From very early on, Kay Lahusen loved sports, and taking pictures with her box camera. So it’s not surprising that she went on to become the first openly lesbian photojournalist of the LGBTQ movement.
Born into a middle-class Cincinnati family in 1930, Kay graduated from college in 1952, and moved to Boston to work in the reference library for the Christian Science Monitor. Although she had already had dalliances with women, she took on homosexuality as a research topic, finally discovering the magazine The Ladder, a publication of the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB). Through the DOB, Kay met Barbara Gittings. During their 46 years together, Kay and Barbara became two of the most influential activists in the early LGBTQ movement.
In 2007, Barbara passed away. Kay donated their photos, writings and papers to the New York Public Library.