Meet the lesbian who made political history years before Harvey Milk

Kathy Kozachenko.Human Rights Party (Ann Arbor, Mich.) records / Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan

By Julie Compton

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, […]

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