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The Pacifica Radio/UC Berkeley Social Activism Recording Project: LGBT History

Social Activism Sound Recording Project: Anti-Vietnam War Protests in the San Francisco Bay Area & Beyond

The Pacifica Radio/UC Berkeley Social Activism Sound Recording Project:

Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transsexual History


1920s-1930s | 1940s | 1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000- | Historical Overviews

1920s - 1930s

1923: The FBI labels Emma Goldman "the most dangerous woman in America" for her open endorsement of LGBT rights: "I regard it as a tragedy that people of differing sexual orientation find themselves proscribed in a world that has so little understanding of homosexuals...." [Rutledge]  

1924: Henry Gerber, a Bavarian expatriate living in the United States, forms a chapter of the Society for Human Rights in Chicago. It is thought to be the first homosexual emancipation organization in the United States. The group's charter does not make any overt reference to homosexuality; instead, it states that the purpose of the organization is "to promote and to protect the interests of people who by reasons of mental and physical abnormalities are abused and hindered in the legal pursuit of happiness which is guaranteed them by the Declaration of Independence, and to combat the public prejudices against them by dissemination of facts according to modern science among intellectuals of mature age". Support for the group is minimal; many of the gay men that Gerber tries to interest in the group either refuse to join so as to protect their privacy or are more interested in discreet sexual encounters than in politics, and the doctors he consults to confer legitimacy to homosexuality do not wish to endanger their practice. Gerber and two SHR officers are arrested on obscenity charges; the police confiscate all copies of the SHR newsletter, Friendship and Freedom. Gerber disbands the society after the charges against him are dropped. [Bullough, pp. 24-28]  

1928: Radclyffe Hall's lesbian novel The Well of Loneliness is published in the UK and later in the United States. This sparks great legal controversy and brings the topic of homosexuality to public conversation. The Well became the target of a campaign by the editor of the British Sunday Express newspaper, who wrote "I would rather give a healthy boy or a healthy girl a phial of prussic acid than this novel."

Wikipedia article about The Well of Lonliness

Radclyffe Hall (from Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer Culture]

Baker, Michael. Our Three Selves: The Life of Radclyffe Hall New York : Morrow, c1985. (Main (Gardner) Stacks; Moffitt     PR6015.A33 Z562 1985)

Dickson, Lovat. Radclyffe Hall at The well of loneliness : a sapphic chronicle London : Collins, 1975 (Main (Gardner) Stacks     PR6015.Ha33 .Z64)

Souhami, Diana. The Trials of Radclyffe Hall London : Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1998. (Main (Gardner) Stacks     PR6015.A33 Z86 1998)

Troubridge, Una Vincenzo. The life and death of Radclyffe Hall. London, Hammond, Hammond [1961] (Main (Gardner) Stacks     PR6015.A33 Z87 1963)

1937: The Nazi party begins to use pink triangles to denote prisoners in concentration camps guilty of violating the German Reich's sodomy laws, which forbade any homosexual contact between adult males. [Haggerty]

Desire Media Resources Center Video/C 3313

Paragraph 175 Media Resources Center Video/C 8549


1947: A 26-year-old movie studio secretary in Hollywood creates the first issue of Vice Versa, what is likely the first lesbian newsletter/magazine in the United States, under the pseudonym Lisa Ben (an anagram of "lesbian"). She creates and distributes the magazine clandestinely at her desk between assignments. Ben ceases production of the magazine after losing her secretarial job, but maintains a modicum of popularity as a performer at LA's Flamingo nightclub on Sunday afternoons and evenings. She later contributes to the Daughter of Bilitis newsletter, The Ladder. [Bullough, pp., pp.63-65]

1948: Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey releases his controversal study Sexual Behavior In The Human Male, which came to be known as the "Kinsey Report." The report immediately created controversy for its revelations of the sexuality of white American males. It sold more than 250,000 copies and was translated into a dozen languages. In 1953 the Kinsey Institute published the companion study, Sexual Behavior In The Human Female. These two reports sharply challenged many myths about sexual behavior in American society and revealed findings on various previously taboo topics, such as extramarital sexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, oral sex, masturbation, and prostitution. Kinsey's research regarding homosexuality was particularly controversial. In his studies, he used a "Heterosexual/ Homosexual Rating Scale," which purportedly rates a person's homosexuality or heterosexuality on a 7-point continuum. Using this test, Kinsey reported that approximately 10 percent of the males studied admitted to having been predominantly homosexual for at least three years between the ages of 16 and 55, and four percent of white males described themselves as exclusively homosexual. Kinsey's research refuted the widely held notion that heterosexuality and homosexuality are exclusive forms of behavior. Additionally, Kinsey found that a person's sexual orientation could change over the course of his or her lifetime.

Kinsey, Alfred C; Pomeroy, Wardell R.; Martin, Clyde E. "Homosexual Outlet." In: Sexual Behavior in the Human Male [by] Alfred C. Kinsey. Wardell B. Pomeroy [and] Clyde E. Martin. Philadelphia, W. B. Saunders Co., 1948.

Full-text available online

Kinsey biography (via





1950: Harry Hay, a teacher, labor activist, and Communist organizer, founds the Mattachine Society in Los Angeles, the earliest thriving "homophile" organization in the United States. The name of the group comes from an old Italian tradition of masquerade that doubled as political critique - the masks hide the faces of the protestors, effectively rendering them anonymous. The group employs a secret society structure as a preventive measure against the police harassment faced by lesbians and gays in the 1950s. [Clendinen, p. A33]

 Hope Along the Wind: The life of Harry Hay Media Resources Center Video/C 9785
 Trailer for Hope Along the Wind
 Gay Sex Before Zippers (Interview with Harry Hay) (Internet Moving Image Archive)
Photo of Harry Hay

 March 17, 1950: A Washington Post editorial expounds on "the several good reasons why persons of...[the homosexual] proclivity should be excluded from Government service," particularly "his suseptibility to blackmail" [i.e. by communists and other disloyal to the US]. [WP, 3/17/1950]

 May 20, 1950: A resolution for a "full-scale investigation of homosexuals and other perverts in Federal service" is filed in the Senate. The investigation is approved on May 25th. [WP, 5/20/1950; WP, 5/25/50]

1951: Edward Sagarin, a member of the Mattachine Society writing under the pseudonym Donald Webster Cory, publishes The Homosexual in America; A Subjective Approach. , the first widely read non-fiction book in the United States to present knowledgeably and sympathetically the plight of the homosexual as told from the inside rather than the outside.


Cory, Donald Webster, pseud. "The Homosexual in America; A Subjective Approach. New York, Castle Books [1960] (Moffitt HQ76 .C6 1960; Main (Gardner) Stacks HQ76 .C6 1960)
"Edward Sagarin." In: The Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Culture


January 1953: The first issue of ONE, the Mattachine Society's monthly newsletter, is published and distributed nationally. The newsletters are routinely seized by the U.S. Post Office on the grounds of obscenity. The founders of One, Inc. sue the Postmaster of the City of Los Angeles, Otto K. Olesen. The court rules initially with the USPS, as does the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1958, however, an appeal by ONE to the Supreme Court is accepted. ONE Inc. v. Olesen marks the first time in US legal history that the Supreme Court explicitly ruled on homosexuality. [Bullough, p. 108]

ONE, INCORPORATED, v. OLESEN, 355 U.S. 371 (1958)


October 19, 1955: Frustrated by the largely male makeup of the Mattachine Society, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon form the Daughters of Bilitis in Los Angeles, the first exclusively lesbian organization in the United States. [Gallo, p. 5]


No Secret Anymore: The Times Of Del Martin & Phyllis Lyon: DVD 2431


December 1955: Mattachine Society of New York is founded by Tony Segura and Sam Marford. [Eisenbach, p. 26]


October 1956: The first issue of the Daughter of Bilitis' newsletter, The Ladder, is produced. Phyllis Lyon edits the magazine as "Ann Ferguson" for the first few months before using her own name to discourage secrecy; however, many of the magazine's contributors use pseudonyms or initials. [Gallo, pp. 21-22]

1957: Prescott Townsend forms the Boston chapter of the Mattachine Society. Throughout the '50s, Townsend also convened meetings at his residence/bookstore at 75 Phillips St., Boston. [Bullough, pp. 41-47]

1957 The word "Transsexual" is coined by U.S. physician Harry Benjamin;


Benjamin, Harry. "The Transsexual Phenomenon (1966)." Reprinted in: Sexual metamorphosis: an anthology of transsexual memoirs / edited by Jonathan Ames. New York : Vintage, 2005. [full-text available online (UCB users only); print: Main (Gardner) Stacks HQ77.7 .S49 2005)


The Homosexual in Our Society

This recording from 1958 - the earliest known radio recording to overtly discuss homosexuality - features Elsa Knight Thompson, then the Public Affairs Director of KPFA, interviewing Hal Call, the editor of the Mattachine Society's newsletter, the Mattachine Review; Dr. Blanche Baker, a psychologist noted for her then-rarely-shared belief that homosexuality was not an abnormality nor an illness; and Lee Gailey, the mother of a gay man. Galey recounts her shock at first learning her son is gay and her eventual embrace of her son's sexuality. Call asserts that "every tenth predominantly homosexual". The conflict of the society versus the individual and whether the root of homosexuality is a product of biology or environment. Flamboyant individuals - elimination of effeminate gestures that distinguish homosexuals vs. educating public that these mannerisms are not significant.


