For those of us of a certain age, our knowledge of American History was rather limited. Anyone who contributed anything to this country was a straight, white male as far as we were told, so a certain bias about people who weren’t straight, white males was subconsciously built. For the “Greatest Generation”, for example, bigotry and prejudice may have been something they exercised not because of knowledge or choice, but rather because they did not know the whole story. As far as they knew, the others had not contributed anything, and, therefore, it was not incorrect to begrudge them full participation in a country to which they had not contributed.
But with time and the ability to check on our assumptions, we found that people of many races and both sexes had actually contributed, but they just were not given the credit for their contributions.
To overcome this assumption and to set the record straight, educators and educational organizations, seeing the need to correct this oversight, designated certain months to cover the heritages and contributions of those people who had become invisible by intent or mistake.
We got Black history Month, as well as Hispanic Heritage, Asian, Native-American, and Women’s Months for example. Someday this information will be just part of the flow of information, but until then there is a need to make a conscious effort to set the record straight.
This is not an effort to hide the contributions of the straight, white male Americans, or to take anything away from them, but to have us understand that Americans of every group have made contributions, and some of that information is quite surprising.
October is one of those months.
October is Gay History Month.
Many people by now are familiar with the Stonewall Rebellion in New York city in 1969, but there is more history than that.
The following is a list of some famous Gay Americans. They are from all walks of life. Some we were taught about in school, others we know of for various reasons. Some contributed in major ways; some in minor ones. Some are living; some are dead. Some we admired for what they have done, so we should admire them no less seeing their names in this list. Some may be a surprise.
But, if you are reading this, you obviously have a computer, and as you have the whole month, you can look up some of the ones with whom you are not familiar. That is the purpose of months like this. And if the list is just too long to get through, that also is the point.
A. Scott Berg, Aaron Copland, Abby DeWald, Ada Dwyer Russell, Adam Bouska, Adam Ebbin, Adam Lambert, Adam Nagourney, Adam Shankman, Adrienne Rich, Alix Dobkin, Allan Bloom, Alwin Nikolais, Amanda Barrett, Amy Ray, Andrea Dworkin, Andrea Sperling, Andreas Deja, Andrew Goldstein, Andrew Holleran, Andy Milligan, Andy Towle, Annie Leibovitz, Anthony Romero, Antonio A. Feliz, Ari Gold, Audre Lorde, B.D. Wong, Scott Hoffman, Barbara Deming, Barbara Hammer, Barbara Jordan, Barbara Smith, Barney Frank, Barry Dennen, Barry Sandler, Barry Winchell, Bayard Rustin, Baylen Leonard, Ariel Levy, Ariel Schrag, Arlene