Queer African American Women and the History of Marriage
This photo and headline accompanied an article from the October 15, 1970 issue of Jet magazine. They reveal that long before the recent struggle for marriage equality began, African American women who love women have engaged with the institution of marriage and have fought to make it their own.
Edna Knowles, on the left, and Peaches Stevens were wed in Liz’s Mark III Lounge, a gay bar on the South Side of Chicago, “before a host of friends and well wishers.” The article ended by noting, “although the duo has a type of ‘marriage license’ in their possession, the state’s official marriage license bureau reported it had no record of their license.” This ending serves to remind Jet readers that Knowles and Stevens’ union was not legitimate in the eyes of the state, as does the use of quotes around the word “married” in the headline.
An incredible picture. And an indelible tuxedo.
RIP Gad Beck, 88: Gad Beck, activist and last known gay Jewish Holocaust survivor, died Sunday. He was 88.
During World War II, Beck joined an underground resistance movement to fight the Nazi regime. In a daring act of heroism, he was able to rescue his boyfriend from a deportation center by impersonating a Hitler Youth.
After the war, Beck spent his life educating and advocating for Judaism and gay rights, and was the subject of a documentary in 2006. Friends lauded Beck for his signature wit and openness.
Reflecting on his life, Beck said, “God doesn’t punish for a life of love.”
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Parade, San Francisco, 1977-78
I would like everyone to know that the long-haired, gay-lovin’ dirty hippie in the center there is my Dad.
Long ago he told me the story about him and some straight folks making that sign so they could march with their gay friends, but for about a decade I’ve assumed that there weren’t any pictures of him from that day. Then I was just looking through my Tumblr dashboard and… there he is. Amazing.
Of course, the best part is that Marvel and DC, the two biggest American comic companies, are still desperately trying to catch up to Archie. Keep reaching for the stars, guys! One day you’ll get there!
- Rob Bricken of Topless Robot, on Marvel and DC’s big publicity push around their gay characters.