Locust Street Between 12th & 13th to be Renamed Barbara Gittings Way

Philadelphia City Council unanimously approved a measure to rename Locust Street between 12th and 13th as Barbara Gittings Way, after the gay-rights pioneer.

Photo taken by Kay Lahusen

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The official dedication will take place on October 1, 2012, to coincide with the launch of LGBT History Month.  Equality Forum is leading the effort and more details are expected to be announced soon.

Barbara Gittings, whose self-described life mission was to ‘tear away the shroud of invisibility related to homosexuality that associated it with crime & mental illness,’ was the editor of the first lesbian publication (distributed at six bookstores in New York & Philadelphia), and helped to organize the Annual Reminders at Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. She also played a key role in the movement to get the American Psychiatric Association to drop homosexuality as a mental illness. She sang in choral groups throughout most of her life and spent more than 50 years in the Philadelphia Chamber Chorus.

Gittings passed away in 2007 after a long battle with breast cancer, leaving behind a partner of 46 years, Kay Tobin Lahusen, and a legacy which will never be forgotten.

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