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November 21, 1973: Dr. Howard Brown: the doctor is out. (From the Advocate Archives).

As this issue's cover story reminds us, you don't have to be a celebrity in order to make a difference by coming out. On October 3, 1973, Howard J. Brown, MD, an associate professor of clinical medicine at New York University, broke ground for the burgeoning gay rights movement when he came out in a speech before 600 colleagues.

Brown's acknowledgement was front-page news in The New York Times and was covered in newspapers nationwide as well as by every New York TV station.

In an essay written exclusively for the November 21, 1973, issue of The Advocate, Brown explained that facing his own mortality after a heart attack spurred him into action. The passion he felt for his new cause was evident: "My position is not that I am to be tolerated as a homosexual because I am successful and rather square," Brown said. "Rather, they must not deprive any of us homosexuals of our basic human dignity. This right to dignity has nothing to do with success or an acceptable image."
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Author:Romesburg, Don
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Date:Oct 15, 2002
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