Listen to it (mp3 audio)


Archive # BB012A
© Pacifica Radio. All rights reserved.



1960: The New York City Police begin a systematic crackdown on gay bars, pending an investigation into corruption in the State Liquor Authority (SLA). Prior to 1959, "more than forty" gay bars operated openly in the city; as a result of the NYPD crackdown, all but one - the bar in the Cherry Lane Theater - loses its liquor license. The widespread state-sanctioned closure of gay bars causes a number of Mafia-owned establishments to open in their wake. One such bar, Julius' in the West Village (still in business today), enforces a policy whereby customers have to sit and face the bar while drinking and refuses to serve anyone who openly declares their homosexuality. [Carter, pp. 47-49]

1961: Jose Sarria, a regular at the Black Cat gay bar in San Francisco known for his campy renditions of arias from Bizet's Carmen, campaigns for a spot on the city's Board of Supervisors. Running on the platform that "gay is good", Sarria manages to garner an impressive 5600 votes. It is the first time that an out gay individual runs for public office. [Boyd, pp. 20-24]


Wikipedia article on The Black Cat


January 1, 1965: The largest confrontation yet between gay and lesbian people and the police occurs at a fund-raising ball in San Francisco, hosted by the Council on Religion and the Homosexual (CRH). Two hundred gay and lesbian partygoers at California Hall on Polk Street are met by vice squad officers stalking the premises and photographing partygoers in what the Mattachine Review called "one of the most lavish displays of police harassment known in recent times". Unbeknownst to police at the time, the event becomes a galvanizing force for gay activists in the Bay Area and establishes San Francisco as a locus for gay rights organization and as a haven for LGBT people. [Bullough, p. 75; d'Emilio, pp. 193-194]

April 17, 1965: The East Coast Homophile Organization launches the first of a series of protests in 1965 at the White House. They revisit the White House two more times, in addition to stops at the United Nations and Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

May 30, 1965: Twelve members of the Mattachine Society (nine men and three women), picket the White House in protest of government discrimination against homosexuals, particularly in the military and government service. [NYT, 5/30/1965]

1966: The North American Conference of Homophile Organizations (NACHO, pronounced nay-ko), an umbrella organization consisting of homophile groups from around the country, including the Mattachine Society, Daughters of Bilitis and ECHO, forms.

January 21, 1966: Time Magazine publishes an anonymous two-page screed entitled "The Homosexual in America". The article attacks homosexuality as "a pathetic little second-rate substitute for reality, a pitiable flight from life. As such it deserves fairness, compassion, understanding and, when possible, treatment. But it deserves no encouragement, no glamorization, no rationalization, no fake status as minority martyrdom, no sophistry about simple differences in taste-and, above all, no pretense that it is anything but a pernicious sickness." 

March 7, 1966: CBS airs the first network documentary dealing with the topic of homosexuality as an installment of its CBS Reports series. Three years in the making, "The Homosexuals" went through two producers and multiple revisions. The episode included interviews with several gay men, psychiatrists, legal experts and cultural critics, interspersed with footage of a gay bar and a police sex sting. "The Homosexuals" garnered mixed critical response. The network received praise from some quarters and criticism from others for even airing the program.

CBS Reports: The Homosexuals Media Resources Center DVD 8569
The Homosexuals Wikipedia article
"American Television, News" In: The Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Culture
New York Times ad for this program
"TV: CBS Reports on Homosexuality." [NYT, 3/8/67]


April 21, 1966: The Mattachine Society stages a "sip-in" at Julius' (cf. 1960 on the timeline). Members of the Society send telegrams to the press declaring their intention to walk into the Ukrainian-American Village Restaurant on the Lower East Side to demand service as a protest against bars refusing to cater to gay patrons. The restaurant's manager gets wind of the event and closes preemptively to avoid spectacle; after trying a number of other bars where they do receive service - to their chagrin - the Mattachine members settle on Julius'. While the management is amenable to serving them on account of already-existent troubles with their liquor license, Dick Leitsch convinces the bar to play along in exchange for Mattachine-New York's legal services. The members file suit with the State Liquor Authority the following day. While the SLA denies any responsibility in the matter and maintains that homosexuals are allowed to be served in bars (provided they are not acting "disorderly"), the "sip-in" is a key step in the Society's fight to prevent police from using entrapment to arrest gay people and deprive bars of their liquor licenses. [Carter, p. 49-51; Jackson, 2008]


Simon, Scott. "Remembering a 1966 'Sip-In' for Gay Rights.", June 28, 2008
Photo of patrons at Julius' [via On This Gay Day blog]


August 1966: A riot breaks out at Compton's Cafeteria in San Francisco's Tenderloin District. The bar, a favorite of transgendered people who were otherwise outcasts in the gay and lesbian community, had recently come under new management that attempted to discourage transgendered patronage of the 24-hour restaurant and bar. As such, police harassment of customers was fairly common. The night of the riot, a transvestite responds to a policeman's forcible attempt to remove her from the premises by throwing a cup full of hot coffee in his face. The other customers in the cafe begin to throw cups, plates and silverware at the police officers. Angry rioters break every window in the cafeteria. A picket line forms outside of Compton's the following night, comprising "drag-queens, hair fairies, conservative Gays and hustlers"; the newly replaced windows are broken a second time. [Carter, pp. 109-110]

 Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria: Media Resources Center DVD 5740
Compton's Cafeteria commemoration (YouTube)

January 1, 1967: Plainclothes police officers infiltrate the Black Cat Tavern in the Silverlake neighborhood of Los Angeles on New Year's Day after many patrons embrace and kiss to celebrate the new year. Fourteen patrons and bartenders are beaten and arrested. Two of the men are convicted under California state law for kissing and are registered as sex offenders. The following month, hundreds of Los Angeles denizens protested the state's unfair treatment of homosexuals outside of the Black Cat. The raid and its protest spawned the creation of a newsletter, the Los Angeles Advocate (today known simply as The Advocate, a monthly magazine). (On November 7, 2008, the site of the Black Cat was declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument) [Baldwin, p. 28-30; LAT, 11/16/2008 ]

1967: The National Institute of Mental Health invites Dr. Evelyn Hooker to head the Task Force on Homosexuality. A year later, she publishes a report urging that sexual behavior between consenting adults be decriminalized and that discrimination against gays in public employment be decriminalized. In the '50s, Hooker had attracted some controversy in the scientific community for suggesting that there are no psychological differences between homosexual and heterosexual men and, thus, that homosexuality was not a mental illness. [Shneidman, p. 480-1; Minton]

 Changing Our Minds: The Story of Dr. Evelyn Hooker. Media Resources Center Video/C 3430

1968: After the Pentecostal church expels him for being gay, the Reverend Troy Perry convenes a meeting of a dozen worshippers to pray at his home in Huntington Park, California. It is the first meeting of the Metropolitan Community Church, the nation's oldest gay and lesbian church group. Today, the Universal Fellowship of the MCC has parishes on all six continents; in the United States, all but five states currently have active MCC congregations. [Aldrich and Wotherspoon, p. 325-6]

Transsexuals and the Police

Herb Kutchins, a professor of social work and, moderates a discussion with members of Conversion Our Goal (COG), the first transsexual support group in the United States, and Elliott Blackstone, an SFPD sergeant and long-time advocate for LGBT rights.

Listen to it (mp3 audio)

Archive # BB1722.02

© Pacifica Radio. All rights reserved.   

