UCLA LGBTQ Campus Resource Center
The LGBTQ Center has compiled numerous events in UCLA’s queer and trans history. This is part of our 25th Anniversary project led by LGBTQ CRC interns, Mika Baumgardner and Arlene Reynolds, in collaboration with Dr. Al Aubin and Kaya Foster. We invite you to celebrate these various moments as we celebrate how far we’ve come.
Please note, while this document contains many events in UCLA’s history, it does not contain all of them. Particularly, contributions made by and cultural history moments for Black, Indigenous, People of Color at UCLA are undocumented in the same way that those of their white peers have been. We have done our best to compile those we could find and are open to feedback on this living project! To access this content using a screen reader, please refer to a PDF copy of the timeline here.
John Burnside graduated from UCLA, where he studied physics and mathematics. He would go on to be one of the founding members of the Los Angeles Gay Liberation Front - one of the first and largest chapters of the national movement sparked by the Stonewall Riots - with his long-time partner, Harry Hay, as well as many other LGBTQ activist organizations, including the Radical Faeries.
UCLA Urologist and first Dean of UCLA Medical School, Elmer Belt, performs some of the first gender-reassignment surgeries in the United States.
UCLA research psychologist Evelyn Hooker began publicly presenting her research which showed that there is no detectable difference in the psychological health of homosexual and heterosexual men. Hooker’s research is considered to be the foundation for homosexuality eventually being removed from the DSM.
Doctors in the UCLA Department of Psychiatry established the first gender identity clinic in the United States, primarily a discussion group for those studying minority genders and sexualities. The legacy of the clinic is problematical, since it was dedicated to instilling traditional gender roles in children. Nevertheless, because of its interest in cross-gender behaviors and identifications, it became a center for the study of transsexuality and a model for other such clinics.
First openly gay and lesbian student organization at UCLA emerged, a UCLA chapter of the Gay Liberation Front.
GLF Rebrands to Gay Student Union and seeks official recognition by Student Legislative Council to receive funding from the university.
Jan Aura (then Jan Field) founded Lesbian Sisterhood (initially called the Gay Sisterhood), affiliated with the Women’s Resource Center, an important hub for feminist organizing at UCLA, and staged “Lesbian Demonstrations.”
First Gay Awareness Week hosted by GSU. GSU debuts its newspaper The Gayzette in Fall 1974.
Larry Duplechan became one of the editors for The Gayzette. UCLA Chancellor Charles E. Young directed departments and programs not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, one of the first such administrative orders by the head of an American university.
First LGB studies course offered by Peter Thorslev, who is speculated to be the first openly gay faculty member at UCLA.
A gay film festival was held at UCLA, organized by John Ramirez and Stuart Timmons. This grew to become the OutFest Film Festival. TenPercent, the first college funded LGBT focused magazine is published by UCLA students.
UCLA physicians reported the very first cases of what was described as “newly acquired immunodeficiency” — the disease entity we now know as AIDS.
Introduction to Gay and Lesbian Studies is taught by Dan Calder and Linda Garnets.
UCLA AIDS Institute and Center for AIDS Research was established. UCLA approved a lesbian sorority, Lambda Delta Lambda, believed to be first of its kind in the nation (founders: Allison Adler, Marci Kaye, Krisi Burk). UCLA approved a gay fraternity (Delta Lambda Phi).
On May 4, the Official Lambda Alumni Network created, assisted by Ramona Cortez Garza, then Director of Outreach Programs. May 7th marks the first meeting of gay/lesbian faculty and staff, the start of the Faculty and Staff Network. The meeting is coordinated by Rae Lee Siporin at her home. The UCLA Alumni Association voted to include sexual orientation in an anti-discrimination clause.
In July, Chuck Young sent a letter to Honorable Richard Cheney, Secretary of the Department of Defense, urging Cheney to “reconsider and abandon discriminatory policies based on sexual orientation currently practiced in the military." In the winter, the Gay and Lesbian Faculty/Staff Network was approved by CEY. The Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Lesbian and Gay Issues was established.
Alice Hom & Luis Balmaseda are the first winners of the Lambda Alumni scholarship. Curt Shepard proposes the formation of an LGB Center. Adam Stuart (née Ross) became the first gay student to be nominated for Homecoming Court. Steven Gonzales became the first openly gay person to be successfully elected to USAC.
When UCLA was in the process of being accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, debates about the university's diversity policy, which excluded sexual orientation, were raised. These challenges to the policy were led by Curt Shepard, Rae Lee Siporin, and Albert E. Aubin.
The HIV Peer Group was started in the Staff and Faculty Service Center by Nan Vandenberg. The Rand Schrader Humanitarian Award was established. Rand Schrader, an alumnus of UCLA Law, was an American AIDS and gay rights activist who also served as a judge of the Los Angeles Municipal Court.
The first National Coming Out Week was coordinated campus-wide by Voltaire Tinana.
The LGB Student Resource Center opened under guidance of doctoral student Charles Outcalt.
On November 12th, Domestic Partner benefits were approved by the UC Board of Regents. UCLA efforts were coordinated by Albert E. Aubin. On November 18th, a proposal for an undergraduate minor in LGB Studies was submitted to the Faculty Executive Committee of the College of Letters and Science. The proposal was chaired by Thomas Wortham, an out faculty member, and proposed by Peter B. Hammond, a member of the Chancellors' Task Force on the LGB Studies.
The LGB Studies Minor was established. The LGBT Center moved locations from a closet in Haines Hall to a full office in Kinsey Hall.
The domestic partner benefit policy and a non-discrimination policy went into effect for staff and faculty. The first Lavender Graduation was established by Dr. Ronni Sanlo.
The Williams Institute, a think-tank at UCLA dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy, is founded through a generous grant by businessman, academic, and philanthropist Charles R. “Chuck” Williams.
The LGBTQ CRC is relocated to the Student Activities Center (SAC) where it resides today.
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offered the first gender identity support group at UCLA.
The first QScholar Conference was hosted by the UCLA LGBTQ Studies Department.
UCLA hosted the first Pride Admit Weekend, the first and only yield event for LGBTQ+ admitted first year students. UC President Janet Napolitano announced a system-wide push to increase the number of all-gender restrooms. At the time, UCLA had nearly 50 such facilities, all single-stall. Since then, UCLA has been converting all existing single-stall restrooms into all-gender restrooms and now has over 250 on campus.
The University of California President Janet Napolitano allowed students to self-identify as LGBTQ on the UC application, allowing the university to maintain records of LGBTQ student and alumni for the very first time. The preferred name process for UCLA systems was introduced.
Ashe Student Health Center began offering hormone replacement therapy.
Preferred names begin to be printed on Bruincards, though legal names are still printed on the back. All four UCLA hospitals and the Ashe Student Health Center were lauded by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for equitable, inclusive care.
UC Regents invited transgender and a non-binary students to speak. The First Pride Admit Weekend for transfer students was held. In honor of UCLA’s 100 years, the LGBT CRC, Lambda Alumni Association, Diversity Programs of Alumni Affairs, UCLA Health, the LGBTQ Affairs Committee, UCLA Transportation, LGBTQ Faculty and Staff Network, Athletics and the Williams Institute partnered to have a campus-wide presence at LA Pride.