Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Important, but not the first

The first time actively serving gay military personnel marched in a Gay Pride  Parade:
  1. San Diego, 2011
  2. Chicago, 2002
  3. New York, 1975
If you guessed San Diego, where over 250 marched last weekend-- you are wrong! THe answer is (3). As MIchael Bedwell reports, we're way too good at ignoring our past. Perhaps that is why we keep repeating it.

We have some phenomenal LGBT history, but even we don't know it.
Harvey Milk—first out gay elected official. Nope. That was Kathy Kozachenko, elected to the Ann Arbor, Michigan, City Council three years before Harvey was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. OK, then Harvey was the first out gay elected to a “major office.” Nope. That was Elaine Noble, elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, also in 1974.

OK, OK. Then Harvey was the first out gay man elected to office. Wrong again. That was Allan Spear, reelected to the Minnesota State Senate in 1976 after coming out.

ALRIGHT! Then Harvey was the second out gay man elected to office. Sorry, no. That was Jim Yeadon, elected to the Madison, Wisconsin, City Council months before Harvey’s November ’77 election.

The “Courage Campaign”trumpeted that California’s John Perez was the first out leader of a state legislature. Nope. That was Spear again, who was President of the Minnesota Senate for 10 years.
And bans on gay service in the military were declared unconstitutional 31 years ago.

Go, read, learn, and teach!


JCF said...

Even more amazing: I was AT the 1975 New York City Gay Pride Parade! No foolin'!

[I was 13, my family was doing it's "Big Eastern Seaboard" vacation, and we happened to be in the Big Apple that day. Pure coincidence. We saw the police street blocks, and my mom said "Oh, it's a Parade!" ;-D Memorable signs filed away in JCF's newly-teenaged brain: "My son's gay and that's OK", and the cheer "2-4-6-8, We Don't Overpopulate!" (The LGBT Baby Boom could not have been anticipated in that year. ;-)]

Honestly don't remember the uniformed service members, though [Believe me, of all the articles of clothing 13 yo me saw, Army uniforms---at least of the male variety, on males!---was NOT the kind of clothing I remember! *LOL*]

JCF said...

More on-topic: the LGBT history you cite, IT, is exactly the kind that SB48 (in California) is designed to teach . . . and what the haters are trying to REPEAL by referendum (which I happen to believe is unconstitutional---not that that will stop them from trying >:-( )

IT said...

JCF, they weren't uniformed. Neither were they this year. But they were active duty nonetheless.

As for SB48, I posted on that here and related the story of the girl who was not allowed to do her oral presentation on Harvey Milk without persmission slips for "sex-ed".