LGBT History Project (81 Articles with 194,912 total views)

Celebrating October as LGBT History Month, coordinated by Philadelphia Gay News editor Jen Colletta.

October, 2023

A love story for the ages

A love story for the ages
When George Harris and Jack Evans became the first couple to legally marry in Dallas County, they had already been together 54 years. That day in 2015, Dallas was the largest metropolitan area in the country to gain marriage equality, and a photo of the couple applying for their marriage license in the County Records Building was printed in newspapers around the world.
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Golden State queer mecca is more than San Francisco

Golden State queer mecca is more than San Francisco
The 1979 police assault on San Francisco's former Elephant Walk bar on Castro Street after the White Night riots was a defining moment for the LGBTQ neighborhood, helping to cement the solidarity of a new community while the whole world was watching.
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In 1960s, drag found a home in San Francisco's Glen Park

In 1960s, drag found a home in San Francisco's Glen Park
During the 1960s most LGBTQ nightlife in San Francisco was centered in the northern neighborhoods of the city. Gay bars could be found along Polk Street, in the Tenderloin, and the South of Market neighborhood.
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Putting an End to the Myths of Stonewall

Putting an End to the Myths of Stonewall
For years, people have debated what actually happened that night in June 1969 when Stonewall was raided and a new, more militant struggle for equality was born. Due to the debates, and the insistence of some who claim they knew all aspects of what had actually happened, an incredible void opened up where people could invent, imagine, or distort Stonewall and our history to their own objectives. The myths of Stonewall are endless, but they're easily dispelled when you look at the material proof and plain logic.
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The Evolution of LGBTQ+ Online Dating

The Evolution of LGBTQ+ Online Dating
From casual hook-ups to friendships to meeting the love of your life, LGBTQ+ online dating was created out of a need for community.
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When NOW Purged Lesbians

When NOW Purged Lesbians
The website of The National Women's History Museum (NWHM) describes Betty Friedan as "co-founder of the National Organization for Women" (NOW) and "one of the early leaders of the women's rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Her 1963 best-selling book, The Feminine Mystique, gave voice to millions of American women's frustrations with their limited gender roles and helped spark widespread public activism for gender equality."
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November, 2022

bell hooks: A Voice of Love, Activism and Intersectionality

bell hooks: A Voice of Love, Activism and Intersectionality
When bell hooks died on December 15, 2021, it was a gut-punch. There was no time when bell hooks' extraordinary writing and feminist and lesbian theorizing was not part of the queer community. There was no time when the community imagined that hooks' voice would not always be in the forefront of our collective consciousness on intersectionality and queer theory and praxis.
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Dave Kopay shocked the sports world in 1975

Dave Kopay shocked the sports world in 1975
When the NFL's 2022 season began, just one player, Carl Nassib, identified openly as gay. An outside linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Nassib came out in a video posted to his Instagram account in June 2021, making him the first active NFL player to do so.
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Podcast sheds light on forgotten murders of gay men in Montreal

Podcast sheds light on forgotten murders of gay men in Montreal
When you ask about or Google the murders of gay men in Montreal in the '90s, it all leads to the podcast "The Village: The Montreal Murders."
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Putting an end to the myths of Stonewall

Putting an end to the myths of Stonewall
For years, people have debated what actually happened that night in June 1969 when Stonewall was raided and a new, more militant struggle for equality was born. Due to the debates, and the insistence of some who claim they knew all aspects of what had actually happened, an incredible void opened up where people could invent, imagine, or distort Stonewall and our history to their own objectives. The myths of Stonewall are endless, but they're easily dispelled when you look at the material proof and plain logic.
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San Francisco Public Library digitizes its LGBTQ archives, including its Harvey Milk holdings

San Francisco Public Library digitizes its LGBTQ archives, including its Harvey Milk holdings
Shot with black and white film two small children stand outside in a San Francisco public plaza draped in protest signs. One reads, "We're Proud, Not Stigmatized." The other declares, "We Love Our Gay Parents." In the right background of the photograph, taken June 3, 1977, can be seen Harvey Milk, the gay civil rights leader. He would go on to become the first LGBTQ person elected to public office in both the city of San Francisco and the state of California that November.
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Urvashi Vaid: A Voice for Liberation and Justice

