#MakingGayHistory mines Eric Marcus’ 30-year-old audio archive to bring the voices of queer history to life in a moving podcast. Listen and enjoy👇🏽
“I think that my vantage point into queer history was definitely through the AIDS crisis. I picked up ‘Angels in America,’ [by Tony Kushner] and I was reading it on a family trip, and my parents were like, ‘Can you put that book down? It keeps making you so sad.’ And I was like, ‘You don’t understand. This is my history. I have to read this.’ And so through Tony Kushner, I learned about ACT UP ... It helped that the story was set in New York and that there were a lot of other queer Jewish people in it, and also everyone was super hot, and so I think that that got me interested.” - activist @adameli testifying as to the impact of playwright Tony Kushner’s work on him, personally. From episode 4 of our Stonewall 50 season. Tony Kushner was born July 9, 1956. #makinggayhistory ⠀ ⠀ Photo: Stephen Spinella as Prior Walter in the world premiere of “Angels in America,” by Tony Kushner, at the Eureka Theatre Company, San Francisco, 1991. Photo: Katy Raddatz/Museum of Performance and Design, via @slate “Angels in America: The Complete Oral History.”
“In those early years, most of my work was in the non-gay community, educating people. I walked into a [human sexuality] classroom in 1972 ... Harold Pickett and I walked into that class and basically we went in there and talked about who we were. Even though it was uncomfortable at first, I felt that it was so important to dispel the myths about us [homosexuals]. Because I also felt, you go into a class of thirty there’s got to be a couple of gay people in that class.” - Joyce Hunter, educator, LGBTQ youth advocate and co-founder of the Harvey Milk High School. The school was established as an alternative for at-risk LGBTQ young people and operated in collaboration between the Hetrick-Martin Institute, through Joyce, and the NYC Dept. of Education.⠀ ⠀ An important postscript from Joyce herself, from her original “Making Gay History” interview: “People like Mary [Lefkarites, human sexuality professor at Hunter College] need to be appreciated because it took a lot of guts in 1972 for a professor who wasn’t tenured to come down to the gay table in the cafeteria looking for students to speak to her class.” #makingayhistory⠀ ⠀ Image: Joyce Hunter (with sunglasses) with the Hetrick- Martin Institute contingent at the New York City Pride March, mid-1990s. Credit: Courtesy Joyce Hunter.
“I’m a bisexual ki-ki sonofabitch butch femme.” That’s Stella Rush, who also went by the nom de plume Sten Russell. In conversation with Eric in 1989, Stella discussed how the binary of gay/straight or butch/femme just didn’t ring true for her—a feeling so many others share. On International Non-Binary People's Day, here’s to living as your authentic self beyond the binary. Listen via link in bio. #makinggayhistory⠀ ⠀ Image: Stella Rush holding a copy of ONE magazine featuring a drawing of her as Sten Russell, during taping for the Lesbian Herstory Archives Daughters of Bilitis Video Project, San Francisco, May 15, 1987. Credit: Photo by Morgan Gwenwald © Lesbian Herstory Archives DOB Video Project, LHEF, Inc.
In the late 1980s and late 1990s, Eric recorded more than a hundred interviews with LGBTQ trailblazers and witnesses to history in the process of writing the two editions of his book “Making Gay History: The Half Century Fight for Lesbian and Gay Equal Rights.” The conversations resulted in a stack of tape cassette trays six feet high that sat in Eric’s office until he turned over his audio archive to the New York Public Library in 2008 with an agreement that they digitize the collection. In 2016, he and executive producer Sara Burningham began mining that archive for the Making Gay History podcast. ⠀ ⠀ These stories need to be told -- in print, through this podcast -- over and over again. That’s why we want you to go back to the beginning, and listen to Season One (link in bio) of Making Gay History and the life stories of Barbara Gittings and Kay Lahusen, Chuck Rowland, Dr. Evelyn Hooker, and Frank Kameny (all pictured here) and others. #makinggayhistory
“I went to Catholic schools. I went to Catholic grammar school and Catholic high. With all my Catholic religious education and with all the stuff, you know, in the movies telling you it was wrong, for some reason I knew they were full of shit, that this was not wrong, and that if something so natural to who I was could be, that it had to be okay. And that I was right and that they were wrong, but that they were gonna beat me up for it so I had to keep my mouth shut.” - Vito Russo, activist and film historian who authored the landmark book “The Celluloid Closet,” which chronicled the portrayal of gay and lesbian people on film. Vito Russo was born on July 11, 1946. Listen via link in bio. #makinggayhistory⠀ ⠀ Image: Vito Russo, early 1970s. Credit: New Line Presentations, Courtesy of Charles Russo.
