Dr. Frank Kameny is one of the most significant figures in the American equality movement.
Kameny is a World War II veteran who, after being dismissed in 1957 from the Army Map Service, fought his unfair treatment all the way to the Supreme Court in 1961. Though he lost, Kameny made history for filing the first civil rights case based on sexual orientation.
This marked the beginning of a decades-long career fighting for LGBT equality. Kameny went from fighting Nazis to fighting the U.S. and DC government. He is widely credited as a pioneer of a new and aggressive movement for equal treatment of gay and lesbians, paving the way for the eventual explosion of post-stonewall activism.
As a founding member of the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C., Kameny helped organize the first ever White House protest and together with the Mattachine Society of New York and the Daughters of Billitis expanded the picket line into what would later became the Annual Reminder.
Over his nearly four decades of fighting the establishment on our behalf, Kameny succeeded in repealing DC anti-sodomy laws, continuously pushed for federal workplace protections, and was instrumental in removing homophobia and junk-science from the American Psychiatric Association and sexual orientation from its manual of mental disorders.
Helping Our Brothers and Sisters (HOBS) is an all-volunteer micro-charity that helps marginalized LGBT individuals in the Washington D.C. area meet short-term needs. HOBS’ focus is on those who do not fit the criteria for help from other organizations or agencies.
For the past year HOBS has been helping Kameny meet his basic needs. Like so many who have lost their jobs because of workplace discrimination his needs aren’t being met with his slim pension.
For the price of a nice cocktail you can make a small donation to HOBS and toast a truly remarkable man.
We named a street after him. Now we have a chance to truly honor this great man and show him how much we appreciate his life and work: Buy Frank A Drink.