Jean O’Leary, a lesbian and gay rights activist, was born today in 1948. She was the founder of Lesbian Feminist Liberation, one of the first lesbian activist groups in the women’s movement, was an early member and co-director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
Elizabeth Wood,the first Executive Director of the Chicago Housing Authority, was born today in 1899. She worked to structure city management of three housing projects built by the Federal Public Works Administration, including the Jane Addams, Julia C. Lathrop and Trumbull Park Homes.
In 1933, Frances Perkins was sworn in as Secretary of Labor, as well as the first woman in the U.S. cabinet.
LUCY HICKS ANDERSON
Lucy Hicks Anderson, a Black trans woman, was born today in 1886. When she entered school, she insisted on wearing dresses and calling herself Lucy. Since the term transgender hadn’t been invented yet, when Lucy’s mother took her to the doctor for an explanation of her strange behavior, the physician encouraged her to raise Lucy as a girl and not a boy.
In 1944 Lucy married a soldier in California, which led to troubles. When the government found out that Lucy had been born male, she was prosecuted for receiving checks as a wife of a US Army soldier. “I defy any doctor in the world to prove that I am not a woman,” Anderson told reporters in the midst of her trial. “I have lived, dressed, acted just what I am, a woman.” Both Lucy and her husband were sent to prison. Once free, Lucy moved to Los Angeles where she lived until she died in 1954.
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