Jose Julio Sarria, aka “the Widow Norton,” a famous drag performer at Black Cat Café and founder of the Imperial Court, ran for San Francisco Supervisor in 1961. He was the first out LGBTQ+ person to ever run for public office. Sarria garnered roughly 6,000 votes in a citywide election with thirty-four candidates, demonstrating to shocked politicians that there was a consolidated LGBTQ+ constituency. Although he lost, he inspired a new generation of LGBTQ+ people to consider a run for office.
Candidate for San Francisco Board of Supervisors (1961)