Profiles of LGBT people, from the past and today – and celebrating their birthdays! All Birthdays →

Kay (Tobin) Lahusen

Kay Lahusen, known as Kay Tobin in the LGBT movement, was born on January 5, 1930, in Cincinnati, Ohio. She earned a degree in English from Ohio State University and was working in The Christian Science Monitor reference library in Boston when she discovered the national lesbian group the Daughters of Bilitis. She became partners with the president of the New York chapter, Barbara Gittings, and moved to Philadelphia to live with her in the 1960s. She was the art director for the group's publication, The Ladder, from 1963 to 1966; prioritized printing photographs of lesbians on the covers; and became an active LGBT movement photo-journalist and journalist in the 1960s and 1970s. She was also an activist who participated in homophile movement picketing at Philadelphia's Independence Hall in the 1960s and pressured the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in the 1970s. In the 1980s, Lahusen became a real estate agent and organized other agents to march in the New York City Pride Parade. She also published two books: The Gay Crusaders (1972) and Love and Resistance: Out of the Closet into the Stonewall Era (2019). More details about Lahusen’s life and activism can be found in her interview with the Philadelphia LGBT History Project, 1940-1980, by Marc Stein. The Independence Hall pickets are explored in the exhibit Annual Reminders in Philadelphia, July 4, 1965-July 4, 1969, by Marc Stein.