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You can find Frank Kameny’s oral history in Eric Marcus’s book Making Gay History. Eisenhower signed an executive order that essentially banned gay people from federal employment.Frank would have been very pleased to know (although he wouldn’t have been surprised! Frank Kameny (far right) congratulates President Barack Obama after the President delivered remarks and signing a Presidential Memorandum regarding the provision of benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees during a ceremony in the White House Oval Office on Wednesday, June 17, 2009. It was an incredibly paranoid time in our nation’s history. And why did they have to keep secret that they were gay?
You can also explore some of what’s available at The Library of Congress on a now out-of-date website devoted to Frank’s papers.He didn’t just go home and pull the covers over his head.He fought a successful eighteen-year-battle with the government to change the law so the same thing didn’t happen to other gay people.The Name File contains a copy of the first page of incoming and outgoing White House correspondence marked to indicate where the main file is located in the White House Central Subject Files.The originals of incoming correspondence not referred or not answered are also filed here.Here are the absolute basics of what you need to know about Frank Kameny, who lived a long and extraordinary life.
He was fired from his federal government job in 1957 because he was gay.Frank Kameny is featured in a Re Districted comic anthology, which includes additional links and videos (including a fantastic Charles Osgood tribute to Frank on “CBS Sunday Morning” from October 16, 2011).For a collection of Frank’s letters, which provides insight into his remarkable life and work, have a look at Michael Long’s book, Gay Is Good: The Life and Letters of Gay Rights Pioneer Frank Kameny.So…: So, I was called in and said that “We have information that leads us to believe that you are a homosexual. The next two or three years were extremely difficult.In fact, by the time I got into 1959 I was living for about eight months on 20 cents worth of food a day, which even by 1959 prices was not terribly much.Applauding from left to right is Vice President Joe Biden, Rep. The anti-communists thought they saw subversives behind every tree and traitors under every rock. Because they could be blackmailed by foreign spies. Because they could be fired from their jobs, lose their homes, even lose their families if anyone knew they were gay.