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A list of notable
who have worked to advance gay rights by political change, legal action or publication. Ordered by country, alphabetically. LGBT rights activists
Australia [ edit ]
Bulgaria [ edit ]
Cameroon [ edit ]
China, People's Republic of [ edit ]
China, Republic of (Taiwan) [ edit ]
Colombia [ edit ]
Germany [ edit ]
Ireland [ edit ]
Lithuania [ edit ]
Philippines [ edit ]
Romania [ edit ]
Sierra Leone [ edit ]
United Kingdom [ edit ]
Jeremy Bentham 19th century jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer. [30 ]
Christine Burns Trans rights campaigner, formerly a vice president of PfC, awarded MBE for work with PfC and on the GRB. [31 ] [32 ]
Ian Dunn, founder of the Scottish Minorities Group. [33 ]
A.E. Dyson, literary critic and founder of the Homosexual Law Reform Society. [34 ]
Jackie Forster actress, TV Personality and Lesbian campaigner. [35 ] [36 ]
Ray Gosling, writer, broadcaster and gay rights activist in the Campaign for Homosexual Equality. [37 ]
Antony Grey, Secretary of the Homosexual Law Reform Society, Grey was also the public face of the Albany Trust [38 ] [39 ]
Liam Hackett, founder of anti-bullying website and charity Ditch the Label [40 ]
Derek Jarman Film Director [41 ]
Paris Lees, trans rights campaigner, part of Trans Media Watch [42 ]
Denis Lemon, Editor of Gay News, involved in blasphemy prosecution brought by Mary Whitehouse. [43 ]
Ian McKellen, actor and spokesperson for Stonewall (UK) [36 ]
Robert Mellors 20th century writer and Gay Liberation Front campaigner. [44 ]
Michael Steed, Liberal politician, academic and gay rights activist in the Campaign for Homosexual Equality. [45 ]
Ben Summerskill, former chief executive of Stonewall [46 ]
Peter Tatchell politician, human rights and LGBT rights campaigner. [14 ] [36 ] [44 ]
Stephen Whittle Trans rights campaigner and former vice president of PfC and president of HBIGDA, Law Professor at MMU, awarded OBE for work with PfC and on the GRB [47 ]
United States of America [ edit ]
Kimball Allen (born 1982), writer, playwright, performer, author of and Secrets of a Gay Mormon Felon Be Happy Be Mormon
Jacob Appel, New York City-based lawyer, advocate for reparations for gays and lesbians [48 ]
Christopher R. Barron, co-founder of GOProud, a political organization representing gay conservatives.
Vic Basile, first executive director of the Human Rights Campaign, 1983-1989
Joseph F. Beam (1954–1989), Philadelphia-based journalist, author, and editor [49 ]
Andy Bell, lead singer of the English synthpop duo Erasure.
Wayne Besen Founder of Truth Wins Out. Former spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign.
Elizabeth Birch, executive director of the Human Rights Campaign, 1995-2004
Dustin Lance Black (born 1974), screenwriter, director, film, television producer, and founding board member of the American Foundation for Equal Rights. [50 ]
Chaz Bono (born 1969), transgender son of Sonny Bono and Cher. [51 ]
David P. Brill (1955–1979), Boston-based journalist.
Margarethe Cammermeyer (born 1942), former colonel in the Washington state National Guard whose coming out story was made into the 1995 movie , starring Serving in Silence Glenn Close. [52 ] [53 ]
Ryan Cassata, American transgender activist, public speaker and singer-songwriter, [54 ]
Madonna Louise Ciccone known as Madonna (born 1959), entertainer and long-term human and civil rights activist. Has offered outspoken support for the gay rights movement.
Joanne Conte, transwoman, former Arvada, Colorado City Councilor, currently hosts a radio show on KGNU. [55 ]
Lynn Conway (born 1938), transwoman computer scientist and electrical engineer.
