Allan Spear at the New Riverside Cafe, Minneapolis, Two Years Before Publicly Coming Out (photo by Bruce Goldstein)
In an article that appeared on the front page of the December 9, 1974, edition of the Minneapolis Star, State Senator Allan Spear revealed that he was gay. Never before had an American male legislator at any level—or in any state—come out publicly. (A Massachusetts state representative had recently announced she was a lesbian.) Spear’s revelation created a sensation, both locally and nationally. He was inundated by phone calls and letters. Many of them, he later recalled, were gratifyingly supportive. Others were disturbingly spiteful.
More at Minnesota in the 70s
Photo via Minnesota Historical Society