The Fate of We'wha, Part 2

The Native American Zuni tribe revered its people with traits of both genders. One such person, We'wha, was welcomed as a diplomat in Washington, D.C. in 1886. Heralded as the Zuni "Princess," no one knew she was actually a man.

We'wha's visit to the nation's capital was a diplomatic coup for the Zuni Nation, since they feared U.S. domination. But six years later, enraged by interference in their culture, the Zuni battled with U.S. troops. Zuni leaders were arrested, and We'wha was imprisoned for a month. Four years later, she died at the age of 49.

The Zuni Nation viewed We'wha's death as a calamity inflicted through witchcraft by the U.S. government. With that charge, the U.S. viciously attacked the Zuni to establish its authority over the Zuni Nation, once and for all.

This Rainbow Minute was read by Tall Feathers.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.

Oh Revered One With Two Spirits - We'wha, Part 1

In many Native American cultures, males displaying feminine characteristics at an early age were apprenticed to the holy man of the tribe. They were considered two-spirited, assuming the female gender yet possessing the strength of a man. By tribal sacrament, they were honored as healers and prophets.

A prime example was We'wha of the Zuni Nation. In 1886, she traveled east to Washington, D.C., at the urging of anthropologist Matilda Stevenson.

Nicknamed Princess We'wha, she gained instant celebrity. Her social circle included government officials and the local elite. She worked with anthropologists at the Smithsonian Institute, even demonstrating Zuni weaving on the Washington mall. All the while, no one knew she was a man.

Learn more about We'wha's fate in the next episode of "Rainbow Minute."

This Rainbow Minute was read by Tall Feathers.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.

164 = PD

Walt Whitman, the Father of Modern American Literature, was one of the first modern writers to incorporate homosexual desire into his poetry. But afraid to explicitly assert his own homosexuality, he substituted the vague phrase, "the love of comrades."

He was even secretive in his own journals, to hide the identity and gender of a significant person in his life. It's clear from his manuscripts in the Library of Congress that the pronoun "him" was erased, and "her" written over it. In addition, the name was written as 164 - a simple numerical disguise. The 16th letter of the alphabet is P, the 4th is D, revealing the name Peter Doyle.

Whitman and Doyle in fact shared a significant relationship for over twenty years, and in 1873 Doyle lived with Whitman, and attended to him daily while the poet was recovering from a stroke.

This Rainbow Minute was read by Michael Hinerman.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.

Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, Prominent German Activist

Born in 1868 in Prussia, Magnus Hirschfeld began a career in medicine with an emphasis on human sexuality. He believed sexual orientation was naturally occurring, and that laws against homosexuality should be changed for the betterment of society.

Hirschfeld founded the world's first organization to end the social and legal intolerance of homosexuals, called the Scientific Humanitarian Committee. He is also credited with amassing a huge number of books, papers, pamphlets and manuscripts on the subject. He worked to repeal Germany's anti-gay law, Paragraph 175.

In 1933, Hirschfeld was forced into exile when the Nazis came into power, raided the Hirschfeld Institute, and burned the priceless contents of the library.

Regardless, Hirschfeld had effectively defined gay activism, for the many that would take up the cause through the course of history.

This Rainbow Minute was read by Tom Miller.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.

Craig Rodwell - Gay Rights Mogul

Craig Rodwell was born in Chicago in 1940. He came out early in life and moved to Greenwich Village in the 1950s.

He became a radical figure in the early gay rights group, The Mattachine Society. Later, he formed the Mattachine Young Adults, to increase gay visibility.

From 1964 to 1969, he participated in picket lines in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia every Fourth of July, to inform passers-by that gay Americans still lacked basic human rights. In 1965, he helped organize a protest against the exclusion of gays from federal employment and the military.

He is best known for opening the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop, the country’s first gay bookstore, in 1967.

This Rainbow Minute was read by Reverend Robin Gorsline.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.

Edward Carpenter, England's Charismatic Visionary

Carpenter was born in Brighton, England in 1844. He later attended Cambridge.

Upon receiving a copy of Walt Whitman's book of poems Leaves of Grass, his life was changed. He said, "I would and must somehow go and make my life with the mass of the people and the manual workers." Thus his legacy to the socialist and cooperative movements began. But it was his writings on homosexuality that made him unique.

In 1908, he wrote The Intermediate Sex, the first book of its kind in England – that gave information, hope and support for gays. Some even considered his books their lifeline.

His works are credited with inspiring many authors and activists that followed him.

Carpenter shared his life with George Merrit for nearly 40 years.

This Rainbow Minute was read by Jon Klein.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.

