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A Brief History of LGBTQ Milestones at UCLA

UCLA Newsroom | June 15, 2021

As part of its 25th anniversary, the UCLA LGBTQ Campus Resource Center created a timeline of important events in the campus’s queer and trans history. Center interns Mika Baumgardner and Arlene Reynolds worked on this project with Al Aubin and Kaya Foster, who are both part of the Lambda Alumni Association. The timeline celebrates moments that show how much things have changed for the LGBTQ community at UCLA and how people at UCLA have shaped history.

Among the highlights:

  • In 1950, Dr. Elmer Belt, urologist and first dean of UCLA Medical School, performed some of the first gender-reassignment surgeries in the United States.
  • In 1954, UCLA psychologist Evelyn Hooker began publicly presenting her research showing 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 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
  • In 1979, 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.
  • In 1991, Alice Hom and 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 UCLA Undergradaute Student Association Council.
  • In 2014, UCLA hosted the first Pride Admit Weekend, the first and only yield event for LGBTQ+ admitted first-year students. Univeristy of California President Janet Napolitano announced a systemwide 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 more than 250 on campus.
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