50 Years of Pride
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50 Years of Pride

History of Pride

Learn about the complexity and some of the history that has led to the modern Pride movement, how “Pride is about human rights,” as well as issues that still need to be resolved in the United States, our culture, and within the LGBTQIA+ community.

Pride Flags

Discover the different Pride flags, their meanings, and history. (External Website)


Pride by Discipline


  • Alan Turing (1912-1954) Computer scientist, mathematician, father of theoretical computer science and Artificial Intelligence. He aided in the war effort of WWII, working alongside other mathematicians in developing systems and making great strides in electrical technology. This eventually got him in trouble with Great Britain that should have been more than grateful for his work in WWII, which saved them. Despite his contribution and influence, he was still criminally charged for his identity.

List of LGBTQIA+ Scientists 

See how many names you know!  Then, click on some for their backstories.  

14 LGBTQ+ Innovators, Inventors and Scientists who Changed the World!  

Let’s celebrate 12 people who paved the way for more inclusivity within the field of engineering and beyond!

Not everything is history.  This site features dynamic, current LGBTQIA+ scientists.  They can be followed on Instagram and twitter.  

Here is an advocacy platform for LGBTQ STEM people.

And finally, a STEM Pride celebration coming up in November.


Studying rhetoric and literature means hearing, appreciating, and understanding different voices. It means listening to an array of experiences, emotions, and styles. To celebrate PRIDE, please take the time to make space for a few of the amazing pieces of queer literature below:

  • Sappho (Circa 630-570 BCE) was an ancient Greek poet from the island of Lesbos (where the term “lesbian” derives from); her work is highly scrutinized for the nature of her relationships with other women.
  • Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) was an English 20th-century writer notorious for her use of “stream of consciousness” as a literary device. Her work is central, or rather, the foundation of feminist analysis of literature.
  • Audre Lorde (1934-1992) was a black, lesbian poet who focused her work on racism, feminism, homophobia, and classism. She proclaimed her work came from an intersectional reality of the world she lived in and in the navigation of understanding the black female identity.
  • Below is a spoken word selection celebrating gender fluidity, lesbianism, and the beautiful bravery of coming out:

  • Essay by Alex Espinoza
    • Read this non fiction essay on the queer Chicano experience. The pain of a familial rejection is very real in this essay and can be triggering.
  • We The Animals by Justin Torres, a novella exploring male gender and sexuality. 


Behavioral Social Sciences

“Identity Matters,” a project featuring Professor Akello Stone with ECC Sociology students


Notable Court Cases

Mini-Lecture by Joshua Casper, ECC Political Science Instructor

LGBTQIA+ Politicians Firsts
  • First directly elected openly gay mayor in the U.S.: Gene Ulrich, Bunceton, Missouri (1980)
  • First transgender mayor: Stu Rasmussen, Silverton, Oregon (2008)
  • First openly gay person elected to public office (city council): Kathy Kozachenko, Ann Arbor, Michigan (1974)
  • First openly gay man elected to a U.S. city council: Jim Yeadon, Madison, Wisconsin (1977)
  • First openly gay or lesbian official elected to a major public office: Harvey Milk, member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (1976)
  • First openly gay black person elected to public office in the United States: Keith St. John, elected to Albany, New York common council (1989).
  • First openly gay Hispanic person elected to public office in the United States: Ricardo Gonzalez, Madison, Wisconsin (1989)
  • First openly transgender member of a city council: Joanne Conte (Arvada, Colorado)
  • First openly bisexual member of a city council: Marlene Pray, joined Doylestown, Pennsylvania, council in 2012, resigned 2013 (also first openly bisexual office holder in Pennsylvania).
  • First openly gay married couple to serve elected public office together for the same municipality (Borough Council): Thos Shipley and Joe DeIorio, Roselle Park, New Jersey (2018)
  • Kyrsten Sinema is the representative for the 9th district of Arizona, as well as the first openly bisexual U.S. senator (2019). She is an advocate for anti-discrimination laws (and the inclusion of gender identity protection under these laws) and same-sex marriage.
Homosexuality and Transgender are not Disorders
  • 1973 – The American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • 1992 – The World Health Organization removes homosexuality from its list of disorders
  • 1994 – American Medical Association denounces the ex-gay movement and supposed cures for homosexuality, saying it is not a disease.
  • 2019 – The World Health Organization no longer classifies transgender as a mental disorder.

A stone tablet from Sumer (2000-1001 BCE) tells a creation story about one of their goddesses, Ninmah, making a person with “no male organ and no female organ.”

In the middle of the night on June 28th, 2969 a brick was thrown that sparked a movement.  Learn about what led-up to that moment and the legacy of The Stonewall Riots.