Urvashi Vaid: A Voice for Liberation and Justice
When Urvashi Vaid died at 63 in May 2022 after a valiant fight with breast cancer, thousands of LGBTQ people who had been touched by her decades of activism mourned her passing. Over a half-century of activism that began when she was only 11, Vaid worked on a breadth of issues, including LGBTQ civil rights, women's rights, the rights of prisoners, immigration justice, and health care justice.
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October, 2022

'Memory Book' details history of 1970s-era LGBTQ attorneys in US

'Memory Book' details history of 1970s-era LGBTQ attorneys in US
Stephen Lachs remembers the 1970s as being a particularly wonderful era in the history of the LGBTQ liberation movement.
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Archives for ALL, Y'all!

Archives for ALL, Y'all!
The contributions of LGBTQ people toward the betterment of the world cannot be underestimated and the world is a better place when LGBTQ people are allowed to flourish. From government and warfare to engineering and science to the humanities and the arts, LGBTQ people have been at the forefront. History books should be filled with stories of LGBTQ people exhibiting courage, intelligence, bravery, kindness and victory. But our LGBTQ history has been hidden from us … intentionally!
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November, 2021

Angela Davis, Revolutionary

Angela Davis, Revolutionary
"You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time." So said Angela Davis, 78, America's most famous living revolutionary. She was born in Birmingham, Alabama, one of the most incendiary of the racist Jim Crow southern cities, in a neighborhood called "Dynamite Hill," due to attacks on Black people by their white neighbors. Davis would rise to become an international beacon of anti-racist and feminist radicalism over decades, expanding her vision to include LGBTQ civil rights, Palestinian rights and her life's work against America's carceral system.
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Honor 41: Alberto Mendoza seeks to reclaim a number associated with Mexico's dark past against the LGBT community

Honor 41: Alberto Mendoza seeks to reclaim a number associated with Mexico's dark past against the LGBT community
Until recently, Alberto B. Mendoza hated 41. He cringed if his dinner bill or hotel room number had the number in it, and with the countdown to his 41st birthday, he dreaded the year to come.
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In '40s and '50s, Instant Photography Gave LGBT People a 'Safe/Haven'

In '40s and '50s, Instant Photography Gave LGBT People a 'Safe/Haven'
Two men dressed in drag for a tea party, two women cuddled up at the beach. Today these might be benign photographs, but in the early 1950s, they were memories shuttered away from public view. Until now. These two photographs and a slew of others were a part of the New York Historical Society's exhibit "Safe/Haven,"& showcasing photographs of LGBT people in Cherry Grove, New York, a popular vacation getaway for the community in the mid-century.
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Pauli Murray, Architect of History

Pauli Murray, Architect of History
Some say Pauli Murray is the most important American activist you've never heard of. An iconoclastic socialist-leaning, gender-fluid feminist and Black Civil Rights activist, Murray broke barriers in every aspect of her life. And the barriers Murray broke, the paths Murray created single-handedly and single-mindedly, quite literally changed history.
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Snapshots showcase life in queer, 1970s San Francisco

Snapshots showcase life in queer, 1970s San Francisco
The California Historical Society is in the process of digitizing two collections of photographs and negatives from the wild and heady early days of LGBTQ liberation in San Francisco.
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Staten Island museum throws open Austen's closet door

Staten Island museum throws open Austen's closet door
It's been a long time coming, but officials at the Alice Austen House on New York's Staten Island have thrown open the closet door, now fully embracing the lesbian pioneer and photographer who lived in the house with her longtime partner, Gertrude Tate.
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Tee A. Corinne, Photographer of Lesbian Sexuality

Tee A. Corinne, Photographer of Lesbian Sexuality
Over her decades as a lesbian photographer and artist, Tee Corinne said "I'm one of the most obscure famous artists."
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October, 2021

Dutch gay man defied the Nazis and saved thousands

Dutch gay man defied the Nazis and saved thousands
In the final days before his execution in July 1943 at the hands of the Nazi party, Willem Arondeus asked his lawyer for one last request: to spread a message after he was gone. "Let it be known," he said. "Homosexuals are not cowards."
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LGBTQ History Month: Until legal ruling, Disneyland banned same-sex dancers

