Historical marker is first to acknowledge a person's sexual orientation

Marker honoring lesbian author and literary paton Natalie Barney is first in Ohio to recognize sexual orientation.

A historical marker honoring lesbian author and literary patron Natalie Barney is the first in Ohio to recognize a person’s sexual orientation. A ceremony yesterday in downtown Dayton, where the maker stands, honored Barney and her literary salon.

“The marker was unveiled Sunday, Oct. 25, in a ceremony at Cooper Park attended by city commissioners, Ohio Historical Society officials and members of state and Dayton area gay rights organizations, which led the effort to recognize Barney for both her place in history and her pioneering openness about her sexuality,” the Dayton Daily News reported.

A historical marker in honor of literary patron and lesbian author Natalie Barney is the first in Ohio to recognize a person's sexual orientation. Photo courtesy of quotationsbook.com
A historical marker in honor of literary patron and lesbian author Natalie Barney is the first in Ohio to recognize a person's sexual orientation. Photo courtesy of quotationsbook.com

Barney is the first of Ohio’s 1,250 historical markers acknowledging a person’s sexual orientation. She was a wealthy Dayton native and ran the literary salon in the Left Bank of Paris a majority of her life. She also hosted the likes of Truman Capote, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald in her Paris salon. In 1990, she published her first book of lesbian love poems, “Quelques Portraits-Sonnets de Femmes.” However, her father, disapproving of her book, bought all copies and had them destroyed.

Read the full article here.

—Kim Brown

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