2019 Icons

  1. Ethel Allen
  2. Kwame Anthony Appiah
  3. Gladys Bentley
  4. Jackie Biskupski
  5. Kate Bornstein
  6. Ana Brnabic
  7. Pete Buttigieg
  8. Eliza Byard
  9. Brandi Carlile
  10. George Chauncey
  11. Lou Chibbaro Jr.
  12. Sharice Davids
  13. Babe Didrickson
  14. Cheryl Dunye
  15. Lillian Faderman
  16. Ronan Farrow
  17. Jewelle Gomez
  18. Emma González
  19. Sherenté Harris
  20. Rock Hudson
  21. Robert Indiana
  22. James Ivory
  23. Anne Lister
  24. Arthur Mitchell
  25. Julia Morgan
  26. Anaraa Nyamdorj
  27. Jared Polis
  28. Angela Ponce
  29. Keshav Suri
  30. Lillian Wald
  31. Edith Wharton

Kathy Kozachenko

First “Out” Elected Official

b. ca 1954, date unconfirmed

“It is clear that they [Ann Arbor City Council members] don’t ever plan to enforce complaints under sexual preference.”

Kathy Kozachenko was the first openly gay person to be elected to a public office in the United States. In 1974 she was elected as a Human Rights Party candidate to the City Council of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

In the early 1970s only 10 cities in the United States had laws specific to homosexual rights. Most of these pertained either to housing or public employment. Ann Arbor was an exception. The city had enacted a human rights ordinance that protected homosexuals in both housing and employment. Kozachenko ran on a platform that the law had not been enforced. When the city refused to prosecute a restaurant manager who had allegedly separated two women who were dancing together, homosexuals in the town rallied. Said Kozachenko, “It is clear that they [City Council members] don’t ever plan to enforce complaints under sexual preference.”  

Kozachenko won against a Democratic contender by 43 votes. She was the first to prove that an openly gay person could run for and be elected to public office. Kozachenko helped pave the way for Harvey Milk, who was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977.