Perhaps Historians Got Things A Little Too Straight!
LGBT HISTORY TIMELINE
This is a collection of some of the major happenings in the LGBT community during the 20th century through 2003. It is not a comprehensive list.
1913 Alfred Redl, head of Austrian Intelligence, committed suicide after being identified as a Russian double agent and a homosexual. His widely-published arrest gave birth to the notion that homosexuals are security risks.
1919 Magnus Hirschfeld founded the Institute for Sexology in Berlin. One of the primary focuses of this institute was civil rights for women and gay people.
1933 On January 30, Adolf Hitler banned the gay press in Germany. In that same year, Magnus Hershfeld's Institute for Sexology was raided and over 12,000 books, periodicals, works of art and other materials were burned. Many of these items were completely irreplaceable.
1934 Gay people were beginning to be rounded up from German-occupied countries and sent to concentration camps. Just as Jews were made to wear the Star of David on the prison uniforms, gay people were required to wear a pink triangle.
1947 The first U.S. lesbian magazine, Visa-Versa, was published.
1948 The Kinsey Report surprised almost everyone with its findings that 4% of men identified themselves as exclusively homosexual while 37% had sexual relationships with other men in their adult lives.
1951 The Mattachine Society was founded to help homosexuals realize their collective histories and experiences. The Mattachine Society is often considered the beginning of the contemporary organized gay rights movement in the U.S. The name Mattachine was derived from medieval French history and referred to jesters who always wore masks in public.
1955 The Daughters of Bilitis, a lesbian organization, was founded to promote a sense of community, belonging, and political unity for women. The name Daughters of Bilitis was taken from the poem, "Songs of Bilitis," by Pierre Louys.
1957 The Kinsey Report revealed that 10% of the male population is predominantly homosexual.
1961 Illinois became the first state to decriminalize homosexual acts.
1969 In June, the Stonewall Riots in New York City's Greenwich Village marked the beginning of major resistance by gay men and lesbians to discrimination. Police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay pub, and were caught off guard by the amount of resistance levied by patrons. The police barricaded themselves inside the Inn to protect themselves from the patrons, who were throwing bricks and bottles. This was the first substantial resistance to harassment that gay men and lesbians had put forward.
1970 In the summer about 200 Chicagoans took to the streets of their city with signs carrying simple messages such as "I am Gay," "Gay is as Good as Straight," and "I Exist!."
1978 On November 27, Harvey Milk, an openly gay city council member and San Francisco's Mayor George Moscone were murdered. In 1979, the convicted murderer Dan White, received a verdict of voluntary manslaughter and a sentence of 7-8 years. This caused massive protests throughout the country as gay men and lesbians saw this as yet another blatant example of discrimination.
1979 On May 31, the California Supreme Court made a landmark decision that public utility companies may not arbitrarily refuse to hire homosexuals, nor can they interfere with employee involvement in gay organizations.
1979 On October 14, the first National March on Washington D.C. attracted over 100,000 people.
1981 Wisconsin became the first state to pass state-wide gay rights legislation.
1982 The first International Gay Games were held in San Francisco. Over 1,300 gay men and lesbian athletes from 28 states and 10 nations participated.
1984 The Wall Street Journal changed its editorial policy and now permitted the use of the word "gay" as an alternative to homosexual in the news. Previously the newspaper only used gay in quotes. The New York Times and Associated Press still banned the word gay except when meaning "happy" or when in quotes.
1984 Charles Howard, a 23-year-old gay man was walking home from church on July 7, when he was attacked by three teenagers. They kicked and beat him and threw him in a stream where he drowned. The boys bragged to their friends and were arrested. They were convicted on the charge of manslaughter, a crime that legally implies that they did not act in malice.
1986 The Reagan Administration Budget Director James Miller stated that the treatment and care of persons with AIDS was a state and local concern - not a federal one.
1987 On October 11, the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights drew over 500,000 people making it the largest civil rights demonstration in U.S. history. This date became National Coming Out Day.
1987 The Names Project unveiled the AIDS Memorial Quilt on the Capitol Mall in Washington, D.C. At that time, the Quilt covered the area of two football fields.
1988 The 10th Annual National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays conference took place.
1988 The Episcopal Diocese of Newark, New Jersey became the first church in the country to support ministers and congregations who condoned and blessed relationships between gay and lesbian couples.
