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From Stonewall to today: 51 years of modern LGBTQ+ history

  • 2014: Transgender students get federal protection

    Under the Obama administration, the Department of Education extended Title IX coverage to transgender students. The civil rights law bans sex discrimination in schools or activities that are funded by the federal government. The Trump administration is looking to roll back trans protections and include only people who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth in the legislation.

  • 2014: First transgender person nominated for Emmy

    Transgender actress Laverne Cox became the first trans person nominated for an Emmy when she received the nod for her role in “Orange Is The New Black.” She also appeared on the cover of Time the same year. Cox made history again in 2018 when she became the first openly trans person on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine.

  • 2015: U.S. legalizes same-sex marriage

    On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court historically ruled to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states. Justice Anthony Kennedy reasoned that the Constitution grants all couples “equal dignity in the eyes of the law.”

  • 2016: Ban lifted on transgender troops

    In June 2016, the military lifted the ban on transgender troops. That same month, the Obama administration dedicated the Stonewall Inn as a national monument, the first LGBTQ+ site added to the National Parks System.

  • 2017: First openly transgender state legislator elected

    Virginia voters made history when they elected transgender candidate Danica Roem to their state legislature. That same year, President Donald Trump announced that the military would no longer accept transgender troops because of “tremendous medical costs and disruption.”

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  • 2018: “Rainbow wave” in politics

    Voters elected more than 150 LGBTQ+ politicians to office in 2018. Among the history-makers were Jared Polis, the openly gay governor of Colorado, U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, a Native American lesbian representing Kansas, and Malcolm Kenyatta, the first gay black man elected to the Pennsylvania legislature.

  • 2019: Taiwan passes same-sex marriage

    Taiwan became the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage. Only a year before, lawmakers voted to deny the right to same-sex couples.

  • 2019: Transgender troops banned from military

    President Donald Trump's restrictions on transgender people in the military went into effect on April 12, 2019. While the administration claims there is no ban, transgender troops are required to serve as the gender they were assigned at birth. Service members will receive a diagnosis of gender dysphoria if they admit they are transgender, which is grounds for dismissal. If a troop's commander suspects they are transgender, they may be forced to reveal their status.

  • 2019: Mayor Pete runs for president

    Democrat Pete Buttigieg, 37, is the second openly gay man to run for president of the United States. (In 2012, a lesser-known Republican, Fred Karger, became the first.) Buttigieg, who entered the Navy Reserves under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, has gained momentum since his April 14 bid.

  • 2019: Being transgender no longer a “disorder”

    The World Health Organization no longer considers being transgender a mental illness. The WHO removed “gender identity disorder” from the International Classification of Diseases, which is a global manual for diagnosing mental illness. The update may help put an end to the practice of forcing transgender people to get surgery and forced sterilization in order to legally change their gender.

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