Press conference announcing the formation of the National Gay Task Force, October 1973. Front: Ron Gold, Howard Brown, Bruce Voeller, Nathalie Rockhill. Rear: Frank Kameny. Gift of The Estate of Fred W. McDarrah.
National Gay Task Force in the Gay Pride March, June 29, 1975. Bruce Voeller at the far left. Photo by Peter Keegan. Courtesy of LGBT Community Center National History Archive.
National Gay Task Force button. Source unknown.
80 Fifth Avenue, c. 1980s. Courtesy of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission.
The National Gay Task Force, the first national gay rights organization, was established in 1973 with the intention of bringing the LGBT rights movement into the national mainstream of American civil rights. Some of the founders were former Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) members disaffected by that group’s internal squabbles, and included Dr. Bruce Voeller, Barbara Gittings, Frank Kameny, Dr. Howard Brown, Arthur Bell, Ron Gold, Nathalie Rockhill, and Martin Duberman.
The “establishment” organization played a crucial role in helping to draft local gay rights bills across the United States, repeal sodomy laws, and encourage LGBT visibility. Its headquarters from October 1973 to 1986 was on the fifth floor of 80 Fifth Avenue. Renamed the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in 1985, it moved to Washington, D.C. in 1986. Today it is known as the National LGBTQ Task Force.
Architect or Builder: Buchman & Fox
Year Built: 1907
Daniel Hurewitz, Stepping Out: Nine Walks Through New York City’s Gay and Lesbian Past (New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1997).
Lillian Faderman, The Gay Revolution: the Story of the Struggle (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2015).
National LGBTQ Task Force, bit.ly/1vLQuT7.
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