Stephen Donaldson (1946–1996), early bisexual-identified LGBT rights activist founder of the first American gay students' organization, first person to fight a discharge from the U.S. military for homosexuality, [56 ] [51 ] [57 ] Also an important figure in the modern [58 ] bisexual rights movement. Dallas S. Drake, (born 1960), first openly gay firefighter in Minnesota (1989);
co-founder of the MN Gay Homicide Study (1999), later renamed the Center for Homicide Research in 2004. [59 ] [60 ] [61 ] [62 ]
Fran Drescher, (born 1957, Flushing, New York) is an outspoken healthcare advocate and LGBT rights activist. [63 ]
Danielle Egnew (born 1969), lesbian musician, actress, producer, and psychic who endorsed and provided campaign materials to Virginia's VoteNO campaign, protecting the legalities of same-sex civil unions in Virginia—also Spiritual leader and founder of The Church of the Open Christ, an inclusive and progressive LGBT ministry.
Steve Endean, (1948–1993), founder of the Human Rights Campaign Fund [64 ] [65 ]
Matt Foreman (born 1953), Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF). [51 ]
Barney Frank (born 1940), member of the Democratic Party who served as a member of Congress from Massachusetts from 1981 to 2013. [66 ] [67 ]
Aaron Fricke (born 1962), who successfully sued the Cumberland, Rhode Island school system in 1980 for the right to bring his boyfriend to the senior prom. [51 ]
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta known as Lady Gaga (born 1986), bisexual singer/songwriter who campaigned for the DADT repeal. Released pro-gay anthem "Born This Way" (2011). [68 ]
Barbara Gittings (1932–2007), founder of the New York City chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis who also pushed for the American Psychological Association to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). [51 ]
Neil Giuliano (born 1956), openly gay mayor of Tempe, Arizona (1994–2004) and current President of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
Chad Griffin (born 1973), president of the Human Rights Campaign as of June 11, 2012, and founder of American Foundation for Equal Rights, a nonprofit organization that supports the plaintiffs in the California Proposition 8 trial. [70 ] [71 ] [72 ]
James Gruber (1928—2011), original member of the Mattachine Society. [73 ]
Hardy Haberman, author, filmmaker, prominent member of the Leather/Fetish/BDSM community [74 ]
David M. Hall, author of Allies at Work: Creating a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Inclusive Work Environment, who speaks to corporate audiences across the country and is the co-founder of Out & Equal Philadelphia. [75 ]
Harry Hay (1912–2002), co-founder of the Mattachine Society. [51 ]
John Heilman Councilmember of West Hollywood from 1984–present.
Essex Hemphill (1957–1995), African American poet [76 ] [77 ]
Daniel Hernandez Jr. (born 1990), member of Tucson’s city commission on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues, who was credited with saving the life of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords after the 2011 Tucson shooting. [78 ]
Brenda Howard (1946–2005), bisexual-identified LGBT rights activist an instrumental figure in the immediate post-Stonewall era in New York City. [44 ] Also an important figure in the modern [51 ] bisexual rights movement.
Richard Isay (1934-2012) psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, author and gay activist. Responsible for ending discrimination against gay people by the American Psychoanalytic Association. Wrote "Being Homosexual: Gay Men and their Development", widely considered a groundbreaking work.
Janet Jackson (born 1966), American singer, songwriter, and actress.
