Frank Kameny iz N da (guest) house!
This week I’m in Washington, D.C. helping with various Pride activities to which I committed myself. Last night was an event I’d not originally planned on being part of, but I’m really excited I got to be here nonetheless. Last night Dr. Terry, the man behind the FUK!T campaign, hosted a fundraiser here at The Artists’ Inn Residence for an organization that is planning to open a permenant museum for LGBTQ history that will be opening in the capital soon. The guest of honor was Frank Kameny, one of the single most important figures in the Gay Rights movement of the United States.
Dr. Frank Kameny is one of those people about whom not enough is said, especially by younger LGBTQ people who (through little fault of their own) know almost nothing about their community’s history. Kameny is one of the first, if not THE first, full time Gay Liberation activists. He holds a doctorate in astronomy from Harvard, and was fired in the 1950’s from his federal job for being homosexual. Kameny immediately began writing letters and protested his dismissal to the Supreme Court. He began picketing and protesting in front of the White House and Pentagon years prior to the Stonewall Riots of 1969 in New York City. When you see 1960’s era black and white footage of people marching on the sidewalks in D.C. in support of LGBTQ rights, that is film of Kameny and his friends/allies.
And I got to meet him! IN PERSON! OMG! It’s the equivalent of meeting Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s like meeting Susan B. Anthony or César Chávez. This is a big deal! I can’t believe it… I was punch crazy all night – I’d not been drinking, but I was excited, giggly, energetic… And then I realized something: This is what Pride feels like. HAPPY PRIDE!