Although Harvey Milk was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the United States he was not the first openly gay person to be elected.
In 1974, Elaine Noble ran for a seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives for the Fenway and Back Bay neighborhood district of Boston. She won with 59 percent of the vote, becoming the first openly gay person elected to public office. In 1976, she was reelected with 90 percent of the vote.
To read a more detailed biography of Elaine Noble, visit the online GLBTQ encyclopedia.
To read two short interviews with Elaine Noble detailing her successes in the House as well as the difficulties she faced, including harrassment and threats, visit MetroWeekly and OUThistory.org