Vivienne Armstrong, left, and Louise Young celebrated their 45th anniversary on April 18. They met in 1971 at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where they helped found the local Gay Liberation Front.

The couple moved to Dallas in 1976, and quickly became an integral part of the city’s LGBT community, which was growing quickly in terms of visibility and influence. They were among the founders of the Dallas Gay Political Caucus, which has morphed over the years into the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance, and of the Lesbian/Gay Political Coalition. They have been members and leaders of a variety of organizations through the years.

When Vermont became the first state with relationship recognition in 2000, Armstrong and Young were the first Texas couple to get a civil union. They were married in California in 2008 but celebrate their anniversary on the date they became a couple.

Young was a founder of Texas Instruments’ LGBT employee resource group and when her division was sold to Raytheon, she helped found the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Allies resource group there. She was a key player in Raytheon’s addition of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression into the EEO policy and the adoption of domestic partner benefits.

Armstrong worked many years with Visiting Nurses Association, which cared for many AIDS patients during the height of the epidemic in North Dallas. She’s now a board member of Ed-U-Care, which works with caregivers for LGBT older adults.

In 1993, the couple rode on a float celebrating American families in Bill Clinton’s inaugural parade in Washington D.C.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 29, 2016.