Raven, Arthur Laurents, Arthur Russell, Arturo Islas, Andy Warhol, Angela Davis, Angela Robinson, Ben Harvey, Ben Weber, Benjamin Cohen, Benjamin Cruz, Berenice Abbott, Bernard King, Betty Berzon, Bill Condon, Bill Richardson, Bonnie Dumanis, Boze Hadleigh, Brad Gooch, Brandi Carlile, Brian Dannelly, Brian Graden, Brian Hargrove, Bruce Bastian, Chuck Palahniuk, Chuck Panozzo, Clay Aiken, Clifton Webb, Clinton Kelly, Cole Porter, Colin Cowie, Colleen Coover, Conrad Cummings, Cooper Seay, Coral Smith, Craig Chester, Craig Lucas, Craig Rodwell, Craig Zadan, Cris Williamson, Dale Peck, Dan Anderson, Dan Butler, Dan Mathews, Dan Savage, Daniel Pinkham, Daniel Vosovic, Danielle Egnew, Danny Pintauro, Darren Star, Dave Koz, Dave White, David Brock, David Brudnoy, David Cicilline, David Daniels, Cesar Romero, Chad Beguelin, Chandler Burr, Charles A. Reich, David Del Tredici, Charles Busch, Charles Clegg, Charles J. O'Byrne, Charles Karel Bouley, Charles Nelson Reilly, Charles Perez, Charles Silverstein, Charles Tomlinson Griffes, Charles Whitebread, Charles Wuorinen, Charlie Howard, Charlotte Saunders Cushman, Cherry Jones, Chester Kallman, Cheyenne Jackson, Chip Kidd, Chris Carter, Chris Crocker, Chris Garneau, Chris Kanyon, Chris Pureka, Christian Siriano, Christine C. Quinn, Christine Vachon, Christopher B. Landon, Christopher Bram, Christopher Cabaldon, Christopher Makos, Christopher Penczak, Christopher Rice, Christopher Sieber, Chrystos, Bruce Bawer, Bruce Benderson, Bruce Vilanch, Bruce Weber, Bruce William Nickerson, Bryan Fuller, Bryan Kocis, Bryan Singer, Bunny Breckinridge, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Cam Clarke, Candace Gingrich, Carl Phillips, Carl van Vechten, Carmen McRae, Carole LaFavor, Cat Cora, Catie Curtis, Cecil Taylor, Bill T. Jones, Bill Tilden, Billy Merrell, Billy Name, Billy Strayhorn, Bob Mould, David Drake, David Geffen, David Gerrold, David Hernandez, David Hyde Pierce, David Kopay, David LaChapelle, David Leavitt, David Ogden Stiers, David Sedaris, David Wojnarowicz,Davina Kotulski, Dean Corll, Dean Phoenix, Deborah Batts, Deke Nihilson, Del Shores, Denice Denton, Denis O'Hare, Dennis Cooper, Derek Hartley, Diana L. Eck, Diana Nyad, Diane Murphy, David Diamond, Bob Paris, Bobby Trendy, Bonnie Curtis, Bertha Harris, Beth Clayton, Beth Ditto, Bettina Aptheker, Angelina Weld Grimke, Ann Weldy, Ann Donahue, Annea Lockwood, Andrew Mattison, Andrew Tobias, André Leon Talley, Andy Cohen, Amanda Bearse, Amanda Moore, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, Ami Cusack, Amy Bloom, Allan Gurganus, Allan Heinberg, Allen Ginsberg, Allen R. Schindler, Jr., Allison Adler, Alma Routsong, Alonso Duralde, Alvin Ailey, Al Rantel, Alain LeRoy Locke, Alan Ball, Alan Poul, Alec Mapa, Alex Sanchez, Alexandra Hedison, Ali Liebegott, Alice Wu, Alicia Bridges, Alison Bechdel, Afdhere Jama, Diane Whipple, Dick Sargent, Dick Scanlan, Dimitris Mitropoulos, Dirk Shafer, Divine, Don Bachardy, Don Mancini, Don Roos, Donald Harvey, Donna Dresch, Dorien Grey, Dorothy Allison, Gary Cloutier, Gary Floyd, Gary