It's Only Natural

Zookeepers who have long observed homosexuality in caged animals believed that stressors such as confinement, unnatural living conditions and diet were at work. But when behaviorists began reporting the presence of homosexuality in animals in the wild, it was found to be not only common, but even more prevalent than in humans.

Homosexuality has been observed in more than 1,500 animal species. Giraffes, penguins, beetles, parrots, whales and dolphins engage in pair bonding that's as committed and long lasting as with heterosexual pairs. Homosexuality has also been identified in 130 species of birds and bees.

But this isn't just a recent phenomenon. Apparent homosexual behavior among hyenas was observed 2,300 years ago by the Greek philosopher Aristotle.

This Rainbow Minute was read by Dustin Richardson.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.

Civil War Soldier, Jennie Hodgers

Jennie Hodgers was born in Ireland in 1844 and years later came to America as a stowaway.

Answering Presidents Lincoln's call for soldiers, she dressed in men's clothes and passed the cursory physical, since no undressing was required. She assumed the name Albert Cashier.

Assigned to Company G of the 95th Illinois Infantry, Jennie fought in forty battles over a three-year period. Once, she was captured by rebels, but seized a guard's gun and fled back to the Union camp.

Living nearly her entire adult life as a man, Jennie collected a veteran's pension, and voted in the presidential elections before women had the right to vote.

While institutionalized, her gender was discovered and she was forced to dress as a woman for two years until her death in 1915.

This Rainbow Minute was read by Jon Klein.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.

Dunham, Eliot, and the Kids

Ethel Dunham and Martha Eliot were both born in the late 1800s and met in college. From that moment forward, their individual careers and mutual relationship were tightly entwined.

After medical school at John Hopkins, they both attained major positions at Yale and Harvard. They also worked in social service for the U.S. Children's Bureau, as leaders in administration and policy.

Later, their scientific research made great strides in child health. For one, Ethel established standards of care for both full-term and premature newborns. And Martha improved the prevention and early diagnosis of rickets.

Over the years, Ethel and Martha coordinated career choices for the sake of their domestic life together. Agonized by brief periods apart, they remained a devoted couple for nearly sixty years until 1969 – when death did them part.

This Rainbow Minute was read by Dustin Richardson.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.

Nancy Tucker Says, 'Read All About It!'

Nancy Tucker's involvement in the Mattachine Society of Washington D.C. in 1967 galvanized her as a gay activist. After Society members nominated her as the co-editor of "The Gay Blade," she got right to work building the one-page monthly newsletter into what years later became the "Washington Blade," a leading GLBT newspaper in the country.

She said her goal was to engender a sense of community. "I felt it was very important for gays to become acquainted with one another," she said. "Publicity encourages self-confidence, it creates self-respect."

From 1967 to 1969, the depth of her leadership was undeniable, marching with picket signs in the gay and lesbian civil rights demonstrations in Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C.

This Rainbow Minute was read by Chris Dalbom.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.

Alan Turing - Computer Genius

Alan Turing was born in London on June 23, 1912.  He studied mathematics at King's College and wrote an important article called "On Computable Numbers," which provided the foundation for today's digital computers. A year later, he came to the U. S. and earned his Ph.D. in mathematics at Princeton.

Upon returning to England, he worked at the British Code and Cypher School and helped invent the machine that deciphered the Nazi War Code. This accomplishment directly contributed to the victory over Germany in World War II.

Turing never felt his sexuality was something to hide. Yet in 1952 he was convicted for the crime of homosexuality and lost his security clearance. He was forced to undergo chemical castration in an attempt to cure his homosexual urges.

Two years later, he took his own life, rejected by the very country he helped save during the war.

This Rainbow Minute was read by Jay White.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.

Pulitzer Prize Winner Samuel Barber Strikes a Chord

Samuel Barber will long be remembered for his enduring contribution to cultural life.

He was born in Pennsylvania in 1910 to a musical family, and began composing at age seven. At fourteen, he entered the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied voice, piano and composition. While there, he met the young Italian composer, Carlos Menotti, with whom he formed a lifelong personal and professional relationship. They traveled throughout Europe together in the 1930s.

In 1958, Barber received his first Pulitzer Prize for his opera, "Vanessa," in which Menotti wrote the libretto. In 1962, Barber's "Piano Concerto" garnered him his second Pulitzer Prize. He will long be remembered for his intensely lyrical "Adagio for Strings," which has become one of the most recognizable classical compositions in history.

"The Rainbow Minute" is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and recorded in the studios at WRIR in Richmond, Virginia and read by volunteers like me, Dustin Richardson.

This Rainbow Minute was read by Dustin Richardson.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.