LGBTQ History Month: Until legal ruling, Disneyland banned same-sex dancers
Deemed the "Happiest Place on Earth" Disneyland sadly didn't live up to that billing for same-sex couples during its first three decades. Opened in 1955 by the late Walt Disney, the family-oriented amusement park was built on a former orange orchard in Anaheim, California.
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Pandemic Pivot: Museum Launches Major Digital Exhibit for LGBT History Month

Pandemic Pivot: Museum Launches Major Digital Exhibit for LGBT History Month
Visitors to the Stonewall National Museum and Archives (SNMA) in Fort Lauderdale, one of the largest LGBT lending libraries and collections in the country, dropped by nearly two-thirds because of the pandemic.
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Pro baseball player Glenn Burke refused to live a lie

Pro baseball player Glenn Burke refused to live a lie
You could say that Glenn Burke, the first Major League Baseball player to come out, is having a good season. n March, bestselling author Andrew Maraniss published a thoughtful biography called "Singled Out: The True Story of Glenn Burke." And on June 11, 2021, the Oakland A's renamed their annual LGBTQ appreciation event the Glenn Burke Pride Night.
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November, 2020

A Century of Gay Rumors Surround Miami's Iconic Vizcaya Estate

A Century of Gay Rumors Surround Miami's Iconic Vizcaya Estate
An opulent manse in Miami, James Deering's Vizcaya has played host to many a wedding, elaborate engagement shoot, and field trips of schoolchildren learning about Miami's past. But it also played a prominent role in local LGBT society as the setting for the White Party from 1985 to 2010 and then again in 2018.
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Archives aim to preserve Southern queer history

Archives aim to preserve Southern queer history
When Spectrum, the undergraduate LGBTQ student group at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, launched in 1983, it became a resource not just for those on campus but for queer people living in that part of the South. Over time, people from hundreds of miles away rang its office seeking support and referrals for services.
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Press A, Be Gay: LGBTQ Representation in Video Games

Press A, Be Gay: LGBTQ Representation in Video Games
In the 2014 Playstation 4 game "Dragon Age: Inquisition," Dorian is a powerful wizard who helps the main character save the world from a demon army. As the son of a powerful political family, Dorian trained in magical arts under the best instructors, and his life at first glance appears to be one of privilege. When interacting with the main character - controlled by the player - Dorian is unafraid to flaunt his pedigree and does little to hide his arrogance. He is also a romantic option for the main character to pursue, providing the player makes strategic, personal, and political choices that please him.
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QAnon's 'SaveOurChildren' Slogan Has Long Anti-LGBT History

QAnon's 'SaveOurChildren' Slogan Has Long Anti-LGBT History
Model and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen recently shared devastating news with her social media followers: she and her husband, singer John Legend, had lost their child halfway through her pregnancy. She shared heartbreaking black-and-white photos of the couple at the hospital, including her clutching a tiny blanket bundle holding their son, who they named Jack.
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SF house includes Joplin, Log Cabin Republicans in its history

SF house includes Joplin, Log Cabin Republicans in its history
The day Peggy Caserta took acid for the first time changed her life - and that of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood - forever.
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SF supe vows to landmark Lyon-Martin house

SF supe vows to landmark Lyon-Martin house
A San Francisco supervisor has vowed to landmark the home where the late lesbian pioneering couple Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin lived throughout most of their 54 years together.
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Surviving the Silence: The Unexpected Story of Col. Pat Thompson

Surviving the Silence: The Unexpected Story of Col. Pat Thompson
In 1989, U.S. Army Col. Margarethe (Grethe) Cammermeyer was undergoing a routine security clearance interview when she said four simple words, "I am a lesbian." At the time, she was a highly decorated nurse and war hero on track to becoming a general.
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The Intersection Of LGBTQ History And Disability