Matson, Gayle Rubin, George C. Wolfe, George Cukor, George Grizzard, George Kelly, George Nader, Harry Partch, Hart Crane, Harvey Fierstein, James Schuyler, James St. James, James Zappalorti, Jamie Babbit, Jamie McGonnigal, Jim Verraros, JM J. Bullock, Judy Gold, Lance Bass, Lorenz Hart, Lorraine Hansberry, Lorrie Sprecher, Lou Harrison, Louis Edmonds, Lucius Beebe, Lupe Valdez, Lynn Lavner, Peter Bacanovic, Peter Frechette, Peter McWilliams, Peter Paige, Peterson Toscano, Phil Jimenez, Philip Gambone, Philip Johnson, Phranc, Mercedes de Acosta, Meredith Baxter, Nomy Lamm, Ray Boltz, Rebecca Wight, Reichen Lehmkuhl, René Hicks, Ric Weiland, Rives Kistler, Rob Marshall, Ron Suresha, Ron Vawter, Ronald Robertson, Rose Troche, Suze Orman, T. R. Knight, Tammy Baldwin, Tammy Bruce, Tammy Lynn Michaels, Ted Allen, Ted Casablanca, Tennessee Williams, Thom Bierdz, Terrence McNally, Terry Sweeney, Thelma Ellen Wood, Sean W. Kennedy, Seth Rudetsky, Sharon Isbin, Sheila Kuehl, Thomas Anthony Dooley, Thomas M. Disch, Tom Waddell, Tommy Keene, Wallace Thurman, Walt Whitman, Wanda Sykes, Warren Allen Smith, Warren Casey, Warren G, Wash Westmoreland, Waylon Payne, Wesley Eure, Will Scheffer, Will Wikle, Willa Cather, Willi Smith, William Alexander Levy, William Alexander Percy, William Armstrong Percy, III, William Bonin, William Hernandez, William Inge, William Morris Meredith, Jr., Tommy Kirk, Tommy Tune, Toni Atkins, Tony Kushner, Toshi Reagon, Tracey Adams, Trev Broudy, Truman Capote, Urvashi Vaid, Valerie Solanas, Valerie Taylor, Van Cliburn, Van Darkholme, Vicki Randle, Victor Salva,Virgil Thomson, Vladimir Horowitz, Wallace Potts, Thomas M. Tunney, Thomas Pasatieri, Thomas Roberts, Thomas Schippers,Thornton Wilder, Ti-Grace Atkinson, Tim Gill, Tim Kirkman, Tobias Schneebaum, Todd Haynes, Todd Holland, Tom Ammiano, Tom Ford, Tom G. Palmer, Tom Tryon, Tom Villard, Sherry Glaser, Sheryl Swoopes, Silvio Horta, Solomon King, Sonia Johnson, Staceyann Chin, Stephanie Adams, Stephen Donaldson, Stephen McCauley, Stephen Sondheim, Stephen Trask, Steve Antin, Steve Kmetko, Steve Rubell, Steven Greenberg, Steven Saylor, Sue Wicks, Susan Sontag, Samuel Barber, Samuel Bernstein, Sam Jensen Page, Samuel R. Delany, Sande Zeig, Sandi Simcha DuBowski, Santino Rice, Sapphire, Sara Gilbert, Sarah Aldridge, Sarah Orne Jewett, Sarah Paulson, Sarah Schulman, Scott Amedure, Scott Capurro, Scott Coffey, Scott Heim, Scott Rudin, William S. Burroughs, William Sledd, William Spratling, William Thetford, Wilson Cruz, Winnaretta Singer, Wolfgang Busch, Zac Posen, Zebedy Colt, Zoë Lewis, Moisés Kaufman, Scotty Joe Weaver, Sean Ethan Owen, Rosie Jones, Rosie Mendez, Rosie O'Donnell, Ross Bleckner, Roy Cohn, Roy Simmons, Rudy Galindo, Ruth Anderson, Ruth Ellis, Ryan Murphy, Ryan O'Meara, Sakia Gunn, Sam Adams, Sam Champion, Sam Garrison, Sam Harris, Sam Pancake, Robert Denning, Robert Ferro, Robert Gant, Robert Helps, Robert Lentz, Robert Patrick, Robert Peters, Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Reed, Robert Rodi, Robert V. Taylor, Roberta