Wednesday, October 24, 2012

LGBT History Month: Billy Tipton

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Billy Tipton was born on December 29, 1914 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma as Dorothy Lucille Tipton.  In high school he became interested in jazz music and after graduating began to perform as a man, using his father's nickname, Billy.

By 1940 he was living as a man in his private life as well.  Very few people in his life knew that he was born a woman, including his lovers.  He invented a story of a terrible car accident that badly damaged his genitals and broke some ribs, so he had to bind them to protect them.

In 1960 Tipton settled down with Kitty Kelly, a nightclub dancer, with whom he adopted and raised three sons, John, Scott, and William.  However due to differing opinions, and constant arguing, over how to raise the boys, they separated, and he moved to a mobile home with the boys.

In 1989, Tipton fell ill but refused to call a doctor.  While paramedics were trying to save his life, with his son present, they learned that he had female anatomy.  Kitty tried to keep it secret, by arranging for cremation, but his son went public with the story.


Also this month:

~ October is also National Bullying Prevention Month.

~ October 10th was Unity Day; wear orange to show your support and remind others about the importance of bullying prevention.

~ October 11th was National Coming Out Day when we celebrate coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or as an ally. See the Human Rights Campaign website for resources on coming out.

~ October 19th is Spirit Day; wear purple on this day to support LGBT youth & stand up against bullying.

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