LGBTQ Historical Overview

Stonewall Riots

Fight for LGBTQ Rights Throughout History

Gay History Quiz


LGBTQ Historical Overview



People: Willa Cather, Bessie Smith, Oscar Wilde, Alfred Kinsey

1919 - Institute of Sexology founded
1923 - FBI labels Emma Goldman "most dangerous woman in America" for her open endorsement of gay rights

1928 - Radclyffe Hall publishes lesbian novel, The Well of Loneliness

1933 - Hitler bans gay press
1934 - Gay people required to wear pink triangles in Nazi Germany
1947 - First US lesbian magazine, Vise Versa, published
1948 - Kinsey Report released


People: Bayard Rustin, Noel Coward, Langston Hughes, Alan Turing

1951 - Mattachine Society was found to help homosexuals realize their collective histories and experiences
1952 - Alan Turing (Father of Modern Computers) convicted of being homosexual

1953 - First publication of ONE appeared
1955 - Daughters of Bilitis, a lesbian organization, forms
1956 - Daughters of Bilitis publish first issue of The Ladder
1957 - Kinsley Report revealed that 10% of population is predominantly homosexual

1960 - New York City police begin systematic crackdown on gay bars
1961 - Illinois becomes first state to decriminalize homosexual acts



People: Harvey Milk, James Baldwin, Jeanne Manford

1966- Time Magazine publishes anti-gay article, "The Homosexual in America"

1966 - CBS TV airs "The Homosexuals" documentary

1967 - Advocate Magazine founded

1969 - Stonewall Riots
1970 - Chicago Gay Rally
1971 - Lambda Legal organization started

1972 - PFLAG founded by Jeanne Manford

1973 - American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from list of mental disorders 

1978 - Briggs Initiative appears on California Ballot
1978 - Openly gay activists Harvey Milk is elected to San Francisco Board of Supervisors and 20 days later is murdered by Supervisor Dan White

1979 - California Supreme court rules against discrimination from public utility companies
1979 -100,000 attend National March in Washington DC

1980 - Human Rights Campaign founded



People: Tennessee Williams, Martina Navratilova, Gary Studds

1981 - First report of what is now called AIDS
1981 - Wisconsin passes first gay rights bill
1982 - First Gay Games
1982 - Center for Disease Control investigates what is being called a "Gay Plague"
1983 - US Rep. Gerry Studds, D-Mass, becomes first member of Congress to publicly acknowledge his homosexuality

1984 - Federal officials announce discovery of first probable cause of AIDS
1984 - The Wall Street Journal permits use of the word "gay"
1984 - 23 year old gay man assaulted by three teenagers



People: Barney Frank, Rita Mae Brown, Richard Chamberlain, Elton John

1985 - GLAAD founded

1985 - First International Conference on AIDS held

1985 - Rock Hudson dies of AIDS
1986 - Reagan administration states that treatment of persons with AIDS was not a federal concern
1987 - AIDS Memorial Quilt unveiled

1987 - US Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass, becomes second member of Congress to state he is gay
1987 - March on Washington is largest gay rights demonstration ever
1987 - ACT-UP organization is formed
1988 - 10th Annual National Coalition of Black Lesbians & Gays takes place



People: KD Lang, Greg Louganis, Ellen DeGeneres, Matthew Shepherd

1990 - President George H. Bush signs National Hate Crimes Act, the first to include gays
1990 - Militant group Queer Nation founded

1990 - AIDS Documentary wins Oscar
1990 - Gay men and Lesbians accepted as Rabbis at 101st Annual Conference of American Rabbis
1990 - Gay Games III held in Vancouver
1990 - Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement collection displayed at Smithsonian
1991 - Amnesty International adopted jailed gay men and lesbians as prisoners conscience
1991 - An appeals court recognized a homosexuals partner's rights as tantamount to those of a spouse
1992 - AIDS Quilt was unfolded in its entirety on the Capitol Mall
1992 - University of Iowa extended Health benefits to domestic partners of its gay and lesbian employees
1992 - Canada allows gays and lesbians to serve in the military
1992 - Massachusetts Governor Weld created Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth
1992 - President Bill Clinton is first president to recognize gay and lesbian rights
1993 - Donít Ask Donít Tell policy is instituted for US military