August 11-18, 1968: The annual NACHO Convention is held in Chicago at the Trip, several weeks after the disastrous Democratic National Convention. Over the course of the week, a five-point "Homosexual Bill of Rights" is drafted and adopted, as well as Frank Kameny's slogan "Gay Is Good", modeled after the Black Panthers' "Black Is Beautiful" motto. [Kuda]  

August 1968: The Patch, a gay and lesbian nightclub in the Wilmington suburb of Los Angeles, is raided by Vice Squad officers and half a dozen policemen who interrogate and arrest some of the patrons. The club's owner, comedian Lee Glaze, tells the crowd that it is "not against the law to be homosexual, and it's not a crime to be in a gay bar!" Glaze retaliates against the police by purchasing hundreds of flowers and staging a flower-power protest in front of the police station while waiting for those arrested to be released. This style of campy retaliation against police persecution suggests a precursor to the theatrical stylings of later organized GLBT protest movements such as ACT UP and Queer Nation. [Faderman and Timmons, pp. 262-3]

Interview with a Hustler:

Charles Pitts from the New Symposium interviews "Jay Perry", a 19-year-old hustler, or male prostitute who offers sexual services to other males, whom the host met one evening while cruising on Christopher Street. "Jay" reflects on why he decided to become a hustler, the hazards of his chosen profession, sado-masochistic roles in hustling and his own sexual identity. Broadcast: WBAI, 30 Sept. 1968.

Listen to it (mp3 audio)

Archive # BB3827.11

© Pacifica Radio. All rights reserved.   

1969: Author, critic, and activist Paul Goodman publishes the essay "The Politics of Being Queer" in his collection Nature Heals. It is the first known instance of the modern reclamation of the word "queer", previously used exclusively as a slur against LGBT people, as a descriptor used by the LGBT community to refer to themselves. "Queer" as Goodman uses it suggests fluidity and a flouting of rigid sexual structures; Goodman himself identified as bisexual. [Lind, p. 451]

Goodman, Paul. Nature Heals: The Psychological Essays of Paul Goodman: / edited by Taylor Stoehr. (Education-Psychology BF149 .G661 1977; Graduate Services Modern Authors Collection)

May 18, 1969: The first student-led gay and lesbian college organization, Queer Student Cultural Center, is formed at the University of Minnesota. The group takes shape from an organization called Fight Repression of Erotic Expression (FREE) and is founded by Koreen Phelps and Stephen Ihrig. [QCC]  

June 27, 1969: A police officer attempting to conduct a routine raid on the Stonewall Inn at 53 Christopher Street is greeted with a bottle, thrown (as legend has it) by drag queen Sylvia Rivera. What follows is three days of rioting, during which police officers barricade themselves inside the bar while patrons resist their intrusion with cries of "Go to hell!" and "Leave us alone!" Several arrests are made over those three days and a dozen civilians and police officers are injured. Though it was hardly the first police raid on a gay bar, and not the first time a group of gay bar patrons fought back against the police, the event is largely commemorated today as the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement.

Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community. Media Resources Center DVD 2766

The Stonewall Archives. The Before Stonewell Interviews: Media Resources Center DVD 6540

Remembering Stonewall

A radio documentary that features oral histories of those involved in the riots at Stonewall Inn, the gay bar in Greenwich Village, that sparked the gay rights movement in the United States. Both police and Stonewall Inn patrons are interviewed.

Listen to it (mp3 audio

Archive # pz0146

© Pacifica Radio. All rights reserved.


June 28, 1970: The first march in commemoration of Stonewall takes place in NYC, the Christopher Street Liberation Day, organized by the Gay Liberation Front. The march ends with a "gay-in" in Central Park. [Blumenfeld and Raymond, p. 305]

July 1969: In the nearly immediate wake of Stonewall, a number of newly radicalized gays and lesbians begin to organize, the earliest and most prominent of which is the Gay Liberation Front in NYC. A Los Angeles chapter of the GLF, headed by Morris Kight, is founded in November.

"Gay Liberation Front." In: The Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Culture

New Symposium: The Gay Liberation Front:

Charles Pitts and Pete Wilson host a discussion with members of the Gay Liberation Front, the radical homosexual organization that formed shortly after the Stonewall riots. The GLF refused to permit the hosts of the New Symposium to tape one of their actual meetings, so the interview here was recorded specifically for WBAI in a member's apartment. The members discuss the history, origins and activities of the GLF, as well as the media portrayal of homosexuals.

Listen to it (mp3 audio)

Archive # BB3827.28

© Pacifica Radio. All rights reserved.

New Symposium: GLF Part 2:

Part 2 of the interview with anonymous members of the GLF. Among the topics discussed in the second half of this interview are the social contexts of homosexuality, negative reactions within the gay community to "gay power" movements, and the role of gay bars in the movement. Taped on Sunday, Sept 7th, 1969(?).

Listen to it (mp3 audio)

Archive # BB3827.29

© Pacifica Radio. All rights reserved.

April 20, 1971: The Gay Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C. is founded by former GLF members who had grown disillusioned with that group's more radical tactics. The aim of the group is to secure the "full rights and privileges" of citizenship for the gay community through "peaceful participation in the political process". One of the first actions of the group is to offer the candidacy of the openly gay Frank Kameny as D.C.'s delegate to the House of Representatives. In 1986, the organization changes its name to the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance (GLAA). It is currently the longest-running continually active gay organization in the United States. [Blumenfeld and Raymond, p. 302-303]

January 26, 1973: The first gay temple, Beth Chayim Chadashim (House of New Life), opens in Los Angeles. They are initially housed within the Metropolitan Community Church and later relocate to 10345 West Pico Boulevard. [Faderman and Timmons, pp. 262-3]  

December 1973: The American Psychological Association (APA) removes homosexuality from Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-II) at the behest of gay activists. Earlier that year, a conference entitled "Should Homosexuality Be in the APA Nomenclature?" was held at the annual APA meeting in Honolulu, HI. Homosexuality reappears in the DSM-III (1980) in the guise of "ego-dystonic homosexuality", the condition of acute unhappiness with one's homosexuality coupled with an inability to respond to heterosexual desire. It would not be until 1987 that all mention of homosexuality would be completely erased from the DSM. [Shorter, p. 131; Minton]

Conger, J.J. (1975). Proceedings of the American Psychological Association, Incorporated, for the year 1974: Minutes of the annual meeting of the Council of Representatives. American Psychologist, 30, 620-651. (APA policy statement regarding discrimination against homosexuals)

January 1974: Kathy Kozachenko becomes the first openly gay person to hold elected office. She is elected onto the Ann Arbor, Michigan city council on the ticket of the Human Rights Party. Kozachenko's predecessor, Nancy Wechsler, came out as a lesbian while in office. Later that year, Elaine Noble, an out lesbian, is elected into the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

Leonard Matlovich

Technical Sgt. Leonard Matlovich interviewed by Ronald Gold on "Gay Alternatives". Matlovic formally declared his homosexuality to his commanding officer on March 7, 1975 with the intent to fight the customary discharge that usually attends such a declaration. In spite of an excellent military record, he was declared unfit to serve by a military panel and was handed a dishonorable discharge six months after his declaration. Time Magazine placed Matlovich on the cover of their Sept. 8, 1975 issue with the caption "I Am a Homosexual", marking the first time the gay rights movement earned the cover of a national newsweekly. In 1980 he finally won reinstatement, which he declined; the Air Force upgraded him to an honorable discharge. The show deals only briefly with Matlovic's lawsuit, focusing instead on his youth as a conservative, right-wing soldier and how the development of a "gay consciousness" changed his viewpoints about race, gender and country. Matlovich died of AIDS in 1988; on his tombstone is written: "When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one."

Listen to it (mp3 audio)

Archive # IZ0007

© Pacifica Radio. All rights reserved.

May-June, 1974: A rash of articles in Newsweek, Time and Cosmopolitan magazines from this period each devote coverage to "bisexual chic". In many of these articles, bisexuality is portrayed - mostly positively, but with occasional reservations - as a healthy byproduct of sexual liberation that involves the "best of both worlds".

"Bisexual chic: anyone goes." Newsweek v. 83 (May 27 1974) p. 90 [Oskicat direct link]

"New bisexuals." Time v. 103 (May 13 1974) p. 79 [Oskicat direct link]

Why Gay Politics? (1975)

Eleanor Cooper, spokeswoman for Lesbian Feminist Liberation, Arthur Goodman, president of the Gay Activists' Alliance (GAA), and Nathalie Rockhill, legislative director and national coordinator of the National Gay Task Force summarize post-Stonewall LGBT political events. The GAA's City Council Bill, anti-sodomy laws and the GLBT community's awareness of political events are all discussed in this program from 1975, part of the "Gay Alternatives" series hosted and moderated by Ronald Gold.