Spending time interviewing activist and movement photographer Kay Lahusen (who once went by the pseudonym Kay Tobin) was a special experience our team will never forget. From New York City we traveled to Kennett Square, PA, about an hour outside Philadelphia. We were sorry to say goodbye as Kay escorted us to the front door of her retirement facility, but we knew we’d be back soon to join Kay and her friends for their monthly “Gay Table” dinner. We are so grateful for the time Kay and her friends spent sharing their memories with us. Join us at the dinner table and have a listen (link in bio). #makinggayhistory ⠀ ⠀ Image: Making Gay History’s Executive Producer Sara Burningham at work with Kay Lahusen at Kendal Center, Kennett Square, PA, July 10, 2017. Credit: © Eric Marcus.⠀
“Change comes about in many, many ways. And they all interlock and work with each other. It’s like somebody has to break the eggs and somebody has to make the omelettes. And some change you do from the inside. Some you do from the outside. And then there’s the nuances of how inside is inside. But one thing that you always have to be careful about when you’re making changes, I think, from the inside is to make sure that that person that you’re working with has enough information, enough support, enough conviction themselves, because you’ve convinced them and given them all the arguments, that they can then take it to the next step. Because if they’re convinced that they don’t know how they’re going to articulate this beyond here, then nothing is going to happen.”⠀ ⠀ The “inside” person Jean O’Leary is referring to here, in her 1989 interview with Eric, is Midge Costanza, Special Assistant to President Carter (and Jean’s then partner in life), who facilitated the historic first White House meeting between President Carter’s staff and leaders from the gay and lesbian rights movement, in 1977. #makinggayhistory⠀ ⠀ Image: Jean O’Leary (left) and Midge Costanza (right) at the New York State Women’s Meeting, Albany, New York, July 8-10, 1977. Credit: ©Jo Freeman, www.jofreeman.com.⠀
Got 15 minutes? Then you have more than enough time to enjoy this mini-episode produced for our Stonewall 50 season (it clocks in at just 13 minutes). ⠀ ⠀ In it, activist Morty Manford describes his experience of being inside the Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village at the moment of the history-making 1969 raid and the uprising that followed. Go now, listen, share (link in bio). #makinggayhistory⠀
Marsha “Pay It No Mind” Johnson and Sylvia Rivera were ahead of their times and in over their heads when in 1970 they came up with the idea for a a safe haven for homeless queer youth who, just like Marsha and Sylvia, turned to dangerous street work to survive. They named it STAR House, after the group they co-founded, the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries. Located in a rundown building on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, it was a short-lived effort that drew a blunt assessment from Randy Wicker, Marsha’s longtime housemate and veteran homophile activist, in their joint interview with Eric back in 1989 (listen to their episode in Making Gay History’s Season Two). ⠀ ⠀ Marsha died on July 6, 1992, at the age of 46, but she’d lived long enough to see the dream of a safe space for queer youth realized by Dr. Emery Hetrick and Damien Martin, who founded the Institute for the Protection of Lesbian and Gay Youth in 1979 (today known as HMI) Marsha’s body was found floating in New York City’s Hudson River, near the western edge of the Greenwich Village neighborhood. The New York City Medical Examiner ruled her death a suicide, but Marsha’s friends believed she was beaten to death or accidentally fell in the river. They lobbied for a new investigation and 20 years after Marsha’s death, the District Attorney’s office agreed to reopen the case, which remains unsolved. #makinggayhistory #justiceformartha⠀
Honoring the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising through the voices of those who made history on those six nights of queer resistance and in the year of organizing that followed has been an incredible experience. Take a moment and revisit — or listen for the first time — to our special four-episode Stonewall 50 season. Hearing the voices of participants, and of the activists who turned a riot into Gay Liberation, will enrich your perspective on this key turning point in the LGBTQ rights movement. #makinggayhistory⠀ ⠀ Image: Stonewall veteran Martin Boyce in front of The Stonewall Inn. Credit: Photo by Alfonso Iandiorio, courtesy of Martin Boyce.
