Contemporary Era (1945 – Present)

The Forties (1940 – 1949)

1943

  • Allied forces invade the island of Sicily and store munitions in the Addaura Cave. The munitions explode, revealing previously undiscovered rock art.
  • March 27: Willem Arondeus leads the bombing of the Amsterdam Public Records Office, in order to hinder Nazi efforts to root out Jews in the area.
  • July 1: Willem Arondeus is executed by Nazis. His last words are: “Let it be known that homosexuals are not cowards.”

1945

  • Christine Jorgensen — still living as a man — graduates high school and enlists in the Army, serving during the end of World War II.

1947

  • The Sex Perversion Elimination Program begins in the United States.

1948

  • Alfred Kinsey publishes “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male”.

1949

The Fifties

1950

  • William H. Parker becomes chief of the Los Angeles Police Department. He makes stamping out homosexuality a priority for the city’s law enforcement.
  • Carlett Angianlee Brown — still living as a man — joins the Navy. A medical examination determines she is intersex.
  • lavender-rept-cover-lFebruary: Joseph McCarthy announces he has a list of Communists working in the Federal government — the list includes two homosexuals. The Red Scare and the Lavender Scare begin.
  • April 15: The Lavender Scare continues. The Republican National Chair Guy George Gabrielson claims that homosexuals are “perhaps as dangerous as actual Communists.”
  • May 10: The pilot version of the Automatic Computing Engine (ACE) enacts its first program. Alan Turing is at Cambridge and not able to witness the event.

1951

  • October 8: Christine Jorgensen — partially through a series of gender confirmation surgeries in Europe — writes a letter to friends in the United States expressing how happy she is to be transitioning.

1952

  • Alan Turing begins a romantic relationship with 19 year old Arnold Murray. After a burglar breaks into Turing’s home, their relationship is discovered. Both men are charged with a crime.
  • Langston Hughes refers to Ma Rainey in his poem “Shadow of the Blues.”
  • March: The Lavender Scare continues. 162 United States Federal government employees are fired because they are suspected of being homosexuals.
  • March 31: Regina v. Turing and Murray goes to trial. Alan Turing is convicted, stripped of his security clearance, and put on probation and forced into hormonal treatment.
  • December 1: The New York Daily News puts Christine Jorgensen on its front cover, with the headline “Ex-GI Becomes Blonde Bombshell: Operations Transform Bronx Youth”.

1953

  • Jole Bovio Marconi publishes her findings on the prehistoric rock art in the Addaura Cave. She believes one of the pictures is a homoerotic image.
  • Alan Turing completes a chess program for computers. The technology to run the program doesn’t exist, so he demonstrates with an actual chessboard.
  • Alfred Kinsey publishes “Sexual Behavior in the Human Female”.
  • April 27: The Lavender Scare continues. U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs Executive Order 10450 — officially banning homosexuals from being employed by the Federal government. The tactics of the Lavender Scare are heightened.
  • August: Carlett Angianlee Brown was scheduled to meet with Dr. Christian Hamburger in Berlin during this month — however, her plans went awry.

1954

  • April: Dale Olson — using the alias Curtis White — appears on an episode of “Confidential File” to defend homosexuality. It is the first time any LGBTQ+ appears on television to do so.
  • June 7: Alan Turing dies of cyanide poisoning.
  • June 19: Senator Lester Hunt commits suicide in his office after his son’s arrest for soliciting a male prostitute, and the viciousness of the Lavender Scare, ends his political career.

1955

  • Kurt Hiller returns to Germany.

1956

1958

  • The Florida Legislative Investigation Committee begins a localized Lavender Scare to drive homosexuals out of state universities.

1959

  • Christine Jorgensen becomes engaged to a man named Howard J. Knox, who loses his job as a result of the engagement. Their request for a marriage license is denied.
  • May: Cooper’s Do-nut Riot.Cops attempt to arrest five LGBTQ individuals at Cooper’s Do-nuts in Los Angeles — when one of them objects to having five people shoved in the back of one cop car, a riot ensues.

The Sixties (1960 – 1969)

1962

  • Jackie Shane moves to Toronto and becomes an instant legend in the developing R&B scene. Her first recordings are published — including “Any Other Way.”

1964

1965

  • April 17 & 18: 40 LGBTQ+ activists protest in Washington D.C. in regards to Cuba’s policies on homosexuality. It is — at the time — the largest organized LGBT protest in history.
  • April 25: A Dewey’s Lunch Counter in Philadelphia refuses to serve LGBTQ+ people — denying service to 150 people in just one day. This sparks a sit-in protest.
  • May 2: A second sit-in protest occurs at Dewey’s Lunch Counter.
  • July 4: The first of the Annual Reminders is held in Philadelphia.