Listen to it (mp3 audio)

Archive # IZ0003

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Discovering Being Gay (Gay Alternatives: Gay Youth) (1975) (1975)

Cathy White, Bernadette Smith, Richard Persky, members of Gay Youth in NYC, discuss their experiences as gay and lesbian youths. Among the topics discussed are the effect of homophobia on LGBT youth; societal expectations of masculinity/femininity and homosexuality; the choice of being gay; relationships between homosexuals and heterosexuals; gay bars; and racism. Ronald Gold moderates.

Listen to it (mp3 audio)

Archive # IZ0005

© Pacifica Radio. All rights reserved.

May 13, 1975: Mayor George Moscone and Assemblyman Willie Brown usher the Consenting Adult Sex Bill into the California state legislature. The bill decrees that gay sex between consenting adults is legal. Governor Jerry Brown signs the bill into law, repealing the state's prior sodomy law. [LAT, 5/14/1975]


New directions from the Gay Left Sept. 4-6, 1976

On Labor Day weekend in 1976, a group of around 130 collectivist-minded gay men gathered in Wolf Creek, Oregon to hold a "Faggots and Class Struggle" conference, sponsored by the Lavender and Red Union of the University of Oregon. The conference addressed the "romantic myth" of bourgeois individualism fostered by capitalist ideology, calling instead for a Maoist approach that celebrates collective identity and advocates outreach to working-class and Third World GLBT peoples. The event is an important precursor to the development of the Radical Faeries, an organization created in 1979 by Mattachine Society founder Harry Hay that united radical gay politics and holistic spirituality. Recorded: Sept. 4-6, 1976.


Listen to it (mp3 audio)


Archive # AZ0099.01
© Pacifica Radio. All rights reserved.

May 28, 1977: The Boarding House night club in San Francisco holds an Anita Bryant look-alike contest sponsored by the Dade County Defense fund (see June 7, 1977). The contest judges are San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk, and Margot St. James, head of COYOTE, an organization supporting the rights of prostitutes. [LAT, 6/2/1977]

June 7, 1977: Residents of Miama, Florida vote 2 to 1 to repeal a law that protects homosexuals from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodation. Repeal forces had been led by Anita Bryant, a pop singer, television personality, and spokeswoman for the orange juice industry. Speaking to the press after the vote, Bryant said. "All America and all the world will hear what the people have said, and with God's continued help, we will prevail in our fight to repeal similar laws throughout the nation which attempt to legitimize a lifestyle that is both perverse and dangerous."[NYT, 6/8/1977]

November 8, 1977: Harvey Milk is elected to the Board of Supervisors of San Francisco. Milk, who had founded the Castro Valley Association to give voice to the gay voters of San Francisco and was popularly known as the "Mayor of Castro Street", becomes the first gay elected official of a major American city. Milk had previously coordinated his political activities from a camera shop on 575 Castro Street, which is today an official San Francisco landmark. [NYT, 11/10/1977]

Photo of Harvey Milk
Martin, Michael. "The Resurrection of Harvey Milk." Advocate; 11/18/2008, Issue 1019, p32-44, 9p 
The Times of Harvey Milk Media Resources Center DVD 2728
Milk (2008) Media Resources Center DVD X1378


An Interview with Harvey Milk:

Harvey Milk sits down with Greg Gordon of IMRU (a weekly one-hour radio show made by a group of volunteers focusing on issues affecting the LGBT community in Southern California). Milk discusses being sworn in as a "candidate who is gay, not a gay candidate". Discussing the statewide primary for attorney general, the city supervisor addresses the need for politicians to get involved in minority issues. Milk speaks with disdain about privileged or closeted gays who either don't vote or vote against gay rights, comparing them to "the wealthy Jews in Nazi Germany", and why he was never supported by gay political clubs such as the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club. Milk also addresses anti-establishment politics and the necessary evil of the two-party political "system".


Listen to it (mp3 audio)


Archive # KZ1389
© Pacifica Radio. All rights reserved.


1978: Filmmaker Rob Epstein and producer Peter Adair's documentary "Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives" is released. The film is widely considered the first feature-length documentary on gay and lesbian identity.


Word is Out.: Media Resources Center Video/C 2848


8th Gay Freedom Day, June 25th, 1978 :

Excerpt from Harvey Milk at 8th Gay Freedom Day talking to KPFK. Paradegoers interviewed about Anita Bryant and the Briggs Initiative. Highlights of the parade, interviews with passersby and parade participants. and local GLBT groups such as the Golden Gate Business Association.


Listen to it (mp3 audio)


Archive # AZ0202
© Pacifica Radio. All rights reserved.


8th Gay Freedom Day Program


November 7, 1978: Voters in California overwhelmingly reject the Briggs Initiative on Election Day by a vote of 58 to 42 percent. The initiative, sponsored by John Briggs, a conservative state legislator from Orange County, would have not only barred known homosexuals from employment as school teachers, administrators or counselors, but also would have terminated the careers of those currently employed. Though gay activists declared victory in California, similar measures pass in other states, such as Minnesota, Kansas and Oregon. [Hollibaugh, p. 44; LAT, 11/8/1978]

November 27, 1978: Dan White, recently let go from the position on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, enters the office of Mayor George Moscone on the morning that Moscone is set to announce the appointment of Don Horanzy as White's replacement. After pleading with Moscone for several minutes to be reinstated, White pulls a revolver from out of his pocket and fires four shots into Moscone as the mayor lights a cigarette and proceeds to pour two drinks. White then dashes to the other end of City Hall, intercepting Milk along the way. White asks Milk for a word, and the two men step into Milk's old supervisor's office, where White aims his revolver at Milk. White fires five bullets into Milk's arm, wrist, chest and head, killing the newly-elected City Supervisor. Within the hour, White turns himself into the police. That evening, 40,000 people attend a candlelight vigil in Milk and Moscone's honor that begins in the Castro and ends at the steps of City Hall. [Shilts, pp. 263-281; LAT, 11/27/1978]



Milk/Moscone Murder News Coverage. Media Resources Center Video/C 2222


Moscone/Milk Coverage (Nov. 27, 1978)

KPFA devoted the bulk of their November 27, 1978 news program to the coverage of the assassination of Supervisor Harvey Milk and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone. The tape begins with Dianne Feinstein announcing Moscone and Milk's deaths to a shocked and stunned crowd. Leely Franklin reports on the assassinations for KPFA. Mel Wax, the mayor's press secretary, delivers a statement at City Hall shortly after the shooting. Feinstein, the acting mayor of San Francisco, proclaims a state of mourning in the city. Chronology of assassinations. Biography of Dan White. Rob Waters from People's Media Collective follows the events leading up to White's resignation from board of supervisors. Ray Brown of Caldwell Banker explains his relationship to Dan White. Willie Brown and Mervyn Dymally speak about the shootings. Helen Mickiewicz reports on Moscone's career in office. Philip Muldarey discusses the life and career of Milk, the first openly gay elected official in California. Tom Ammiano of San Francisco's Gay Teachers Coalition remembers Milk. Interview with a neighbor of Milk's. There is an announcement of a memorial candlelight vigil in the Castro that evening.


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April 23 1979 - May 21, 1979: Dan White Murder Trial After six days of deliberation a jury of seven women and five men hands down a guilty verdict in the Dan White murder trial: White is accused of two counts of voluntary manslaughter, rather than the first-degree murder charges sought by prosecutors. During the trial, White's defense attempted to portray White as mentally unbalanced, and incabable of premeditating and forming malice (the key requirements for a murder charge). White's attorneys argued that he had diminished capacity due to depression, and thus could not have premeditated the killings. As evidence for his depression, they mentioned that he had been eating a lot of junk food. The media seized on this factor as the cause of White's depression and eventually the argument became known, as the "Twinkie defense." White served five years of his seven-year sentence at Soledad State Prison and was paroled on January 6, 1984.

 The People vs Dan White Media Resources Center Video/C 3798

May 21, 1979: In the wake of the Dan White verdict, a large crowd marched to San Francisco City Hall and began rioting; some protesters began smashing windows, setting fire to police cars and starting fights with police officers. More than 140 people, including 60 policemen are injured. [NYT, 5/23/1979]

Photo of protests
Snider, Kelly. " The Infamous Twinkie Defense--Fact or Fiction?" Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association, Summer2006, Vol. 9 Issue 2, p42-43, 2p UC users only


May 1979: Reactions to the Dan White Verdict :

This tape features man-on-the-street reactions to the verdict of the Dan White trial that culminated in the White Night riot of May 21, 1979. Over 10,000 people came out to San Francisco's Civic Center to protest the decision of the courts to convict the former supervisor on two counts of voluntary manslaughter, for which he would receive less than five years of jail time. The reactions of those interviewed range from mournful to livid, with some calling for the total destruction of City Hall. Cries of "Gay people, fight back!", "Remember Harvey Milk!", "We want justice!" and "Murder!" resonate throughout the recording. Cleve Jones, Sally Gearhart and Amber Hollibaugh all spoke through bullhorns to the crowd. SF police intervened in the Castro, forcefully arresting and beating protestors to the outrage of the neighborhood's denizens.


