A Brief LGBTQIA+ Timeline

  • Harvard University Homosexual Purge

    Harvard University Homosexual Purge
    In the 1920's, Harvard University had a secret court to purge all of the homosexual men from the institution.
  • The Society for Human Rights

    The Society for Human Rights
    Henry Gerber forms the Society for Human Rights. This was the first gay group in the United States.
  • Lesbian Party Arrest

    Lesbian Party Arrest
    Blueswoman Ma Rainey, in 1925, was arrested at her home in Harlem because she was having a lesbian party.
  • The Well of Loneliness

    The Well of Loneliness
    In 1928, British author Radclyffe Hall publishes her lesbian novel called The Well of Loneliness.
  • Sexuality Study

    Sexuality Study
    Alfred Kinsey, an American biologist and sexologist, conducted a study of sexual behavior in the United States from the 1940's-1950's.
  • The City and the Pillar

    The City and the Pillar
    Novelist Gore Vidal published his book The City and the Pillar in 1948 about a young man coming of age and finding out he is a homosexual.
  • The Mattachine Society

    The Mattachine Society
    Located in Los Angeles, California, The Mattachine Society was founded. This was one of the earliest LGBT/gay rights organizations in the United States, second only to the Society for Human Rights.
  • The Daughters of Bilitis

    The Daughters of Bilitis
    First lesbian civil and political rights organization in the United States, The Daughters of Bilitis was formed in San Francisco in 1955.
  • Giovanni's Room

    Giovanni's Room
    Giovanni's Room, written by James Baldwin, was about an American man living in Paris having feelings and frustrations with his relationship about other men in his life. When he goes to a Parisian gay bar, he meets an Italian bartender named Giovanni.
  • Removal of Sodomy Law

    Removal of Sodomy Law
    Illinois becomes the first U.S. state to remove the sodomy law, the law that defines certain sexual acts as crimes, from its criminal code.
  • "I Have A Dream!"

    "I Have A Dream!"
    Bayard Rustin was the chief organizer of the historic March on Washington, which culminated in the "I Have A Dream" speech. Rustin fought for peace, equal rights, and freedom for LGBT individuals.
  • Compton Cafeteria Riot

    Compton Cafeteria Riot
    In San Francisco, 1966, the Compton Cafeteria Riot was the first LGBT related riot in United States' history. This was the beginning of transgender activism.
  • Los Angeles Advocate

    Los Angeles Advocate
    In 1967, the Los Angeles Advocate was founded to help fight for LGBT equality, civil rights, and freedom. This developed a new generation of leaders, domestically and internationally strengthening the LGBT movement.
  • Stonewall Riots

    Stonewall Riots
    Police raid the Stonewall Inn in New York City in the early hours of June 28. This leads to four days of struggle between police and LGBTQ people. Transgender people, LGBTQ people of color, and youth are a major part of these riots that mark the birth of the modern LGBTQ movement.
  • The Gay Liberation March

    The Gay Liberation March
    The Gay Liberation March, or Christopher Street Liberation Day, marked the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. This was the first Gay Pride march in United States' history covering 51 blocks to Central Park.
  • David Bowie

    David Bowie
    In a magazine interview David Bowie, singer-songwriter, comes out as gay.
  • Removed As A Disorder

    Removed As A Disorder
    After a vote of 13-0, the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of disorders. It then disappears from the DSM in 1987.
  • Lambda Legal

    Lambda Legal
    Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of civil rights for lesbians, gays, bisexuals,and transgender individuals. This organization was founded in 1973.
  • The Upstairs Lounge Fire

    The Upstairs Lounge Fire
    A gay bar called the UpStairs Lounge, located on a second floor, was set ablaze in New Orleans, Louisiana. Thirty-two people died from the fire and smoke.
  • Elton John

    Elton John
    In a Rolling Stone interview, singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer, Elton John comes out as bisexual. He later admits he's gay.
  • Renee Richards Banned!

