Meet the lesbian who made political history years before Harvey Milk

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04/02/2020

Three years before LGBTQ icon Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Kathy Kozachenko made history in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Forty-six years ago, on April 2, 1974, out lesbian Kathy Kozachenko was elected to the Ann Arbor City Council in Michigan — becoming the first openly gay person elected to political office in the United States. Then a 21-year-old University of Michigan student campaigning under the local (and now defunct) Human Rights Party, Kozachenko beat her lone Democratic opponent by 52 votes to little fanfare. “Not a lot of people know about me,” Kozachenko, 67, told NBC News. The accolade of “first elected openly gay official” is often misattributed to Harvey Milk, the boisterous gay icon who was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977.

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