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 Barbara Gittings

Barbara Gittings

Birth
Vienna (Wien), Austria
Death 18 Feb 2007 (aged 74)
Kennett Square, Chester County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA
Memorial ID 18047727 · View Source
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Civil rights activist. The daughter of a US diplomat, she attended Northwestern University and in 1958 founded the New York chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis, later editing DOB's national magazine "The Ladder". In 1965 she took part in the first marches at the White House and other federal sites in Washington to protest discrimination against gays and lesbians. She also joined demonstrations each July 4 from 1965 to 1969 at Philadelphia's Independence Hall. These protests were the forerunner of the 1969 Stonewall protests and New York City's first Gay Pride Parade in 1970. Gittings also successfully campaigned to have homosexuality removed from the American Psychiatric Association's list of mental disorders. In addition she crusaded to make gay literature available in public libraries, and in 2003 she was recognized with an honorary lifetime membership in the American Library Association. Gittings' recollections were a key part of the documentary "Before Stonewall". Since 2001 the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has presented an annual Barbara Gittings Award. The sign she carried in 1965 -- "Sexual preference is irrelevant to federal employment" -- is now on display at the Smithsonian, a gift of fellow activist Frank Kameny, who was fired from his job as an Army astronomer because he was gay. Gittings died of breast cancer and was survived by her partner of 46 years, fellow activist Kay Tobin Lahusen.

Bio by: Bill McKern


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bill McKern
  • Added: 24 Feb 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 18047727
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Barbara Gittings (31 Jul 1932–18 Feb 2007), Find A Grave Memorial no. 18047727, citing Congressional Cemetery, Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .