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Cuba: the police begin Operacion P, arresting prostitutes, pimps, and "pederasts" and herding them into concentration camps. Although same-sex relations are not illegal, large numbers of gay men and smaller numbers of lesbians are arrested as part of a wide-ranging campaign against people whom Fidel Castro's government believes are inimical to the revolution.

May 1960

San Francisco: The Daughters of Bilitis sponsors a national convention of lesbians, probably the first public gathering focused on the topic of lesbianism in the US.

May 12, 1960

United Kingdom:The first public meeting of the Homosexual Law Reform Society is attended by more than 1,000 people.

July 30, 1960

France: The National Assembly adds homosexualite to a list of fleaux sociaux ("social plagues") that the government is charged to combat.

October 3, 1961

Hollywood: The Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA) announces a revision of its production code. "In keeping with the culture, the mores and the values of our time," the revision advises, "homosexuality and other sexual aberrations may now be treated with care, discretion and restraint." The new ruling paves the way for the release of films like The Children's Hour and Advise and consent, but the MPPDA later amends the revision to specify that "sexual aberration" may be "suggested but not actually spelled out."

November 5, 1961

New York Times critic Howard Taubman launches an attack on "the increasing incidence of homosexuality on the New York stage" in an article headlined "Not What It Seems: Homosexual Motif Gets Heterosexual Guise."

November 7. 1961

Legendary San Francisco drag queen Jose Sarria runs for city supervisor. The first openly gay person to run for public office in the US, Sarria receives almost 6,000 votes.

November 15, 1961

A Washington, DC, chapter of the Mattachine Society is formed. Activist Frank Kameny is elected president.

December 1961

The release of the British movie Victim in the US marks the first use of the word "Homosexual" in a feature film. It is denied motion picture code seal of approval as a result.


James Baldwin publishes Another Country, a groundbreaking novel constructed around issues of race and sexual orientation.

San Francisco: A group of gay bar owners and employees fori-lis the Tavern Guild, believed to be the first gay business association in the US

January 1962

Illinois criminal code reform passed last year takes effect this month, making Illinois the first state in US history in which consensual same-sex acts are legal between adults.

July 15, 1962

New York City: Randy Wicker talks listener-supported radio station WBAI into broadcasting a taped program in which seven gay people discuss homosexuality. Widely publicized in the local press, the program is probably the first favorable broadcast on the subject in the US


Five women found the Minorities Research Group in London, the first lesbian organization in the United Kingdom. Similar to the American Daughters of Bilitis, the group aims to provide isolated lesbians with counseling, education, and opportunities for socializing. Some members of the organization go on to found Kenric in 1965.

Also in the United Kingdom, the English Society of Friends publishes Towards a Quaker View of Sex. The Quakers are the first mainstream Christian church to issue a public statement expressing tolerance of same-sex relationships. Also see 1945.

Grove Press publishes John Rechy's City of Night to generally positive reviews, pioneering a new level of sexual explicitness both in the text and in the book's packaging: the cover features a photograph of Times Square male prostitutes.

January 1963

At Frank Kamenys suggestion, the New York and Washington, DC, chapters of the Mattachine, the New York chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis, and Philadelphia's Janus Society join to found the East Coast Homophile Organizations. Nicknamed ECHO, the association marks the beginning of a new era of activism for the US. Homophile movement.


Canada's first homophile magazine, Two (inspired by), is issued by Kamp Publishing Company in Toronto.

Philadelphia: Clarke P. Polak begins publishing Drum magazine under the auspices of the city's Janus Society, a Homophile group founded in 1960. The first US gay publication to combine serious news coverage with unabashedly erotic content, Drum reflects a growing spirit Of Activism among American gay men.

United Kingdom: Women associated with the Minorities Research Group begin publishing Arena Three, the country's first lesbian magazine.

The national convention of the American Civil Liberties Union modifies the organization's position on sexual rights. Henceforth, the organization opposes government interference in the private sex lives of consenting adults.

April 1964

The Association for Social Knowledge, Canada's first homophile organization, is founded in Vancouver.


Life magazine entitles a cover story "Homosexuality in America." The article, which features photographs taken at a leather BAR called the Tool Box in San Francisco, challenges the gay male "pansy" stereotype at the same time it helps build awareness of the emerging American gay and lesbian subculture.