1990 The Hate Crime Statistics Bill passed through Congress in February. Previous legislation required the collection of data on crimes motivated by racial, ethnic, or religious prejudice. This new law also required that data be collected on crimes motivated by prejudice against people of differing sexual orientations.
1990 At the 101st Annual Conference of American Rabbis, it was decided that gay men and lesbians would be accepted as rabbis. The resolution states that "...All Rabbis, regardless of their sexual orientation, be accorded the opportunity to fulfill the sacred vocation which they have chosen."
1992 On October 11, the AIDS Memorial Quilt was unfolded in its entirety, representing 22,000 people, on the Capitol Mall. Today, it's too large to be displayed in its entirety in any one place.
1992 The University of Iowa extended its health benefits to the domestic partners of lesbian and gay employees. The University of Chicago soon followed suit.
1992 Canada joined the vast majority of other NATO countries permitting military service by lesbians and gay men.
1992 Bill Clinton, the 41st President of the United States, was the first President to recognize gay and lesbian civil rights as a serious and important national issue. He also appointed open gays and lesbians to government positions.
1993 The first large study of female sexual orientation found that there was a strong genetic component to homosexuality and heterosexuality, as reported by researchers at Boston University and Northwestern University.
1993 By a narrow margin, voters in San Francisco rejected a city-wide partnership ordinance that would grant legal recognition to the relationships of gay men and lesbians.
1993 The Grammy Awards featured several openly gay and lesbian musicians including k.d. Lang, Elton John, the B-52's, Fred Schneider, Keith Strickland, and the late lyricist Howard Ashman ("Beauty and the Beast").
1994 The first-ever school district-sanctioned gay youth prom is held in Los Angeles.
1995 Coors Brewing Company and Walt Disney Company announce they will offer health benefits to domestic partners of their gay employees. Allstate Insurance changes its policies to offer joint coverage to same-gender homeowner couples.
1996 The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would have projected discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace, narrowly fails in the U.S. Senate in a vote of 50-49. It is the first time a vote on lesbian and gay civil rights has ever been before the full Senate.
1996 President Bill Clinton signs the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), denying same-sex couples to the right to have their unions/partnerships recognized by the federal government.
1997 Ellen DeGeneres comes out in her U.S. television comedy show.
1997 Virginia court permits lesbian adoption.
1998 Matthew Shepard brings hate crimes against gays to the forefront of news. The 21-year-old gay college student in Wyoming was beaten, tied to a fence, and left to die.
1999 Bills in Maryland (for the second year and it failed again) and Rhode Island were introduced to legalize same-sex marriage.
1999 Billy Jack Gaither was murdered because of his sexuality on February 19, sparking more controversy about hate crimes against gays.
1999 Actress Hillary Swank receives an Academy Award for her portrayal of Brandon Teena in "Boys Don't Cry." Brandon was a female to male transsexual who was murdered in 1993.
2000 The Vermont bill to give legal recognition to same-sex unions took another step forward March 6 when a legislative committee narrowly approved the proposal.
2000 Suspects in the Billy Jack Gaither and Matthew Shepard cases were found guilty and given life sentences in prison for the murders.
2000 Fifteen-year-old Anthony Colin wins a court battle in California after being denied the formation of a Gay Student Alliance group in his high school.
2000 For the first time, the U.S. census attempts to estimate the number of same-sex ("unmarried partners") households.
2001 A federal judge upholds Florida's ban on adoptions by gays and lesbians.
2001 Rev. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson blame gays and lesbians among other groups for contributing to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
2001 In San Francisco, Diane Whippel dies after being mauled by two dogs outside the apartment she shared with her partner, Sharon Smith. The dogs belonged to Whippel's next door neighbors, who did not try to prevent or stop the attack. Smith filed a wrongful-death suit against the neighbors, in part to hold them accountable for their actions but also to challenge California law, which said same-sex partners have no legal standing to file such suits. Both Knoller and Noel were convicted for murder.
2002 Comedian and actress Rosie O'Donnell publicly comes out in a television interview.
2002 Finland grants same-sex couples the same legal rights as heterosexual couples.
2002 A Philadelphia court struck down a 1998 ordinance that recognized city employees' "life partnerships," claiming the ordinance "unsurped" the power of the state to regulate marriage.