The Intersection Of LGBTQ History And Disability
Disabled people have long been hidden from history, and unsurprisingly, disabled LGBTQ historical figures too have been hidden. The LGBTQ community itself has been slow to address disability as an issue, yet some of the most beloved and most commonly invoked LGBTQ historical figures also had disabilities, among them artists Michaelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Frida Kahlo, and writers Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich. We know these names well, yet not for their disabilities. And there are so many other LGBTQ icons, past and present, whose disabilities we ignore or fail to acknowledge as critical to their identities - and to ours as a community.
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The U.S. Supreme Court v. LGBT Americans

The U.S. Supreme Court v. LGBT Americans
June 30, 1986 was a broiling hot day in Washington, D.C. when the U.S. Supreme Court released the decision in Bowers v. Hardwick, a landmark sodomy decision. The press was huddled under the small bank of trees near the side entrance, waiting for the copies to be handed out. The fate of millions of lesbian and gay Americans lay in the hands of the high court.
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The United States Naval Academy evolves with LGBTQ acceptance

The United States Naval Academy evolves with LGBTQ acceptance
Before graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1985, Paula Neira had difficulties accepting she was trans.
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October, 2020

A seventeen-year saga for transparency in the Nizah Morris case

A seventeen-year saga for transparency in the Nizah Morris case
This month marks the 65th birthday of Nizah Morris. It's difficult to believe that Nizah would be a senior citizen if she were alive today. She was born on Oct. 19, 1955. So much has changed since her tragic death in 2002 - possibly connected to an encounter with Philadelphia police. This year, 2020, marks my 17th year - and counting - reporting on her case. Today, widespread police-reform efforts are underway. But when Nizah was alive, many police officers believed they could brutalize the LGBT community with impunity.
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The 1953 Gay Raid in Waco

The 1953 Gay Raid in Waco
On Saturday, April 11, 1953, nearly 70 gay men packed into a small four-room house at 2117 South 19th Street in Waco, Texas, about ten blocks from Baylor University. David Owen, a ministerial student at the Baptist school, had invited the men to attend the gathering, which was billed as an "interstate convention" that would culminate in a mock wedding ceremony for two men, one of whom would dress in drag as the bride
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January, 2020

Stonewall Anniversary Sheds New Light On Old History

Stonewall Anniversary Sheds New Light On Old History
On June 30th in New York City, after a weeklong abundance of celebrations, rallies and worldwide media attention, a group of longtime LGBTQ activists marched down Fifth Avenue carrying a banner that read: "Gay Liberation Front: First To March." Their ages ranged from late-60s to mid-80s. They wore matching t-shirts with their slogan. Some carried photo buttons of friends long departed. And as they walked downtown towards Christopher Street and the Stonewall, onlookers greeted them with thunderous applause, a thank you for the work they began fifty years ago, work that led to the LGBTQ community we know today.
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November, 2019

Alfred Kinsey "was our Stonewall." - Samuel Steward

Alfred Kinsey
There was a time when 1 out of every 2 Americans Gallup polled knew Alfred Kinsey's name, and to gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals he was a living hero. Sadly, for the last quarter century or so, calling Alfred Kinsey "the man who made the homosexual movement possible" has come not from that movement but from the Antigay Industry.
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Diaries reveal hidden worlds for museums

Diaries reveal hidden worlds for museums
"Damn I'm going to be a gorgeous man," Lou Sullivan wrote 40 years ago in one of his personal diaries.
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For museum curators, garments offer stylish storytelling

For museum curators, garments offer stylish storytelling
Curators working with the Oakland Museum of California on its first major LGBT exhibition, dubbed "Queer California: Untold Stories," displayed a blue sequined jacket created by San Francisco designer Pat Campano and worn in 1985 by the gender-bending gay disco diva Sylvester.
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HED: Charlotte Cushman's passions on stage and off

HED: Charlotte Cushman's passions on stage and off
Charlotte Cushman (1816-1876) was the greatest American actress of her era, a theatrical superstar and a gender-nonconforming lesbian who worked on stages in the U.S., Britain and Rome throughout the mid-19th century. For over four decades, she was seen by millions. Tall, strikingly handsome and highly charismatic, Cushman charmed women across two continents from the stage and her drawing rooms. During the time when women frequently played both men's and women's roles, Cushman became known for her "breeches roles," playing men on stage. Her Lady Macbeth launched her career, but it was her portrayal of Romeo in Shakespeare's most popular play, "Romeo and Juliet," that was considered one of the greatest of any actors, male or female, of her era.
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Mayor Pete Speaks On LGBT History, Historic Campaign