September 1964

San Francisco: Bib Plath, William Beardemphl, Mark Forrester, Jim Foster, and others found the Society for Individual Rights (SIR). In addition to activities in support of a gay man's "right to his own sexual orientation," SIR will become one of the first gay male groups to provide community support systems as well as a wide range of social and educational programs.

September 19, 1964

New York City: Randy WickeR, Renee Cafiero, other activists, and representatives of the New York League for Sexual Freedom picket the Whitehall Induction Center in protest of the Military's anti gay and -lesbian policies. Many consider this the first public gay and lesbian rights demonstration in the US

November 16, 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.

December 1964

San Francisco: after several months of talks and a tour of local gay and lesbian gathering spots, a group of Protestant ministers Join with lesbian and gay male activists to form the Council on Religion and the Homosexual.

December 31, 1964

San Francisco police attempt to intimidate some 600 guests attending a New Year's Ball sponsored by the Council on Religion and the Homosexual, photographing each of the guests as they arrive and demanding entry without a search warrant. The ball is the first time many liberal heterosexuals have witnessed police harassment of lesbians and gay men. Three lawyers and Nancy May, a straight volunteer, are arrested.


Antwerp, Belgium: Activists form the Belgische Vereiniging voor Sexuale Rechtvaardigheid COC, the country's first homophile organization, on the model of the COC in the Netherlands.

United Kingdom: Dr. C. Barker reports on the development of new aversion therapy methods to "treat" homosexuality in the British Journal of Psychiatry. Barker claims his method-injecting drugs every two hours for six days and nights to produce dizziness and nausea in the patient while he views pictures of nude males-is highly effective in helping gay men achieve "recovery."

San Francisco: the Society for Individual Rights begins publishing Vector, a slick, lively, community-oriented publication sold on newsstands throughout the city.

January 2, 1965

San Francisco: Council on Religion and the Homosexual representatives, most of whom are heterosexual, hold a press conference to protest the police force's "deliberate harassment" of the group's New Year's Ball.

February 11, 1965

At the San Francisco trial of the four people arrested at the Council on Religion and the Homosexual's New Year's Ball, the judge orders the jury to find the defendants not guilty. The decision is widely seen as a turning point in the homophile movement's fight for gay and lesbian civil rights.

April 17-18, 1965

New York City: Craig Rodwell, Randy Wicker, and other activists protest discrimination in the US and CUBA against gay men and lesbians in small but visible demonstrations in front of the United Nations building.

May 29, 1965

The East Coast Homophile Organizations stages the first demonstration in front of the White House in protest of US government discrimination against gay men and lesbians. Seven men, including Jack Nichols, and three women, including Judy Grahn, picket. ABC and wire services report on the event.

July 4. 1965

A small group of conservatively dressed lesbians and gay men picket Independence Hall in Philadelphia in one of the first public demonstrations for gay rights. Among those marching is Barbara Gittings.

July 31, 1965

Lesbian and gay demonstrators picket the Pentagon to protest discrimination in the military.

August 28, 1965

The State Department is picketed by gay and lesbian demonstrators for the first time.

October 23, 1965

The East Coast Homophile Organizations a second demonstration at the White House. The FBI reports 35 picketers.


The premiere of The Group marks the first time the word "lesbian" is used in a Hollywood movie.

March 1966

Kansas City, Missouri: Drew Schafer and friends form the Phoenix Society for Individual Freedom, one of several dozen new homophile groups that arise in medium-size cities across the US in the three years prior to the Stonewall Uprising.

April 1966

San Francisco: The Society for Individual Rights opens the first gay community center in the United States.

San Francisco: Rikki Streicher opens Maud's Study, one of the longest-lasting lesbian bars anywhere, in the city's Haight district.

April 22, 1966

New York City: Dick Leitsch, John Timmins, Randy Wicker, and Craig Rodwell challenge liquor commission policies that deny gay men and lesbians the right to be served alcoholic beverages at bars by holding a "sip-in." Reporters watch them as they are refused service at Julius, a popular gay bar in Greenwich Village.

