Gay Issues

A fond farewell to a pioneering activist

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The passing one week ago of Frank Kameny represents the final chapter of a ground-breaking life dedicated to equality for gay and lesbian Americans. Charles Francis, founder of the Kameny Papers Project, perhaps put it best when he stated recently on NPR, "Frank Kameny was a revolutionary who lived to see the world change. He's an authentic pioneer of the modern gay civil rights movement, and he largely invented it."

From being fired from his U.S. Army job for being gay in 1957, to living to see the overturning of the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy last month, Kameny served as a Founding Father of the gay rights movement. As Jonathan Capehart noted in the Washington Post, "By his example, perseverance and sacrifice, he showed gay men and lesbians — all Americans — what courage looked like. We are a better nation because [he] set out to make us so."

Rest in peace, Franklin Edward Kameny.

Christopher G. Sheeron is a public affairs consultant in Washington, DC