Little Known Big History LGBTQIA+ Facts: Week One and Two

Two Black students painting a beautiful rainbow mural


Did you know that three years preceding the Stonewall Riot in New York City – a riot that is widely referred to as the beginning of the gay rights movement — there was a riot Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco, California? This was the earliest act of civil unrest within the LGBTQIA+ community against the government and government actors who were harassing them.

The riot started due to police being called to the scene after transgender customers were deemed too raucous. The police manhandled a patron, coffee was thrown and a full on riot spilled out onto the street. This riot never got the notoriety that the Stonewall Riot did, likely because it mainly involved transgender individuals alone.

Interested in learning more? Check out Compton’s Cafeteria Riot and the Legacy of Police Violence.


Did you know that Kathy Kozachenko was the first openly gay elected official in the United States? Kathy was a lesbian that was elected to the city council in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Most people believe that Harvey Milk was the first openly gay elected official when he was elected to the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco, California, however Kathy Kozachenko was indeed the first person that openly identified as LGBTQIA+ elected to public office and three years before Harvey Milk.

Interested in learning more? Check out Meet the lesbian who made political history years before Harvey Milk and Harvey Milk Was Not The First Openly Gay Politician.