1993 - 21 year old trans person Brandon Teena raped and murdered

1993 - Grammy Award featured many openly gay and lesbian performers
1993 - Strong genetic component to homosexuality found in study
1993 - National March on Washington DC saw record breaking crowds
1994 - Gay Games IV took place in New York City

1995 - President Clinton signs executive order forbidding denial of security clearances on basis of sexual orientation

1997 - Ellen DeGeneres comes out publicly on Ellen TV show

1998 - President Clinton signs Defense of Marriage Act, denying federal benefits to same-sex spouses

1998 - Univ of Wyoming gay college student Matthew Shepherd killed



People: Jason Collins, Sally Ride, Michael Sam, Caitlyn Jenner, Gene Robinson, Tim Cook

2000 - Vermont becomes first state to legalize civil unions between gay and lesbian couples
2002 - Transgender Law Center founded

2002 - Laramie Project launched

2003 - Gene Robinson becomes first openly gay Episcopal bishop

2004 - Same sex marriages become legal in Massachusetts
2004 - US Senate defeats measure to create constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual

2005 - Brokeback Mountain, filmed about gay cowboys, released in theaters

2006 - Brokeback Mountain wins 3 Academy Awards and 5 nominations

2010 - Repeal of US Military's Don't Ask Don't Tell Policy
2012 - President Obama announces support for same-sex marriage rights
2012 - Astronaut Sally Ride dies and posthumously comes out as Lesbian

2013 - US Supreme Court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8
2013 - Jason Collins become first openly gay NBA athlete
2013 - Queen Elizabeth II pardons Alan Turing (Father of Modern Computers) for 1952 homosexuality conviction

2014 - Michael Sam becomes first openly gay NFL athlete
2014 - US Post Office issues Harvey Milk stamp
2014 - Boy Scouts end anti-gay policy and allow gay youth to join
2014 - Apple CEO Tim Cook announces publicly that he is gay

2015 - US Supreme Court declares same-sex marriage legal in United States
2015 - Bruce Jenner undergoes gender reassignment surgery and becomes Caitlyn Jenner

2016 - Mass shooting at gay bar in Orlando, Florida



LGBTQ Historical Overview

Stonewall Riots

Fight for LGBTQ Rights Throughout History

Gay History Quiz


Stonewall Riots

June 28, 1969

The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the LGBTQ community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. They are widely considered to constitute the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBTQ rights in the United States.

Gay Americans in the 1950s and 1960s faced an anti-gay legal system. Early homophile groups in the U.S. sought to prove that gay people could be assimilated into society, and they favored non-confrontational education for homosexuals and heterosexuals alike. The last years of the 1960s, however, were very contentious, as many social movements were active, including the African American Civil Rights Movement, the Counterculture of the 1960s, and antiwar demonstrations. These influences, along with the liberal environment of Greenwich Village, served as catalysts for the Stonewall riots.

Very few establishments welcomed openly gay people in the 1950s and 1960s. Those that did were often bars, although bar owners and managers were rarely gay. At the time, the Stonewall Inn was owned by the Mafia. It catered to an assortment of patrons and was known to be popular among the poorest and most marginalized people in the gay community: drag queens, transgender people, effeminate young men, butch lesbians, male prostitutes, and homeless youth. Police raids on gay bars were routine in the 1960s, but officers quickly lost control of the situation at the Stonewall Inn. They attracted a crowd that was incited to riot. Tensions between New York City police and gay residents of Greenwich Village erupted into more protests the next evening, and again several nights later. Within weeks, Village residents quickly organized into activist groups to concentrate efforts on establishing places for gays and lesbians to be open about their sexual orientation without fear of being arrested.

After the Stonewall riots, gays and lesbians in New York City faced gender, race, class, and generational obstacles to becoming a cohesive community. Within six months, two gay activist organizations were formed in New York, concentrating on confrontational tactics, and three newspapers were established to promote rights for gays and lesbians. Within a few years, gay rights organizations were founded across the U.S. and the world. On June 28, 1970, the first Gay Pride marches took place in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago commemorating the anniversary of the riots. Similar marches were organized in other cities. Today, Gay Pride events are held annually throughout the world toward the end of June to mark the Stonewall riots.




QUEER CAFE │ LGBTQ Information Network │ Established 2017 │ www.queercafe.net