Color postcard from circa 1957-1967 of State Street in Ann Arbor, Michigan, near the University of Michigan campus.
Kathy Kozachenko: LGBTQ Rights in Michigan
Jillian Reese, Curator for Exhibits, Michigan History Center
Kathy Kozachenko was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in the United States when she won an Ann Arbor City Council seat on April 2, 1974.
Kathy joined thousands of LGBTQ+ folks who “came out” as a political act after the 1969 Stonewall Inn Uprising. Before Stonewall, people rarely “outted” themselves, because they faced losing their jobs, their housing, and their lives for being identified as gay or transgender. “Coming out” became a protest against discrimination and violence.
In the 1970s, Ann Arbor and Detroit developed into centers for the Gay Liberation Movement in Michigan. Ann Arbor was the first municipality in the U.S. to acknowledge Gay Pride Week and one of the first to pass anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation.
Today, the LGBTQ+ community is underrepresented in American politics making up just 0.17% of all elected officials.
Listen to Jillian Reese with the Michigan History Centers talk with Stateside host April Baer on Michigan Radio about the history of LGBTQ in Michigan as well as Kathy Kozachenko, who openly ran as a lesbian candidate and won her elections as for City Counsel in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Read the transcript of Jillian Reese with the Michigan History Centers conversation with Stateside host April Baer on Michigan Radio about the history of LGBTQ in Michigan as well as Kathy Kozachenko, who openly ran as a lesbian candidate and won her elections as for City Counsel in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
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