We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Frank Kameny made himself into the District’s leading gay activist by fighting his ouster from a government job for his sexuality. Kameny funneled his work through the D.C. iteration of the pro-gay Mattachine Society, founded at a time when being publicly gay was so rare that Kameny was the only named member. But by Kameny’s death in 2011, the society had become defunct. Enter the revived Mattachine Society. Relaunched shortly after Kameny’s passing, the activists behind the newly constituted group aim to use it to research the federal government persecution of gay employees. The group’s work has already paid off, landing a story in the New York Times about government efforts to keep gay people out of bureaucracy because of perceived immorality. Through their record searches, Mattachine Society secretary Rick Rosendall says they keep running into Kameny—in Rosendall’s words, a one-man band with a brass pair.