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Milestones in Gay History

In the past 50 years—particularly after the Stonewall riots—social, political, and cultural changes have improved the standing of LGBT people. Watch

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This timeline features landmarks in American gay political and pop-cultural history in the 50 years since AARP was founded. We include the first gay-activist stirrings of the late 1950s and early '60s, the Stonewall riots in 1969, subsequent liberation marches and pride parades, the formation of gay political lobbying, fundraising and media organizations, the rise of AIDS-fighting organizations and radical activism in the 1980s and '90s, Matthew Shepard’s death and the focus on hate crimes, the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, civil unions and gay marriage, and key media events, such as Ellen DeGeneres' televised coming-out episode in 1997.

 

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