Mayor Pete Speaks On LGBT History, Historic Campaign
Pete Buttigieg, who has served as mayor of South Bend, Indiana since 2012, came out as a gay man in a self-penned essay published by the South Bend Tribune. This past April he declared his candidacy for President of the United States. Mayor Buttigieg and I spoke on the phone about his campaign, his values, and who he looks up to in the LGBTQ community.
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Stonewall 50 finally gets our history right

Stonewall 50 finally gets our history right
Something very strange happened during last June's celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. The LGBT community, especially those of us from Gay Liberation Front New York realized how the history we created from 1969 to 1971 was being distorted by those who had recorded it. Even LGBT organizations, whose mission is to give resources and information to mainstream media, fell short and had to be corrected by the mainstream media it was supposed to assist.
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The rise of the ballroom scene through the ages

The rise of the ballroom scene through the ages
The first time Jacen Bowman attended a house meeting, he had no idea what LGBTQ ballroom culture was.
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October, 2019

Authors and Activism: A History of LGBT Bookstores

Authors and Activism: A History of LGBT Bookstores
Until the 1970s, when LGBT publishing first began and activists like Barbara Gittings pushed for representation in libraries, the few queer books available were limited mostly to anti-gay medical texts. So, as the first wave of bookstores like Giovanni's Room opened, getting ahold of quality LGBT titles was a necessity. According to Hermance, "Every book in the store from 1973 into 1976 the owners had bought for cash at a wholesaler in the West Village, where Craig Rodwell helped them pick out the few dozen titles available on gay subjects." When Hermance and Arleen Olshan bought Giovanni's Room in 1976, the two continued to make trips to New York and received the same guidance. "[Craig] knew everything, really."
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For Celebrities, an Off-Screen Journey to On-Screen Equality

For Celebrities, an Off-Screen Journey to On-Screen Equality
ABC News correspondent Gio Benitez says that as a young reporter in Miami, he was inspired by the greats of television journalism: Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw, Barbara Walters and Katie Couric. He didn't seek out gay role models in the media, "because at the time I was very conflicted about it myself."
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November, 2018

50 Years On, Busting the Myths of Stonewall

50 Years On, Busting the Myths of Stonewall
Each of us who were at Stonewall has a different view of the event. They run the gamut from it being a rebellion, a riot, a revolution, or simply a night of the queens having fun and taking over their home, Christopher Street. There are many other versions espoused by people who were there, historical scholars, journalists, and people who like to make things up. Let's parse out the facts and inconsistences of all of these views.
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An Unlikely Advocate for Gay Rights Emerges as America's First Equality Governor

An Unlikely Advocate for Gay Rights Emerges as America's First Equality Governor
In April of 1975, a groundbreaking event occurred in the fight for gay and lesbian equal rights. In Pennsylvania, a state not generally known for liberal politics, a courageous and progressive Governor, Milton J. Shapp, signed an executive order that banned discrimination in state government. This was the first state in the nation where a governor had taken such action. It would be another four years before another state would take such a bold move.
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Author talks new book about overlooked LGBT tragedy

Author talks new book about overlooked LGBT tragedy
Author Robert Fieseler's new book, "Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation" dives deep into the events leading up to and the aftermath of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire, a tragic and unsolved arson that claimed the lives of thirty-one men and one woman on June 24, 1973, the largest mass murder of gays until the Pulse Nightclub Shooting 2016.
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Frances Kellor and the Birth of Multiculturalism

Frances Kellor and the Birth of Multiculturalism
Few topics in American politics under President Trump elicit more controversy than immigration. The same was true in early 20th century America when waves of immigrants flooded Ellis Island, causing fears that the country would become "overrun with foreigners," as Henry Cabot Lodge wrote in 1891. With open borders, 30 million Europeans moved to the U.S. between 1850 and 1913. By 1920, about 15 percent of the U.S. population was foreign-born–much as it is in 2018.
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Lesbian Erasure: Part One: Defining Lesbianism

