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Since 2016, Making Gay History* has been bringing the largely hidden history of the LGBTQ civil rights movement to life through the voices of the people who lived it. We’ll be back on July 1 for our ninth season, which focuses on the AIDS crisis through the personal lens of MGH’s founder and host, Eric Marcus. Until then, enjoy—and find inspiration in—our 90+ episodes from seasons past.

*Making Gay History operates under the 501(c)(3) non-profit umbrella of GLSEN, an organization that  believes that every student has the right to a safe, supportive, and LGBTQ-inclusive K-12 education.

Season 1

Making Gay History — A Preview

The Making Gay History podcast mines Eric Marcus’s decades old audio archive of rare interviews to create intimate, personal portraits of both known and long-forgotten champions, heroes, and witnesses to history.

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Episode 01 — Sylvia Rivera

A never before heard conversation with trans icon, self-described “drag queen,” and Stonewall uprising veteran Sylvia Rivera. Sylvia relives that June 1969 night in vivid detail and describes her struggle for recognition in the movement.

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Episode 02 — Wendell Sayers

You’ve never heard of Wendell Sayers, but once you hear his story, you’ll never forget him. Born in Western Kansas in 1904, Wendell was the first black lawyer to work for Colorado’s Attorney General, and risked everything to join a gay discussion group.

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Episode 03 — Edythe Eyde

In 1947, Hollywood secretary Edythe Eyde, a.k.a. Lisa Ben, had the audacity to publish “Vice Versa,” the first ever “magazine” for lesbians. Even more audacious, she imagined a future gay utopia that has all come to pass. In the '50s, Edythe sang gay parodies of popular songs in LA gay clubs.

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Episode 04 — Dr. Evelyn Hooker

In 1945 Dr. Evelyn Hooker’s gay friend Sam From urged her to do a study challenging the commonly held belief that homosexuals were by nature mentally ill. It was work that would ultimately strip the “sickness” label from millions of gay men and women and change the course of history.

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Episode 05 — Frank Kameny

Frank Kameny fought for what was right. And he never gave up. Lessons for us all.

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Episode 06 — Jeanne & Morty Manford

When Jeanne Manford’s gay son was badly beaten at a protest in 1972, she took action and founded an organization for parents of gays known today as PFLAG.

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Episode 07 — Chuck Rowland

A WWII veteran turns theory into action, co-founding one of the first LGBT rights groups, the Mattachine Society, in 1950—a time when gay people were considered sick, sinful, criminal, and a threat to national security.

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Episode 08 — Dear Abby

A generation ago, tens of millions of people turned to "Dear Abby” in her daily newspaper column for advice. Long before others did, and at considerable risk, she used her platform and celebrity in support of gay people and their equal rights.

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Episode 09 — Gittings & Lahusen

Self-described gay rights fanatics and life partners Barbara Gittings and Kay “Tobin” Lahusen helped supercharge the nascent movement in the 1960s and brought their creativity, passion, determination, and good humor to the Gay Liberation 1970s, leaving behind an inspiring legacy of dramatic change.

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Episode 10 — Vito Russo

Vito Russo loved movies, but he looked behind the silver screen and saw how Hollywood was sending a message that LGBTQ people were less-than-human. He decided that that had to change. He wrote a book, co-founded GLAAD, and when his life was on the line, was one of the people who founded ACT UP.

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