Today in LGBT History: Activist Gloria Johnson Dies at 76

For every Harvey Milk or Dan Savage there are thousands of others who have worked with less fame, but no less importance. Gloria Johnson was one of those people. From U~T Sandiego:

Born in Los Angeles on Aug. 26, 1937, she relished that her birthday coincided with Women’s Equality Day and celebrated every year by marching in the suffrage parade here. In the early 1960s, she attended what was then California Western University in San Diego before returning to Los Angeles to study social work and psychology.

In 1970, Ms. Johnson began her 30-year career as a social worker, her caseload primarily elderly patients, for the County of San Diego. A decade later, she would be one of the first social workers to help AIDS patients through the county’s AIDS Case Management Program.

“During the early days of AIDS, she was the point person at the County,” Dilno said. “She was always the first line of information and defense and advocacy.”


In 1977, Ms. Johnson joined the San Diego Democratic Club, now called San Diego Democrats for Equality, and became the club president in 1980. In 1978, she co-chaired a committee that fought against Proposition 6, a state initiative that would have banned gays and lesbians from teaching in public schools. She was also co-chair of the California Democratic Party LGBT Caucus.

“Gloria’s was a pioneer on behalf of LGBT equality long before there were award-winning films about LGBT heroes or a President who supported marriage equality,” said Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego. “She worked in the trenches when being openly LGBT was unpopular and risky.”

Read the full article

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