May 1966

China: Mao Zedong launches the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in an attempt to purge the Communist Party and Chinese society of all vestiges of bourgeois and revisionist thinking. Among its millions of victims are people from all walks of life suspected of being gay or lesbian. Over the next decade, thousands of lesbians and gay men are publicly humiliated, tortured, exiled to the countryside, driven to commit suicide, or, in many instances, executed.

Fall 1966

New York City: Bob Martin and other Columbia University students form the Student Homophile League. The next spring, the organization becomes the first officially recognized gay or lesbian group at an American college.

December 31, 1966

Vancouver: The Association for Social Knowledge opens the first community center "to serve the homosexual community" in Canada.


The New Jersey Supreme Court issues a precedent-setting decision asserting that the state liquor commission is no longer justified in forbidding bars from serving gay men and lesbians.

Following New jersey's lead, the New York Supreme Court rules that bars May now legally serve "known" homosexuals.

The US Supreme Court rules that a Canadian gay man may be deported under the terms of the McCarran-Walter Immigration and Nationality Act, which bars persons "afflicted with psychopathic personality" from immigrating or becoming citizens.

Isabel Miller (pseudonym of Alma Routsong) publishes A Place for Us (later titled Patience and Sarah).

CBS Reports broadcasts the first nationally televised American program on gay men and lesbians. Although most of "The Homosexuals" focuses on arrests, "causes," and "treatments," an interview segment gives Gore Vidal the chance to comment favorably on ANDRE GIDE's call for "floating sexuality."

January 1, 1967

Los Angeles: Police conduct brutal raids on several gay bars. Enraged by the sight of a few men exchanging customary New Year's kisses at ml midnight at the Black Cat in Silver Lake, LAPD undercover agents attack patrons and employees, leaving several severely injured and arresting 16.

January 5. 1967

Pride, a Los Angeles homophile group, mobilizes a crowd of several hundred demonstrators on Sunset Boulevard to protest police raids on gay bars.

January 6. 1967

New York City's Civil Service Commission makes public its year-old policy of allowing city agencies to hire and employ lesbians and gay men. The new policy comes partly in response to Mattachine Society of New York lobbying efforts.

July 27, 1967

United Kingdom: almost ten years after the publication of the Wolfenden Report, the Sexual Offenses Act takes effect, decriminalizing most private sex acts between men aged 21 or over in England and Wales.

August 1967

The board of directors of the American Civil Liberties Union passes a resolution urging the decriminalization of consensual sex between adults.

Los Angeles: Pride members Dick Michaels, Bill Rand, and Sam Winston publish the first issue of the Los Angeles Advocate, the forerunner of the Advocate, in an edition of 500 copies.

November 24, 1967

New York City: Craig Rodwell opens the first gay bookstore in the US, the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop.

December 1967

Vector, the monthly magazine of the Society for Individual Rights (SIR) ,reports that SIP, now has almost 1,000 members, making it the largest homophile organization in the US


In its official listing of mental disorders, the American Psychiatric Association re-categorizes homosexuality as a "sexual deviation" or a non-psychotic mental disorder" Previously, the group has considered homosexuality a "sociopathic" disorder.

February 1968

New York City: Craig Rodwell begins editing a "gay lib" newsletter called Hymnal.

Spring 1968

New York City: The first Gay Scene Guide is published, listing some 125 bars and cruising venues in the metropolitan area.

May 1968

France: massive student unrest brings the country to a standstill. Among the demonstrators is the country's first Gay Liberation group, Pederaste.

August 12-17, 1968

The North American Conference of Homophile Organizations, nicknamed NACHO, made up of delegates from 26 groups, convenes in Chicago to discuss goals and strategy. Although delegates fail to form a unified national organization, they pass a five-point "Homosexual Bill of Rights" and resolve to make "Gay Is Good" the slogan of the movement.

September 1968

New York City: Radio station WBAI begins weekly broadcasts of The New Symposium, featuring interviews of gay men and lesbians and news reports.

October 6, 1968

Los Angeles: The Reverend Troy Perry holds the first Metropolitan Community Church service in the living room of his home.

December 3, 1968

At the Metropolitan Community Church in Los Angeles, the Reverend Troy Perry officiates at what is probably the first public same-sex union ceremony in the US.

