8 October 1958 |
New Delhi, India
|Residence||Manhattan, New York;
|Alma mater||Vassar College;
Northeastern University School of Law
|Known for||Civil rights and anti-war activism|
|Notable work(s)||Virtual Equality: The Mainstreaming of Gay and Lesbian Liberation (1996)|
She is currently Director of the Engaging Tradition Project at the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School. The project focuses on the way tradition is used in movements for gender and sexuality to inform, enable or limit the movement.
Vaid is the founder of LPAC, the first lesbian political action committee, which was launched in July 2012. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Gill Foundation, which is dedicated to achieving equal opportunity for all, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. She is founder of The Vaid Group, a consulting practice that advises individuals and organizations working to achieve social justice in a wide range of fields.
For more than 10 years, Vaid worked in various capacities at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), the oldest national LGBT civil rights organization; first as its media director, then as executive director, and as director of its Policy Institute Think-tank. From 1983-1986, Vaid was staff attorney at the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), where she initiated the organization’s work on HIV/AIDS in prisons.
Vaid was born in New Delhi, and moved to the United States at age eight with her family. At age 11, she participated in the anti-Vietnam war movement. At Vassar College, she was active in a variety of political and social causes. She received a law degree from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston in 1983, where she founded the Boston Lesbian/Gay Political Alliance, a non-partisan political organization that interviews and endorses candidates for political office and advocates for Boston's gay community.
Vaid believes that true liberation of lesbians and gays from injustice will only occur when the larger institutions of society and the family are transformed through lesbians and gays working within mainstream groups for inclusion and change. Her book Virtual Equality: The Mainstreaming of Gay and Lesbian Liberation (1995), which won a Stonewall Book Award in 1996, addresses her beliefs about mainstreaming.
Vaid became Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in 1989. She pushed gay issues into the public eye through coordinated media manipulation and staged numerous protests on such subjects as abortion and the Persian Gulf War. Vaid went on hiatus from the NGLTF between 1992 and 1997; it was during this period that she wrote Virtual Equality. When she resumed work at the NGLTF, she served for an additional three years as the executive director.
Views on LGBT
After the release of her book Irresistible Revolution: Confronting Race, Class and the Assumptions of LGBT Politics Vaid tells curve magazine that her biggest fear is that LGBT communities will get preoccupied by the wins in the fight for marriage equality and slow down their movement. She argues for a more inclusive movement one that encompasses everyone regardless of race, class,ethnicity,age,or ability.
Vaid hopes that the future of LGBT communities will accomplish two things. "One is to take care of the parts of our community that are less powerful. That means low-income LGBT people, transgender people and our community's women, whose rights are getting the crap kicked out of them, parts of our community across the board -- kids, old gay people" and "The second thing I would love to see happen is for the LGBT community to use its political power and access to create a more just society for all." 
1996- Stonewall Book Awards
2014-Glad Spirit of Justice Award
- Vaid, Urvashi (1996). Virtual Equality: The Mainstreaming of Gay and Lesbian Liberation. Anchor Books, Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-47298-6.
- Vaid, Urvashi; John D'Emilio; William B. Turner (2002). Creating Change: Sexuality, Public Policy, and Civil Rights. Stonewall Inn Editions. ISBN 0-312-28712-7.
- Vaid, Urvashi (2011). Dan Savage and Terry Miller, ed. It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living. Dutton. ISBN 0525952330.
- "Urvashi Vaid Biography". American Immigration Law Foundation. Archived from the original on 2007-03-24. Retrieved 2007-04-11.
- "The Politics of Intersection". Retrieved 2007-10-18.[dead link]
- "Stonewall Book Awards". American Library Association. Retrieved 2007-04-11.
- "Urvashi Vaid to Join Arcus". Arcus Foundation. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
- "Board and Staff". ArcusFoundation.org. Retrieved 2009-10-11.
- "Urvashi Vaid". GillFoundation.org. Retrieved 2013-06-05.
- "Power 50: Urvashi Vaid". Retrieved 2013-12-05.[dead link]
- "Urvashi Vaid". glbtq.com. 2005-12-21. Retrieved 2007-04-11.
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Urvashi Vaid at the Internet Movie Database
- Laura Flanders (23 December 2010). "Urvashi Vaid: We Need Progressive, Multi-Issue Movements". GRITtv. Free Speech TV. http://blip.tv/grittv/grittv-urvashi-vaid-we-need-progressive-multi-issue-movements-4569390. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
- Works by or about Urvashi Vaid in libraries (WorldCat catalog)