LGBTQ+ Historical Timeline of the Alabama Gulf Coast
Rainbow Mobile is working to compile a historical timeline of the LGBTQ+ community of the Alabama Gulf Coast (Mobile and Baldwin County). This timeline is a work in progress. If you notice any incorrect information on this page or have any history to add, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Order of Osiris (OOO), the first inclusive (LGBT and allies) Mardi Gras organization on the Alabama Gulf Coast, is founded.
- March 15th: Cornerstone Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), the first LGBTQ church on the Alabama Gulf Coast, is founded by Rev. Marge Ragona.
- Robb Sanborn, Julie Konkol, Vernon Moore, and Diane Hampton starts Mobile AIDS Support Services (MASS), the first AIDS Service Organization on the Alabama Gulf Coast.
- December 18th: GLSA (Gay & Lesbian Student Association), an LGBTQ+ activism and education student organization at the University of South Alabama, is founded.
- August 26th: Gabriel’s Downtown opens at 55 South Joachim St in Downtown Mobile by owners Elvin Nelson, Alvin, Karl, and Buddy.
- October 23rd: Jerry Ehlen opens B-Bob’s in West Mobile at 6157 Airport Blvd.
- Winter: GLSA at the University of South Alabama changes their name to GLBA (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Alliance).
- June 6th: In a landmark case, GLBA v Sessions, The University of South Alabama attempts to use the sodomy law to deny funding to GLBA. The court determines that the law violates the First Amendment.
- April: The State Attorney’s Office sues GLBA.
- February: GLBA at the University of South Alabama changes its name to ASD (Alliance for Sexual Diversity).
- October: The first progressive gay and bisexual male fraternity at the University of South Alabama is formed, called Delta Lamba Phi (Beta Beta Chapter).
- MASS changes its name to South Alabama Cares.
- January 8th: B-Bob’s closes in order to be relocated to Downtown Mobile.
- February 7th: B-Bob’s becomes B-Bob’s Downtown with the move to 213 Conti Street.
- Leslie O’Neil founds T-Talk of Mobile, the first support group on the Alabama Gulf Coast dedicated to the transgender community, using the online Yahoo Groups feature to connect and find members.
- Mobile Alabama Pride, an LGBTG+ pride organization, is founded.
- Fall: Delta Lamba Phi closes due to lack of interest.
- January: GLBA at the University of South Alabama changes their name to GLBTA (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Alliance) to include transgender identity.
- August: Jennifer Eastep founds Southern Transgender Community, a local transgender support group on Yahoo Groups.
- Cornerstone MCC relocates to 1007 Government Blvd.
- Spring: GLBTA at the University of South Alabama divides into two groups: GLBTA and GSA (Gay/Straight Alliance).
- September 3rd: Darrel Foret and James Weaver take over The Midtown Cruise Pub and rename it The Midtown Pub.
- GSA at the University of South Alabama changes their name to Q&A (Queers & Allies).
- January: The Krewe of Phoenix (KOP), an all-inclusive (LGBTQ+) Mardi Gras organization, is founded.
- March 22nd: The Krewe of Phoenix has its first general meeting with charter members.
- Spring: GLBTA and Q&A at the University of South Alabama merge and redesign the purpose of the clubs, forming Spectrum and Unity. Each club would function under different fundamental ideas: the idea of activism (Spectrum) and community support (Unity).
- Spring: The first LGBT Second Chance prom is organized by Spectrum, Spring Hill College P.R.I.D.E., and other groups.
- March: Allies Unlimited is organized to represent an allies’ support unit for the LGBT student clubs at The University of South Alabama. It later dissolved due to lack of involvement.
- February: South Alabama Cares closes its doors.
- March 30th: The University of South Alabama adds ‘sexual orientation’ to its non-discrimination policy.
- April: The Order of Pan (OOP), an all-inclusive Mardi Gras social organization, is founded by Tony Boutwell, Wright Brown, David Domingue, Chad Ellis, Tim Harrell, Will Lilley, Dawn Prouty, Peter River, Steven Shavin, Vicki Strickland, Alton Webb, and David White.
- October 14th: AIDS Alabama South is formed by Kathie Hiers with the help of AIDS Alabama in Birmingham.
- December 31st: OOP has its first Mardi Gras Ball.
- July 3rd: Jerry Ehlen opens Flip Side Bar & Patio at 54 South Conception St in Downtown Mobile.
- May 1st: Jennifer Eastep founds Southern Transgender Alliance (STA), a support group for transgender individuals and their friends, families, and allies.
- August 29rd: Murphy GSA, the first GSA (Gay/Straight Alliance) on the Alabama Gulf Coast, is established at Murphy High School and founded by a small group of students (Tiffany Trotter, Nat Trejo, and Amin Mantouzi) with the help of instructor/sponsor Dr. Julie Prerost.
- February 20th: Bryan Fuenmayor founds Rainbow Mobile, an LGBTQ+ community non-profit organization.
- May: Free2Be-Mobile closes its doors.
- May 28th: Gerardo Cantu founds Safe2BU-Mobile at Central Presbyterian Church, offering free counseling to the LGBT community.
- September 8th: Rainbow Mobile organizes the first Drag Queen Story Hour in the state of Alabama.
- August: Corey Harvard and Justin Litaker co-found Prism United, a peer support group for LGBTQ teens.
- June 1st: Rainbow Mobile paints the first rainbow crosswalk in the state of Alabama.
Coming soon: History of LGBTQ+ bars and more.