  • Marsha P. Johnson (1945-1992) was a gay rights activist and self identified drag queen. She was one of the most prominent people who participated in the Stonewall Riots and the ACT UP direct action group. She and her friend Sylvia Rivera created Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), a gay and transgender sex worker advocacy organization.
  • From a one-man show turned short film, The Trevor Project (formed in 1998) is a non-profit org centered around suicide prevention for LGBTQIA+ youth. They offer guidance and resources within a close, inclusive environment for LGBTQIA+ youth in and out of school. It also operates as a 24-hour national crisis and suicide hotline.
  • The total buying power of the adult U.S. LGBTQIA+ population is around $917 billion (Huffington Post, 2015).
  • Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell realized the impact economics could have on the gender and sexuality equality movement.  In 2002, they founded the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce to actively serve “the LGBT business community.” 
  • Start Out is a national nonprofit to help support LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs. 


Fine Arts

  • Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) was a bisexual, Mexican painter, active during the earlier 20th century. She is known for her self portraits and art pieces styled around identity, postcolonialism, race, etc.
  • Wings (1927) is an American silent film, set during WWI. Lauded during its time for its realism and technical skill, it won the first Oscar for Best Picture when the award debuted in 1929. It features one of, if not the first, instance of two men kissing on screen.
  • Keith Haring (1958-1990) was an openly gay American artist whose distinctive style sprung from the New York City street culture of the 80s. Starting out as a graffiti artist in the subways, after he rose to fame his works focused on political and social themes. He is featured in the AIDS memorial quilt and is remembered through the Keith Haring Foundation.
  • Freddie Mercury (1946-1991) was the lead singer for the British rock band Queen. Regarded as one of the greatest singers to ever grace a stage, he is known for his captivating, flamboyant persona and four-octave vocal range. Offstage he was quite shy, and very fond of his numerous cats. While his sexuality is still debated today, it is documented that he had relationships with both men and women.
  • Michelangelo (1475-1564) was an Italian Renaissance artist. In his time and even now, he is praised as being almost divine-like in his ability to capture emotion in his work. Suggestion of his romantic feelings toward men is reflected in his poetry, which under analysis and translation, is said to have focused on the incomparability of male beauty.
  • Josephine Baker (1906-1975) was an American-born French entertainer and dancer; besides being the first African-American woman in film, she was an active figure in the Civil Rights Movement. She is known for her family called “The Rainbow Tribe”, which consisted of adopted children of various ethnicities. She is also remembered by many for her relationship with blues singer Clara Smith during the Harlem Renaissance era.
  • Billie Holiday (1915-1959) was a well-known Jazz singer of the 20s and 30s. In her youth, she recorded music with some of the greatest swing artists of her time and famously had relationships with both men and women, most notably, starlet Tallulah Bankhead.
  • Pepper LaBeija (1948-2003) was an American drag queen and fashion designer from the Bronx. In the 70s, she was the head of House of LaBeija in ball culture.

Health Sciences & Athletics

  • Billie Jean King (1943-Now) was an American tennis player widely known for her match against Bobby Riggs (commonly referred to as “Battle of the Sexes”). She’s an advocate for gender equality in and out of the sports world, and one of the first female professionals to come out during her career.
  • Founded by Magnus Hirschfeld, the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft (1919-1933) offered many transgender services, and was the first institute to practice modern sex reassignment surgeries.
  • Jaiyah Saelua is an American Samoan soccer player, and the first non-binary player to compete in a FIFA qualifier. They identify as “Fa’afafine”, a third gender integral to Samoan culture.
  • Michael Dillon (1915-1962) was an English doctor who, between 1946-1949, underwent 13 surgeries to become the first trans man to receive a phalloplasty.
  • In the year 2000, A. Fausto-Sterling and M. Blackless found that up to 1 in 60 people may have anatomical variations that can be considered intersex.

Industry and Technology

  • "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was repealed on September 20, 2011, ending a ban on gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military.
  • Roy and Silo (and Tango) (1987-Now) are two male chinstrap penguins who formed a same-sex pair bond in 1998. Together they raised a chick named Tango, who later went on to form a same-sex bond herself. The two eventually separated in 2005, with Silo forming another bond with a female and Roy joining a group of bachelors.
  • Christine Jorgensen, a GI during World War II, was the first widely-known trangender woman in America to undergo sex reassignment surgery.
  • Deborah Sampson dressed as a man in order to fight the British during the Revolutionary War.  It was also documented that she was attracted to women.  While still passing as a man, she married a colonial woman in order to spare her from being killed as a capture of a Native American tribe.  Through the help of Paul Revere, Sampson won her decades-long battle to receive a pension as a soldier of the Continental Army.
  • Giovanni Versace (1946-1997) was an iconic, Italian fashion designer who dressed an array of celebrities, including Elton John, Tupac, Cher, Princess Diana, Naomi Campbell, Sting, etc.  He is credited with being one of the first designers to collaborate with the music industry.


Page Contributors:

  • Susan Bickford, ECC Math Instructor
  • Erica Brenes, ECC English Instructor
  • Joshua Casper, ECC Political Science Instructor
  • Twigs Subbie, ECC Student, GSA Club President 2019-2020
  • Sarah Leinen, ECC English and Human Development Instructor
  • Akello Stone, ECC Sociology Instructor