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See also: List of the first LGBT holders of political offices for a listing of office-holders by country.




This list of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) firsts by year denotes pioneers in various endeavors organized chronologically. Openly LGBT people remain a demographic minority in most cultures. In areas that historically are not known for having (or being friendly to) LGBT people who do not remain closeted, a "first" can make it easier for other openly LGBT persons to enter the field or for those who are closeted to come out. Openly LGBT people being visible in society affects societal attitudes toward homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism on a wider level.

One commonly cited example is Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person to be elected to political office in Californiamarker, becoming the most visible LGBT politician in the world in the 1970s after decades of resistance to LGBT people by mainstream culture. Milk encouraged LGBT people to come out during his speeches. As a result of his work and assassination along with San Francisco mayor George Moscone, thousands of ordinary people did. In 2002, Milk was called "the most famous and most significantly open LGBT official ever elected in the United States".

1897



1950s

1955



1960s

1967



1970s

1974

  • Kathy Kozachenko — first openly gay or lesbian candidate to win public office in the United States (won a seat on the Ann Arbor, Michigan, city council)


1975

  • Elaine Noble — first openly gay or lesbian candidate elected to a state legislature in the United States (Massachusetts state legislature)

1978

Harvey Milk in 1978.
Milk was the first openly gay elected politician in California


1980s

1980

  • David McReynolds - first openly gay man to run for president of the United States


1983



1987



Gary Miller--first openly gay man to be elected to an elementary school board

1988



1990s

1990



1995



1996



1997

  • Ellen DeGeneres — first openly gay star of a prime-time television series in the United States. DeGeneres was star of the situation comedy Ellen. In 1997, she came out as a lesbian on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Shortly afterwards, her TV series character Ellen Morgan also came out as gay in the fourth-season episode "The Puppy Episode".


1998



1999

  • Tammy Baldwin — first U.S. congressperson of either gender to be openly gay or lesbian when first elected to office
  • James Hormel - first openly gay United States ambassador


2000s

2001



2002

  • Jim McGreevey — first openly gay governor in the United States (state of New Jerseymarker); came out as part of resignation announcement, due to political scandal.


2003



2004



2005

  • Bonnie Bleskachek - first openly lesbian fire chief of a major metropolitan area in the United States (Minneapolis).


2007



2008

Rachel Maddow in August 2008


2009



See also



References


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