2002 The Ohio Supreme Court ruled a same-sex couple can adopt a last name they created for themselves, reversing the lower court's decision.
2003 Texas Gov. Rick Perry signs the state's version of the Defense of Marriage Act, denying same-sex couples the right to marry or receive any benefits of marriage.
2003 Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn) compares homosexuality to polygamy, incest, and adultery when coming on the sodomy case being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
2003 The U.S. Supreme Court overturns the Texas sodomy law in a highly publicized case (Lawrence, et al vs. Texas). The Court determined the law was unconstitutional based on infringement of citizens' privacy in their home.
2003 CNBC host Michael Savage is fired after making homophobic remarks to a man who called into his television show.
2003 Canada allows same-sex couples the right to marry.
2003 Rev. Gene Robinson becomes the first openly gay man to be confirmed a bishop in the Episcopal Church USA.
Perhaps Historians Got Things A Little Too Straight!
OCTOBER IS LGBT HISTORY MONTH!
October 1st-The fact based film M. Butterfly opened on this day in 1993. Set in the mid-1960s during the Cultural Revolution in China, it told the story of Rene Gallimard (Jeremey Irons), an attaché at the French embassy in Peking who falls in love with Song Liling (John Lone) a Peking opera star and spy. The pair carried on an affair for 20 years, with Gallimard unaware that Liling was a man and using him to obtain French intelligence. Also on this day in 1989, the first state-sanctioned gay marriages take place in Denmark.
October 2nd-Actor Rock Hudson, the first major American celebrity to admit being afflicted with AIDS, died on this day in 1985.Hudson was married to studio employee Phyllis Gates in 1955, as part of the studio's attempt to cover Hudson's homosexuality, which would have made him box office poison at the time if it were made known. He divorced Gates in 1958, and continued to have a hidden gay life for the rest of his life, until his diagnosis.
October 3rd-Author, critic, and actor Gore Vidal was born on this day in 1925.In 1948 he published The City in the Pillar, which was the story of young gay man. Pillar was met with less then favorable reviews, causing him to fall out of favor with the literary press. To make ends meet, he began to use pseudonyms such as Katherine Everard, Cameron Kay and Edgar Box to publish pulp fiction, write screenplays and television and book reviews. In 1968, he published his most infamous and arguably best know work, the transsexual black comedy Myra Breckinridge.
October 4th-The erotic lesbian thriller Bound opened on this day in 1996. It starred Gina Gershon as Corky, an ex-con who gets involved with Violet, a mobster's girlfriend played by Jennifer Tilly. The two scheme to steal $2 million of Mafia money from Violet's boyfriend, Ceasar (Joe Pantoliano). There are complications and their survival depends on split-second timing and trust. This film was on many film critics top lists of 1996.
October 5th-Gay writer/director/actor Clive Barker was born on this day in 1952 in Liverpool, Britain. He is best known for his writing of horror novels, some of which have been made into movies. His better known horror films include Hellraiser, Nightbreed and Lord of Illusions. While he is best known for his horror fiction such as Weaveworld, The Hellbound Heart, and Sacrament, he has also written a children's book, The Thief of Always. In addition to these works, he has collaborated with his partner, photographer David Armstrong on a photographic book of male nudes, entitled Rare Flesh, presenting photo essays that explore a different fantasy scenario.
October 6th-On this day in 1968, Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) holds its first service in Los Angeles. It is the first "gay" church. The MCC of Los Angeles was founded by the Reverend Troy Perry to serve the spiritual needs of gay and lesbian people. For the past twenty-seven years, Metropolitan Community Churches have been a safe haven for those rejected by other religious communities. Currently, there are 300 churches across the world that are affiliated with the MCC.
October 7th-The Advocate, the award-winning national gay and lesbian newsmagazine, began publication on this day in 1967.Originally titled The Los Angeles Advocate, the magazine was the brain-child of Dick Michaels and his partner Bill Rand. Both were members of the Los Angeles activist group PRIDE, and they created the magazine in an attempt to improve PRIDE's newsletter. The magazine's first articles focused on issues such as how to avoid police entrapment, while also including interviews with actors and actresses. In 1969, the magazine officially changed its name to The Advocate, and over the years its pieces have begun to focus on politics, and other important issues such as AIDS. Today, the magazine continues to be a popular read for the LGBT community, and an important place for political leaders to show their support of the LGBT community.
