Google Doodle Celebrates Pride Month With Gay Rights Activist Frank Kameny
Today, Google dedicates its Doodle to Frank Kameny, one of the most significant figures in America’s gay rights movement, at the start of Pride Month.
Born on May 19, 1925, in Queens, New York, Franklin Edward Kameny made history for gay rights. But that’s not all he did.
Here are a few things we know about Frank Kameny.
He was an astronomer and a war veteran
Kameny was a gifted child and enrolled at Queens College to study Physics at age 15. After fighting in World War II, Kameny obtained his PhD in Astronomy at Harvard University.
Kameny enrolled at Queens College to study Physics at just 15 years old. He saw combat during World War II and upon his return to the U.S. obtained a Doctorate in Astronomy at Harvard University. In 1957, Kameny accepted a job as an astronomer with the Army Map Service.
Kameny was fired by the army for being gay
After Kameny accepted his job with the Army Map Service, he was fired just a few months later based on an executive order effectively barring members of the LGBTQ+ community from federal employment.
He filed the first-ever gay rights appeal to the US Supreme Court
In 1961, Kameney sued the US government and filed the first-ever gay rights appeal to the US Supreme Court.
Denied but undeterred, Kameny embarked upon a lifelong fight for equal rights. He co-founded the Mattachine Society in Washington DC, and in the 1970s successfully challenged the American Psychiatric Association’s classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder.
In 1975, the Civil Service Commission finally reversed its ban on LGBTQ+ employees, and in 2009, more than 50 years after his dismissal from the Army Map Service, he received a formal apology from the US government.
The following year, Washington DC named a stretch of 17th Street NW near Dupont Circle ‘Frank Kameny Way’ in his honour.
He was the first openly gay candidate for US Congress
In 1971, Kameny became the first openly gay candidate for Congress. He lost to Walter E Fauntroy, but he and his team went on to establish the Gay and Lesbian Alliance of Washington DC, which continues to lobby the government today and fight for equal rights.
‘Gay is Good’ is written on his headstone
Frank Kameny died in October 2011, aged 86, which was National Coming Out Day.
His Veterans Memorial headstone at Washington DC’s Congressional Cemetery reads, ‘Gay is good’, one of his famous phrases.
Featured Image Credit: Google/Flickr-dbkingsdc
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