Before Harvey Milk, Elaine Noble was perhaps the most prominent LGBTQIA+ politician in the United States.Noble was born in Pennsylvania in 1944. She earned a BFA from Boston University and graduate degrees in speech and education from Emerson College and Harvard University. She came out as a lesbian while working at a women's school. She also worked in advertising, and produced a radio show called "Gay Way" on local Massachusetts radio. She took part in a televised debate on a local PBS station on the topic of same-sex marriage in 1974.Noble came to politics by way of local activism. She was a prominent activist in the Boston area, working as an organizer for Boston's early Pride events. She was a founder of the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus and served on the Governor's Commission.In 1974, Noble ran for the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Some of Noble's supporters and allies in the LGBTQIA+ community implored her not to mention her sexual orientation, but she refused. That said, her identity was not central to the campaign. She instead focused on her community activism, and her role as a mediator in local disputes. (She became a voice of calm in the heated battles over integration by busing, roiling the Boston area in the 1970s.)The campaign was ugly. Her campaign offices, home, and car were all vandalized. Regardless, she was successful, winning in her state district with 59% of the vote.Noble's election occurred roughly seven months after Kathy Kozachenko was elected to the City Council of Ann Arbor, Michigan, as the first openly LGBTQIA+ elected official in the United States. Noble earned far more media attention that Kozachenko, however. Asked about this in 2015, Kozachenko suggested that a city councilwoman would be elected by a far smaller group of people. The reverse was in fact true: Kozachenko was elected to the council with 2,236 votes, and Noble had received only around 1,700 votes.Noble took office in January 1975. She was the first LGBTQIA+ person elected to a state-level office.From her vantage point as one of the only openly LGBTQIA+ women in elected office in the United States, Noble became a significant voice in the women's liberation movement, including in the movement's efforts to have the Equal Rights Amendment ratified. The hostility Noble endured was intense, and it came from multiple quarters. The ascendant religious right, which viewed the whole women's liberation movement as a horror show, spewed particular venom at someone like Noble. But even allies within the women's liberation movement were uncomfortable with lesbianism within their ranks. In 1977, at the National Women's Conference in Houston, Texas, Noble became an active voice in seeking to add a gay-rights plank in the convention's resolutions. Others, such as former Rep. Martha Wright Griffiths (D-MI, 1955-74, #WomensHistoryinPolitics, Day 26), were uncomfortable with the prospect of supporting lesbian rights; whether this was based in homophobia or in the fact that the it seemed outside the mainstream goals of the conference is something I will let others decide.Noble served two terms, from 1975 to 1979.In 1978, Noble decided to run for the US Senate. She came in fifth in a five-person Democratic primary.Noble continued working in politics, but never again as an elected official. She worked for Boston Mayor Kevin White. She was a delegate to the 1988 Democratic National Convention, where Gov. Michael Dukakis (D-MA), who had sworn in Noble to the state house, was nominated. She ran twice for the City Council of Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1991 and 1993, but lost both times.Noble has also worked in healthcare. She founded a healthcare consulting group in the 1980s and founded a Minneapolis LGBTQIA+ alcohol and drug treatment center. She also worked in Massachusetts hospitals.As of this writing, Elaine Noble is 78 years old and lives in Florida.
Not a fan of this name for a girl, it sounds old and outdated and when I think of a girl having this name, I picture an old lady or a grandma.
In Portuguese, it's pronounced Eh-LIE-nee.
This name reminds me of my own, in the sense that I'm okay with it. It doesn't bother me.
One of the songs by ABBA has this name!
Elaine drives a Hyundai. Which Hyundai you may ask? An Elantra.
Elaine; elated; elation.
I kinda like it! Elaine has a great sound!
This name is an old French version of Helene - so is indeed derived from the Greek Helena.
I love the name Elaine. Very classic and beautiful. I love the association with the Tennyson poem, too. AND the Katharine Ross character Elaine in “The Graduate.” :-)
Ugly! Elaina is slightly better and Elain is even worse.
My name is Elaine. Everyone who thinks it's a pretty name isn't named Elaine. I swear I hate my name so much and of course I'm named after the Seinfeld character. It is a very basic and old lady-ish name that I admit, kind of fits me but I still hate it. My sister has always called me Elaina which I hate even more. Also, it sucks having a name that was the most popular in the 1940s. Basically means most people named Elaine are in their 70s to 80s. I'm thinking about making my nickname Ellie (I don't think Laine fits me) but it would be a little awkward suddenly asking everyone to call me Ellie.
I love it soooooooooooooooooo much! Gorgeous! This name is so beautiful, and pretty, and fitting for even a princess! Thanks a lot to the critical comments for making people hate the name. But I love this name and would use it at anytime, and this ages so thoroughly! I would love this to be my name! I have heard it before, but this is so NOT outdated and amazing!
It's so beautiful! And it fits any age! Gorgeous!