Lesbian Erasure: Part One: Defining Lesbianism
Lesbians exist. Lesbians, like gay men, have always existed. If there is a singular lesson to be learned this LGBT history month, it is that lesbians didn't just appear suddenly in the 20th century, anomalous figures with no antecedents throughout history. Lesbians have lived and loved and had bodice-ripping passionate sex for millennia.
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Lesbian Erasure: part two

Lesbian Erasure: part two
Examples of lesbian sexuality are all over early American history. The 19th century saw a myriad of reasons why lesbianism was actually embraced, right up until the turn of the 20th century, when it wasn't. If there are all these depictions of blissfully naked lesbians over centuries, why does anyone keep writing that "We don't really know if A and B who shared the same bed for 50 years were sexual"?
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Maurice Hines: Legendary performer talks seven decades of keeping toes tapping

Maurice Hines: Legendary performer talks seven decades of keeping toes tapping
Out dancer, performer, choreographer and actor Maurice Hines has been in show business since he was 5 years old, which means almost 70 years in the game.
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SF trans cultural district slowly moves forward

SF trans cultural district slowly moves forward
It's been a little over a year since San Francisco designated the nation's first transgender cultural district in the city's Tenderloin neighborhood. But efforts to establish the historical area have been delayed by a longer-than-expected community planning process.
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Tea With No Shade

Tea With No Shade
A gloomy, rainy Sunday in September couldn't stop what was originally planned as an outdoor tea dance among the trees and fountains of Washington Park in Cincinnati. The gay tradition, revived last year in Ohio by a couple who lost their go-to bar, simply moved across the street and indoors.
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The Emma Jones Society Convention

The Emma Jones Society Convention
Emma Jones was one of the greatest LGBT allies in the 1960s in northern Florida. Too bad she didn't actually exist.
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October, 2018

Archive documents late SF mayor Moscone's close LGBT ties

Archive documents late SF mayor Moscone's close LGBT ties
In June 1977 an irate San Francisco resident mailed off a letter to then-mayor George Moscone. The focus of his ire was the planned Pride celebration at the end of the month.
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LDS ancestry database to add same-sex families

LDS ancestry database to add same-sex families
During Pride Month in June, LGBT people interested in family history received interesting news: beginning next year, the world's largest genealogy organization, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will release a redesigned website that will include same-sex families.
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Mattachine Society Members Were Early Crusaders for Queer Rights

Mattachine Society Members Were Early Crusaders for Queer Rights
Lost in the celebrations of this year's Pride was the death of a historical crusader for LGBT rights. The passing of Dick Leitsch was a reminder of the role secret societies played in mid-20th century America.
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Willyce Kim Wrote Her Own Story

Willyce Kim Wrote Her Own Story
Willyce Kim is the first Asian-American lesbian writer to be published in the U.S. She spent her childhood years in Hawaii and California, and graduated from San Francisco College for Women in 1968. Kim was influenced by musicians such as Bob Dylan and Joan Baez and writers including Adrienne Rich and Diane Di Prima. She self-published her first poetry chapbook, Curtains of Light, with her sister in 1970 and soon after she began working with the Women's Press Collective in Oakland. As a member of the collective, she published works, took photographs and traveled the country to distribute literature and give readings at colleges, bookstores and women's bars. In the '70s and '80s, she published three poetry collections, two novels, and contributed to literary magazines including The Furies, Phoenix Rising, and Conditions.
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November, 2017

1954 Miami Murder Leads to 'Homosexual Panic'

1954 Miami Murder Leads to 'Homosexual Panic'
The "Homosexual Panic" that started in the 1950s can be traced back to one event - the murder of Eastern Airlines Flight Attendant William T. Simpson in August of 1954. Maybe more importantly wasn't the murder itself, but how Miami Daily News reporter Milt Sosin covered the tragedy.
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Addison Mizner: the likely gay father of South Florida architecture

