Part 4: Our Hall of Fame
BY Advocate Contributors
March 28 2012 11:16 AM ET
On September 22, 1975, a 33-year-old former Vietnam veteran named Oliver Sipple saw Sara Jane Moore pointing a gun at President Gerald Ford outside a San Francisco hotel. Sipple lunged at Moore and the bullet missed its target, instead hitting and slightly injuring a taxi driver. For saving the leader of the free world, Sipple was branded a hero, but the story got complicated when the media discovered he was gay. The press picked up the angle and the news caused major friction between Sipple and his family — he would later unsuccessfully sue several newspapers for invasion of privacy.
In a 2001 interview, Ford denied giving a fig about Sipple’s sexual orientation, but after the assassination attempt the president simply sent a thank-you letter to Sipple — no ceremony, no award, no phone call.
- The Top 175 Essential Films of All Time for LGBT Viewers
- Op-ed: I'm a Lesbian Targeted by the Bathroom Police
- 52 LGBT Superheroes and Villains
- Suicides, Antigay Accusations Sully Elite San Diego School
- The Advocate's 31 Favorite Films of Outfest 2015
- WATCH: Ted Cruz, Glenn Beck Think Marriage Equality Has Destroyed the Constitution