October 8th- Australia's first gay rights demonstration takes place in Sydney in 1971.
October 9th-The British coming-of-age and coming-out film, Beautiful Thing debuted in U.S. theaters on this day in 1996. Based on the play by Jonathan Harvey, Beautiful Thing, was about Jamie (Jonathon Harvey), an unpopular teen growing up in South-East London. He lives next door to Ste (Scott Neal) a popular and athletic boy, who gets beaten up by his father. Jamie's mother allows Ste to stay at their place when things get bad. Ste shares Jamie's bed and the two become friends and then lovers.
October 10th-On this day in 1987, 2,000 gay and lesbian couples are "married" in a mass mock wedding outside the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington as part of the second LGBT March on Washington. "The wedding" was organized by Reverend Troy D. Perry, founder and moderator of Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, who organized the wedding in order to stage a public demonstration that was a political protest in support of same-sex marriages and serious commitment ceremonies.
October 11th- Today is National Coming Out Day. National Coming Out Day was founded by Robert Eichberg and Jean O'Lery, in commemoration of the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay rights. The first National Coming Out day was celebrated in 1988.Also on this day, more than a half million people (between 500,000 and 650,000, according to organizers) descended on the capital to participate in the 1987 national march. Many of the marchers were angry over the government's slow and inadequate response to the AIDS crisis, as well as the Supreme Court's 1986 decision to uphold sodomy laws in Bowers v. Hardwick.
October 12th-Today is the anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming in 1998.Matthew had been lured from a campus bar shortly after midnight on October 7 by two men who told him they were gay. He was driven to a remote area near the Sherman Hills neighborhood east of Laramie, tied to a split-rail fence, tortured, beaten and pistol-whipped by his attackers, while he begged for his life; he was then left for dead in near freezing temperatures. A cyclist who found him on Snowy Mountain View Road at 6:22 pm, some 18 hours after the attack, at first mistook him for a scarecrow. He was unconscious and suffering from hypothermia. His face was caked with blood, except where it had been partially washed clean by tears. Matthew died at 12:53 am with his family at his bedside. Hospital officials said Matthew had a fracture from behind his head to just in front of his right ear and a massive brain stem injury which affected his vital signs, including his heart beat, body temperature and other involuntary functions. There were also approximately a dozen small lacerations around his head, face and neck. He was so badly injured in the attack that doctors were unable to operate. He never regained consciousness after being found, and remained on full life support. Today his parents, especially his mother, speak out against hate crimes across the country. Never Forget.
October 13th- On this day in 1987, the Supreme Court became the site of the first national gay civil disobedience action, where nearly 600 people were arrested while protesting the decision in Hardwick vs. Bowers, which upheld sodomy laws.
October 14th-On this day in 1979, the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights took place. It was a historic event that drew more than 100,000 people from across the United States and ten other countries.
October 15th-On this day in 1973 the formation of the National Gay Task Force (later to become the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force) was announced in New York City. The task force has been at the forefront of the progression of civil rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people throughout its history. To learn more about NGLTF visit their website at:http://www.thetaskforce.org/
October 16th-Writer, playwright and poet Oscar Wilde, was born on this day in 1854. He published his first book of poetry, titled Poems, in 1881. He married in 1884 and had two sons, Cyril and Vyvyan. His wrote such plays as The Picture of Dorian Gray, A Woman Of No Importance (1892), An Ideal Husband (1893), and The Importance Of Being Earnest (1893). In the summer of 1891 he met Lord Alfred 'Bosie' Douglas, and the two became inseparable until Wilde's arrest three years later. He was convicted of gross indecency and sentenced to two years of hard labor. After his release from prison, he briefly returned to Bosie, but spent the last two years of his life with various friends in Europe. He passed away November 30, 1900.Wilde's life was depicted in a 1997 film, Wilde, starring Stephen Fry and Jude Law.
October 17th-Gay actor Montgomery Clift was born on this day in 1920. At the age of 13 he appeared on Broadway in the play Fly Away Home and spent the next ten years in New York before heading to Hollywood. He appeared in several films, receiving Oscar nominations for his performances in The Search (1948), A Place in the Sun (1951), From Here to Eternity (1953) and Judgment at Nuremberg (1961).He passed away on July 23, 1966, found dead in his bed by his companion Lorenzo James.
