1976: Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury introduces a gay character, Andy Lippincott (who had first appeared a month earlier). Five newspapers refuse to carry the story arc of Andy’s coming out to Joanie Caucus. Lippincott appears on and off in the daily strip for years. In 1989, he returned to the strip when he is diagnosed with AIDS. Over the course of the next year, Lippincott’s battles with the disease, and eventual death from it, helped bring the AIDS crisis into popular culture.
1983: A spokesman for the San Francisco Giants tells a banquet audience that the Giants are planning to set up a special seating section for their gay fans. Instead of the grandstand, he ‘jokes’ – “We’re going to call it the ‘fruit stand.’ ”