History of LGBT Rights Movement

  1. Jill Andrews
  2. October 12, 2017 11:04 am

History of LGBT Rights Movement

History of the Gays and Lesbians

In the past few years, gay rights movements have seen massive progress. Around the world, many activities are done to promote gays. In this short article, you will read about few important gay rights.


#1 Gerber

The first gay rights organization in the USA was founded in 1924. The organization was founded by Henry Gerber. Gerber was a part of the US Army during World War 1. He was inspired to build the country’s first gay rights community by a Germany committee. “Friendship and Freedom” was one of Gerber’s initial publications. The entire group was destroyed in the year 1925.


#2 Pink Triangle

The Pink Triangle happened in the year 1928. Though the LGBT community came into the spotlight every now and then, the Pink Triangle was very famous. Radclyffe Hall started a major controversy in the year 1928. She released “The Well of Loneliness” – a lesbian-themed book. It was during World War II when many homosexual men were branded with the “Pink Triangle Badge”.


#3 Mattachine Foundation

The Mattachine Foundation has a history that dates back to 1950s. This was identified as the United State’s official gay rights group. The organization was coined with a common term “Homophile”. The foundation started small but grew in leaps and bounds. It improved the lives of many gay men. It organized closed activities and group discussions for gay men. In the year 1952, Dale Jennings was arrested. Jennings was the founder of The Mattachine Foundation. The Mattachine Foundation was remarkable in many ways. It was restructured several times. The foundation had many local chapters. Mattachine Foundation began the 2nd gay publication – “The Mattachine Review”. The very year, “Daughters of Bilitis” was founded by a San Francisco lesbian couple. The lesbian duo published “The Ladder”. This was the world’s first publication for lesbians.


#4 Dr. John Oliven

Gay rights experienced a twist in the year 1960. This movement grew in stages. Illinois was the country’s first state with anti-sodomy regulations. The state decriminalized homosexuality effectively. A documentary called “The Rejected” was published on homosexuality in California. Dr. John Oliven wrote “Sexual Hygiene and Pathology” with terms like transgender and homosexuality in the year 1965. Though there were many opportunities for growth, LGBTs lived in secret. They were a part of the urban subculture. The gays and lesbians were subject to serious persecution and harassment (especially in places like restaurants and bars).

In New York City, bars and restaurants were not allowed to serve alcohol to gays. Homosexuals were controlled by many strict liquor laws. Most bartenders feared being shut down by local authorities. When customers suspected of being homosexuals were given drinks, the restaurant/bar was likely to lose its license. Most bartenders stayed away from homosexuals. They prevented from socializing too!


#5 Stonewall Inn

In the year 1969, a gay rights movement called the “Stonewall Inn” happened. This movement catalyzed many gay communities. The movement began in Greenwich Village. It was founded by homeless youths and drag queens. The Stonewall Riots were big and cheap! On the 28th of June 1969, NYC police raided the organization. The founders and members were subject to severe harassment. Soon, a riot exploded in the region. There were protests for more than 5 days.


#5 Gay Liberation Front

Few months after the Stonewall Riot, a “Gay Liberation Front” was formed. This was a radical group that engaged in many public confrontations, protests, and demonstrations. The group fought against many political leaders. In a short span of time, many similar groups began. This included the “Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries”, “Gay Activists Alliance” and “Radicalesbians”. In 1970, community members of the Stonewall Riots marched through the NYC streets. This event was called the “Christopher Street Liberation Day”. Historically, this was the first parade to commemorate gay pride in the United States.


#6 Marriage

In the year 1992, gay and lesbian couples were allowed to register as partners in the District of Columbia. Homosexuals were given marriage rights. Similar rights were passed in California and San Francisco too. Bill Clinton promised that all bans against homosexuals would be removed from the military. In the year 1993, Clinton sanctioned the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. This allowed homosexuals to serve in military forces.


#7 Matthew Shepard Act

Homosexuals received a happy news with the “Matthew Shepard Act”. This was an act signed by President Barack Obama. This act extended the “Hate Crime Law” from 1994. In the year 2015, open bans against all homosexual employees and leaders were lifted. The US military canceled all bans against gays and lesbians in 2016.

Though lesbians and gays have better laws and regulations, some things are still lacking!