October 18th-Tennis great Martina Navratilova was born on this day in 1956 in Prague, Czechoslovakia. She won 167 singles titles in her career including a record nine at Wimbledon before her retirement from singles play in 1994. She became a citizen of the United States in 1981 after having defected from Czechoslovakia in 1975. In 1978, she started a relationship with writer/activist Rita Mae Brown. The speculation about the relationship caused much curiosity from the public and press, with her finally coming out as bisexual in 1980.
October 19th-On this day in 1955, the Daughters of Bilitis was founded. Originally the group had only eight members, but over the years, the group grew considerably. The Daughters of Bilitis provided a place for lesbians to meet, document their lives, and promote civil rights. One of their most significant achievements was a national newsletter for lesbians, The Ladder. Several other U.S. chapters were started, and one in Australia. However, members of the Daughters of Bilitis were split as to what the organization should focus their energies on, and this caused the publishing group of The Ladder to move to another location, and focus on feminist issues rather than gay issues. The organization never recovered from this, and the individual chapters soon died out. Also on this day in 1945, actor and drag queen, Divine was born. He and director John Waters met in high school, and went on to have a very successful film partnership. Divine became the star of many of Water's cult classics such as Multiple Maniacs (1971), Female Trouble (1974), Mondo Trasho (1970), Pink Flamingos (1972), Polyester (1981) and Hairspray (1988).
October 20th-French poet Arthur Rimbuad was born on this day in 1854. He is credited with being one of the creators of free verse due to his rhythmic experiments in prose poems. Some of his better known works include Illuminations (1886), Sonnet of the Vowels (1871), The Drunken Boat (1871) and Letter from the Seer. In 1871 he was invited to Paris by poet Paul Verlaine, and eventually the two became lovers. Their relationship lasted for over two years. Rimbaud later became a trader and gunrunner in Africa. He died November 10, 1981 following the amputation of his cancerous right leg. Rimbaud and Verlaine's relationship was depicted in the 1995 film Total Eclipse starring Leonardo DiCaprio and David Thewlis.
October 21st-On this day in 1993, Yale University announced that it would extend spousal health benefits to the domestic partners of its gay and lesbian faculty members, administrators and managers beginning in 1994. The university has a non-discrimination policy covering sexual orientation in its employee handbook. Yale is one of over 170 colleges and universities to offer these benefits. (Ohio University has offered same-sex domestic partners benefits since July 1, 2004.)
October 22nd-The critically acclaimed, award-winning biopic Boys Don't Cry opened in limited release on this day in 1999. The film, written and directed by out filmmaker Kimberly Pierce, starred Hilary Swank in her Oscar-winning role as Brandon Teena, a trangender teen who was born female but lived his life as a male. He was brutally murdered when the truth was found out. The film is based on the 1998 documentary The Brandon Teena Story.
October 23rd-Hayden Rorke, better known as Dr. Alfred Bellows on I Dream of Jeannie, was born on this day in 1910. He started his stage career in the 1930s and made his film debut on This Is the Army (1943) in an uncredited role. Other films he appeared in included All That Heaven Allows (1955), Pillow Talk (1959) and The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964). Aside from Jeannie, he appeared on numerous television shows and made-for-TV movies, his final appearance being a reprisal of his role of Dr. Bellows in the 1985 TV movie I Dream of Jeannie: 15 Years Later. His death in 1987 came a few months after that of his partner, Jud Hiss, with whom he shared a home in Studio City, California.
October 24th-Gay actor B.D. Wong was born on this day in 1962 in San Francisco. He was honored with a Tony award for "Featured Actor in a Play" for his role as Song Liling in M. Butterfly in 1988. He is also the only actor ever to be honored with a Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Clarence Derwent Award, and Theater World Award for the same performance. His movie roles include Howard Weinstein in Father of the Bride (1991), Louie in Executive Decision (1996) and Ngawang Jigme in Seven Years in Tibet (1997). He has appeared on television in the critically acclaimed AIDS TV And the Band Played On (1993), in American Girl as Stuart, Father Ray Mukada in Oz; and as Police Psychiatrist George Huang, M.D. on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
October 25th-The biopic Frida opened on this day in 2002. The film chronicles the life of bisexual Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, played by Salma Hayek. The film follows her relationship with her husband, painter Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina), a relationship that was complex, yet enduring. The film also looks at her affairs with both men and women and follows her to her death at 47 of drug and alcohol abuse, resulting from the excruciating pain of a trolley accident and the amputation of her leg.