March 28, 1969

San Francisco: Society for Individual Rights president Leo Laurence and his lover are featured in a photo-illustrated article in the Berkeley, Barb. Calling for "the Homosexual Revolution of 1969," Laurence exhorts gay men and lesbians to Join the Black Panthers and other left-wing groups and to "come out" en masse.

May 1969

San Francisco: Society for Individual Rights president Leo Laurence is expelled from the organization for characterizing members as "timid" and "middle-class, uptight, bitchy old queens." In response, Laurence founds a militant group, the Committee for Homosexual Freedom.

San Francisco: Carl Wittman begins writing Refugees from Amerika: A Gay Manifesto, one of the most influential documents of the coming Gay Liberation era.

May 15, 1969

Canada: the House of Commons votes to decriminalize private same-sex acts between consenting adults. The new law goes into effect in August.

June 28, 1969

Greenwich Village, New York: Police raid the Stonewall Inn at 2:00 A.m. For once, patrons-and the crowd gathered outside-fight back. The American Gay liberation movement begins.

June 29, 1969

New York City: the Mattachine Action Committee issues a flier urging organized demonstrations in protest of the previous night's police raid on the Stonewall Inn.

June 30, 1969

Footnote to history: In Kew Gardens, Queens, a vigilante group cuts down all the trees and bushes in part of a local park popular as a gay male cruising area. Lamenting the loss of greenery, The New York Times runs nine different articles on the ensuing controversy. The Stonewall Uprising and the protests that follow are mentioned a total of three times.

July 2. 1969

New York City: 500 marchers confront police in the first "gay pride" demonstration, a march down Christopher Street.

July 4. 1969

Daughters of Bilitis and Mattachine society members picket Independence Hall in Philadelphia for the fifth and last time.

July 9. 1969

The Mattachine Society of New York invites activists to gather in Greenwich Village for the first "gay power" meeting.

July 31, 1969

New York City: militants separate from the more moderate homophile movement to form a counterculture-inspired group they vote to call Gay Liberation front.

August 3, 1969

New York City: Gay Liberation front and the Mattachine Society of New York join forces to protest the Queens vigilante tree-cutting and alleged police complicity.

September 1, 1969

West Germany rescinds its prohibitions against sex acts between consenting male adults. (Lesbian sex acts have never been against the law in Germany.

September 3, 1969

The American Sociological Association condemns "oppressive actions against any persons for reasons of sexual preference." It is the first national professional organization to voice support of gay and lesbian civil rights.

September 15, 1969

Gay Power, "New York's First Homosexual Newspaper" and the first publication to emerge from the post-Stonewall movement, publishes its premiere issue.

October 2, 1969

A National Institute of Mental Health study, chaired by Dr. Evelyn Hooker, urges government bodies to decriminalize private sex acts between consenting adults.

October 31, 1969

Time magazine features .t seven-page article entitled "The Homosexual: Newly Visible, Newly Understood." Gay Liberation Front activists demonstrate in front of Time, Inc., offices to protest the article's inclusion of negative comments by mental health experts.

San Francisco: Lesbians and gay men protest homophobic language in the Examiner. Newspaper employees respond by showering the demonstrators with purple ink. Violence ensues.

November 14, 1969

New York City: Gay Liberation Front launches the premiere issue of the newspaper Come Out!, "A Newspaper by and for the Gay Community."

November 15, 1969

Washington, DC: representatives of Gay Liberation Front join hundreds of thousands of other demonstrators protesting the Vietnam War.

December 1969

Chicago: Harry Wiemhoff places an ad in the University of Chicago student newspaper calling for the fori-nation of a local Gay Liberation Front. By the following spring the movement is firmly established in the city.

December 21, 1969

New York City: Jim Owles and Marty Robinson leave Gay Liberation Front to form a group exclusively dedicated to the pursuit of gay rights. The new organization is called Gay Activists Alliance.

December 28, 1969

Berkeley, California: Don Jackson outlines a plan for a "gay colony" in California's Alpine County, whose current population is 450. Although his proposal attracts widespread media attention -- and support from activists, including Jim Kepner and Don Kilhefner-few gay men and lesbians are willing to make the move.

December 31, 1969

San Francisco: the Cockettes, one of the first gender-bending performing groups, makes its debut.