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10 LGBTQ+ Historical and Pop Culture Moments in Time

Ten LGBTQ+ historical and pop culture events, and groundbreaking moments.

In celebration of Pride Month, we are covering ten LGBTQ+ historical and pop culture events. Starting from the late 1960s to the present day, these moments have been groundbreaking for the LGBTQ+ community.

LGBTQ+ Historical and Pop Culture Movements

Stonewall

June 28, 1969

Stonewall is known as the milestone that was the inception of the LGBTQ+ equality movement. On June 28, 1969, bar patrons started rioting after police raided the Stonewall Inn, which was a gay bar in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York.

Christopher Street Liberation Day aka 1st New York City Pride March

June 28, 1970

One year after the Stonewall riots, the Christopher Street Liberation Day took place. This march is considered to be the first gay pride event that ever took place.

‘Judging Books by Covers’ Episode of All in the Family

February 9, 1971

All in the Family aired an episode called “Judging Books by Covers,” which is considered cutting edge for its time. During this episode,” All in the Family” became the first sitcom that featured a gay character on TV.

Even though Archie Bunker (Carroll O’Connor) did use gay slurs throughout the episode, it portrayed a reversal of stereotypes otherwise never seen on TV.

First Rainbow Pride Flag

June 25, 1978

On June 25, 1978, Gilbert Baker revealed his design for the first rainbow pride flag. It was first introduced at San Francisco’s Gay Freedom Day. LGBTQ+ individuals and allies use rainbow flags and rainbow-themed items, apparel, and color schemes to outwardly show their identity and support.

The design has undergone several revisions since then to include more marginalized identities. In essence, other flags and symbols are used to represent various identities within the LGBTQ+ community.

Billie Jean King Coming Out

May 1, 1981

Billie Jean King was the first prominent professional female athlete that openly came out as gay. When she was outed in a lawsuit for palimony by her former partner, King decided to come out publicly.

She was quoted at the time saying, ‘I’m going to do it. I don’t care. This is important to me, to tell the truth. The one thing my mother always said, ‘To thine own self be true.'”

The Start of HIV/AIDS

July 3, 1981

In 1981, the New York Times published its first story about AIDS. The headline was titled “Rare Cancer Seen in 41 Homosexuals,” and it was the first article that recognized the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Forty years later, HIV/AIDS has resulted in over 75 million HIV infections and 32 million deaths all over the world, as reported by the CDC.

Paris is Burning

September 13, 1990

The iconic documentary “Paris Is Burning” was released on September 13, 1990. This film features the lives and atmosphere of LGBTQ+ New Yorkers and ball culture. It also highlights the hopes, dreams, and challenges of what it was like to live during this time as an LGBTQ+ person immersed in ball culture.

In 2016, the Library of Congress selected “Paris is Burning” to preserve the United States National Film Registry.

Laverne Cox Gets the Cover of Time Magazine

June 2014

Laverne Cox, an actress, known for her role in “Orange Is the New Black,” was the first transgender person ever to be featured on the front cover of Time Magazine.

One month later, she also made history by becoming the first trans person to be nominated for an Emmy award.

Obergefell v. Hodges

June 26, 2015

Obergefell v. Hodges was a groundbreaking civil rights case for LGBTQ+ rights. During this case, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that same-sex couples were guaranteed the fundamental right to marriage by the United States Constitution.

The plaintiff, led by Jim Obergefell, sued due to not being allowed to put his name on his late husband’s death certificate. They argued that the laws violated the Equal Protection Clause and Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Moonlight wins Best Picture at the 89th Annual Academy Awards for First LGBTQ+ films

February 26, 2017

The film “Moonlight” made history by becoming the first LGBTQ+ film to win Best Picture at the Oscars.

Many LGBTQ+-themed films have been nominated for Best Picture in the past but never won. These films include “Milk,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “Boys Don’t Cry,” and “Philadelphia.”

Moonlight also broke barriers by representing the mostly autobiographical story of a living, black, gay man, telling his story in his own words. Tarell Alvin McCraney’s script “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue,” which the film was based on, also won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay that same year.

What are some of your favorite LGBTQ+ moments in history? Be sure to share your comments with us.

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Billie Olsen

AUTHOR: Billie Olsen

Billie Olsen (she/they) is a lifestyle writer, disability justice advocate, and cozy femme located in Kelowna, BC, Canada. Their works have appeared in Metro News, Discorder, Sophomore Magazine, the Post-Feminist Post, DINE Magazine, and NerdReader.