October 26th-Gay actor/singer Anthony Rapp was born on this day in 1971. He was the original Mark in the Pulitzer-Prize winning hit musical Rent on Broadway, and has also appeared in Six Degrees of Separation and the revival of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, among others. His film work includes the film version of Six Degrees of Separation (1993), Dazed and Confused (1993) and the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind (2001). His debut CD Look Around was released in 2000 on which he co-wrote nine of the songs.
October 27th -Renowned lesbian author Fran Lebowitz was born on this day in 1950 in Morristown, New Jersey. People first became aware of Fran in the early 1970s, when she was hired by artist Andy Warhol to write a column for his publication Interview. She published her book of essays Metropolitan Life in 1978 which was followed by Social Studies in 1981. Both were New York Times best-sellers and were reissued in 1994 as a single volume entitled The Fran Lebowitz Reader. She also authored a best-selling children's book in 1994, Mr. Chas and Lisa Sue meet the Pandas. She has also done some acting, occasionally appearing on the TV drama Law & Order in the role of Judge Goldberg.
October 28th-The Student Homophile League at Columbia University, the first, and now oldest, gay campus organization held its first formal program on this day in 1966.The Student Homophile League was founded by Robert A. Martin, a bisexual undergraduate student at Columbia. The group was officially recognized as a campus organization on April 19, 1967.The Columbia group, although no longer called The Student Homophile League, is still going.
October 29th-On this day in 2002, former NFL linebacker Esera Tuaolo came out on the HBO program "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbal." Tuaolo retired from football in 1999 primarily from the difficulty and frustration of keeping his sexual orientation a secret. The first former athlete to come out was football player Dave Kopay, in 1975, however, since then there have been very few athletes or former athletes to come out. Tuaolo and his partner have two adopted children and live in the Minneapolis area.
October 30th-On this day in 1962, gay ballet and modern dancer Rex Harrington was born in Petersborough, Ontario. At the age of 14, Harrington began to study dance, eventually joining the National Ballet in 1983, where he worked his way up to the spot of Principal in 1988.He is a well known dancer who has been in demand as a guest artist for several years.
October 31st-Jazz great Ethel Waters was born on this day 1896 in Chester, Pennsylvania. Waters made her recording debut in 1921 with the songs The New York Glide and At the New Jump Steady Ball. In the 1920s and 1930s, she appeared in many musical reviews, on Broadway and in a couple of films including Check and Double Check. She had a volatile relationship with dancer Ethel Williams that she used in her act, often opening by asking the orchestra leader, "Where's that partner of mine - Where's that Ethel Williams?" In 1949, she was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in the film Pinky.
Information in this timeline was found at the following websites, which may also be helpful tools for your own use:
FAMOUS LGBT PEOPLE
We Are Everywhere: Some of the people on this list would never have revealed that they were lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Many would have never used or known such words to define how and who they loved. History has tried to cover up the non-straight aspect of many of those listed below. Yet, despite all of this, there still remains some evidence to indicate that those listed below should be on this list. Understanding the fuller context of their lives and experiences can only help create a better understanding of history. LGBT people have been and will always be everywhere because we are everyone. The list below is alphabetical by first name.