Achtenberg, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Rock Hudson, Roddy Bottum, Romaine Patterson, Ron Athey, Ron Nyswaner, Richard Bruce Nugent, Richard Chamberlain, Richard Deacon, Richard Hatch, Richard McCann, Richard Pillard, Richard Rodriguez, Richard Siken, Richard Socarides,Richmond Barthé, Rick Owens, Rip Taylor, Rita Mae Brown, R. H. Barlow, Rachel Carns, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Rachel Maddow, Radclyffe, Randi Weingarten, Randy Harrison, Randy Jones, Randy Shilts, Randy Stone, Paul Taylor, Paul Winfield, Paula Gunn Allen, Paula Vogel,Pauline Oliveros, Pedro Zamora, Perry Watkins, Pete Williams, Paul Bartel, Paul Cadmus, Paul Jabara, Paul Lisicky, Paul Lynde, Paul Phillips, Paul Rosenfels, Paul Rudnick, Panzi, Paris Barclay, Patricia Barber, Patricia Racette, Patrick Quinn, Patrick White, Patrik-Ian Polk, Patty Larkin, Patty Schemel, Norman Wong, Oliver Sipple, Ona Munson, Otep Shamaya, Othniel Askew, Owen Dodson, P. Craig Russell, Michael Ausiello, Michael Bennett, Norah Vincent, Michael Berresse, Nate Berkus, Michael Bishop, Michael Callen, Michael Clark, Michael Cunningham, Michael Holloway Perronne, Michael Jeter, Michael Kors, Michael Nava, Michael Patrick King, Michael Rupert, Michael Sandy, Michael Tilson Thomas, Michelle Ehlen, Michelle Tea, Michelle Wolff, Mike Jones, Mike Lawlor, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Minor White, Miranda Prather, Miriam Van Waters, Mitch Cullin, Mitchell Leisen, Molly McKay, Monty Woolley, Muffin Spencer-Devlin, Mychal F. Judge, Nancy Cook, Nancy Kulp, Nancy Wilson, Natalie Clifford Barney,Mabel Maney, Maile Flanagan, Malcolm Gets, Malka Drucker, Marc Blitzstein, Marc Cherry, Marc Jacobs, Marc Shaiman, Marcia Freedman, Marco Pennette, Margarethe Cammermeyer, Margie Adam, Marilyn Hacker, Mario Cantone, Mark Adamo, Mark de Solla Price, Mark Doty, Mark Foley, Mark Richard Zubro, Mark V. Olsen, Mark Weigle, Marlon Riggs, Marsden Hartley, Marsha Stevens, Marshall Kirk McKusick, Martin Duberman, Martin Sherman, Martin Sorrondeguy, Martina Navratilova, Mary Cheney, Mary Gauthier, Mary Oliver, Matthew Shepard, Matthew Stadler, Matt Bernstein Sycamore, Max Mutchnick, May Swenson, Maya Keyes, Meg Christian, Megan Cavanagh, Mel White, Melissa Etheridge, Melissa Scott, Lance Loud, Lanford Wilson, Langston Hughes, Larry Kramer, Laud Humphreys, Laura Antoniou, Laura Gilpin, Laurel Hester, Laurette Taylor, Lawrence Philpot, Lea DeLaria, Lee Daniels, Lee Hoiby, Leisha Hailey, Leo Lerman, Leroy F. Aarons, Lesley Gore, Leslie Jordan, Leslie Mah, Lesléa Newman, Levi Kreis, Liberace, Lillian Faderman, Lily Tomlin, Linda Perry, Linda Shear, Lionel Pries, Lisa Raymond, Loie Fuller, Lonnie Frisbee, Judy Grahn, Julian Eltinge, Julie Anne Peters, Julie Goldman, Julie Mehretu, Junior Vasquez, Justin Raimondo, Kaia Wilson, Kaki King, Kate Clinton, Kate Fleming, Kate Schellenbach, Katharine Anthony, Katharine Lee Bates, Katherine Brooks, Kathy Rudy, Kay Lahusen, Kay Ryan, Kayne Gillaspie, Keith Boykin, Keith Haring, Keith McDermott, Keith Strickland, Kelli Carpenter-O'Donnell, Kelly