Cheryl Jacques (born 1962), former member of the Massachusetts State Legislature and the president of the Human Rights Campaign from January through November 2004. She resigned from this post less than a month after the passage of 11 state constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. [79 ] [80 ]
Dale Jennings (1917–2000), co-founder of the Mattachine Society. [81 ] [82 ]
Cleve Jones (born 1954), conceived the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt and worked with Harvey Milk; co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation [83 ] [84 ]
Frank Kameny (1925–2011), participant in many gay rights rallies of the 1960s and 1970s, most notably the push in 1972–1973 for the American Psychological Association to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). [51 ]
Morris Kight (1919–2003), founder of Los Angeles' Gay and Lesbian Front and Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. [51 ]
Lisa Kove (born 1958), Executive Director of the Department of Defense Federal Globe and President of Empowering Spirits Foundation. [85 ]
Larry Kramer (born 1935), author and playwright who helped form the prominent gay rights organizations Gay Men's Health Crisis and AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT-UP). [51 ]
Janice Langbehn (born 1968), campaigner for marriage equality and same-sex hospital visitation after being denied access to her dying partner, Lisa Marie Pond, in 2007. [86 ]
Cyndi Lauper (born 1953), founder of the True Colors Fund charity which promotes equality for members of the LGBT community. [87 ]
Courtney Love (born 1964), a musician and singer, has advocated for LGBT rights and acceptance since the beginning of her career in the early 1990s. [88 ] [89 ] [90 ] [91 ]
Scott Long (born 1963), Executive Director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. [51 ]
Phyllis Lyon (born 1924), lesbian activist who co-founded the Daughters of Bilitis with longtime partner Del Martin. [92 ]
Del Martin (1921–2008), lesbian activist who co-founded the Daughters of Bilitis with longtime partner Phyllis Lyon. [92 ]
Meghan McCain (born 1984) columnist, blogger and daughter of senator John McCain. She has on several occasions expressed support for gay marriage, gay adoption and for repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell. She posed for the NOH8 campaign with her mother Cindy McCain.
Tim McFeeley, former executive director of the Human Rights Campaign, 1989-1995
Harvey Milk (1930–1978), openly gay city supervisor of San Francisco, California who was assassinated (along with mayor George Moscone) in 1978 by Dan White. [44 ] [51 ]
David Nelson (born 1962), founder of Gay and Lesbian Utah Democrats, and [93 ] Stonewall Shooting Sports of Utah. [94 ]
Gavin Newsom (born 1967), heterosexual mayor of San Francisco, California who directed his office to issue wedding licenses to same-sex couples in February 2004. This process was halted the next month by the California Supreme Court. [95 ]
Romaine Patterson (1978-), lesbian talk show host and founder of Angel Action. [96 ]
Troy Perry (1940–), founder of UFMCC, an international Protestant Christian denomination. The Fellowship has a specific outreach to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families and communities.
Geena Rocero, transgender model and advocate; founder of Gender Proud, an advocacy and aid organization that stands up for the right of transgender people all over the world.
Craig Rodwell (1940–1993), gay rights activist; founder of first gay & lesbian oriented bookshop in the United States; proposed and organized Annual Reminder; proposed and organized New York's Gay Pride march, then called Christopher Street Liberation day; was a founding member and organizer of Gay People In Christian Science.
Bayard Rustin (1912–1987), openly gay civil rights activist, principal organizer of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and advisor to Martin Luther King, Jr.; gay rights activist in later life
Ryan Sallans (born 1979), out transman and public speaker - travels around the country educating high school and college students on LGBT issues. [97 ]
José Sarria (born 1922 or 1923), first openly gay candidate for political office in the United States, founder of the [98 ] Imperial Court System. [99 ]
Tully Satre (born 1989), blogger who gained fame in March 2006 for challenging then- Senator
Dan Savage (born 1964), columnist of Savage Love and author. Founder of the It Gets Better Project.
Josh Seefried, United States Air Force first lieutenant and co-director of , the association of actively serving LGBT military. OutServe
Michelangelo Signorile (born 1960), gay American writer and a US and Canadian national talk radio host.
Ruth Simpson (1926–2008), founder of the first lesbian community center. Former President of Daughters of Bilitis New York. Author of From the Closet to the Courts. [51 ]
Joe Solmonese (born 1965), former political fundraiser and past president of the Human Rights Campaign.
