A new rainbow flag mural has gone up on the wall which bears the Leonard Matlovich Plaque in the Castro. The mural appears on the northeast corner of 18th & Castro, near the rainbow crosswalks installed last year during the Castro Street Improvement Project.
Matlovich, a Vietnam War veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart and Bronze Star, was discharged from the military in 1975 after deliberately coming out by appearing on the cover of TIME Magazine underneath the headline, “I Am a Homosexual”. Matlovich subsequently challenged the ban on gays in the military and became an activist. Ultimately, Matlovich settled out of court for $160,000 and an honorable discharge. He feared the military would find some other reason for discharging him should he be reinstated.