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Diminished Capacity:

Greg Gordon produced this program about the impact of the Dan White verdict. This excerpt of the program discusses the defense's strategy of diminished capacity. According to his lawyer, White, who was overly distressed about losing his position on the Board of Supervisors, acted without malice, deliberation or premeditation, the necessary conditions for a first-degree murder conviction in California. White was instead convicted on two counts of voluntary manslaughter, for which he served five years in prison.


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June 24, 1979: Gay Freedom Day Parade


View clips from the parade (via YouTube)


July 26, 1979: Gay protestors in NYC storm a location shooting of William Friedkin's film Cruising, starring Al Pacino. The film depicts Pacino as a rookie undercover cop who is sent to investigate a series of murders in gay S&M bars and cruising areas in downtown Manhattan and, in the process, becomes drawn to the violent, sexual practices that he finds there. Philip Shehadi, who helped organize the protest, claimed that "the film falsely and viciously misrepresents our sexuality to an American public largely ignorant of gay life. That it showed violence and murder to be the natural outcome of cruising for gay sex. That it would encourage physical assaults - even killings - of gay men. That it would cast a shadow of fear over sexual encounters." Friedkin nevertheless finishes the film, 60% over budget thanks to the delays in shooting caused by the protests. The film receives mostly negative reviews from critics on its release in autumn of 1980. [NYT, 7/26/1979]


Cruising. Media Resources Center DVD 8990
Bibliography of articles and books about Cruising


The National March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights 1979:

This program is an "audio scrapbook" of the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, which took place on October 14, 1979. The program weaves together Interviews and sound clips from the parade, including footage that was recorded on the train journey from Oakland to D.C. Among the highlights of the program is an argument between the Reverend Troy Perry of Los Angeles' Metropolitan Community Church, the first Christian church to explicitly reach out to the LGBT community, and the conservative, anti-gay Reverend Robin L. Harris, the first black elected official in Utah who laid out on the tracks trying to block the train's progress. (The last ten minutes suffer from some audio problems.)


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Ghaziani, Amin. "Breakthrough: The 1979 National March." Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide; Mar/Apr2005, Vol. 12 Issue 2, p31-32 UC users only


May 28, 1980: A U.S. District Court grants Aaron Fricke the right to take a male date to his high school prom. Judge Raymond J. Patine rules that Fricke's right to make a statement about his sexuality supersedes the fears of school officials about disruptions at the prom. [WP, 5/29/1980]

June 5, 1981: The first medical report about a mysterious illness that appears to be affecting young gay and bisexual men in urban areas is published in the Center for Disease Control's newsletter, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Two of the symptoms of this illness are Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS), a rare form of cancer that had previously been seen mostly in elderly people, and Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), both of which tended to only occur in people with weakened immune systems. By the end of the year, 150 adults - mostly gay men - and nine children die of this illness, which does not yet have a name.

September 1982: Several names for the illness that seems to be spreading rapidly amongst gay men are adopted by doctors and laypeople - GRID (Gay-Related Immune Deficiency), KSOI (Kaposi's Sarcoma and Opportunistic Infections) and even "gay plague" - before the scientific community settles on Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, or AIDS. This name derives from scientific research that indicates that the illness is not airborne, but acquired through sexual contact or sharing needles. Furthermore, it is learned that the disease does not strike based on the carrier's sexual preference - by September 1982, groups of people who had never had any kind of homosexual intercourse, such as hemophiliacs, drug users, and Haitians, had all been diagnosed with AIDS as well. [Feldman and Miller, p. 16]

The Age of AIDS Media Resources Center DVD 5793

June 1983: The Boston Bisexual Women's Network (BBWN) is formed. The BBWN newsletter, Bi Women, has been in print since the group's inception and is today the oldest continuously published bisexual women's newsletter in the world. [Rust, p. 542]

1985: GLAAD (The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) is formed in New York to protest the New York Post's defamatory and sensationalized AIDS coverage. GLAAD's work quickly spread to Los Angeles, where the group launched efforts to educate Hollywood's entertainment industry on the importance of more accurate and realistic portrayals on the screen. [GLAAD website]  

October 2, 1985: Quintessential 1950s and 60s hunky romantic film lead Rock Hudson dies of complications from AIDS. Hudson's death focused world attention on the AIDS virus and its sufferers, enabling his friend Elizabeth Taylor and others to gain the ear of government and moneyed people who had hitherto been deaf and mute on the subject. [LAT, 11/2/1985; NYT, 10/3/1985]

News report on Rock Hudson's illness

Rock Hudson (from Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer Culture]

Rock Hudson's Home Movies. Media Resources Center Video/C 3458

October 22, 1985: Dan White, the man convicted of shooting to death Mayor George Moscone of San Francisco and fellow Supervisor Harvey Milk in 1978 commits suicide. [NYT, 10/21/1985]

March 10, 1987: The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT-UP) is founded, inspired by a speech by author Larry Kramer, which draws an audience of more than 400 at the LGBT Community Center. Kramer asks two-thirds of the audience to stand up, and tells them they could all be dead in five years. Attendees immediately book a room for a follow-up meeting. The grassroots activist group's aims are to demand increased funding to test drugs that help combat AIDS, to speed the approval process of drugs already available, and to increase distribution of the medication to those who need it. On March 24, 1987, two weeks after the initial meeting, ACT UP holds its first demonstration, a die-in on Wall Street to protest the high price of AZT--then the sole AIDS drug--and the policies of the Food and Drug Administration. The protest garners widespread media attention and puts the fledgling group on the national radar. Before long, chapters spring up in cities across the United States, including San Francisco, and eventually around the world. [Powers, et al., pp. 9-10; Highleyman]

ACT UP Oral History Project

Flyer for ACT UP March 24, 1987 demonstration

Kramer, Larry. Reports from the Holocaust: The Story of an AIDS Activist (Main Stacks; Moffitt Lib RC607.A26 K731 1989)

October 11, 1987: The Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights draws around 500,000 participants. Among the highlights of the Second March are the unveiling of Cleve Jones' NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, a communal craft project and tribute to those who had died of AIDS, and the first community wedding. It is also the basis for the first National Coming Out Day, which is observed annually in many countries on October 11th.

"Marches on Washington." In: The Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Culture

AIDS Quilt Memorial web site  

Common Threads. Media Resources Center DVD 2761; also VHS Video/C 1774

January 20, 1989: Act Up San Francisco stages a "Die-In" on the steps of the Pacific Stock Exchange on the day of George W. Bush's inauguration in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the AIDS epidemic.


June 20-24, 1990: The 6th International AIDS Summit. The AIDS Conference was the world's most prominent forum for AIDS researchers and policymakers. The sixth conference was marked by controversies and boycotts due to the US policy to deny visas to people infected with the AIDS virus. On June 24th, the last day of the conference, angry protesters with whistles and horns and shouts of "Shame! Shame! Shame!" drown out the speech of US Secretary of Health and Human Services Louis W. Sullivan. [NYT, 6/20/1990; NYT 6/25/1990]  

Conference Issues and Updates (via

Mike Alcalay and Amy Goodman host coverage of the 6th International AIDS Summit at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. VP George Bush on mandatory testing. Stockholm clip: PM Carlsson at 4th conference. Clip of ACT UP at Montreal. Kenneth Kaunda, Zambian president. Hans-Paul Verhoef. Restrictions on immigration in suspected HIV cases. Chris Sandoval, activist and community liaison for the AIDS office of the SF Dept. of Public Health. Fran Jefferson (SEIU). Reggie Williams, head of AIDS chapter of National Black and White Men United Together. Larry Kramer phone-in and Dr. James Currin from the CDC. Dr. Mathilde Krim (AMFAR), Steve Morin (aide to Pelosi). Author and activist Larry Kramer, co-founder of ACT UP and the Gay Men's Health Crisis, speaks via telephone.