A. Latham Staples (born 1977), founder and Chairman of the Empowering Spirits Foundation, current President & CEO of EXUSMED,Inc. [100 ] [101 ]
Andy Thayer (Born 1960) is an American socialist and gay rights activist, and co-founder of the Gay Liberation Network
Urvashi Vaid, (born 1958, New Delhi, India) is an American activist who has worked for over 25 years promoting civil rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons. [51 ] [102 ]
Phill Wilson, (born 1956, Chicago, IL), co-founder of the National Black Lesbian & Gay Leadership Forum and founder of The Black AIDS Institute [103 ] [104 ]
Chely Wright, (Born 1970, Wellsville, Kansas), First openly lesbian country music singer. Focused on serving as a role model and mentor for children and teens in order to reduce gay related suicides in children.
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
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^ a b Rayside, Morton David (1998). On the Fringe: Gays and Lesbians in Politics. Cornell Univ. Press. p. 179.
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^ Grey, Antony (1969). "The citizen in the street". Albany Trust.
^ Bhandari, Bibek. "Liam Hackett: It Does Get Better". http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ . Retrieved 3 August 2014.
^ "Outspoken Gay Film Director Derek Jarman Battled Aids". . February 21, 1994. The Seattle Times
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^ Burton, Peter (23 July 1994). "Obituary: Denis Lemon". Independent (London).
^ a b c d Power, Lisa (1995). No Bath But Plenty Of Bubbles: An Oral History Of The Gay Liberation Front 1970-7. Cassell. p. 340 pages. ISBN 0-304-33205-4.
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^ Summerskill, Ben (13 November 2007). "<img class="contributor-pic" src="http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2007/11/13/ben_summerskill_140x140.jpg" alt="Picture of Ben Summerskill" title="Ben Summerskill" />". The Guardian (London).
^ Arnot, Chris (17 April 2007). "Stephen Whittle: Body of work". Guardian.
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^ Dimick, Chris (18 November 2004). "Investigative talk show expeands to area". Mile High News . Retrieved 2009-06-07.
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^ Shilts, Randy (May 1993). Conduct Unbecoming: Gays and Lesbians in the U.S. Military. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 173, 294. ISBN 0-312-09261-X.
^ Donaldson, Stephen (1995). "The Bisexual Movement's Beginnings in the 70s: A Personal Retrospective". In Tucker, Naomi. Bisexual Politics: Theories, Queries, & Visions. New York: Harrington Park Press. pp. 31–45. ISBN 1-56023-869-0.
^ Project 515: Unrecognized in Life and Death
^ Ruben Rosario: Haunted by one killing, researcher studies thousands
^ Rommal Bennett's trial revisits spate of gay murders in the Twin Cities
^ American Society of Criminology: Criminologist: Homicide Research Working Group Awards Go To Gipsy Escobar and Dallas Drake
^ Huffington Post: Fran Drescher: The Time for Equal Rights for LGBT Americans Is Now!
^ Eaklor, Vicki L. (2004). "Endean, Steve". glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture . Retrieved 2009-06-09.
^ 25 Years of Political Influence: The Records of the Human Rights Campaign
^ Bell, Debra (March 27, 2009). "10 Things You Didn't Know About Barney Frank". U.S. News & World Report . Retrieved 2009-06-09.
^ FRANK: Barney – Biographical Information
^ Lady Gaga
^ Nagourney, Adam; Brooks Barnes; Ian Lovett Contributed Reporting From Los Angeles, Kitty Bennett From St. Petersburg, Fla. (24 March 2012). "Evolving Donor Network in Gay Marriage Drive". The New York Times. p. 1 . Retrieved 6 April 2012.
^ Peacock, Leslie Newell (10 December 2009). "From Wal-Mart to the White House". Arkansas Times . Retrieved 2 March 2012.
^ "APNewsBreak: Top gay rights group taps new leader". CBS News. 2 March 2012 . Retrieved 2 March 2012.
^ James Gruber, last original Mattachine member, dies
^ "How The Internet Killed (Or Maybe Just Changed) Dallas' Leather Scene". Dallas Observer. 25 August 2011 . Retrieved 6 February 2014.
^ Academy of American Poets
^ Samuels, Wilfred D. "Sample Essays: Essex C. Hemphill". A Gift of Story/Encyclopedia of African-American Literature . Retrieved 2009-06-10.