Twin sisters, both trusted by Americans for their thoughtful advice. Esther Pauline and Pauline Esther (you read that correctly) were born on July 4, 1918. As columnists, each would adopt a pseudonym, Esther’s being Ann Landers and Pauline taking on the persona of Abigail Van Buren, or “Dear Abby.” ⠀ ⠀ When Eric interviewed Abby in 1989, he was a bit starstruck. Since his childhood days in Queens, he knew Abby as the voice of reason trusted by his grandmother and mother, and so many other Americans. He also knew her to be a public figure who did something no other person in her position did at that time: she said positive things about gay men and women and homosexuality in general. She never minced words, no matter the topic. Eric’s personal hero. Now here he was, pulling into Abby’s driveway in Beverly Hills and walking up to the front door of her French Provincial mini-mansion. Episode 8 of season 1 is a must-listen (link in bio). #makinggayhistory⠀ ⠀ Image: Twin sisters & advice columnists Ann Landers (Esther Eppie Lederer), left, and Dear Abby (Pauline Phillips, aka Abigail Van Buren) in 1976. By Declan Haun / Time & Life Pictures / Getty Images.
Well-dressed men and women carrying signs and marching in front of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall might not strike us as revolutionary by today’s standards. But at the time, publicly declaring one’s homosexuality was exceptional, even shocking. “In the early movement,” Kay Lahusen recalled in her 1989 interview with Eric, “most gay people were trying to blend in and pass [as straight].”⠀ ⠀ There was a similar mindset behind the strict dress code for the Annual Reminders. Also Kay Lahusen: “His* idea was that you don’t call attention to yourself as an individual, that the issues must be pushed. And the person is subservient to the issues.” As such, smart business attire for men; conservative polished skirts or dresses for women at the Annual Reminders. #makinggayhistory⠀ ⠀ * Frank Kameny, gay rights pioneer and leader among 1960s homophile activists.⠀ ⠀ Images:⠀  Kay Lahusen on the picket line in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, July 4, 1969. Credit: Nancy M. Tucker, Courtesy ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries.⠀  Barbara Gittings and Dick Leitsch at a Reminder Day picket, July 4, 1966 or 1967. Credit: Photo by Kay Tobin Lahusen, courtesy of the Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library.
The idea started with Craig Rodwell, who proposed a picket to remind fellow Americans that a substantial number of citizens were being denied their civil rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” With this mission, the organizers -- the Mattachine Society, the Daughters of Bilitis, and other homophile organizations -- called the public demonstrations, which took place every July 4 from 1965 until 1969, Annual Reminders. #makinggayhistory #july4th⠀ ⠀ Images: ⠀  Lilli Vincenz (smiling) with Martha Shelley behind her during the final Reminder Day picket at Independence Hall, Philadelphia, July 4, 1969. Credit: Photo by Nancy Tucker/Lesbian Herstory Archives courtesy of the Manuscripts and Archives Division, the NYPL The New York Public Library.⠀  Image: Martha Shelly (foreground), Lilli Vincenz (center, back), and other marchers at the 5th Annual Reminder picket at Independence Hall, Philadelphia, on July 4, 1969. Credit: Photo by Nancy Tucker © Lesbian Herstory Archives.
#IMGHW “I made gay history when I built up a queer+ library of books to loan to family and friends.” - @quirkrm, Making Gay History follower⠀ ⠀ We regularly share “what we’re reading” in our eNewsletters. This installment of #IMGHW has us wondering: what are you reading? What books helped you discover your community? What do you recommend to others? #whatimreading #makinggayhistory
“Hearing from the elders! This tape of Sylvia Rivera is *AMAZING* and made me teary. But did she ever get her tomato sauce?” - yourfriendkat review for the New York City episode of Netflix’s special “Tales of Your City” podcast, featuring trans activist Sylvia Rivera.⠀ ⠀ In 1989, Eric interview Sylvia in her cozy apartment in a rundown building just north of New York City. As she shared her story and recounted her work on behalf of the LGBTQ community, she puttered about the kitchen making chili (hence the tomato sauce). From teaching “so square, I was cubic” Eric the term “scare drag,” to describing the purpose of STAR, the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, this interview is a must-listen. #makinggayhistory #talesofyourcity⠀
Sylvia Rivera, who was born on this date in 1951, was all of seventeen when she crossed paths with history at the Stonewall Inn in June 1969. From then until her death in 2002, at the age of 51, Sylvia protested and lobbied and fought tirelessly for LGBTQ equality -- and for respect for herself and fellow trans people. ⠀ ⠀ Beginning in the early 1970s, Sylvia was among those who testified before the New York City Council for a gay rights, anti-discrimination ordinance. She recalled: “I testified a couple of times. And the gay rights bill, as far as I’m concerned, you know, to me, the gay rights bill and the people that I worked with on the gay rights bill and when I did all the petitioning and whatnot, when the bill was passed … That bill was mine as far as I’m concerned. I helped word it and I worked very hard for it. And that’s why I get upset when I give interviews and whatever, because the fucking community has no respect for the people that really did it. Drag queens did it. We did it, we did it for our own brothers and sisters. But, damn it, don’t keep shoving us in the fuckin’ back and stabbing us in the back and that’s… And that’s what really hurts. And it is very upsetting.” #makinggayhistory⠀ ⠀ Image: Sylvia Rivera photographed by Valerie Shaff.⠀
