Celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month: Activists and protests that predate the Stonewall Riots

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Friday, October 22, 2021
LGBTQ+ History Month
October is LGBTQ+ History Month. Here are the stories of advocates and events that helped advance LGBTQ+ rights in our nation.

The Stonewall Riots in 1969 are considered by many to be the start of the gay rights movement, but there are other protests and events in support of the LGBTQ+ community that pre-date Stonewall.

For many years, advocates and activists had been working to advance LGBTQ+ rights.

Our reporters from across the country have come together to explore the people and events that many of us have never heard of...each of them an important part of LGBTQ+ history.

NEW YORK
LGBTQ+ crusaders reflect on pivotal moments before NYC's Stonewall Riots
Randy Wicker is reflecting on how far the LGBT movement has come since before the Stonewall Riots and the work that is left to be done.
LOS ANGELES
LGBTQ+ pioneers Lisa Ben and Sir Lady Java are among those featured at ONE Archives
It's LGBTQ+ History Month, and pioneers Lisa Ben and Sir Lady Java are among those featured at ONE Archives at USC
CHICAGO
Northalsted Legacy Walk highlights activists who helped advance gay rights
Despite progress, activists want to remind people that gay and trans people are still victimized in hate crimes.
PHILADELPHIA
The city is rich with LGBTQ+ history, starting in 1881 with the arrest of Lady Washington
Philadelphia has many stories of history makers who acted before the Stonewall uprising, including those who staged a sit-in at one of Philadelphia's most popular coffee shops.
SAN FRANCISCO
Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin could easily be called the mothers of the lesbian rights movement
Phyliss Lyon and Del Martin could easily be called the mothers of the lesbian rights movement. They spent most of their adult lives fighting for recognition and equality.
HOUSTON
Texas in the 1950s and 60s: Police raids were common at gay and lesbian bars
A 1977 march led to the rise of political power for Houston's LGBTQ community, and the creation of services that are still around today.
NORTH CAROLINA
This Historic Raleigh church has been supporting LGBTQ+ equality since the 1950s
Founded in the late 1800s, Pullen Memorial Baptist is one of the first churches in Raleigh, North Carolina to embrace LGBT rights.
CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
One of the Central Valley's first drag kings and others talk about gay bars and safe spaces in the 1960s
Looking at LGBTQ+ history in Central California

Reference material coordinated in conjunction with local LGBTQ+ archives and the ONE Archives Foundation.

The ONE Archives Foundation is the independent community partner that supports ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the University of Southern California (USC) Libraries, the largest repository of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) materials in the world. Founded in 1952 as ONE Inc., the publisher of ONE Magazine, ONE Archives Foundation is the oldest active LGBTQ organization in the United States. In 2010, ONE Archives Foundation deposited its vast collection of LGBTQ historical materials with the USC Libraries. Today, the organization is dedicated to promoting this important resource through diverse activities including educational initiatives, fundraising, and range of public programs.

ONE Archives Foundation's flagship K-12 education programs provide educators with the resources they need to teach accurate and authentic LGBTQ+ history, including professional development webinars and free LGBTQ+ lesson plans available for download on our website. In addition, ONE Archives Foundation mentors youth to become ambassadors for LGBTQ+ history through the Youth Ambassadors for Queer History program. Learn more here.