Discover our history.

Peaceful Participation in the Political Process

Established in 1971, the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC (GLAA) is the oldest continuous LGBTQ+ rights organization in the US. Originally founded to secure LGBTQ+ rights peacefully through political engagement, GLAA's influence emerged during DC's first modern election. With roots in New York's Gay Activists Alliance, GLAA gained attention by securing Frank Kameny's place on the 1971 ballot. Despite his election loss, this led to the creation of GAA/DC.

Differentiating from counter-cultural groups, GAA/DC embraced a structured and nonviolent approach to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. GLAA's efforts yielded victories, including DC's pioneering resolution against school system discrimination based on sexual orientation. As Home Rule arrived in 1974, GLAA's impact expanded, influencing mayoral and council races and contributing to groundbreaking anti-discrimination legislation.

Throughout its history, GLAA undertook projects spanning police and media relations, education, and health issues. Since 1990, GLAA has annually celebrated its legacy through the Distinguished Service Awards, honoring local LGBTQ+ champions. This ongoing journey mirrors Washington's LGBTQ+ progress, defined by persistent advocacy and remarkable milestones.

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