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José Julio Sarria (1961)

1961: José Julio Sarria runs for San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the first openly gay candidate for public office in the United States.

José Julio Sarria, b1922/3 -  Sarria co-founded several homophile organizations, including the League for Civil Education, the Tavern Guild and the Society for Individual Rights. As Sarria put it, "From that day on, nobody ran for anything in San Francisco without knocking on the door of the gay community.”  A drag queen and nightclub performer, in 1964 Sarria declared himself "Empress José I, The Widow Norton" and founded the Imperial Court System, which grew to become an international association of charitable organizations. Image courtesy of  José Julio Sarria. ©1961 José Julio Sarria.