PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Philadelphia marks the beginning of 2018's LGBT History Month on October 1 with the dedication of an LGBT historic marker to commemorate the nation's first gay sit-in. At 17th and St. James streets in the city's Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, the Dewey's Sit-In Historic Marker honors LGBT activists who, from May through June 1965, peacefully demonstrated against the then-popular diner's refusal to serve homosexuals and/or anyone appearing in non-gender conforming attire. After arrests, convictions and public protests, Dewey's reversed its policy, giving the nation's nascent gay rights movement one of its first victories.
The Dewey's Sit-In Historic Marker is Philadelphia's eighth government-approved, nationally significant LGBT historic marker.
"The LGBT community is the only minority worldwide that is not taught its history at home, in public school or via religious institutions. LGBT History Month is a free online educational resource that provides role models, teaches history and imparts the LGBT community's important national and international contributions," stated Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director of Equality Forum.
"The dedication of the eighth nationally significant LGBT historic marker makes the statement that not only is Philadelphia the birthplace of the nation, but the city is also the foundation of LGBT civil rights movement."
Other LGBT Historic Markers in Philadelphia:
Barbara Gittings Residence Historic Marker, 21st & Locust Streets (1960s)
Gittings is often referred to as the mother of the LGBT civil rights movement; a marker stands outside the home where she and partner Kay Lahusen resided when Gittings undertook her seminal advocacy
Dewey's Sit-In Historic Marker, 17th & St. James Streets (May-June 1965)
Annual Reminders Historic Marker (a.k.a. Gay Pioneers Historic Marker), 6th & Chestnut Streets, across from Independence Hall (July 4, 1965-69)
Activists from Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York gathered every July Fourth from 1965 through 1969 in front of Independence Hall to demonstrate for gay rights. These seminal demonstrations for equality laid the groundwork for the more violent Stonewall riots in New York.
John Fryer Historic Marker, 13th Street near Locust Street (May 1972)
Using the pseudonym Dr. Henry Anonymous, a mask and a voice modulator, Philadelphia psychiatrist John Fyrer appeared on a homosexuality panel at the 1972 Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), offering a powerful testimony that caused the APA to stop classifying homosexuality as a mental illness.
Giovanni's Room, 12th & Pine Streets (1973)
The nation's oldest-in-continuous use LGBT bookstore is now operated by Thrift for AIDS.
Philadelphia Conference Historic Marker, 4th & Arch Streets (February 1979)
After assassination of Harvey Milk in 1978, LGBT activists from around the nation gathered in Philadelphia's Old City neighborhood to plan the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights (October 1979), an event considered the gay Seneca Falls Convention.
AIDS Library of Philadelphia Historic Marker, Locust Street near 13th Street (1987)
In the early days of the AIDS epidemic, the AIDS Library of Philadelphia became the first library to provide information about AIDS, and eventually became a national model for other resource centers.
Edie Windsor Historic Marker, on 13th Street & Cecil B. Moore Avenue (2013)
Edie Windsor, a Philadelphia native and Temple University graduate, was the plaintiff and victor in the Supreme Court's United States vs. Windsor, a case that overturned Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act and thereby laid the groundwork for the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Equality Forum is a national and international LGBT civil rights organization headquartered in Philadelphia. Equality Forum nationally and internationally coordinates LGBT History Month, undertakes high impact national initiatives, oversees the application and installation of government approved, nationally significant LGBT historic markers, and produces documentary films.
SOURCE Equality Forum