Although LGBTQ+ elders and allies fought for acceptance before 1969, the Stonewall riots started a cultural shift still felt today. We are celebrating some of the milestones our community has achieved by standing up for its rights and honoring the accomplishments of the five decades since Stonewall. We know that within this timeline are the special and unique moments you have lived within our shared timeline. We thank you for all your private and personal moments that have made this a shared history.
Take Care and Create What Comes Next!
The board of the American Psychiatric Association votes to remove homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses.
Also, Lambda Legal is formed as the first legal organization in the US established to fight specifically for the equal rights of gays and lesbians.
Kathy Kozachenko makes history by becoming the first openly LGBTQ person elected to any US public office. She won a seat on the city council of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The first US federal gay rights bill is introduced.
It is never brought forward for consideration by Congress.
Pro tennis player Renée Richards is outed and barred from competition when she attempts to enter the US Open women’s tennis tournament. Her subsequent legal battle establishes that transgender people are legally accepted in their new identity after reassignment in the US.
Inspired by San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to political office in California, the rainbow flag is introduced. Created by Gilbert Baker, it remains a symbol of political activism, pride, and hope for the LGBTQ community.
An estimated 75,000 people participate in the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. LGBT people and straight allies demand equal civil rights and urge for the passage of protective civil rights legislature.
The Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association promotes the newly founded Standards of Care (SOC) at the MIND Conference in Manchester England. The standards go on to become the foundation for treatment of transgender people worldwide.
Wisconsin becomes the first state to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Landmark legal victory in HIV/AIDS discrimination lawsuit.
Hundreds of thousands of activists take part in the National March on Washington to demand that President Ronald Reagan address the AIDS crisis.
Minnesota passes the first law in the US that prohibits discrimination against transgender people.
The Minnesota statute establishes protections for transgender people under the rubric of sexual orientation.
President Bill Clinton supports “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
While gay and lesbian Americans were protected from harassment in the military, they were still prohibited from serving if they were open about their sexual orientation.
Crimes based on sexual orientation are given harsher sentences under the new Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act.
Ellen DeGeneres shocks fans by coming out as a lesbian on the cover of Time magazine.
Her series, “Ellen,” becomes the first prime-time network television show to feature a gay lead character.
A group of activists led by Gwendolyn Smith hosts the first Transgender Day of Remembrance, to commemorate individuals around the world who are murdered for being trans. The day quickly becomes an international event.
The UK Sex Discrimination Act is amended to include protections on the basis of gender reassignment.
The Netherlands becomes the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.
Over the next 19 years, it is followed by Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England and Wales, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Northern Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, and Sweden.
The Gender Recognition Act becomes law in the UK, allowing transgender persons to legally change their sex and have it recognized for the purposes of marriage and other issues.
The International Olympic Committee decides that transsexuals will be able to compete at the Athens Olympics if they have had appropriate surgery and are legally recognized as members of their new sex.
The first state-legal, same-sex marriage takes place in Massachusetts.
The next year, California passes a bill to allow same-sex marriage.
Canada becomes the first country in the Americas to legalize same-sex marriage.
South Africa legalizes same-sex marriage, becoming the first African nation to do so.
Spain passes the most progressive law regarding gender identity in the world.
It allows for the change of documented identity just by requiring medical treatment for two years and a medical or psychological certificate that proves a diagnosis of gender dysphoria; it does not require sex reassignment surgery.
Ecuador recognizes same-sex marriage, the first country to do so on the South American continent.
President Obama signs the Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law.
Argentina legalizes same-sex marriage.
The US military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is repealed, allowing gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals to serve openly in the military.
The Uruguay Senate legalizes same-sex marriage.
New Zealand legalizes same-sex marriage.
The Justice’s National Council of Brazil legalizes same-sex marriage.
The Black Lives Matter organization was founded by three black trans women.
The U.S. Supreme Court requires all states to grant same-sex marriages and to recognize same-sex marriages granted in other states.
The Constitutional Court of Colombia legalizes same-sex marriage.
Australia legalizes same-sex marriage.
Taiwan becomes the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.
As of this date, no other country in Asia allows it. In fact, only two-thirds have legalized same-sex activity.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signs a law banning the use of the so-called gay and trans panic legal defense strategy.
Costa Rica approves same-sex marriage, becoming the first country in Central America to do so.