“I was born July 2, 1951, at 2:30 in the morning in a taxi cab in the old Lincoln Hospital parking lot. The old queen couldn’t wait. She says, ‘I’m ready to hit the streets.’ My grandmother used to always joke about that. I said, ‘Yeah, you see why I’m always standing out on the street corner.’ And then I was … came out feet first.” - Sylvia Rivera⠀ ⠀ Image: Sylvia Rivera at a gay rights demonstration, Albany, New York, 1971. Credit: ©Diana Davies, courtesy of Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. #makinggayhistory ⠀
Starting as far back as the third grade, Jean O’Leary had a habit of falling in love. Over and over again. She loved girls, plain and simple. But in the 1960s, same-sex love was anything but simple. Once Jean came to terms with who she was, she set to work as an advocate for the LGBTQ community. Among her many achievements, Jean is perhaps best known for organizing the first meeting of lesbian and gay rights activists at the White House, in 1977.⠀ ⠀ Of her White House meeting with the Carter Administration, Jean said: “To the community, to the whole community, it meant that we had been recognized by the highest institutionalized establishment of our country. And for gay people who are looking for signs, for symbols, for stature, for recognition, for anything along those lines that in those days would say, would make the lifestyle valid, it was a wonderful breakthrough.” #makinggayhistory⠀ ⠀ Image: Jean O’Leary at the July 1, 1979 Houston, Texas, Gay Pride Parade. Jean had just changed from a white dress shirt into the Houston Gay Pride Week T- shirt. She was wearing nothing underneath, hence the big smile on Jean’s face and on the faces of the spectators. Credit: ©Larry Butler, courtesy of the Botts Collection, @uhoustonlib
Walter Naegle remembering the day his late partner, civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama, in 2015: “I was sitting there next to Sally Ride’s partner and we were the first two LGBT partners to be able to accept the award on their late partners’ behalf … It felt like a moment, a moment of change, a moment of recognition and affirmation.” #makinggayhistory⠀ ⠀ Image: Bayard Rustin (left) and Walter Naegle in July 1982. Credit: Photo courtesy of Walter Naegle/Estate of Bayard Rustin.⠀
Happy Pride, New York City 🏳️🌈. Today, we join with our LGBTQ brothers, sisters, and allies to walk openly and proudly. We are grateful beyond measure for those who fought back, 50 years ago. And to those, one year after that, who organized the first march in honor of the #Stonewall uprising. #makinggayhistory⠀ ⠀ Image: Christopher Street Liberation Day march, June 28, 1970. Jim Fouratt of the GLF, at right holding the banner. Credit: Photo by Diana Davies, courtesy of Manuscripts and Archives Division, NYPL The New York Public Library.
Twenty-three years after the first Pride march was organized (originally called the Christopher Street Liberation Day march), the first NYC Dyke March was held, in 1993, to raise the visibility of lesbian rights. Today marks the 27th annual march (not a parade). ⠀ ⠀ According to the organizers: “Thousands of Dykes take the streets each year in celebration of our beautiful and diverse Dyke lives, to highlight the presence of Dykes within our community, and in protest of the discrimination, harassment, and violence we face in schools, on the job, and in our communities. Any person who identifies as a dyke is welcome to march regardless of gender expression or identity, sex assigned at birth, sexual orientation, race, age, political affiliation, religious identity, ability, class, or immigration status.” #makinggayhistory⠀ ⠀ Image: Participant, identified as Helen, at the 1993 Dyke March, courtesy of Carolina Kroon, via the Lesbian Avengers.⠀
The first Christopher Street West gay pride parade (today’s Los Angeles Pride Parade and Festival) took place on June 28, 1970, to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall uprising in New York City. Approximately 1,000 people attended. According to @advocatemag, Los Angeles is credited as having the first official city-sanctioned Pride parade (as opposed to a march), as it was the only Pride event that weekend that had a permit for street closures and an actual parade route. We have Morris Kight, Christopher Street West’s co-founder (along with Reverend Troy Perry), to thank for that, as Eric learned in his 1989 interview with Kight. Scroll through the episode notes (link in bio) and see the photograph, from March 1970, of Morris proudly leading a Gay Liberation Front protest over securing city permits. #makinggayhistory⠀ ⠀ Image: Christopher Street West gay pride parade co-founders Morris Kight (at center), and Reverend Troy Perry (in black suit in the background at center). Credit: Mother Boats C.P. (Brian Traynor), ©Brian Traynor and the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives.
