On this date the American writer and Gay activist JACK NICHOLS was born (d. 2005); Born in Washington, DC as John Richard Nichols, Nichols was an early activist and with Franklin Kameny responsible for some of the first protests for Gay rights in the nation’s capitol.
He co-founded the Washington, D.C. branch of the Mattachine Society in 1961 with Franklin E. Kameny and the Mattachine Society of Florida in 1965. The Mattachine Society of Washington was independent of the national Mattachine Society. Beginning in 1963, he chaired the Mattachine Society of Washington’s Committee on Religious Concerns, which later developed into the Washington Area Council on Religion and the Homosexual. This organization was pioneering in forging links between the Gay rights movement and the National Council of Churches.
Nichols led the first Gay rights march on the White House, in April 1965, and participated in the Annual Reminder pickets at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, held each July 4 from 1965 to 1969. He also successfully lobbied the American Psychiatric Association to rescind its definition of homosexuality as a form of mental illness.
In 1967, Mr. Nichols became one of the first Americans to talk openly about his homosexuality on national television when he appeared in “The Homosexuals,” a CBS documentary. Though he allowed himself to be interviewed on camera, Mr. Nichols used the pseudonym “Warren Adkins” in the broadcast at the request of his father, an F.B.I. agent. In 1969, after moving to New York City, Nichols and his partner Lige Clarke founded GAY, the first weekly newspaper for Gay people in the US distributed on news stands. From February 1997, Nichols was Senior Editor at GayToday.com, an online news magazine. He died on May 2, 2005, of complications from cancer.
His books include I Have More Fun with You than Anybody, Men’s Liberation: A new definition of masculinity, The Gay Agenda: Talking back to Fundamentalists, and the great memoir The Tomcat Chronicles: Erotic Adventures Of A Gay Liberation Pioneer.