McGillis, Nick Verreos, Kenji Yoshino, Kenneth Anger, Kenneth Nelson, Kenneth Reeves, Kenny Greene, Kent James, Kerwin Mathews, Kevin Aviance, Kevin Sessums, Kevin Williamson, Kevyn Aucoin, Kim Stolz, Kyan Douglas, Lady Rhea, Joan E. Biren, Joan Nestle, Joanna Russ, Jobriath, Jodie Foster, Joe Keenan, Joe Redner, Joel Schumacher, Joey Arias, John Aravosis, Neil Patrick Harris, John Ashbery, John August, John Benjamin Hickey, John Boswell, John C. Goss, John Cage, Neil Smith, Newton Arvin, John Cameron Mitchell, John Corigliano, John Preston, John Rechy, John Roecker, John Saul, John Scagliotti, John Tartaglia, John Wallowitch, John Waters, John Wieners, John Wojtowicz, Johnnie Ray, Johnny Mathis, Jolie Justus, Jon Hinson, Nathan Lane, Nathan Hale Williams, Jon Robin Baitz, Jonathan Groff, Ned Rorem, Jonathan Rauch, Joseph Hansen, José Agustín Quintero, Judith Butler, Jane Addams, Jane Lynch, Jane Wagner, Janis Ian, Jann Wenner, Jason Bellini, Jason Ricci, Jason Sellards, Jasper Johns, JD Disalvatore, Jean Acker, Jean O'Leary, Jeff Marx, Jeff Whitty, Jeffree Star, Jeffrey Altergott, Jennifer Chrisler, Jennifer Higdon, Jennifer Miller, Jerome Robbins, Jerry Herman, Jerry Hunt, Jerry Smith, Jessica Graham, Jillian Armenante, Jim McGreevey, Harvey Levin, Harvey Milk, Heather Matarazzo, Helen Jacobs, Helen Stephens, Helen Zia, Henry Alley, Henry Cowell, Herb Ritts, Herbert Muschamp, Hilary Rosen, Horatio Alger, Jr., Horst P. Horst, Howard Ashman, Howard Cruse, Howard Roffman, Ilene Chaiken, Isaac Mizrahi, J. P. Calderon, J. Warren Kerrigan, Jack Baker, Jack Kenny, Jack Larson, Jack Pierson, Jack Plotnick, Jack Smith, Jack Snow, Jack Spicer, Jackie Goldberg, Jackie Warner, Jacqueline Woodson, Jai Rodriguez, James B. Pollack, James B. Stewart, James Baldwin, James Beard, James Bridges, James Coco,James Collins,James Dean, James Kirkwood, Jr., James Palacio, James Robert Baker, Joe Quigley, George Takei, George Whitmore, Gertrude Stein, Gian Carlo Menotti,Gina Genovese, Gladys Bentley, Glenn Burke, Glenn Shadix, Glenway Wescott, Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Grace Ross, Grant Hart, Greg Fox,Greg Louganis,Gregg Araki,Gregory Douglass, Gretchen Phillips,Guillermo Díaz, Guinevere Turner, Gus Van Sant, Gwendolyn Graham,Han Ong, Dorothy Arzner, Ellen Kushner, Emily Saliers, Eric Allman, Eric Millegan, Eric Orner, Eric Rofes, Eric Shanower,Erin McKeown, Ernesto Scorsone, Ernie Manouse, Esera Tuaolo, Essex Hemphill, Eve Beglarian, Eyre de Lanux, Fannie Flagg, Felicia Pearson, Felipe Rose, Fenton Johnson, Frances Benjamin Johnston, Frank DeCaro,Frank Ferri, Frank M. Robinson, Frank O'Hara, Fred Barnes, Fred Hersch, Fred Schneider, Gabriel Rotello, Gareth Hughes, Garrison Starr, Gary Beach, Gary Burton, Doug Ireland, Doug Pinnick, Doug Spearman, Douglas Clegg, Drubskin, Dunstan Thompson, Dustin Lance Black, Dylan Rice, E. Lynn Harris, Ed Salvato, Ed Sikov, Edmund White, Edward Albee, Edward Avedisian, Edward Field, Edward Hibbert, Elana Dykewomon, Elihu Vedder, Elizabeth Bishop, Ellen DeGeneres, Ellen Gates Starr, Ellen Hart, Ajita Wilson