Addison Mizner: the likely gay father of South Florida architecture
Addison Mizner came to Palm Beach in 1918 to die. Instead, he would change South Florida forever, especially Boca Raton, with his enduring signature Spanish revival architecture. Eighty-four years after his death, that imprint is hard to miss While many in Palm Beach County know who Mizner was, few probably suspect he may have been gay.
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Behind the Lens: Photojournalist Kay Lahusen

Behind the Lens: Photojournalist Kay Lahusen
Kay Tobin Lahusen was the first photojournalist of the LGBTQ movement, a pre- and post-Stonewall activist who helped to document the earliest protests for homosexual rights.
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Civil-rights icon Congressman John Lewis on LGBT equality, social justice

Civil-rights icon Congressman John Lewis on LGBT equality, social justice
When President Barack Obama linked Selma, Seneca Falls and Stonewall in his second Inaugural Address, it was a connection that hit home for Congressman John Lewis.
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Is LGBT support for broad social-justice issues a new thing?

Is LGBT support for broad social-justice issues a new thing?
Are American LGBT activists becoming more engaged in wider "social-justice" issues than they have been in many years? I am hearing more about this trend and applaud it strongly. From new groups like "Gays Against Guns" to the proud appearance of rainbow flags at anti-Nazi rallies following the incident in Charlottesville, LGBT activists are reaching out to support many progressive causes outside of traditional, narrowly defined core LGBT agendas.
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Lyon, Martin paved the way for lesbians

Lyon, Martin paved the way for lesbians
In a time when President Donald Trump has directed a ban on transgender individuals from serving in the military, his administration has rescinded protections for trans students in public schools and the advancement of LGBTQ national historic landmarks are in question, the stories of those who fought for equal rights in an earlier era seem to be more important than ever before. One such story is that of Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, who ushered in the modern lesbian movement and made history by becoming the first same-sex couple married in San Francisco - twice. Their accomplishments as activists and the love they shared have become a symbol of perseverance, strength and hope for the LGBTQ community.
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New doc explores mysterious death of a mother of the trans community

New doc explores mysterious death of a mother of the trans community
Almost 23 years to the day after helping to lead the seminal uprising against police at the Stonewall Inn, Marsha P. Johnson was reported missing. The trans woman was a well-known figure in New York City's LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities, an organizer and activist whose contributions to social change persisted long after the Stonewall riots subsided. She and friend and fellow activist Sylvia Rivera founded Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries to provide resources, care and advocacy for homeless queer youth. The two are credited with encouraging the development of a trans community, separate from the larger LGB community, yet with attention to intersectional issues like racial justice, homelessness and criminal-justice reform.
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Randy Wicker: unsung hero in LGBT-rights movement

Randy Wicker: unsung hero in LGBT-rights movement
Randy Wicker may not be a familiar name to those familiar with LGBT history - but the 79-year-old made his mark in the movement, beginning in the 1960s. Many assume the first organized protest for gay rights occurred on April 17, 1965, in front of the White House, where demonstrators, including Frank Kameny, protested the firing of gay and lesbian civil servants.
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Stirring up the origin of the 'alphabet soup'

Stirring up the origin of the 'alphabet soup'
Today, references to the LGBT community are commonplace. One hears them in both the mainstream media and everyday conversation. What's not generally discussed, though, is how this particular combination of words came to represent the LGBT community. Why were some words admitted to this "alphabet soup" while others were excluded?
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October, 2017

Stonewall Rebellion: It wasn't Judy!

Stonewall Rebellion: It wasn't Judy!
Many things have been said and written about "Stonewall," the historic confrontation in June 1969 after a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, a Mafia-run gay bar on Christopher Street in New York City's Greenwich Village that ignited the Gay Revolution - and an incredible change in attitudes and feelings about queer people throughout the world.
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Stonewall Strong

Stonewall Strong
In 1961, Frank Kameny and Washington, D.C., native Jack Nichols organized the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C., an affiliate of Harry Hay's original group in Los Angeles in name more than in style. Nichols had been deeply affected at age 15 when he read Edward Sagarin's 1951 book "The Homosexual in America." Nichols recounted decades later in a letter to "The Gay Metropolis"author Charles Kaiser that he was most touched by Sagarin's quotation from the prominent African-American activist and author W. E. B. Du Bois: "The worst effect of slavery was to make the Negroes doubt themselves and share in the general contempt for black folk." Nichols well understood the harmful effects of self-stigma in gay men's lives.
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November, 2015

