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Since 1978, GLAD has achieved scores of legal victories to end discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity and expression.

40 years ago, during a different hot, tumultuous summer, at the height of disco and in the wake of orange juice queen Anita Bryant’s national anti-gay crusade, GLAD was born.

In 1978, young Boston lawyer and GLAD founder John Ward knew that it was revolutionary for an organization to have the words “gay and lesbian” in its name, much less advocate for LGBTQ legal rights.

But revolutions are born out of necessity. The necessity of that moment was a Boston police sting operation that targeted and outed hundreds of gay men. They needed legal defense and representation, and John stepped up.

Over the last 40 years, with your support, GLAD has changed the landscape of LGBTQ rights in more ways than can be summarized. Check out our timeline below to learn a little more about what we have accomplished together, and join us in our ongoing work to ensure that the future is a place that celebrates all of us, and where all can live freely and authentically.