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Gay Rights Movement Timeline Activity

This activity focuses on the events of the U.S. gay rights movement. The timeline provided sheds light on the oppressive forces members of the LGBT community face. It also highlights the hard-fought victories on the road to gaining their civil rights. The goals of the activity are to demonstrate the scope and longevity of the LGBT movement and to generate thoughtful discussion on the topic of sexual prejudice today and in the past.


This activity highlights milestones in the gay rights movement.

Estimated Time

30-40 minutes

Group Size

This exercise works well with all group sizes.


Distribute the "LGBT Civil Rights History Worksheet" as a pop quiz.  The quiz can be adapted to include all or a few historical events within the LGBT community.  This version outlines some events given on the LGBT Rights Timeline. Chances are, a majority of students will not be able to complete the worksheet on their own. For this reason, participants may work in groups to complete the worksheet.  Have the groups stop working after 10-15 minutes even if they are not finished.

Next, project for the class the "LGBT Rights Timeline" and/or provide each participant with a copy of the timeline.  During the presentation, have participants note any events that are significant to them.  After the presentation, allow participants to share interesting facts that they have learned and to raise any questions they have.  Finally, divide participants into small groups to answer the discussion questions before the entire group meets as a whole to do so.