Archive documents Charlotte LGBTQ history

Archive documents Charlotte LGBTQ history
Archivist and University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) Prof. Joshua Burford stresses that the LGBTQ archive he spearheaded is not a complete history. It is growing, and a complete history of anything is, of course, an impossible task.
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Joe Lobdell: tragedy and triumph of a 19th-century transition

Joe Lobdell: tragedy and triumph of a 19th-century transition
When Joseph Israel Lobdell passed away in 1912 at the Binghamton State Hospital, his death went largely unnoticed. Joe, as he was known, was 82 and had been confined to mental institutions since 1880. In the intervening decades, his siblings had predeceased him.
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Three decades ago, AIDS activists set up camp in SF plaza

Three decades ago, AIDS activists set up camp in SF plaza
Thirty years ago this month, two San Francisco men, fed up with government inaction as AIDS decimated the gay community, chained themselves to a federal building within sight of City Hall.
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October, 2015

'The Women of San Quentin' comes amid historic changes

'The Women of San Quentin' comes amid historic changes
A new book chronicling the lives of nine transgender women across the country who have been incarcerated comes amid historic progress for such prisoners.
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Dick Leitsch: History is unavoidable

Dick Leitsch: History is unavoidable
For my friend Dick Leitsch, the last president of the Mattachine Society of New York, who last May turned 80, history was unavoidable. I met Dick in two different periods of my life. At 20, I attended my first and only meeting of the New York Mattachine Society, at the old Wendell Wilkie House near Bryant Park in New York City. He moderated, handsome, stylish, with a soft-spoken Kentuckian polished air. I was turned totally off: Mattachine was strictly out of my world as, new to New York, I struggled to make sense of myself. Two years later, a few months after Stonewall, I joined the Gay Liberation Front. GLF offered me a valid political understanding of why queers were being destroyed in American society, and what we had to do, often rowdy as we were, to change it. Both Dick and Mattachine were loathed by many of my young GLF brothers and sisters, some of whom had been in it and, like unruly kids, resented their dowdier parents.
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From Stonewall to the White House, and activist to author

From Stonewall to the White House, and activist to author
"I'm standing across the street from Stonewall in Sheridan Square. Here I was, an 18-year-old kid living at the YMCA in a $6-a-night room with no job, no prospects for the future, no real place to live and no money in my pocket. I'm thinking, What am I going to do? And it came to me: This is exactly what I want to do. I'm going to be a gay activist."
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Lawyer who defeated DOMA to speak at Free Library of Philadelphia

Lawyer who defeated DOMA to speak at Free Library of Philadelphia
Edie Windsor, charismatic, stylish and articulate, found herself widowed just shy of her 80th birthday. She hadn't yet been married two years to her spouse, Thea Spyer, who died of complications from a heart condition on Feb. 5, 2009.
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P.L. Travers: A spoonful of speculation

P.L. Travers: A spoonful of speculation
P.L. Travers, author of "Mary Poppins," was born Helen Lyndon Goff on Aug. 9, 1899 in the city of Maryborough, in Queensland, Australia, (not in England, as many assume). She moved to England in 1924, and used the name P.L. Travers, an abbreviation of her pseudonym Pamela Lyndon Travers, which she used in her days as a dancer and Shakespearean actor on the Australian stage. Reportedly, her wealthy relatives did not approve of Travers performing, so, being independent-minded, she moved to England where she forged a career as a writer.
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Transgender Forward

Transgender Forward
As the gay and lesbian community celebrates marriage equality across the United States, the transgender members of the LGBT community continue to work diligently to place their civil rights front and center, as we move into the next chapter of LGBT equality. To many, it seems as if the transgender movement has come from nowhere in the last decade, but the reality is that transgender Americans have been fighting for civil rights right along with the lesbian, gay and bisexual members of our community for decades. Here are a few key high- lights of transgender people within the tableau of American LGBT civil-rights history:
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