Heroes of the Revolution: Elaine Noble

Art by Rob Goldstein
Elaine Noble

 

Elaine Noble served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives for two terms and is the first openly LGBT candidate elected to a state legislature.

She was sworn into office on New Year’s Day 1975 by governor Michael Dukakis.

She states that the campaign was “ugly” and marked by violence.  

Her windows were shot, her car was destroyed, and her supporters suffered threats and intimidation.

In March 1977 she was part of the first delegation of gay men and lesbians invited to the White House under President Jimmy Carter to discuss issues important to the LGBT community.

In 2015, she was named by Equality Forum as one of their 31 Icons of the 2015 LGBT History Month

Data source Wikipedia
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9 thoughts on “Heroes of the Revolution: Elaine Noble

  1. She was the pioneer that started to fight for the LGBT rights in the United States. It seemed that the campaign has come a long way but I felt that there’s more to be done for the society to fully accept the LGBT community more than just labels but as a person.

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    1. She was part of a shift in the way a generation gays and lesbians perceived themselves in relation to their oppression. I agree with you regarding the labels. Sometimes it is necessary to take on a label in order to transcend it.

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      1. That is true enough. It is because of the labels that we were given or labels that we put on ourselves that will give us the motivation and strength to carry on with our fights.

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      2. Labels are used to shame and oppress the labeled. When the labeled accept the shame they are more likely to accept the physical and psychological abuse that always comes with shaming.

        Right now there is a great deal of empowerment among gays and lesbians, but in 1969 legal same-sex marriage was universally unthinkable. When I was 17 I had a chat with an older gay man and I said, I’m proud to be gay and he replied, You’re proud of what? One of the symptoms of institutional forms of oppression is that the oppressed believe that they are shameful and deserve their fate. Another symptom is the passive acceptance of physical violence against the oppressed group as part of everyday life.

        In 1969 straight men often killed gay men and got away with it. If the crime came to trial the defense used what was called the homosexual panic defense. The argument was that any decent straight man would kill another man who made a pass at him.

        To understand just how far GLBT people have come consider the homeless mentally ill; most people, including the mentally ill, simply accept the sight of disabled people living under circumstances that previous generations of Americans considered barbaric. How did it happen? It’s hard to say. But the rights of the Mentally Ill will be on the national agenda. Right now that movement is evolving.

        When I say I’m mentally ill I am putting a human face on a label that is designed to dehumanize me. When I say I am queer I do the same thing. Any time someone who belongs to an oppressed group of people stands up against a dehumanizing system it empowers others who suffer in silence. Consider the young woman who was raped at Stanford.

        She did not allow the old boy network to dismiss her rape as 20 minutes of action. And by telling us about her experience of this rape she reclaimed her humanity and forced the rest of the world to see the crime and the sentence the rapist got for what they were: a violation of everything that makes her human.

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      3. Being labelled has such a powerful effect be it positive or negative that one could only experience if they were labelled. I think that labels have such impact on the labelled as they have such great annotation to what the labels think is right. As for the LGBT community, I am commending the strength that they have to fight for their rights in this society. The great efforts that they have done to give ways for the future generations is commendable. I hope that the situation will greatly improved over the years to come for those in the community and remember that there are lots of others who are a supporter of the LGBT. Let’s build a better tomorrow for everyone. ❤

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  2. Robert…what does LGBT stand for? I know the Lesbian and Gay…is it Bi and Transgender?
    This woman was a pioneer…so was Harvey Milk.
    This latest assault is so horrendous. I just don’t understand how people can be so filled with hatred toward others.
    I hope the Angels carried them all away.

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    1. Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and when there is a Q added it stands for Queer.

      I’ve always found the letter salad funny.

      Back in 1969 we were all gay and we all went to the same bars in most cities.

      The we became the Gay and Lesbian Community–After that the Gay, Lesbian and Bi-sexual community…and it goes on from there…

      Thanks for asking a good question…

      It’s really confusing when I order a BLT and accidentally order a GLBLT

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