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Frank Kameny: “Not Dead”

Jim Burroway

May 17th, 2007

The legendary gay-rights leader Frank Kameny has released a statement in which he claims that he is “not dead.”

Next week’s issue of The Advocate, which will hit the newsstands Tuesday, reports that Frank Kameny is one of the leaders we’ve “lost to AIDS.” But Frank Kameny has come forward to deny that he has AIDS or that he is dead. He even says he will turn 82 on Monday, May 21.

Dr. Kameny was fired from his job as an astronomer at the Army Map Service in 1957 when they discovered he was gay. This began his twenty year fight against Civil Service regulations which barred gays from federal employment. He co-founded Washington’s Mattachine Society in 1961 and was part of the first picket line of gays and lesbians at the White House on April 17, 1965. And even though Frank is “not dead,” you can still read a fitting tribute by Jonathan Rauch. Kameny’s papers were recently donated to the Library of Congress.



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