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100 Years Of LGBT History On The West Coast

100 Years Of LGBT History On The West Coast

100 Years Of LGBT History On The West Coast

It's time to turn back time.

Pride season is upon us and Los Angeles and San Francisco, which host two of the country's largest celebrations, are about to kick off their 45th years. To mark the anniversary, we’ve taken a look back at some significant events in West Coast LGBT history during the last hundred years:

1917, Oregon: Alberta Lucille Hart graduates from University of Oregon Medical School and undergoes a hysterectomy a year later (the closest to transitioning that existed at the time), and becomes one of the first known female-to-male transitions. Hart lives as a man, Dr. Alan L. Hart, who marries twice before dying in 1962.

1930, Seattle: The Casino opened on the corner of Washington Street and 2nd Avenue. It was regarded as "the only place on the West Coast that was open and free for gay people" and where same-sex dancing was allowed. 

1947, Los Angeles: Lisa Ben, a secretary working at RKO Studios uses the carbon paper and typewriter at her job to publish Vice Versa, often recognized as the first known lesbian magazine.

1950, Los Angeles: The first American gay rights group, the Mattachine Society, is founded.

Image via Rollins College

1955, San Francisco: Four lesbian couples start the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), the first national lesbian political and social organization in the country.

1958, San Diego: Homosexuals were not issued licenses to run bars (this holds true through the 1970s), so Lou Arko, a straight Italian man, opened the Brass Rail, the city’s longest-running gay bar.

Image via Brass Rail

1965, San Francisco: One of the largest LGBT charity organizations in existence today, the Imperial Court System is established by José Sarria.

1967, Los Angeles: The first edition of The Advocate is published.

Image via The Advocate

1968, Los Angeles: Troy Perry establishes the first congregation of the Metropolitan Community Church, a denomination that supports the LGBT community.

1970, California: The first LGBT Pride Parade takes place in Los Angeles and San Francisco holds its first "gay-in.” 

Image via The Advocate

1974, San Diego: About 200 people march through downtown San Diego proclaiming their sexual orientation, though some participants cover their faces for fear of retaliation. This is widely considered the city’s first LGBT Pride.

1975, Portland: About 200 people attend the first Pride celebration in Portland, Oregon.

1977, San Francisco: Harvey Milk wins a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and becomes the first openly-gay person elected to public office.

Image via Milk Foundation

1977, Seattle: Seattle mayor, Charles Royer declares an official Pride week.

1985, San Diego: Barbara Peabody founds Mothers of AIDS Patients (MAPS) to combat prejudice and offer support.

1986, Palm Springs: The city hosts its first Pride celebration.

2008, Portland: Sam Adams (pictured on the right) becomes the first openly gay mayor in a major U.S. city.

Image via Facebook

2014, Long Beach, Calif.: Robert Garcia is elected the first Latino, openly gay—and the city’s youngest—mayor.

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