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Making Gay History is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that addresses the absence of substantive, in-depth LGBTQ+-inclusive American history from the public discourse and the classroom.

By sharing the stories of those who helped a despised minority take its rightful place in society as full and equal citizens, we aim to encourage connection, pride, and solidarity within the LGBTQ+ community—and to provide an entry point for both allies and the general public to its largely hidden history.

Season 1

Making Gay History — A Preview

The Making Gay History podcast mines Eric Marcus’s decades-old audio archive of rare interviews to create intimate, personal portraits of both known and long-forgotten champions, heroes, and witnesses to history.

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Sylvia Rivera — Part 1

A never-before-heard conversation with trans icon and self-proclaimed Stonewall veteran Sylvia Rivera. Hear Sylvia discuss the first night of the June 1969 uprising and her struggle for recognition in the LGBTQ rights movement.

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Wendell Sayers

You’ve never heard of Wendell Sayers, but once you hear his story, you’ll never forget him. Born in western Kansas in 1904, Wendell was the first Black lawyer to work for Colorado’s attorney general, and risked everything to join a gay discussion group.

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Edythe Eyde

In 1947, Hollywood secretary Edythe Eyde, aka Lisa Ben, had the audacity to publish “Vice Versa,” the first ever 'zine for lesbians. Even more audacious, she imagined a future gay utopia that has all come to pass. In the '50s, Edythe sang gay parodies of popular songs in L.A. gay clubs.

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Dr. Evelyn Hooker

In 1945 Dr. Evelyn Hooker’s gay friend Sam From urged her to do a study challenging the commonly held belief that homosexuals were by nature mentally ill. It was work that would ultimately strip the sickness label from millions of gay men and women and change the course of history.

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Frank Kameny

Frank Kameny fought for what was right. And he never gave up. Lessons for us all.

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Jeanne & Morty Manford

When Jeanne Manford’s gay son was badly beaten at a protest in 1972, she took action and founded an organization for parents of gays known today as PFLAG.

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Chuck Rowland

A WWII veteran turns theory into action, co-founding one of the first LGBTQ rights groups, the Mattachine Society, in 1950—a time when gay people were considered sick, sinful, criminal, and a threat to national security.

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“Dear Abby”

A generation ago, tens of millions of people turned to "Dear Abby” in her daily newspaper column for advice. Long before others did, and at considerable risk, she used her platform and celebrity in support of gay people and their equal rights.

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Barbara Gittings & Kay Lahusen — Part 1

Self-described gay rights fanatics and life partners Barbara Gittings and Kay “Tobin” Lahusen helped supercharge the nascent movement in the 1960s and brought their creativity, passion, determination, and good humor to the gay liberation 1970s, leaving behind an inspiring legacy of dramatic change.

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Vito Russo

Vito Russo loved movies, but he looked behind the silver screen and saw how Hollywood was sending a message that LGBTQ people were less-than-human. He decided that that had to change. He wrote a book, co-founded GLAAD, and when his life was on the line, was one of the people who founded ACT UP.

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