Early efforts of the Homophile movement were aimed at repealing
state laws prohibiting sodomy. Some of the early supporters outside
the movement were liberal Christian ministers. The slide behind
Barbara is of a 1967 publication "Social Progress" from
the United Presbyterian Church of the USA. This publication was
one of the first non-homosexual publications seeking to change
society's views of homosexuality. Other religious denominations
followed with groundbreaking discussions during the following
Another focus of the early movement was to remove homosexuality
from the list of psycological disorders. In 1970, a group of activists
disrupted a session on aversion therapy at the American Psychiatric
Association. The activists chanted "Stop speaking about us
and start talking with us." To the credit of the APA in 1971
they hosted a panel entitled "Lifestyles of Non-patient Homosexuals"
or jokingly referred to as "Lifestyles of Impatient Homosexuals."
Panelists included Barbara, Frank Kameny and two psychiatrists.
Barbara's partner Kay Tobin Lahusen noted the panel was composed
of two homosexuals who weren't psychiatrists and two psychiatrists
who weren't homosexual. What the panel needed was someone who
was both a psychiatrist and a homosexual. Barbara noted by 1971
some things had changed, but it was very difficult to find a homosexual
psychiatrist willing to be part of the panel. Frank and Barbara
found one willing to participate on the provision he could wear
a mask, a wig and use a voice distorting microphone. Hence "Dr.
H. Anonymous" was born. He rocked the establishment as he
told his story and his inability to be honest with his fellow
psychiatrists and patients. Following much behind the scenes effort,
in 1973 the APA removed homosexuality from it's list of medical
disorders and as one Philadelphia newspaper noted "Homosexuals
Gain Instant Cure" in the story's headline. The slide behind
Barbara shows Frank Kameny and "Dr. H. Anonymous". Barbara
is part of the picture to Frank's right, but the real Barbara
is blocking view. The psychiatrist who was disguised as "Dr.
H. Anonymous" was really Dr. John Fryer and he died in 2003.
The picture behind Barbara is a campaign poster from Jack Baker's
1971 run for student body president at the University of Minnesota.
The poster includes mom, apple pie, the Bible, a baby and the
national flag; all standard props for any serious campaign. Jack
lost the race, but garnered 46% of the vote.
Another poster from Jack's campaign. One more note about Jack
is his 1970 effort on behalf of gay marriage. He and his lover
Michael McConnell sought a marriage liscence in Minneapolis and
when they were refused created such a stir the state ledgeslature
attempted to change the law to recognize marriage as being between
a man and woman only.
Click here to see clearer
photos of the two Jack Baker election posters
Picture of Barbara and slide of those who provided assistance
in creating her presentation.
Post lecture picture of Barbara with fellow activist William B.
Barbara with Jim Kelly, one of her admirers in attendence.
Ken Bronson and Pete Burke pictured with Barbara.
Barbara Gittings with Marie Kuda a long-time Chicago-area activist
and columnist, whose association with the GLBT has spanned fifteen
Max Smith posing with Barbara Gittings.
Chen Ooi, Barbara and Bill after the event.
Barbara Gittings pictured with Cindy Hasemeier.
Barbara with friends Chen, Bill and Max.