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March 1990: Queer Nation, a splinter group of ACT UP, is founded at the LGBT Community Services Center in New York City. The group, whose focus was the escalation of anti-gay and lesbian bias in the media, becomes known for their confrontational approach to activism, including chanting slogans, hosting "Queer Nights Out" in predominantly heterosexual public spaces, and, most controversially, outing closeted public figures. "Miss Jane" Sheehan, a member of Queer Nation San Francisco, is credited with coining the now oft-quoted saying, "We're here, we're queer, get used to it!" [Engel, p. 140]

1992: The Lesbian Avengers forms in New York City. Its six founders - Anne-Christine D'Adesky, Marie Honan, Anne Maguire, Sarah Schulman, Ana Maria Simo and Maxine Wolfe - were all longtime lesbian activists who had grown disenchanted with other LGBT activist groups who did not address issues germane to lesbians. The group's icon is a bomb, signifying an "urban guerrilla" approach to activist politics. The enduring legacy of the Lesbian Avengers is the Dyke March, which has taken place in New York City and San Francisco every year since 1993, typically on the Friday or Saturday before LGBT Pride parades. Dyke Marches have also taken place in Santa Cruz, Washington, D.C., Salt Lake City, Portland, Boston, Toronto, and in other cities around the United States and Canada. [Munt, pp. 67-8]

April 25, 1993: The March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation takes place in Washington, D.C. Organizers estimated 1,000,000 attended the March, but the National Park Service estimated attendance at 300,000. [NYT, 4/25/1993]

August 1992: The Oregon Citizens Alliance, conservative political group, is successful in getting a referendum issue (Measure 9) that represented the strongest anti-gay measure considered by a state to that date. The measure would have added the following text to the Oregon Constitution: "All governments in Oregon may not use their monies or properties to promote, encourage or facilitate homosexuality, pedophilia, sadism or masochism. All levels of government, including public education systems, must assist in setting a standard for Oregon's youth which recognizes that these behaviors are abnormal, wrong, unnatural and perverse and they are to be discouraged and avoided." The measure was defeated in the November 3, 1992 general election with 638,527 votes in favor, 828,290 votes against. [NYT, 8/16/1992]

Clip from Ballot Measure 9

Ballot Measure 9. Media Resources Center Video/C 4325

The National March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights 1993:

Jon Beaupre and Cindy Freedman hosted the KPFK coverage of the National March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation, the third such march of its kind in US history. Organizers estimated an attendance of around one million. The controversy over both the ban on gays in the military and the government's inadequate response to the AIDS crisis were the two main foci of the march. KPFK's live coverage of the event includes recordings of speeches by Nancy Pelosi, Phill WIlson, Martina Navratilova, Gerry Studds and Urvashi Vaid, as well as phone interviews with members of the GLBT community.

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March on Washington. Media Resources Center Video/C 4075

July 1993: President Bill Clinton reaches a compromise between members of Congress who want to lift the ban on gays serving in the military and those who favor a nondiscriminatory policy in the form of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue". The policy states that commanding officers will not inquire into the sexual lives of servicemen unless there is solid evidence to indicate homosexuality, and that soldiers will not speak of or commit homosexual acts while serving in the military (including no open public declarations of homosexuality). Gay rights organizations such as LAMBDA have referred to the policy as a "witch hunt". A 1997 report by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network cites a marked increase in anti-gay harassment and questioning after the policy was implemented. [NYT, 7/17/1993]  

Don't Ask Don't Tell (via Servicemembers Legal Defense Network)

Don't Ask Don't Tell (via

December 31, 1993: Brandon Teena, a twenty-one year old female-to-male transgendered person, is raped and murdered by 22-year-old John Lotter and 21-year-old Tom Nissen. Lotter and Nissen also also murder Lisa Lambert, with whom Teena had been staying, along Phillip DeVine, another house guest of Lambert's. [NYT, 1/2/1994]  

Brandon Teena (from Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer Culture)

The Brandon Teena Story Media Resources Center Video/C 6125

Boys Don't Cry (1970) DVD 4132

June 1994: The 25th anniversary of Stonewall is commemorated in New York City with Gay Games IV, a week-long athletic and cultural event; the International Lesbian and Gay Association's 16th World Conference, an assembly of 300 groups from 26 countries; and a march whose route stretches from the United Nations building to Central Park. A concurrent AIDS protest march, which did not receive an official permit by the city and was sponsored by ACT UP, the Stonewall Veterans' Association, and the Imperial Queens and Kings of New York, among other groups, begins at Sheridan Square. The two groups converge at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street and terminated at the Great Lawn, where a moment of silence is held for people who have died of AIDS, followed by a "moment of rage", a minute-long primal scream. A rally is held and numerous speeches are given throughout the remainder of the day. No arrests are reported. [Horn, p. 18]

May 20, 1994:Gay teen-agers from 30 Los Angeles high schools-as well as some from nearby districts attend the first gay prom in the US, billed as "Live to Tell". The event is held at the Los Angeles Hilton and Towers Hotel. Backed by the Los Angeles Unified School District's Board of Education, the event was co-sponsored by the district's Eagles Center-a school for gay and lesbian students who choose not to attend traditional high schools-and the board's Gay and Lesbian Education Commission, which champions the rights of gay youths. [LAT, 5/22/1994]

Live to Tell: The First Gay and Lesbian Prom in America. Media Resources Center Video/C 4804

September 21, 1996: President Bill Clinton signs into law the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which states that "No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory possession or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship". The bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) and Rep. Don Nickles (R-Okla.).

US Code 1738C

November 9, 1997: In a widely publicized episode of ABC's comedy Ellen, TV character Ellen Morgan, played by Ellen DeGeneres, announces that she is gay. The episode featured cameo appearances by Oprah Winfrey, k.d. lang, Demi Moore, Billy Bob Thornton, and Dwight Yoakam. An estimated 42 million viewers watched the special hour-long program. Ellen became the first primetime sitcom to feature a gay leading character. The first openly gay regular character on a sitcom was Soap's Jodie Dallas, played by Billy Crystal, starting in 1977.

Ellen. The Complete Season Four Media Resources Center DVD 6645

Bibliography of articles about Ellen

Urvashi Vaid Lecture - May 21, 1998 :

Urvashi Vaid, one-time attorney with the ACLU National Prisoners Project, former director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, co-founder of the Boston Lesbian/Gay Political Alliance and the author of Virtual Equality: The Mainstreaming of Gay and Lesbian Liberation, is considered one of the leading voices in the progressive LGBT movement. In this hour-long lecture, delivered on May 21, 1998, Vaid discusses the legal victories of the GLBT rights movement, anti-gay marriage and adoption laws, privatization, homophobia and sexism.

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October 7, 1998: : The body of Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming, is found tied to a fence in Laramie, Wyoming. He is taken to a hospital, where he dies four days later. It is revealed that the primary suspects in the case, Russell Arthur Henderson and Aaron James McKinney, beat and tortured Shepard because they believed he was flirting with them. The case sparks a nationwide dialogue on the subject of hate crimes, or crimes motivated by a personal bias against the victim on the grounds of gender, race or sexuality. Fred Phelps and his parish at the Westboro Baptist Church picket Shepard's funeral with signs displaying slogans such as "AIDS Kills Fags Dead" and "Matthew Shepard Rots in Hell". A counterprotest is formed by Romaine Patterson, a close friend of Shepard's. Known informally as the "Angels of Peace", the group dons white robes and giant wings and forms a circle around Phelps and his church. Shepard's parents, Judy and Dennis, found the Matthew Shepard Foundation later that month, seeking to "replace hate with understanding, compassion and acceptance". Both McKinney and Henderson are currently serving two consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole. [Cannon, p. 36; Patterson and Hinds; NYT, 10/10/1998]

The Laramie Project (2002) Media Resources Center DVD 1343

2000 --

April 28-30, 2000: The Millennium March on Washington, D.C. takes place. The event attracts controversy from within the LGBT community for what many perceive as its lack of focus on minority issues, grassroots activism and the AIDS virus. Others attack it for its "crass commercialism" - the March received sponsorship from corporate giants such as United Airlines and Showtime and prominently featured many big-name entertainers as either performers or speakers. President Clinton and Vice President Gore do not attend but appear in the form of pre-taped video presentations. Over the course of the weekend, the Reverend Elder Troy Perry conducts a mass wedding of same-sex couples, a concert featuring Melissa Etheridge, k.d. lang, Garth Brooks, Queen Latifah and the Pet Shop Boys takes place (the proceeds from which go to the Human Rights Campaign), and six hours of speeches are delivered by both community leaders and more well-known celebrities. [Sandalow, 2000]

October 24, 2002: Harry Hay dies, aged 90.

February 20, 2004:: President George W. Bush announces that he supports a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. To this end, the 2004 Federal Marriage Amendment (updated from a proposal submitted the previous year) states that "Marriage in the United States shall consist solely of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman".