Alan Paton (South African writer)
Alexander Hamilton (presidential military advisor)
Alexander the Great (Macedonian Ruler)
Alice B. Toklas (US author)
Allen Gingsberg (US poet)
Amanda Beardse (actress)
Ameila Earhart (pilot)
Amy Lowell (US poet)
Amy Ray (musician, member of the Indigo Girls)
Andy Warhol (US author)
Ani DiFranco ( musician)
Anne Heche (actress, director)
Aphra Behn (writer)
Audre Lorde (poet, author)
Barbara Gittings (writer, activist)
Barney Frank (US Congress person)
Becky Bertha (writer)
Bernhard Prince von Bulow (Imperial Chancellor, Germany)
Bessie Smith (US blues singer)
Billie Holiday (singer)
Billie Jean King (tennis champion)
Bob Paris (body-builder, Mr. Universe)
Boy George (singer)
Brian Epstein (manager to The Beatles)
Brian McNaught (author, columnist)
Charles Laughton (English actor)
Chastity Bono (activist, author)
Chief Crazy Horse (Tashunca witco, Oglala Sioux Chief)
Christopher Isherwood (English author)
Christopher Marlowe (English author)
Cindy Olavarri (Olympic cyclist)
Cole Porter (US composer)
Colette (French writer, actress)
Dale McCormick (Maine State Representative)
Dame Ethel Smyth (British composer, writer, activist)
Daphne DuMaurier (writer, poet)
David Bowie (musician, actor)
David Kopay (singer)
Deborah Glick (State Legislator)
Dee Mosbacher (psychiatrist)
Del Martin (writer, co-founder, Daughters of Bilitis)
Desiderius Erasmus (Dutch Monk, philosopher)
Dick Sargent (actor)
Disappear Fear (band, musicians)
Divine (drag queen, actor)
Dorothy Allison (author)
E.M. Forster (English author)
Edward Carpenter (British author, gay rights activist)
Eleanor Roosevelt (writer, activist, First Lady)
Elizabeth I (Amazon queen)
Ellen DeGeneres (comedian, actress)
Elton John (singer)
Emily Dickinson (poet)
Emily Saliers (musician, member of the Indigo Girls)
Fanny Flagg (author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe, actor)
Florence Nightingale (nurse of Crimean War fame)
Freddie Mercury (musician, Queen lead singer)
Frederick Chopin (Polish composer)
Frederick the Great (King of Prussia)
Frederico Garcia Lorca (Spanish poet, dramatist)
George Michael (Musician, singer)
Gertrude Stein (US author, poet)
Glen Maxey (Texas State Representative)
Grace Jones (Jamaican-born singer, actress)
Greg Louganis (US diving champion)
Hadrian (Roman Emperor)
Hans Christian Anderson (Danish author)
Harvey Feinstein (actor, playwright)
Harvey Milk (advisory council to the mayor)
Hatshepsut (Egyptian queen)
Henry David Thoreau (American philosopher, naturalist, peace activist)
Herman Melville (US author)
Holly Near (singer, actress, activist)
Horatio Alger, Jr (US author, founder of orphanages)
Ieyasu Tokugawa (Japanese Shogun and founder of the Edo Shogunate)
James Baldwin (US author, activist)
James Dean (actor)
Jean Choctaw (French author, filmmaker)
Jerry Studds (US Congress person)
Joan Baez (singer, activist)
Joan of Arc (French military leader, war hero)
Joe Norton (writer)
John Edgar Hoover (Director of the F.B.I.)
John Maynard Keynes (British economist, Nobel Peace Prize Winner)
John Waters (director)
John XII (Catholic Pope)
Julie Cypher (director)
Julius Caesar (Roman Emperor)
Julius III (Catholic Pope)
k.d. lang (Canadian musician, actress)
Kate Bornstein (playwright, activist, actress, author)
Kate Clinton (comedian)
Kate Mansfield (author)
Katherine Lee Bates (song writer - America the Beautiful)
L. Rosen (Washington Lobbyist)
Leonard Bernstein (US composer)
Leonardo da Vinci (Italian artist, inventor)
Les Delaria (comedian)
Leslea Newman (author)
Leslie Feinberg (author of Stone Butch Blues, anthropologist, activist)
Lily Tomlin (Actress, comedian)
Linda Morales (Activist)
Liz Smith (columnist)
Lord Byron (English poet)
Madame de Stael (French writer)
Marcel Proust (French author)
Margaret Fuller (US writer, educator)
Marlon Brando (actor)
Martina Navraitilova (tennis champion and activist)
Mary Cassatt (US artist, suffragette)
Melissa Etheridge (singer)
Michelangelo (Italian artist)
Michelangelo Signorile (US journalist)
Mick Jagger (singer)
Minnie Bruce Pratt (writer, poet)
Montezuma II (Aztec ruler)
Noel Coward (English author, composer)
Oscar Wilde (Irish author, dramatist)
Perry Ellis (designer)
Perry Farrell (lead singer of Jane's Addiction)
Peter Illyich Tchaikovsky (Russian composer)
Peter the Great (Russian Czar)
Phyllis Lyon (writer, co-founder, Daughters of Bilitis)
Plato (Greek philosopher)