My sister's name is Elaine. And I couldn’t think of a prettier name. It is sweet and beautiful. My sister is very pretty just like her name. So beautiful.
It is a gorgeous name. :)
So pretty! Perfect for a princess.
Very dignified and romantic. Good for a serious person who likes having fun.
I love this name because it makes me think of the Seinfeld character, whom I love!
I have a best friend of over twenty years called Elaine. Together we are Grace and Elaine I think they go quite famously together don't you think.
I like this name, although it is a family name (great grandma), so it does feel dated. We are thinking of Eliana which is softer, more elegant sounding.
Pretty and dignified. It doesn't sound dated at all.
I love the name Elaine, it's fresh, fun and spunky. Don't hate your name, be proud of it, it is you!
I agree with Jonquil. It is very common for names to be conflated and confused between languages. The Welsh word Elain specifically refers to a female fawn - and even today a term of the very greatest approbation is to describe a woman as "doe eyed". It is clear that it is all too easy for some smart a*** to see an apparent similarity with a classical name like some of the variants of Helena and then claim the connection - and it is true that Helen of Troy is renowned as a great beauty. Nevertheless I am sure that the two names have entirely separate meanings and etymology.It would be very helpful if people would identify the dates associated with early usage. I suspect that the use of the word as a personal name may have been invented by Arthurian bards as a cover name for someone else altogether for whom this would be a well understood allusion.
My name is Elaine and I HATE it I am 39 years old and have only ever met 3 other Elaines and they were 100 years old (slight exaggeration!) It's an old ladies' name and I can not see any young person wanting to grow up with this name. I have always used a nickname.
I was born Elaine. I never felt any like or dislike for the name. I just think it fits me to a T. I am definitely an Elaine - no doubt about it.
This is my friend's older sister’s name. I guess it’s fine.
I think it's a cute name, but it sounds a little old-fashioned, in my opinion. I think nowadays it would be better as a middle name. But it's still a pretty-sounding name for sure.
The main female in the 2015 movie Sleeping With Other People is named Elaine, although she went by Lainey. Played by a wonderful actress, Alison Brie, her character is very much a wildcard.
My name is Elaine and I do not like it. While I do not like overly common names it is not fun growing up not knowing anyone else with your name besides 80 year old ladies. I do agree it is a pretty name but if I were a parent I would choose is as a middle name or add something to it to make it more modern (ex. Elaina or Lainey). Based on other comments I do not think most younger people like this as their name and would prefer something different.
Call me weird, but this name makes me think of girls and women who have learnt to drive as teenagers. Maybe I just think of driving down 'a lane'.
This name is so beautiful - much prettier than “Helen.” I just want to say it over and over again... also an excellent middle name.
My name is Elaine Lesley and my friends like to call me Elainey = E -lie - nee.
This is my mom’s English name, and to me it fits her well. The name is elegant, classic, refined, pretty, and just makes me think of a smart girl. However, I do think that the name is kinda old, so if you are thinking about naming your daughter “Elaine”, you should think about using other forms of it, for example, Eliana. But that’s just my opinion!
This is my grandmother's name and it is super pretty!
I was named Elaine before Seinfeld ever aired so I didn't have to deal with that association. There was an Elaine on Taxi when I was a kid. Other than that, I never met very many other Elaines except older women or people who would tell me that was their grandmother's name. As a kid I didn't think very much about it. It was simply my name. As I got older I wished my mother had swapped my first and middle name to be Catherine Elaine instead of Elaine Catherine. I could have gone by Catherine or Cate, which I find preferable to Elaine. However, I had a Greek aunt whose name was Helen and I was named after her. I also preferred Elaina or Eleni (Greek) to Elaine. I just pretty much just live with it. I don't really hate it but it's not common for sure. I too cannot stand when people pronounce it Ah-Laine. Just sounds dumb. Eh-lain or Ee-laine is the proper pronunciation.
Love it. Not too common, a pretty sweet name.
Very pretty, and I would love to see it used more. I picture an intelligent girl in college who's working hard to get her degree as a doctor or lawyer or something.
My first name is Elaine. I've been playfully teased about the Seinfeld thing, one kid in grade school always reminded me my name rhymed with insane. I hated it as a youth, often going by Laine instead. I can't stand it when it's pronounced ah-laine, it sounds so lazy and dumb. It's taken a while, but it's really grown on me and I'm glad it's my name! Especially when it's pronounced Ēlaine.
Wow. Um, my name's Elaine Joy and I've always hated it.
I don't know why, but I strongly dislike it but I want to change that. Although now, liking it feels like swallowing a stone while pretending it's a marshmallow.But your comments helped a lot! So thank you, really :)
Beautiful! I'm ready to see Elaine and Elaina come back!
Reminds me of chicken-rice soup in which all the broth has boiled away and the gummy rice is left sticking to the pan. Not sure why. But I like Laine or Lainey.