1966

  • August: Police attempt to arrest peaceful protesters outside Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco. The protest turns into a riot.

1967

  • January 1: The Black Cat Tavern is raided by police — the patrons riot.
  • February 11: The LBTQ+ communiy of L.A. stages simultaneous protests across the city in response to the Black Cat raid.

1969

  • June 28: The Stonewall Riots. Police raid the Stonewall Inn — the patrons resist, sparking a multi-night riot on Christopher Street in New York City.

The Seventies

1973

  • June 24: A fire is set at the Upstairs Lounge. The arson attack claims 28 lives, and is the deadliest attack on a gay bar until 2016.

1975

1976

1978

  • Jeremy Bentham‘s 1785 essay “Offences Against Oneself” is published for the first time in “The Journal of Homosexuality”.

The Eighties

1981

  • May 18: Lawrence Mass publishes “Disease Rumors Largely Unfounded” in The New York Native newspaper.
  • June 5: The CDC publishes its first documentation of the disease that will become known as AIDS.

1982

1985

  • July 21: Dale Olson releases a statement on behalf of his client, Rock Hudson, announcing that Hudson has inoperable liver cancer. However, Dale strongly believes Hudson can bring much needed attention to the AIDS crisis and encourages his client to do so.
  • July 25: Thanks largely to Dale Olson‘s encouragement, Rock Hudson’s French publicist releases a statement acknowledging that Rock Hudson has AIDS. The number of donations made to AIDS research through the rest of this year more than double those donated in the entirety of 1984.

The Nineties (1990 – 1999)

1991

  • Dung Hà becomes the lover of the influential crime boss Hùng Cốm — her influence in the criminal underworld of Hai Phong grows.

1992

  • Althea Garrison runs for the Massachusetts House of Representatives. She wins the election by 437 votes. She is subsequently outed in the Boston Herald by reporter Eric Fehrnstrom.
  • Marsha P. Johnson is found dead. Her death is ruled a suicide.

1993

  • Laws criminalizing homosexuality are repealed in East Germany.

1994

  • East and West Germany reunited — decriminalizing homosexuality in West Germany.

1995

  • Dung Hà is arrested. Her lover Phuong leaves her, and her criminal empire begins to fall apart.

1998

  • October 6: Matthew Shepard is brutally attacked, tied to a fence and left for dead. He will die six days later.

The Two Thousands (2000 – 2009)

2003

  • June 26: The Supreme Court of the U.S. announces its decision regarding Lawrence v. Texas — deciding that anti-sodomy laws are unconstitutional and officially decriminalizing homosexuality in the United States.

2005

  • The Supreme Court of the U.S. rules against Louisiana’s legal definition of “crimes against nature” including “unnatural carnal copulation by a human being with another of the same sex”.

2009

  • October 28: The Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr Hate Crime Prevention Act is signed into law.

The Tens (2010 – 2019)

2011

  • Excavations at the Prague 6 dig site uncover the grave of a biological male buried in the traditional style of a woman.

2012

  • Thanks to the work of Mariah Lopez, the investigation into the death of Marsha P. Johnson is re-opened.
  • October 11: The Legacy Walk is inaugurated in Chicago. Christine Jorgensen, Alan Turing and Alfred Kinsey are inducted into the Legacy Walk.

2013

  • June 26: The Supreme Court of the U.S. announces its decision regarding the United States v. Windsor — striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act.

2015

  • June 26: The Supreme Court of the U.S. announces its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges — deciding in favor of marriage equality.

2016

  • June 12: A mass shooting during Latin night at Pulse in Orlando takes the lives of 49 LGBT+ people and allies and wounds another 58. It is, at the time, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history and the deadliest attack on a gay bar.

2017

  • June 26: The Supreme Court of the U.S. announces its decision regarding Pavan v. Smith — striking down an Arkansas law that prevented both members of a same-sex couple from having parental rights over their children.

2018

  • June 4: The Supreme Court of the U.S. announces its decision regarding Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission — deciding that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had violated the First Amendment by not acting in a way that was neutral to religious beliefs.

2019

  • “Any Other Way” is nominated for a Grammy — making Jackie Shane a Grammy nominated singer 50 years after she retired from music.
  • January 9: Althea Garrison is sworn in to Boston City Council — taking the seat vacated by Ayanna Pressley.
  • February 21: Jackie Shane is found in her home, having passed away peacefully in her sleep.