LGBT Heroes to Remember

On the following pages, read about acts of bravery by LGBT Americans, some of who have shaped the course of history. All came to the aide of another person in imminent danger, including young Allan Fonseca who guided customers to safety during a mall shooting in Oregon. We welcome suggestions for other LGBT people who deserve their own medal of honor; send to [email protected].

BY Neal Broverman

August 05 2011 5:00 AM ET UPDATED: December 13 2012 3:00 PM ET

GAY HEROES OLIVER SIPPLE X560 (AP) | ADVOCATE.COM

Oliver Sipple

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. 

Tags: Crime

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