Gay HistoryOpinions and Rants

Today In Gay History September 20th: The Battle of The Sexes, The Saint NYC, DOMA and DADT

The Saint White party

1973: Out tennis player Billie Jean King squared off against Bobby Riggs in what the press dubbed the “Battle of the Sexes.” King went on to defeat Riggs and made history for women in sports.  Billie Jean King was still in the closet when she won the match against Riggs and her sexuality would not become public until may of May 1981 when a ‘palimony’ lawsuit filed by her longtime secretary and girlfriend, Marilyn Barnet.

1980: Love Sensation by Loleatta Holloway goes to #1 on Billboard’s dance chart.

1980 – Opening night at “The Saint”, New York’s premier gay dance club of the located in the East Village neighborhood of the Manhattan.  The Saint was opened by Bruce Mailman and his business partner and his architectural designer, Charles Terrell and was as financed in large part by Mailman’s other gay venture, the nearby St. Marks Baths.  Several times during the year, themed parties such as the “Black Party” and the “White Party” attracted celebrities from around the world. These Saint parties are considered by most disco historians to be the precursors to the circuit party and were attended by thousands of gay men each year.  The Saint closed its doors in 1988 but the “Black Party” and the “White Party”lives on.

1996: President Bill Clinton announced he would be signing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) into law, thus making marriage federally recognized as being only between one man and one woman. At the time Clinton stated, “…this legislation should not, despite the fierce and at times divisive rhetoric surrounding it, be understood to provide an excuse for discrimination, violence or intimidation against any person on the basis of sexual orientation.” (Yeah, right!) Clinton later flipped on the issue, and stated he regretted signing DOMA into law. But NEVER apologized to the LGBT Community for doing so.

2011: After 18 years the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the ruling that kept lesbian, gay and bisexual people from openly serving in the military, was repealed. The transgender cocommunity was once again shamelessly left out.





Will Kohler

Will Kohler is one of America's best known LGBT historians, He is also a a accredited journalist and the owner of A longtime gay activist Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced on such notable media venues as BBC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Daily Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story. Back2Stonewall has been recently added to the Library of Congress' LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. Mr. Kohler is available for comment, interviews and lectures on LGBT History. Contact:

Related Articles

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.