Gay & Lesbian History Timeline: 1987
A Look Back at LGBT History: 1989

The Year in Gay History: 1988


Feb 20, 1988 - Brian Boitano wins a gold medal for the U.S. in Men's Figure Skating at the Winter Olympics in Calgary.

March 7, 1988 - John Waters' famed drag actress, Divine, dies from a heart condition at the age of 42.

March 20, 1988 - 28-year-old B.D. Wong (pictured, right, with co-star John Lithgow) gains acclaim with his starring role in M. Butterfly, a drama which had its Broadway opening tonight .


March 25, 1988 - Robert Joffrey, founder of the Joffrey Ballet, dies of AIDS at the age of 57.

April 11, 1988 - Cher wins the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in Moonstruck.

April 30, 1988 - Closing night at The Saint.

May 3, 1988 - Madonna makes her Broadway debut in David Mamet's Speed the Plow.


June 22, 1988 - Leonard Matlovich, who in 1975 appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine in military uniform for the story "I Am A Homosexual", dies from AIDS at the age of 44.

June 26, 1988 - 20-year old Kylie Minogue's first single, I Should Be So Lucky, enters the top-40 on Billboard's Hot 100.

July 1, 1988 - During an appearance on David Letterman, Sandra Bernhard brings out "gal pal" Madonna and they proceed to act obnoxiously.

Sept 19, 1988 - U.S. diver Greg Louganis hits his head on the diving board while competing at the Summer Olympics in South Korea and still wins a gold medal.


Oct 11, 1988 - Ventriloquist Waylon Flowers (creator of the character "Madam") dies from AIDS at the age of 58.

Oct 11, 1988 - The first National Coming Out Day is observed.

Dec 1, 1988 - The first World AIDS Day is observed.


Dec 14, 1988 - 6-1/2 years after opening on Broadway, the movie version of Torch Song Trilogy opens in theaters with Matthew Broderick playing the role of Harvey Fierstein's young lover.

Dec 16, 1988 - Beloved disco diva Sylvester succumbs to AIDS at the age of 40.  

Dec 20, 1988 - ABC news anchor Max Robinson dies from AIDS at the age of 49.


(To read about gay milestones from other years, double click here.)


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