ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) — On Wednesday, the LGBTQ pride flag was raised over the State Capitol for the first time in New York State history.
The flag raising coincides with the opening of the LGBTQ Pride Month exhibit at the capitol, which celebrates the New York LGBTQ community. It recognizes the meaningful political, cultural and artistic impacts of 16 LGBTQ New Yorkers.
"New York is home to trailblazing leaders in the LGBTQ rights movement who broke down barriers and never stopped fighting for full equality," Governor Cuomo said. "Some of them were killed simply for being who they are - others changed the course of history arguing their case at the Supreme Court. This exhibit celebrates and honors these extraordinarily brave and talented people - and New York will always be grateful to them."
The exhibit is titled "Equality Will Never Be Silent," stemming from a quote by Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States. The following New Yorkers are also featured in the exhibit:
Alice Austen - A photographer who refused to conform to traditional societal and gender norms typical of her time.
James Baldwin - A novelist, essayist, poet, and playwright, who wrote candidly about race and sexuality in America.
Harvey Fierstein - A performer, playwright, and voice actor who brought LGBTQ themes center stage.
Audre Lorde - A New York State Poet Laureate and scholar who spoke out against all forms of injustice.Government
Alphonso B. David - The first black man and the first openly gay man to serve as Chief Counsel to the Governor of New York State.
Tom Duane - The first openly LGBTQ member, and first openly HIV-positive member, of the New York State Senate.
Hon. Paul G. Feinman - The first openly gay judge confirmed to the state's highest court.
Assemblymember Deborah Glick - The first openly LGBTQ member of the New York State Legislature.
Marsha P. Johnson - A pioneer of the LGBTQ rights movement who is said to have resisted police during the Stonewall uprising.
Roberta "Robbie" Kaplan - A New York City lawyer specializing in commercial and civil rights litigation who successfully represented Edie Windsor in her landmark United States Supreme Court case striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Larry Kramer - An Oscar-nominated writer and co-founder of ACT UP, whose commitment to HIV/AIDS awareness spans decades.
Sylvia Rivera - A Stonewall veteran and outspoken advocate for marginalized groups within the LGBTQ movement.
Vito Russo - An author, activist, and film scholar who helped found GLAAD and ACT UP.
Bayard Rustin - A founder of the A. Philip Randolph Institute and organizer of the 1963 March on Washington.
Edie Windsor - A New Yorker whose successful lawsuit against the federal government helped pave the way for legalizing same-sex marriage across the United States.
Harvey Milk - One of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States.