Kameny in D.C.
Kameny was fired from his job at the Army Map Service in 1957 after he was arrested in Lafayette Park—then a gay male cruising location. The Civil Service fired him as a “sexual pervert.”

Kameny unlike others who hid their heads in shame, fought the dismissal. He lost, but went on to become one of the founders of the Mattachine Society in Washington, D.C.—an early gay rights group.

He brought a militancy to the nascent gay rights movement in the years before the Stonewall Rebellion—generally credited with the start of the gay rights movement.

Kameny was an early gay activist, who together with others, organized picket lines at the White House, Civil Service Commission and Pentagon in 1965.

Kameny was one of the leaders among those who campaigned to overturn the American Psychiatric Association’s classification of homosexuality as a “sickness.”

He and other advocates succeeded in 1973 when the trustees of the APA removed the designation. Dissident psychiatrists petitioned the issue to the membership but the trustees’ decision was upheld 20,000-3,800—a resounding victory for Kameny and the other advocates.

Kameny died in 2011.
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