LGBT History Month‘s highlight for October 2nd is Josephine Baker (1906-1975), a bisexual African-American actress, singer, and entertainer. Born into a poor family in St. Louis, Missouri, Baker left the United States for Paris in the 1920’s because of racial discrimination. Wildly successful in Paris, Baker returned multiple times to the United States on tour, only to be rejected by American audiences over and over again for her race and the unabashed sexuality she displayed in her shows. Baker eventually became a citizen of France, where she served in the Women’s Auxiliary Army during World War II. She continued to return to the United States to speak out about racial inequality, and she spoke alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the march on Washington in 1963. As a result of her efforts, the NAACP declared May 20th Josephine Baker Day.
Leslie Beauchamp is a queer bisexual writer, artist, and musician. She graduated from Patrick Henry College some time ago, after which she detoxed for a couple years, came out to herself, and became a progressive feminist and LGBTQ+ advocate. Leslie spends her spare time reading psychology books and pondering human existence while striking yoga poses. She also moonlights as an Anglophile. She can be reached at leslieb(dot)qphc(at)gmail(dot)com.