I'll admit, the name Elaine is really pretty, kind of short, sweet, and to the point, with plenty of possibilities for nicknames. My middle name is Elainee, and nicknames I've gotten just from my middle name are Elle, Laine, Lainey, and from my first name and middle both, Elle is kind of a common nickname.
Before there was Seinfeld, the popular TV show of the late 70s Taxi had Elaine Nardo as their main female character (played by Marilu Henner). This was my reference growing up in the 80s. I prefer the Ee-laine pronunciation versus Ah-laine, which sounds like a Valley Girl sloppy version.
This is my friend's middle name, and she hates it. But I've started to like it, the more I think about it. Ellie is a good nickname.
Elaine Zayak (born 1965 in Paramus, New Jersey) is an American figure skater.
In my northwestern American dialect/accent Elaine is pronounced ee:-LAYN.
Elaine is dated, but it's grown on me--I think it's a very pretty name. And it goes well with the other girl names I want to use: Estelle (star) and Celeste (sky) as twins; Clarisse (bright) and Lucille (light)--and then I suppose Elaine, which means "torch."
Elaine is the first name of Dr. Frederick, the sadistic scientist played by Veronica Lake in her sad swan song, Flesh Feast (1970).
This name is simply beautiful!
My first thought upon hearing this name is always of Elaine from Seinfeld. She was hilarious, but sort of a terrible person (like everyone else on the show.) Considering Seinfeld is constantly in re-runs, if you name your kid this, they will probably never be able to shake the association.
I love the Arthurian resonances that this name has. Elaine is so pretty; I'm really not sure why this name hasn't taken off along with Eleanor, Ella, Ellie, etc. Lately, given its very similar sound. Despite the Seinfeld connection, this name doesn't feel middle ages to me at all, and I can absolutely picture it on a little girl.
I named one of my daughters a variation of this name. Her name is Elaina - pronounced "ee-LAY-nah". Her nickname is "Laina".
I love this name. I think Elaine sounds very medieval because of the King Arthur stories.
Although usually identified as a medieval form of Helen, this name from Arthurian legend (made known in the 19th century through Tennyson's "Idylls of the King") is now widely thought to be identical to the Welsh word for fawn, Elain.
Pronounced "E-LAYN".
This is one of my favorite names. ^_^ I think it's very elegant and beautiful.
Elaine is a second name of African-American model Toccara Jones, born 13. March 1981, Dayton, Ohio.
Elaine is a beautiful and elegant name."Elaine the fair, Elaine the lovable/ Elaine the lily maid of Astolat" - that's from the Tennyson poem, Lancelot and Elaine. I'm in two minds about whether the poem is a pro or a con. On the one hand, it's a beautiful poem, and the character Elaine is a sweet, devoted, wilful and loving character. On the other hand, she dies of unrequited love. There'a also an Abba song called Elaine: "You hate, you scream, you swear
And still you never reach him
You curse, you try to scare
But you can never teach him
It’s a dead end street
They tie your hands and tie your feet
And the street is narrow
A nowhere lane
A nowhere train for Elaine, Elaine, Elaine"... and it continues in that vein!
I don't mind the gender-neutral Lane, but this name has annoyed me for quite some time, can't explain why. I guess it sounds a bit like the name of a snotty girl or woman.
I agree with everyone who thinks this name is absolutely fabulous. I once gave a character the name of “Elaine Baines” and never got over how cool [I thought] it sounded.
Elaine de Kooning was an American abstract painter, and wife of the artist Willem de Kooning. Shortly before his assassination, John F. Kennedy sat for her; the portrait now hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D. C.Elaine Lobl (E. L.) Konigsburg is the author of several classic children's books, including From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.
Elaine Harper is the name of a character in the play Arsenic and Old Lace. The movie version stars Carry Grant.
Pronounced as "EH-laine".
Elaine Risley is the main character in Margaret Atwood's CAT'S EYE.
Well it's my name, ELAINE and it's great! I used to hate it but now i'm proud to have such a name! It's the best name in the world. :D
I'm sure this is a great name, but I can't get past the Seinfield thing.
Elaine Paige (b. 1951) is a famous English musical actress.
Elaine Robinson is a character from the film "The Graduate."
I agree with all that was said of this name. It is my best friend's name, and she hates it! Which I can't believe, it's lovely. She goes by Lainey (still cute), but I'm the only one who gets by with calling her Elaine. Sometimes. ;)
*Elaine* is elegant and beautiful. Steeped in legend, this name brings grace and charm to she who bears it. A female of any age and any station could carry it off; I do not agree that this name suits only those with classic good looks.
Elaine is the name of one of the characters on the TV show Seinfeld.
One of my best friends is Elaine, and it does suit her. And yes she is really pretty!
Elaine is probably the most beautiful name ever written and invented. One must have a great physical appearance to wear this name.
Elaine is an elegant name. It totally suits almost any woman. It's short and sweet. :-)

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