Pope Joan/ John VIII (Catholic Pope)
Queen Christina (Swedish queen)
Radclyffe Hall (English author of The Well of Loneliness)
Randy Stilts (author)
Richard II (English King)
Richard the Lion-Hearted (English King, Crusader)
Rita Mae Brown (author)
Robert Mapplethorpe (artist)
Robert Rauschenberg (artist)
Roberta Achtenberg (Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development)
Rock Hudson (actor)
Rudy Galindo (US figure skating champion)
RuPaul (comedian, actor, drag queen)
Samuel Delaney (sci-fi author)
Sandra Bernhardt (comedian)
Sandra Scoppettone (author)
Sappho (Greek philosopher, poet)
Scott Hamilton (US figure skating champion)
Scott Thompson (Canadian actor)
Sergei Daighileff (Russian ballet impresario)
Sgt. Johnnie Phelps (Aide to Eisenhower)
Sinead O'Connor (English singer/musician)
Sir Francis Bacon (English statesman, author)
Socrates (Greek teacher, philosopher)
Somerset Maugham (British writer, dramatist)
Susan B. Anthony (suffragist)
Suzanne Westenhoffer (comedian)
T.E. Lawrence (English soldier, Lawrence of Arabia, author)
Tammy Baldwin (Wisconsin State Assemblywoman, US Congress person)
Tennessee Williams (US playwright)
Tracy Chapman (folk singer)
Ursula LeGuin (novelist)
Urvashi Vaid (activist, former head of NGLTF)
Vaslav Nijinsky (Russian ballet dancer)
Virginia Woolf (English author)
Vita Sackeville-West (British writer)
Walt Whitman (US author, poet)
Willa Cather (US author)
William "Big Bill" Tilden (US Tennis Star)
William Burroughs (writer)
William Shakespeare (English poet, playwright)
Wu (Chinese Emperor)
Yukio Mishima (Japanese author)
Yves St. Laurent (designer)
.......and the list goes on. From every walk of life, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people have made and continue to make countless unsung contributions to our world and quietly enrich many lives.
Use of the rainbow flag by the LGBT community began in 1978 when it first appeared in the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day Parade. Borrowing symbolism from the hippie movement and black civil rights groups, San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker designed the rainbow flag with 8 colors in response to a need for a symbol that could be used year after year. The modified Rainbow (6 colors) has since become a symbol representing the pride of the LGBT community. It is also symbolic of unity within our diversity.
Double interlocking male and female symbols have been used by gay men and lesbians since the 1970s. Some feminists have also used the double female symbol to represent the sisterhood of women. Today the symbols might be superimposed to show the common goals of gays and lesbians. Superimposed symbols might also denote a heterosexual aware of the differences and diversity between men and women.
The lambda was first chosen as a gay symbol when it was adopted in 1970 by the New York Gay Activists Alliance. It became the symbol of their growing movement of gay liberation. In 1974, the lambda was subsequently adopted by the International Gay Rights Congress held in Edinburgh, Scotland. As their symbol for lesbian and gay rights, the lambda became internationally popular.
In Nazi Germany, Hitler declared all homosexual acts prohibited and any homosexuals caught doing acts, such as kissing, embracing or fantasizing, were sent to death camps and marked with pink triangles. Today, the pink triangle serves as a reminder of the death camps and a symbol of persecution and oppression for gays and lesbians still face.
Although lesbians were not included in Hitler's prohibition of homosexuality, there is evidence to indicate that the black triangle was used to designate prisoners with antisocial behavior. Considering that the Nazi idea of womanhood focused on children, kitchen and church, black triangle prisoners may have included lesbians, prostitutes, women who refused to bear children, and women with other "antisocial" traits. As the pink triangle is historically a male symbol, the black triangle has similarly been reclaimed by lesbians and feminists as a symbol of pride and solidarity
The International Foundation for Gender Education is an educational and charitable organization addressing cross dressing and transgender issues. One of the organizations logos, this symbol combines the lavender color and the pink triangle shape with a ring denoting various genders all fused into one.