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to marriage: H. J. RES. 106

February 12, 2004: The mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, instructs city and county officials to allow lesbian and gay couples to marry. [NYT, 2/13/2004;, 2/22/2004]

Corenthal, Michael. "Cohen on the Telephone: An Introductory Discussion of Recorded Jewish Humor." Jemf Quarterly. 17(64):182-191. 1981 Winter. [Oskicat link to the journal]

March 5, 2006:Brokeback Mountain, a film that depicts the complex romantic and sexual relationship between two men in the American West from 1963 to 1981, wins multiple Academy Awards: Best Director (Ang Lee), Best Adapted Screenplay (Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana), Best Original Score (Gustavo Santaolalla)

One Wedding and a Revolution. Media Resources Center DVD 3192

Brokeback Mountain. Media Resources Center DVD Z2959

June 16, 2008: Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, the founders of the Daughters of Bilitis, are the first same-sex couple to be married in San Francisco, mere minutes after the 2004 Supreme Court decision to bar the issuing of marriage licenses to same-sex couples is overturned. It is technically their second marriage - their first, which took place in February 2004, was voided by the 2004 decision. Martin passes away six weeks after their second trip down the aisle, aged 87. [SFC, 6/17/2008]

Footage of June 16, 2008 events

No Secret Anymore: The Times Of Del Martin & Phyllis Lyon: Media Resources Center DVD 2431

November 4, 2008: California voters turn out to vote on Proposition 8, the hot-ticket issue on the California ballot that would rewrite the California Constitution to add a clause prohibiting marriage between same-sex couples and defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Volunteers for and against Proposition 8 both campaign furiously. "Yes on 8" earns the support of Presidential nominee Senator John McCain, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, while President-elect Barack Obama, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the California Council of Churches and the League of Women Voters all come out against Proposition 8 (to name but a few prominent groups on both sides of the equation). Opinion polls leading up to Election Day, for the most part, showed a general, though hardly runaway, inclination to vote no on the proposed amendment. The night of November 4, Proposition 8 nevertheless passes, 52% supporting to 47% opposed. The state of California stops issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples the next day but continues to recognize all same-sex marriages performed between June 16 and November 4. Meanwhile, similar Constitutional amendments pass in Arizona (Proposition 102) and Florida (Florida Amendment 2). California Secretary of State Debbie Bowen, Statement of Vote: November 4, 2008 General Election. p. 62.

November 15, 2008: Protests against the outcome of Proposition 8 break out across the country in hundreds of cities. The protests are coordinated by Join the Impact, a group created by Amy Baillett and Willow Witte in light of the passage of Proposition 8. In December, Join the Impact organizes Day Without a Gay, in which supporters of same-sex marriage were advised to "call in 'gay' to work" and take the day off to perform volunteer work in their community. [CNN, 11/16/08]

News report on national Proposition 8 protests

June 12, 2009: The Department of Justice issues a brief defending the constitutionality of DOMA, despite President Barack Obama's campaign promise to fully repeal the Act. The brief is drafted in light of Smelt v. United States of America, which sought to reverse DOMA and Proposition 8 on the grounds of unconstitutionality. [SFC, 6/13/09]

October 11, 2009: More than 200,000 individuals march on Washington, D.C. in support of equal protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states. [NYT, 10/12/09]

Historical Overviews

Time Line - Part I

Chronology of gay events in the late 20th century. 1969: Stonewall riots and the creation of militant gay groups. 1976: Rev. Troy Perry remembers the first Christopher St. West parade of 1970. 1977: Anita Bryant reacts against Dade County's ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexuality. Briggs Initiative designated to dismiss any homosexual from a teaching position. The adoption of sexual preference resolution at the Houston Conference. Jan. 1978: Milk sworn in as SF supervisor. Word Is Out premieres at FilmEx. Anita Bryant spreads her mission, April 1978, St. Paul. Briggs begins his crusade at SF in 1978. Wichita, May 9. May 23: Eugene, OR puts gay rights vote to voters. June 7: Anti-Briggs campaign fundraiser in Santa Monica. Briggs' concession. Nov. 1978: Milk's assassination. Funeral for Milk and Moscone. Speeches and reactions to Milk's death. Produced by Greg Gordon.

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Time Line - Part II

May 21, 1979 - White found guilty of manslaughter. White Night Riots. Milk's 49th birthday. Two gay journalists confront the makers of CBS Reports' "Gay Power, Gay Politics" for their slanted portrayal of gay subcultures. Protests over Friedkin's Cruising. George Crile and Grace Diekhaus. Harry Reasoner. Cruising in Buena Vista Park. Portrayal of Dianne Feinstein "groveling for votes". The fundamentalist "New Right" and gays. 1981 - Falwell announces "war" on gays and lesbians. IMRU coverage of supporters and protestors at Falwell's LA Convention Center appearance. August 28, 1982 - opening of the Gay Games (not allowed to use Olympics in their name). AIDS funding and research. Produced by Greg Gordon.

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Archive # KZ1263B

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Jonathan Katz: Gay American History

Katz appears in San Francisco to discuss his recently published book, Gay American History. Readings from Katz's book by the host are interspersed with clips of Katz's speech in SF. Katz lectures on a diverse number of topics, including gays and the Communist witch hunt; the history and psychiatric/corrective treatments to homosexuality; Lucy Ann Lobdell and lesbian feminism; gay Native Americans; Harry Hay and the founding of the Mattachine Society; medical studies of homosexuality from late 18th century to World War II; and Almada Sperry's correspondence with Emma Goldman. The show concludes with a reading from "Coming Out", a play written by Katz.

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Archive # AZ0102

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"The Aberrants." The Washington Post, Mar 17, 1950. p. 22 (1 page)

UC users only

Aldrich, Robert and Wotherspoon, Garry, eds.

Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History, 2nd ed. New York: Routledge Books, 2002.

Doe Reference HQ75.2 .W46 2001 

Baldwin, Belinda.

"LA 1/1/67: The Black Cat Riots". Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide, v. 13 no. 2 (March/April 2006), p. 28-30.

Blumenfeld, Warren J. and Raymond, Diane Christine.

Looking at Gay and Lesbian Life. Boston: Beacon Press, 2001. p. 305.

Main (Gardner) Stacks HQ76.3.U5 B581 1988

Boyd, Nan Alamilla.

Wide-Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003. pp. 20-24.

Full-text available online [UCB users only]

Main (Gardner) Stacks HQ76.3.U52 S2635 2003

Moffitt HQ76.3.U52 S2635 2003

Bancroft (NRLF) HQ76.3.U52 S2635 2003

Bullough, Vern L.

Before Stonewall: Activists for Gay and Lesbian Rights in Historical Context.Binghamton, NY: Harrington Park Press, 2002

Main (Gardner) Stacks HQ76.5 .B43 2002

Moffitt HQ76.5 .B43 2002    

Cannon, Angie.

"In the name of the son", U.S. News & World Report, v. 127 no. 19 (November 15 1999), p. 36.

UC users only

Carter, David.

Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked a Revolution. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2005.

Main (Gardner) Stacks HQ76 .C315 2004

Moffitt HQ76 .C315 2004

d'Emilio, John.

Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities: The Making of a Homosexual Minority in the United States, 1940-1970. 2nd ed. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1983. pp. 193-194.

Main (Gardner) Stacks HQ76.8.U5 .D45 1983

Moffitt HQ76.8.U5 .D45 1983

Egelko, Bob.

"Obama angers gays with marriage law defense". San Francisco Chronicle, June 13, 2009.

Eisenbach, David.

Gay Power: an American Revolution. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2006. p. 26.

Main (Gardner) Stacks HQ76.8.U5 E47 2006

Moffitt HQ76.8.U5 E47 2006

Engel, Stephen M.

The Unfinished Revolution: Social Movement Theory and the Gay and Lesbian Movement / Stephen M. Eng Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2001.

Main (Gardner) Stacks HQ76.5 .E5 2001

Faderman, Lillian and Timmons, Scott.

Gay L.A.: A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics and Lipstick Lesbians. New York: Basic Books, 2006.

Main (Gardner) Stacks HQ76.3.L7 F33 2006

Bancroft (NRLF) HQ76.3.L7 F33 2006

Feldman, Douglas A. and Miller, Julia Wang.

The AIDS Crisis: A Documentary History. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998.

Public Health RA644.A25 A3554 1998

Gallo, Marcia M.

Different Daughters: A History of the Daughters of Bilitis and the Rise of the Lesbian Rights Movement. Emeryville, CA: Seal Press, 2007. p.    

