On October 11, Frank Kameny died in his Washington home at age 86. His unprecedented achievements and unwavering passion for LGBT equality was honored this afternoon with a Capitol Hill memorial service. As an outspoken advocate, Frank pioneered the early years of the LGBT movement, advocating for workplace equality, acceptance in the military, and the end of laws that criminalized the lives of LGBT people across the country. At 4:30 p.m. today in the Cannon House office building, the service paid public homage to an invaluable LGBT advocate and trailblazer.
Fifty years ago on this day, Frank co-founded the Mattachine Society, a pro-LGBT group dedicated to the advancement of equal rights. Also notable, Frank strongly opposed the American Psychological Association’s categorization in the early 1970s and saw its removal in December 1973. His early work in the movement led him to create the Gay and Lesbian Alliance of Washington, D.C., a pro-LGBT lobbyist group still in operation today.
Frank’s memorial service marks the first White House honoring of a fallen LGBT advocate. Although a handful of pro-LGBT projects have been honored in the past (i.e. , ), this is the first memorial service of its kind. This act of reverence is encouraging to the movement that continues to amplify Frank’s message today. GLAAD, along with the White House, honors Frank’s memory and contributions by observing this historical memorial service.