The Queer Issue
In 1975, a gay man saved the life of the president of the United States of America.
Gerald R. Ford was speaking at the St. Francis Hotel off San Francisco's Union Square. Oliver "Bill" Sipple, a decorated Vietnam vet and a gay, joined a crowd of onlookers outside the hotel to get a glimpse of the president. When Ford stopped to wave, Sara Jane Moore—a middle-aged housewife and a straight—pulled a gun and fired a shot at Ford. Sipple, who had been standing next to Moore, grabbed Moore's arm, causing her shot to miss the president, who was standing just 40 feet away.
Sipple was outed by Harvey Milk, then a gay activist, who declared Sipple a gay hero. On account of his sexuality, Sipple was shunned by the White House and disowned by his family. Sipple died alone and broke in a one-room apartment in San Francisco in 1989.
Does it even need to be said? Perhaps it does:
It was the first and, without a doubt, the last time a gay man would attempt to save the life of a sitting Republican president.