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^ Brune, Adrian (23 April 2004). "HRC head becomes highest paid gay rights activist". Washington Blade . Retrieved 2009-06-12.
^ Proulx, Marie-Jo (30 March 2005). "Moving Up & Out: Cheryl Jacques and Jennifer Chrisler". Windy City Times . Retrieved 2009-06-12.
^ no byline (19 May 2000). "William Dale Jennings; Pioneering Gay Activist (obituary)". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 2009-06-12.
^ Rapp, Linda (2006). "Jennings, William Dale". glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture . Retrieved 2009-06-12.
^ Gianoulis, Tina (2006). "Jones, Cleve". glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture . Retrieved 2009-06-13.
^ Dobner, Jennifer (7 June 2009). "Gay rights activist calls for march on Washington". Associated Press . Retrieved 2009-06-13.
^ "About Lisa Kove" . Retrieved 2014-08-12.
^ Susan Donaldson James (April 16, 2010). "Obama Orders Hospitals to Allow Gay Visitation, Medical Rights". ABC News . Retrieved August 24, 2011.
^ Cyndi Lauper's gay rights charity non-profit arm is at www.truecolorsfund.org/ (see special message from Cyndi Lauper)
^ Love, Courtney (1997-10-28). "1997 VH1 Fashion Awards". VH1. "I think that great personal style is being true to yourself and speaking your mind, which, since I'm up here, I'm going to do. I feel that keeping gay people in the closet with our attitudes and action is cruel, and it's tacky, and most of all, it's boring. I think that we really need to respect each other and ourselves and respect who we are and what we are, and not be afraid to be what we are, whether we're gay, or straight, or insane [...] It's 1997 and respecting each other's sexuality is about the coolest thing I can think of."
^ "Courtney Love supports you, in a kind of scary way". Grrl Planet. 2008-11-17 . Retrieved 2011-01-18.
^ Baltin, Steve (2012-05-24). "Courtney Love, Linda Perry Team Up for Gay Rights". Rolling Stone . Retrieved 2013-08-01.
^ Azzopardi, Chris (2013-07-18). "Courtney Love and Gays and Marriage Equality". The Rainbow Times . Retrieved 2013-08-01.
^ a b Kornblum, Janet (3 March 2004). "Gay activists blaze trail for half century". USA Today . Retrieved 29 July 2013.
^ "Gay Utah Democrats group to disband at end of year". The Deseret News (Salt Lake City). 1996-11-05.
^ "Salt Lake City group merges gun rights, gay rights". KCPW Radio News (Salt Lake City: Wasatch Public Media). 2009-08-04 . Retrieved 2010-06-01.
^ Allday, Erin (2008-11-06). "Newsom was central to same-sex marriage saga". SF Gate . Retrieved 2014-08-12.
^ Sheridan, Michael (2011-01-11). "Westboro Baptist Church to face 'angel wings,' bikers and legislation at 9-year-old's Tucson funeral". NY Daily News . Retrieved 2014-08-12.
^ Angelina, Ruth. "Transgender activist seeks acceptance for his community". NewsNetNebraska. April 4, 2011.
^ Miller, p. 347
^ "Founder of the International Court System Empress I Jose". International Court System . Retrieved September 23, 2008.
^ Rubio-Sheffrey, Esther (29 January 2010). "The Empowering Spirits Foundation: Bridging the gap between the LGBT community and non-LGBT neighbors". San Diego Gay & Lesbian News . Retrieved 2010-10-02.
^ ESF's History
^ Gill Foundation: Board and Staff: Urvashi Vaid
^ "Phill Wilson at GLHF". Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame . Retrieved 2012-02-12.
^ "Phill Wilson:Founder and Executive Director". The Black AIDS Institute . Retrieved 2012-02-12.
Further reading [ edit ]
Miller, Neil (1995). Out of the Past: Gay and Lesbian History from 1869 to the Present. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-09-957691-0.