Barbara and Kay Anyone who knows the history of the LGBT movement knows the names of Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen, two of the original "gay pioneers." Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen met in 1961 at a picnic in Rhode Island. "We hit it off, we started courting. I flew to Boston to visit her and got off the plane with a big bunch of flowers in my hand. I couldn't resist. I did not care what the world thought. I dropped the flowers, grabbed her and kissed her." That was not being done in 1961. Indeed, at the time, homosexuality was considered a sickness, a mental illness. Throughout their relationship, Barbara and Kay worked tirelessly, side by side to dispel such misconceptions and to bring visibility and equal rights to the LGBT community. Barbara organized the New York chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis and edited their magazine The Ladder, working alongside partner and photographer Kay. In 1965, Barbara was one of the first in a small group to picket the White House, the State Department and Independence Hall in Philadelphia, protesting the federal government's discrimination policies against hiring homosexuals. When Barbara passed away in 2007, the community lost a hero and Kay lost her lover of 46 years.