It’s 1:20 a.m. on June 28, 2019. Exactly 50 years ago, on this date, at this time, the Stonewall riots began. ⠀ ⠀ On this historic anniversary, we’re releasing four first-hand accounts that bring to life some of the history that people around the world will be celebrating this #Pride weekend. Think of this as your LGBTQ history binge playlist for pride weekend. Hear from Marsha P. Johnson and Randy Wicker, Morty Manford, Barbara Gittings and Kay Lahusen, and Craig Rodwell via link in bio. ⠀ ⠀ We’re able to bring you these very special extras thanks to the generous support of Christopher Street Financial, helping members of the LGBTQ+ community to make their important life and wealth decisions since 1981.⠀ ⠀ Image: The Stonewall Inn, July 2, 1969. Credit: Larry C. Morris/The New York Times /Redux. #pride #Stonewall50 #lgbtq #makinggayhistory #gay #gaypride #lesbian #trans
Let’s make plans. Tomorrow, June 28, at 1:20 a.m. It won’t just be you and us alone -- also joining will be activists Randy Wicker, Marsha P. Johnson, Craig Rodwell, Morty Manford, and Barbara Gittings and Kay Lahusen. That’s all we can share for now. Head to our Stories now and subscribe to our Countdown. You don’t want to miss this. #makinggayhistory ⠀ ⠀ Image: Marsha P. Johnson pickets Bellevue Hospital to protest treatment of street people and gays, early 1970s. Credit: Photo by Diana Davies, courtesy of Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library.
On May 23, 2019, we made gay history by recording the final episode of our #Stonewall season at the historic Stonewall Inn, in New York City’s Greenwich Village. #makinggayhistory ⠀ ⠀ “Live from Stonewall” is a reflection on the legacy of Stonewall—an intergenerational conversation with five special guests. One archivist, Jason Baumann from the New York Public Library, and four activists—Joyce Hunter, Ann Northrop, Sir Knight, and Adam Eli—look back at the Stonewall uprising to consider its impact on the movement and how the legacy of Stonewall has informed their work in the fight for LGBTQ rights. LISTEN via link in bio!⠀
What the #Stonewall riots sparked, the activism of the following year stoked. Before episode 4 in our #Stonewall50 series drops (tomorrow!) be sure to catch up with episode 3, “Say It Loud! Gay & Proud!” ⠀ ⠀ “The Stonewall rebellion served notice on the heterosexual majority that a growing number of gays were not afraid anymore and were not content to continue living out their lives in fear and oppression,” declared Breck Ardery, who self-produced the first audio documentary on Stonewall, “June 28, 1970, Gay and Proud: A Living History of the Homosexual Rights Movement.” Hear from Breck and many, many others in episode 3, via link in bio. #makinggayhistory⠀ ⠀ Images: Front and ➡️ back of the LP by Breck Ardery, via QueerMusicHeritage.com.⠀
“A secret world grows open and bolder,” warned LIFE Magazine on June 26, 1964. “Society is forced to look at it — and try to understand it.” The “it” in question: homosexuality in American culture. The article presents the “modern homosexual” as a species for study, examining social behaviors (“cruising,” for example), mating habits (there are “‘respectable’ homosexuals,” who “pair off and establish a ‘marriage’”), even grooming and styling (tennis shoes as the “favorite footwear for many homosexuals with feminine traits”). Seen here (be sure to ➡️ for the full spread): “A San Francisco bar run for and by homosexuals is crowded with patrons who wear leather jackets, make a show of masculinity and scorn effeminate members of their world.”⠀ ⠀ Read this article, we urge you. It’s eye-opening to consider how the media once did, and now does, report on the subject of gay life in America. If you missed it, read Eric’s recent opinion article for TIME, in which he does just that: evaluate that publication’s evolving coverage of gay America (link in bio). #makinggayhistory⠀
“In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were … marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves.” - Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, delivering the majority opinion, on June 26, 2015, and barring states from denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples #lovewins #makinggayhistory⠀ ⠀ Image: Gay rights advocates John Lewis (left) and his spouse, Stuart Gaffney, kiss across the street from City Hall in San Francisco, following the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that same-sex couples have the right to marry nationwide. Credit: Jeff Chiu/AP.⠀
When Morty Manford asked his mother, Jeanne, to march with him in the 1972 New York City Gay Pride march , she responded, “I will march if you let me carry a sign.” He did, and so she did. And the reaction from fellow marchers and onlookers? “They screamed! They yelled! They ran over and kissed me,” Jeanne would later remember. “‘Would you talk to my mother?’ ‘Wow, if my mother saw me here…,’ you know. They just couldn’t believe that a parent would do that.” #makinggayhistory⠀ ⠀ Image: Morty Manford (far left) and Jeanne Manford (carrying sign) at the June 25, 1972, New York City Gay Pride march. Credit: © Les Carr courtesy of PFLAG National.
