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Gay Is Good

Shivah Stars

Marc Tracy
October 12, 2011
Frank Kameny.(Jahi Chikwendiu/WP)
Frank Kameny.(Jahi Chikwendiu/WP)

Each week, we select the most interesting Jewish obituary. This week, it’s that of Frank Kameny, the Washington, D.C.-based gay rights activist who died yesterday—National Coming Out Day—at 86. If you haven’t heard of him, it’s because he was that far ahead of the curve; he enlisted in the Army, for example, during World War Two (“they asked, I didn’t tell”). Tablet Magazine contributor James Kirchick interviewed him last year. He was an astronomer who was thrust into the movement and quickly played a major role, particularly in D.C., where, for example, he worked to get the anti-sodomy law repealed in the ’90s. “I’ve said for many years that San Francisco was looked upon as the center, but D.C. is very much the success story of the gay movement,” he told Kirchick. Politics: they matter.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.