Main (Gardner) Stacks HQ75.6.U6 G35 2006

Bancroft (NRLF) HQ75.6.U6 G35 2006

"Gov. Brown Signs Bill Legalizing All Sex Acts". L.A. Times, May 14, 1975.

UC users only

Haggerty, George E., ed.

Gay Histories and Cultures: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland Publishing Inc., 2005, p. 691.

Doe Reference HQ75.13 .G37 2000

Moffitt Reference HQ75.13 .G37 2000

Highleyman, Liz.

"ACT UP turns 20." Bay Area Reporter,

UC users only

Hollibaugh, Amber L.

My Dangerous Desires: A Queer Girl Dreaming Her Way Home. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2000.

Main (Gardner) Stacks HQ75.6.U5 H65 2000

Horn, Miriam.

"New York's Week to Be Gay". U.S. News & World Report, v. 116 (June 27, 1994), p. 18.

UC users only

Jackson, Sharyn.

"Before Stonewall: Remembering that, before the riots, there was a Sip-In." Village Voice, June 17, 2008.

Kuda, Marie J.

"History: Chicago's Stonewall: The Trip Raid in 1968." Windy City Times.

Lagos, Marisa, et al.

"Same-sex weddings start with union of elderly gay couple". San Francisco Chronicle, June 17, 2008.

UC users only

Lind, Amy and Brzuzy, Stephanie.

Battleground: Women, Gender and Sexuality. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2008. p. 451.

Doe Reference HQ1115 .B38 2008

"Mayor defends same-sex marriages: San Francisco will resume issuing licenses Monday." Sunday, February 22, 2004.

Minton, Henry L.

Departing from deviance : a history of homosexual rights and emancipatory science in America / Henry L. Minton. Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2002.

Main (Gardner) Stacks HQ76.3.U5 M56 2002

Munt, Sally.

Queer attachments : the cultural politics of shame Aldershot, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate, 2008.

Patterson, Romaine and Hinds, Patrick.

The Whole World Was Watching: Living in the Light of Matthew Shepard. New York: Alyson Books, 1999.

Powers, Roger S.; Vogele, William B.; Kruegler, Christopher; McCarthy, Ronald M., eds.

Protest, Power and Change: An Encyclopedia of Non-Violent Action from ACT-UP to Women's Suffrage. New York : Garland Pub., 1997.

Doe Reference HM278 .P76 1997

Queer Student Cultural Center.

Rust, Paula C. Rodriguez.

Bisexuality in the United States: A Social Science Reader. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.

Main (Gardner) Stacks HQ74.2.U5 B55 2000

Rutledge, Leigh.

The Gay Book of Lists. New York: Alyson Books, 1992

"Same-sex marriage rallies stretch across the nation"., November 16, 2008.

UC users only

Sandalow, Marc.

"Millennium March: Gay Rally Bares Deep Divisions", San Francisco Chronicle, April 29, 2000.

UC users only

Shilts, Randy.

The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1982,

Main (Gardner) Stacks F869.S353 M547 1982

Moffitt F869.S353 M547 c.11

Bancroft F860.M602 .S353

Shneidman, Edward.

"Evelyn Hooker (1907-1996)". American Psychologist, v. 53 no. 4 (April 1998)

UC users only

Shorter, Edward.

A Historical Dictionary of Psychiatry New York : Oxford University Press, 2005.

Main (Gardner) Stacks RC438 .S53 2005

L.A. Times

Lin, Joanna.

"L.A. Then and Now; Bar still symbolic in the gay community." Los Angeles Times, Nov 16, 2008. p. B.2.

UC users only

Endicott, William.

"Gay Teacher and Antismoking Initiatives Lose." Los Angeles Times, Nov 8, 1978. p. OC1 (1 page).

UC users only

Folkart, Burt A.

"Rock Hudson Is Dead at 59; His AIDS Moved the World; One of First to Go Public With Illness." Los Angeles Times Oct 2, 1985. p. 1 (1 page).

UC users only

"Gov. Brown Signs Bill Legalizing All Sex Acts". L.A. Times, May 14, 1975.

UC users only

Johnston, David; Endicott, William.

"San Francisco Mayor Slain; Supervisor Harvey Milk Also Murdered at City Hall." Los Angeles Times Nov 27, 1978. p. A1 (2 pages).

UC users only

Mackay, Kathy.

Los Angeles Times Jun 2, 1977. p. H14 (1 page).

UC users only

Quintanilla, Michael.

"Live to Tell Teen-Agers From L.A. Schools Pack First District-Sanctioned Gay Prom." Los Angeles Times May 22, 1994. p. 1.

UC users only

New York Times


Ayres, Drummond, Jr.

"Miami Votes 2 to 1 to Repeal Law Barring Bias Against Homosexuals". The New York Times, Jun 8, 1977. p. 73 (2 pages).

UC users only

Berger, Joseph.

"Rock Hudson, Screen Idol, Dies at 59." New York Times Oct 3, 1985. p. D23 (1 page).

UC users only

Brooke, James.

"Gay Man Beaten and Left for Dead; 2 Are Charged." New York Times, Oct 10, 1998. p. A1 (2 pages).

UC users only

Clendinen, Dudley.

"Harry Hay, Early Proponent of Gay Rights, Dies at 90". The New York Times, October 25, 2002.

UC users only

Egans, Timothy.

"Oregon Measure Asks State To Repress Homosexuality." New York Times, Aug 16, 1992. p. 1 (2 pages).

UC users only

Friedman, Thomas.

"Accord is reached on military rules for gay soldiers." New York Times Jul 17, 1993. p. L1 (2 pages).

UC users only

Gent, George.

"TV: C.B.S. Reports on Homosexuals; Judge Doubts Fairness of Jailing Offenders Growing Social Problem Soberly Considered." New York Times Mar 8, 1967. p. 91 (1 page).

UC users only

Gross, Jane.

"Immigration Laws Protested On Eve of AIDS Conference." New York Times, Jun 20, 1990. p. A15.

UC users only

Hilts, Philip.

"Jeers at AIDS Gathering Drown Out Health Chief." New York Times, Jun 25, 1990. p. A1 (2 pages).

UC users only

"Homosexual on Board Cites Role as Pioneer." New York Times, Nov 10, 1977. p. 24 (1 page).

UC users only

"Homosexuals Stage Protest in Capital." New York Times May 30, 1965. p. 42 (1 page).

UC users only

Ledbetter, Les.

"San Francisco Tense as Violence Follows Murder Trial." New York Times May 23, 1979. p. A1 (2 pages).

UC users only

Lindsey, Robert.

"Dan White, Killer of San Francisco Mayor, a Suicide." New York Times Oct 22, 1985. p. A18 (1 page).

UC users only

Marshall, Caroly.

"Dozens of Gay Couples Marry in San Francisco Ceremonies." New York Times Feb 13, 2004. p. A24 (1 page).

UC users only

Peters, Jeremy W.

"New Generation of Gay Rights Advocates March to Put Pressure on the President." New York Times Oct 12, 2009. p. A.12.

UC users only

"Protesters Call the Film 'Cruising' Antihomosexual; Bomb Threats Reported." New York Times ( Jul 26, 1979. p. B7 (1 page).

UC users only

Schmaltz, Jeffrey.

"As Gay Marchers Gather, Mood Is Serious and Festive." New York Times Apr 25, 1993. p. 22 (1 page).

UC users only

"Woman Who Posed As a Man Is Found Slain With 2 Others." New York Times, Jan 4, 1994. p. A11 (1 page).

UC users only

Washtingon Post


"The Aberrants." The Washington Post Mar 17, 1950. p. 22 (1 page).

"Senators Ask Full-Scale Probe On '3750' Perverts in Agencies." The Washington Post(1877-1954). May 20, 1950. p. 1 (2 pages).

UC users only

"Federal Morals Investigation Is Approved by Senate Group; Morals Check Funds Voted."The Washington Post May 25, 1950. p. 1 (2 pages).

UC users only

"Judge Approves Gay Prom Date." The Washington Post May 29, 1980. p. A27 (1 page).

UC users only



The UC Berkeley Social Activism Sound Recording Project is a partnership between the UC Berkeley Library, the Pacifica Foundation, and other private and institutional sources. The intent of the project is to gather, catalog, and make accessible primary source media resources related to social activism and activist movements in California in the 1960's and 1970's. Some recordings have been edited for purposes of sound quality and continuity.

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Sound recordings and textual background that form the core of this site were compiled and edited by Joseph Gallucci as part of an internship sponsored by New York University's Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program.

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