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“BARBARA GITTINGS WAY” DEDICATION

MOTHER OF LGBT CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT

Kickoff of LGBT History Month 2012

Philadelphia – A dedication ceremony for the Barbara Gittings Way will be held in Philadelphia on Monday, October 1st from 12:30 to 1 p.m. at the intersection of Locust and 13th Streets.

Known as the Mother of the LGBT Civil Rights Movement, Gittings (July 31, 1932 – February 18, 2007) resided in Philadelphia. She was the editor of the first lesbian publication. With Frank Kameny, she organized the Annual Reminders at Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, which launched the LGBT civil rights movement. Gittings spearheaded the successful initiative to have the American Library Association include gay and lesbian books in the nation’s card catalogues and libraries. Kameny and Gittings challenged the American Psychiatric Association, resulting in homosexuality being removed from the list of mental illnesses.

Frank Kameny (May 21, 1925 – October 11, 2011), the Father of the LGBT Civil Rights Movement, resided in Washington. There is a Frank Kameny Way in the nation’s capitol. Barbara Gittings Way will be located on Locust Street between 12th and 13th Streets in the heart of the gayborhood. Collaborating organizations include: Delaware Valley Legacy Fund, Equality PA, Independence Business Alliance, Mazzoni Center, Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus, Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus, and the William Way Community Center. 

The Barbara Gittings Way dedication will kick off Equality Forum’s LGBT History Month in October, celebrating 31 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Icons. Speakers at the dedication will include City Council President Darrell L. Clarke, Councilman Mark Squilla, and Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director, Equality Forum. The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus will perform.

Each day in October, an LGBT History Month Icon is featured with a video, biography, bibliography, downloadable images and other educational resources. These resources will be available without charge to the media, educational institutions, organizations and the public at www.lgbtHistoryMonth.com. Barbara Gittings and Frank Kameny are among the LGBT History Month Icons.

Equality Forum co-produced with WHYY/PBS “Gay Pioneers” (www.gaypioneers.com), a documentary about Barbara Gittings, Frank Kameny and other seminal leaders who launched the  movement and laid the groundwork for Stonewall. Equality Forum successfully petitioned the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission for a historic marker. The marker honors Barbara Gittings, Frank Kameny and Gay Pioneers for starting the LGBT civil rights movement with demonstrations from 1965 to 1969 in front of Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.

Equality Forum (www.equalityforum.com), a national and international LGBT civil rights organization with an educational focus,coordinates LGBT History Month worldwide, produces documentary films, undertakes high-impact initiatives and presents annually the largest national and international LGBT civil rights summit. 

Contact: Chip Alfred, Communications Director, chip@equalityforum.com, (215) 732-3378 x 116.