Happy Pride, San Francisco! Here’s a #throwback to June 25, 1989, when grand marshals Phyllis Lyon (left) and Del Martin presided over the Gay Freedom Day Parade (almost exactly one month before they would sit down for their interview with Eric, in July). 1989 marked the 20th anniversary of the #Stonewall riots.⠀ ⠀ Phyllis and Del co-founded the Daughters of Bilitis in 1955—the first organization for lesbians. Their names and faces kept popping up as Eric researched his book, “Making History: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Equal Rights, 1945-1990: An Oral History” (that was the original 1992 title; the 2002 second edition was published under the title “Making Gay History”). Once he sat down to speak with them, Eric discovered how their shared longing to find a community of women had led them to plant the seeds of a national social movement. (Photo: Tom Levy/San Francisco Chronicle/Polaris.) #makingayhistory
Eric, in his 1989 interview with Larry Kramer: “You were born what year?” Larry Kramer: “’35. And I’m the generation that was sent off to shrinks because shrinks then thought they could change you, and you were expected to change. And it took a long time for me to come to terms with my homosexuality … and a lot of shrinks ... I think being a gay man, even today, with AIDS, is a wonderful, is a wonderful thing. I love being gay.” Before the AIDS crisis, Larry Kramer (born June 25, 1935) was best known for his work as a screenwriter and author— he wrote the Oscar-nominated 1969 screenplay for “Women in Love” and the controversial 1978 novel, “Faggots,” which pulled back the curtain on a world of promiscuous sex and drug use in New York’s post-Stonewall gay subculture. Then, on the morning of July 3, 1981, Larry picked up the New York Times and read about a rare cancer found in 41 gay men. Soon after, he became an activist.. AIDS propelled Larry Kramer into the movement -- his friends were dying and he had to do something. In 1982, he co-founded the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, now known as GMHC. Five years later he co-founded—along with Vito Russo and others—ACT UP, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. Don’t miss episode 6 of season 3, via link in bio. #makinggayhistory Image: Larry Kramer being arrested at an AIDS demonstration in front of the White House in June 1987. Credit: ©Dennis Brack.
June 24, 1984, in Chicago and it was “perfect weather” for the city’s 15th annual Gay and Lesbian Pride Rally, according to GayLife, “Chicago’s Gay and Lesbian Newsweekly.” Lincoln Park filled with “rousing spirit” and, the paper estimated, between 30,000 and 40,000 celebrants. Two years later, in 1986 [swipe emoji], the paper -- now renamed the Windy City Times -- reported that 60,000 Chicagoans, including Mayor Harold Washington, celebrated. #makinggayhistory⠀ ⠀ Images: Covers of GayLife and Windy City Times via Chicago GoPride.
They called themselves STAR. “Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries started out as a very good group. It was after #Stonewall, they started at GAA [Gay Activists Alliance]. Mama Jean DeVente, who used to be the marshal for all the parades, she was the one that talked Sylvia Rivera into leaving GAA, ‘cause Sylvia Rivera who was the president of STAR was a member of GAA, and start a group of her own. And so she started Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries. And she [Rivera] asked me would I come be the vice president of that organization.” - Marsha P. Johnson, speaking with Eric in 1989 #makinggayhistory⠀ ⠀ Image: Marsha P. Johnson (left) and Sylvia Rivera (right), co-founders of the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) at the third annual Gay Pride march, New York City, June 24, 1973. Credit: Leonard Fink, courtesy LGBT Community Center National History Archive.