    Renee Richards Banned!
    Renee Richards, an ophthalmologist and professional tennis player, was banned from competing in the women's U.S. Open because of gender reassignment surgery in 1975.
  • Harvey Milk

    Harvey Milk
    In 1977, Harvey Milk becomes the first gay person to be elected to public office in the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.A year later he was assassinated.
  • "Save Our Children"

    "Save Our Children"
    Save Our Children, Inc. was a political coalition formed in 1977 in Miami, Florida to overturn a recently legislated county ordinance that banned discrimination in areas of housing, employment, and public accommodation based on sexual orientation. The coalition was publicly headed by celebrity singer Anita Bryant, who claimed the ordinance discriminated against her right to teach her children biblical morality.
  • First Rainbow Flag

    First Rainbow Flag
    in 1978, Gilbert Baker, artist and gay rights activist, created the first rainbow flag.
  • Gay Rights as a Political Stance

    Gay Rights as a Political Stance
    In 1980, Democrats were the first political party to add "gay rights" into their platform.
  • Gay-Related Immune Deficiency

    Gay-Related Immune Deficiency
    Doctors identify the first cases of Gay-Related Immune Deficiency, currently known as AIDS.
  • Infected

    Infected
    By 1982, nearly 800 people were infected with GRID. This later becomes AIDS by year's end.
  • Rock Hudson

    Rock Hudson
    In 1985, actor Rock Hudson acknowledges that he had AIDS. He died the same year due to AIDS related complications.
  • ACT UP

    ACT UP
    AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power or ACT UP is an international political group working to end the AIDS pandemic. This group helps improve the lives of people with AIDS through direct action, medical research, treatment, and advocacy.
  • Billy Tipton Dies

    Billy Tipton Dies
    Billy Tipton (December 29, 1914 – January 21, 1989) was an American jazz musician, bandleader, and talent broker. For decades, Tipton assumed a male gender identity. Tipton's female birth sex was not publicly revealed until after his death, and the revelation came as a surprise to family and friends.
  • Ellen

    Ellen
    In 1997, Ellen DeGeneres, an American comedian and the host of Ellen, came out as gay.
  • Matthew Shepard Tortured

    Matthew Shepard Tortured
    Matthew Shepard, a gay American student at the University of Wyoming was beaten, tied to a fence, and then left overnight. He later died from his injuries. His sexual orientation played as a motive for the crime. He was 21 years old.
  • Recognize Civil Unions

    Recognize Civil Unions
    Vermont became the first state to legally recognize civil unions, which encompassed the same legal rights and responsibilities as marriage.
  • Lawrence v. Texas -- US Supreme Court Ruling

    Lawrence v. Texas -- US Supreme Court Ruling
    The United States court overturns sodomy laws, decriminalizing consensual behavior across the country.
  • Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes and Prevention Act

    Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes and Prevention Act
    As a response to the murders of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr., who were killed because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes and Prevention Act was created and signed into law by President Barack Obama.
  • Don't Ask, Don't Tell

    Don't Ask, Don't Tell
    Don't Ask, Don't Tell was issued in 1993 which allowed gays, bisexuals, and lesbians to serve in the military as long as they remained closeted. This policy was in effect until September 20, 2011 when it was repealed.
  • Truvada

    Truvada
    The FDA approves Truvada to be taken as a daily prevention for people who are at risk of getting HIV.
  • DOMA and California's Proposition 8 Struck Down

    DOMA and California's Proposition 8 Struck Down
    DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act), a law which prohibits same-sex marriage, is struck down by the Supreme Court along with California's Proposition 8.
  • Protection for Transgender Students Under Title IX

    Protection for Transgender Students Under Title IX
    The Department of Education issues clarification that transgender students are covered under Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any educational program or activity.
  • Laverne Cox Wins an Emmy

    Laverne Cox Wins an Emmy
    Laverne Cox, star of series Orange is The New Black, becomes the first transgender person to win an Emmy award.
  • The U.S. Department of Health Removes Lifetime Ban

    The U.S. Department of Health Removes Lifetime Ban
    The United States Department of Health removes the lifetime ban on blood donation from gay men, moving to a deferral period of 12 months.
  • License To Marry

    License To Marry
    The Supreme Court rules that states are constitutionally required to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples, legalizing marriage equality in all 50 states.
  • Eric Fanning

    Eric Fanning
    Eric Fanning was confirmed as Secretary of the Army as the first openly gay service secretary.
  • Honor LGBT Rights Movement

    Honor LGBT Rights Movement
    President Obama dedicates a Stonewall National Monument in Greenwich Village, Lower Manhattan, as the first U.S. National Monument to honor the LGBTQ rights movement.
  • Matthew Shepard -- Rest in Peace

    Matthew Shepard -- Rest in Peace
    Matthew Shepard, murdered for being gay in 1998, was finally laid to rest in Washington National Cathedral.
  • Gay and Trans Panic Banned

    Gay and Trans Panic Banned
    New York Governor Andrew Cuono signed a law banning the use of the gay and trans panic legal defense strategy.
  • Billy Porter

    Billy Porter
    Billy Porter an American Broadway theater performer, signer, and actor, became the first openly gay black man to win an Emmy award for best lead actor in a drama series.