1924: Henry Gerber, a German-born immigrant, receives a charter from the state of Illinois for a nonprofit corporation in Chicago named the Society for Human Rights. It becomes the earliest documented gay rights organization in the United States. Though the organization was intended to be an American equivalent of contemporary German LGBTQ emancipation groups, Gerber is arrested soon after and the society falls apart.
1989: Alvin Ailey dies from AIDS-related complications.
1624: In the Virginia Colony, Richard Cornish is hanged for allegedly making advances on a ship’s steward. His conviction and execution, angrily contested by his brother and others, is the first to be recorded in the American colonies.
1964: Randy Wicker is a guest on The Les Crane Show, becoming the first openly gay person to appear on national television. Following the show, Wicker is barraged by hundreds of letters from isolated lesbians and gay men across the country.
1636: The Plymouth Colony (present-day Massachusetts) issues the first complete legal code in the colonies. “Sodomy, rapes, buggery” constitute one of eight categories of crimes punishable by death.
1989: A planned college production of “The Normal Heart” provokes protests and violence in Springfield, MO. However, all 8 performances sell out in four hours.
1998: Matthew Shepard is beaten and pistol-whipped and tied to a fence and left to die in a gay bashing incident near Laramie, Wyoming.
1982: Former Los Angeles Dodger outfielder Glenn Burke comes out in “Inside Sports”, becoming the first professional baseball player to do so.
1953: Alfred Kinsey’s Sexual Behavior in the Human Female goes on sale reporting that “2 to 6% of females, aged 20-35, were more or less exclusively homosexual in experience/response.” 1970: In New York City, Gay Activists Alliance stages the first of an orchestrated campaign of “zaps” in protest of continuing police harassment, heckling Mayor John…
1989: Keith Haring reveals he has HIV. Prices for his art soar as collectors anticipate his death. 2010: The Supreme Court of Mexico ruled in quick succession that Mexico City’s same-sex marriage law is constitutional, that the same marriages contracted in Mexico City must be recognized throughout Mexico, although no other state is required…