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LGBTQ+ Resource Guide


Barbara Gittings, born July 31, 1932, was the mother of the LGBT civil rights movement.  She started the New York chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), which was a subset of the first lesbian civil rights organization, born in San Francisco. She was the editor of the DOB's publication, The Ladder, the first national lesbian magazine. She helped enlist activists for the first public demonstrations and these protests paved the way for the Stonewall riot in 1969. After 1969, Gittings and others suspended the Annual Reminders to support the 1970 march commemorating the first anniversary of Stonewall, which is often remembered as the first New York city Pride Parade.  She and others waged multi-year campaigns for the declassification of homosexuality as a mental disorder and after storming a meeting in an attempt to be heard, they held a panel on homosexuality with a doctor who hid behind a mask and voice disguiser in an attempt to hide the doctor's identity for fear of retribution. The American Psychiatric Association held a committee to determine if the scientific evidence to support their conclusion and in 1973, the APA announced its removal of the classification. She was vital in the crusade to promote gay literature and eliminate discrimination in the nation's libraries. Gittings died on February 18, 2007.