Lagerlöf’s letters to Elkan, Du lär mig att bli fri (You Teach Me to be Free), published in 1992, tell a passionate love story that began in 1894 and remained the most important relationship in Logerlöf’s life until Elkan’s death in 1921. Their relationship lasted 27 years. Logerlöf was active in the women’s suffrage movement in Sweden. She gave the opening address for the International Suffrage Congress in Stockholm in June 1911 and spoke at the victory party of the Swedish suffrage movement after women suffrage had been granted in May 1919. Logerlöf was a friend of the German-Jewish writer Nelly Sachs. Shortly before her death in 1940, she intervened with the Swedish royal family to secure the release of Sachs and Sachs’ mother from Nazi Germany. They made it on the very last flight from Germany to Sweden and were given lifelong asylum in Stockholm.

11-20-1924 — 02-17-2012   Geneviève Pastre – Born in Mainz, Germany. She hoped to become a dancer but was encouraged by her parents to study classics. She graduated from the Sorbonne where she earned her teaching degree. Pastre did marry and had two daughters. She published ten collections of poetry between 1972 and 2005. In 1980, she came out as lesbian with the publication of her 1980 essay De l’Amour lesbien. It was in the 1980s that she set up a publishing house, Editions G. Pastre, to publish feminist and progressive writers, and was one of the founders of Les Octaviennes, as organization for lesbian writers. In 1995 she helped set up a new political party Les Mauves (The Lavender Party) which was influential in bringing both France and the World Health Organization to stop classifying trans-sexualism as a mental disorder, and encouraging Amnesty International to support the right to claim asylum for homosexual people in countries where homosexuality is illegal. Pastre has been described as “responsible in large measure for the creation of the Gay Liberation Movement in France,” although she said, “I am not an activist. I am a poet and a dancer.”  

11-20-1986 Djuan Trent – Born in Columbus, Georgia. She is an African American that won the title of Miss Kentucky on July 17, 2010. She was a top ten semi-finalist in the Miss America Pageant in 2011. She came out as a lesbian in 2014 and became an honorary co-chair of Southerners For the Freedom to Marry after a federal judge ruled that gay and lesbian marriages from out-of-state and outside the U.S. had to be recognized by the state of Kentucky. She told the Huffington Post that she came out “to help foster visibility of young queer women of color.” People had expected her to be opposed to the ruling of the court, not knowing at the time that she was a lesbian.

11-20-1910 – 07-01-1985   Pauli Murray – Born in Baltimore, Maryland. She was an American civil rights activist, women’s rights activist, lawyer, Episcopal priest and author. In 1977, she became the first black woman to be ordained as an Episcopal priest, as well as being among the first group of women to become priests in the Episcopal church. Thurgood Marshall called Murray’s book States’ Laws on Race and Color (1950), the “bible” of the civil rights movement. In 1966, she was a co-founder of the National Organization for Women. Murray struggled with her sexual orientation throughout much of her life. Her marriage as a teenager ended almost immediately with the realization that “when men try to make love to me, something in me fights.” The majority of her relationships were with women. In her twenties, she shortened her name from Pauline to the more androgynous Pauli. Murray pursued hormone treatments in the 1940s to correct what she saw as a personal imbalance, and even requested abdominal surgery to test if she had “submerged” sex organs. In 1985, she died of pancreatic cancer in the house she owned with her lifelong companion, Maida Springer Kemp, in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. In January 2021, a biographical documentary entitles My Name Is Pauli Murray debuted at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.

11-20-1941 – 02-02-1989 Oliver W. Sipple – Born in Detroit, Michigan. He was a decorated U.S. Marine and Vietnam War Veteran, known for saving the life of U.S. President Gerald Ford during an assassination attempt by Sara oliver-w-sipple-2Jane Moore in San Francisco on September 22, 1975. Sipple was closeted in his hometown of Detroit. He lived in San Francisco and was friends with Harvey Milk. He also participated in gay pride parades and gay rights demonstrations. Harvey Milk reportedly outed Sipple as a “gay hero” to “San Francisco Chronicle’s” columnist Herb Caen in hopes to “break the stereotype of homosexuals “ of being “timid, weak and unheroic figures.” There was no invitation to the White House for Stipple, not even a commendation. Milk made a fuss about that and finally a few weeks later Stipple received a brief note of thanks from President Ford. It read: I want you to know how much I appreciated your selfless actions last Monday. The events were a shock to us all, but you acted quickly and without fear for your own safety. By doing so, you helped avert danger to me and to others in the crowd. You have my heartfelt appreciation.

2 Responses to “November 20th People”

  1. kim clark says:

    good day and just wanted to say that I’m in a hetro relationship and I’m bi but merely more than that I’m an human being and just like Harvey and so many others i have read or watched about have changed me as a human being…so thank you and though it took blood sweat and tears ! we can all come together all races religions sex

  2. Wanda Baker says:

    Appreciate your comment. And I agree–we can all come together. All of us have more in common as human beings than differences. Thanks for your input.

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