In honor of LGBT History Month, here is a timeline that recollects historical hardships and progressive milestones in the last 70 years. National Coming Out Day is on Oct. 11, so don’t forget to respect others and celebrate diversity within the NSU community.
* April 1952: Being a “homosexual” was listed as a sociopathic personality disorder by the American Psychiatric Association. Consequently, the word “homosexual” became very offensive for many years in the LGBT community.
* April 1953: An executive ordered by President Dwight D. Eisenhower prohibited gay men and women from working for the government on the grounds that they would be detrimental to U.S. security.
* July 1961: Homosexuality was decriminalized in the state of Illinois after the sodomy laws were repealed.
* June 1969: Police raided the Stonewall Inn in New York City, leading to riots and protests. This is known as the catalyst to the LGBT civil rights movement.
* June 1970: Members of the LGBT community marched in the streets of New York City to commemorate a year since the Stonewall Riots. It was one of the first gay pride parades in history.
* December 1973: The American Psychiatric Association took a vote, and the majority agreed that homosexuality was not a mental disorder.
* 1974: This was a successful year for the LGBT community in politics! The City Council in Ann Arbor, Michigan elected Kathy Kozachenko who became the first openly LGBT American to be elected to any public office. Then, Elaine Noble was elected to the Massachusetts State legislature. This was a historical moment in state office because she became the first openly gay candidate to be elected.
* 1976: Tennis player Renee Richards was banned from competing in the US Open after she had gender reassignment surgery because of the “women-born-women” rule. She challenged the decision and took this case to court. The Supreme Court of New York ruled in her favor. This allowed Renee to compete in the 1977 Women’s US Open.
* 1978: The rainbow flag was designed by Gilbert Baker because he wanted to create a symbol of pride for the LGBT community.
* November 1993: The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy was signed by President Bill Clinton. This policy forbade any openly gay or lesbian individuals from serving in the military, but also forbade any harassment towards anyone that is not open about their sexuality.
* September 1996: President Clinton defined marriage as a “legal union between one man and one woman.” This led to the signing of the Defense of Marriage Act, which banned same-sex marriage.
* April 1997: Ellen DeGeneres came out nationally in Time Magazine. Within the same month, her character on her show “Ellen” also came out as a lesbian.
* April 1998: Coretta Scott King (the widow to Martin Luther King Jr.) urged civil groups to assist in putting a stop to homophobia.
* 2006: Brokeback Mountain, a movie featuring a gay romance, won three Academy Awards after being nominated for eight.
* September 2011: The gay community was allowed to openly serve in the military after the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was repealed.
* May 2012: Barack Obama became the first president to support same-sex marriage while in office.
* July 2014: Laverne Cox was nominated for an Emmy for her role as Sophia in “Orange is the New Black.” This made her the first openly transgender actress to be nominated.
* October 2014 – Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, opened up about his sexuality in Businessweek. He was openly gay for a long time, but he had never made a public announcement about it.
* April 2015 – During an interview with Diane Sawyer, Caitlyn Jenner came out as being transgender. Caitlyn Jenner later appeared in Vanity Fair to debut her new name.
* June 2015 – Chris Mosier became the first openly transgender athlete to join the U.S. national team for duathlon.
* June 26, 2015 – Same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide. It was a 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.
* June 2016: Transgender individuals could now serve in the military after the Pentagon lifted the ban.
* June 2016: A mass shooting took place at Pulse Nightclub in Florida. The LGBT community was the club’s main demographic. There were 49 deaths, and 53 injured victims, making it one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.
* August 2016: There were 41 openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual athletes in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. This is the highest amount the Olympics games have ever seen.
* March 2018: Love, Simon was one of the first movies to come from a major Hollywood Studio that discusses gay romance at an adolescent age.
* September 2018: India’s Supreme Court repeals sodomy laws that were directed towards the gay community.