A pioneer of the contemporary gay rights movement was forced to use an alias to protect his father’s career. Jack Nichols, Jr., co-founder of the Mattachine Society of Washington, conducted most of his activism under the pseudonym “Warren Adkins” at the request of his father, Jack Nichols Sr.. The senior Nichols was a Special Agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and believed his son’s sexuality and related advocacy would bring serious career repercussions.
According to records released to Emma Best as part of the Freedom of LGBTQIA+ Information project, Special Agent Nichols was right.
Pride month means rainbows have covered the country and social media, but it also means cities around America spent thousands of dollars painting rainbow crosswalks, often sidestepping federal highway administration guidelines.
Despite ample evidence of premeditation, public knowledge of political and personal clashes, and a taped confession, Dan White was charged with voluntary manslaughter after he assassinated San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. Previously processed Federal Bureau of Investigation records released to Emma Best reveal details about White’s alleged antisemitism and homophobia, and lend credence to accusations that the State’s prosecution of White was performed with “reckless and wanton disregard of normal prosecutorial standards.”
Last year, days before the 46th anniversary of the eponymous riots that sparked the modern LGBT movement, the Stonewall Inn was granted landmark status by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. After a FOIL request, the City released written testimony from the open hearing that led to the Commission’s decision.
Less than a year after the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” service members were given approval to march in uniform at the 2012 San Diego Gay Pride Parade - all thanks to a mistaken memo.