Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Million Thanks, Frank

Frank Kameny has died at the age of 86.  As LGBT heroes go, they don't come any bigger.  Or feistier.

When he was fired from his job at the Army Map Service in 1957 for being queer, he didn't go quietly, taking his case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Kameny was a Mattachine Society of Washington founder, and he picketed the White House years before Stonewall.

Kameny, credited with the slogan "Gay is Good," also played a major role in the American Psychiatric Association's 1973 decision to stop classifying homosexuality as a mental illness.  He was the first openly gay candidate for Congress . . . well, the list goes on and on.  We might just owe the government a debt for firing Kameny in 1957 and turning him into a gay-rights juggernaut.

In 2009 Kameny received an apology from the government for his firing.  John Berry, director of the United States Office of Personnel Management, tendered the apology.  Berry is openly gay.

Perfect, wouldn't you say?