List of LGBT rights activists
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A list of notable LGBT rights activists who have worked to advance LGBT rights by political change, legal action or publication. Ordered by country, alphabetically.
- 1 Australia
- 2 Brazil
- 3 Bulgaria
- 4 Cameroon
- 5 Canada
- 6 China, People's Republic of
- 7 China, Republic of (Taiwan)
- 8 Colombia
- 9 France
- 10 Germany
- 11 India
- 12 Iran
- 13 Ireland
- 14 Italy
- 15 Japan
- 16 Kyrgyzstan
- 17 Lithuania
- 18 Lebanon
- 19 Mexico
- 20 Nepal
- 21 Philippines
- 22 Poland
- 23 Romania
- 24 Russia
- 25 Sierra Leone
- 26 Singapore
- 27 South Africa
- 28 Uganda
- 29 United Kingdom
- 30 United States of America
- 31 See also
- 32 References
- 33 Further reading
- Arsham Parsi
- Irshad Manji
- Christin Milloy
- Svend Robinson
- Steven Hazlett
- Bill Siksay
- Rev. Dr. Brent_Hawkes"Spirituality and Sexuality. You Can Have Both".
China, People's Republic of
China, Republic of (Taiwan)
- Virgilio Barco Isakson (b. 1965), founder of Colombia Diversa, an NGO that advocates for LGBT rights in Colombia.
- Armando Benedetti Villaneda (b. 1962), Senator of Colombia, advocates in Congress in favour of recognition of same-sex unions in Colombia.
- Camille Cabral
- Rama Yade, former Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Human Rights of France
- Christiane Taubira
- Lilian Thuram, former French soccer player
- Anjali Gopalan
- Ashok Row Kavi
- Sridhar Rangayan
- Shaleen Rakesh
- Harish Iyer
- Jhannabi Goswami
- Arif Jafar
- Maki Muraki (born 1974), head of Nijiro Diversity in Osaka
- Nikolai Alekseev
- Elena Kostyuchenko
- Reyda Linn
- Nix Nemeni
- Taria Polyakova
- Konstantin Golava
- Lena Katina
- Funeka Soldaat Leader of Free Gender Organisation in Khayelitsha, Western Cape. http://www.iol.co.za/news/the-voice-of-black-womens-sexuality-1991125
- Jeremy Bentham 19th century jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer.
- Christine Burns Trans rights campaigner, formerly a vice president of PfC, awarded MBE for work with PfC and on the GRB.
- Ian Dunn, founder of the Scottish Minorities Group.
- A.E. Dyson, literary critic and founder of the Homosexual Law Reform Society.
- Jackie Forster actress, TV Personality and Lesbian campaigner.
- Ray Gosling, writer, broadcaster and gay rights activist in the Campaign for Homosexual Equality.
- Antony Grey, Secretary of the Homosexual Law Reform Society, Grey was also the public face of the Albany Trust
- Liam Hackett, founder of anti-bullying website and charity Ditch the Label
- Derek Jarman Film Director
- Paris Lees, trans rights campaigner, part of Trans Media Watch
- Denis Lemon, Editor of Gay News, involved in blasphemy prosecution brought by Mary Whitehouse.
- Ian McKellen, actor and spokesperson for Stonewall (UK)
- Robert Mellors 20th century writer and Gay Liberation Front campaigner.
- Paul Patrick
- Michael Steed, Liberal politician, academic and gay rights activist in the Campaign for Homosexual Equality.
- Ben Summerskill, former chief executive of Stonewall
- Peter Tatchell politician, human rights and LGBT rights campaigner.
- 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
United States of America
- Bishop Allyson Nelson Abrams (born 1970), lesbian bishop and pastor of Empowerment Liberation Cathedral in Silver Spring, MD. Bishop Abrams founded a predominantly LGBTQIA congregation and advocates for the rights of those in the LGBT community. Bishop Abrams teaches that faith and sexuality don't have to be in conflict, they can be in harmony. Bishop Abrams resigned from her Baptist church pastorate after disclosing that she married her wife.
- Kimball Allen (born 1982), writer, playwright, performer, author of Secrets of a Gay Mormon Felon and Be Happy Be Mormon
- Jacob Appel, New York City-based lawyer, advocate for reparations for gays and lesbians
- Cliff Arnesen, bisexual rights activist.
- Gilbert Baker, born 1951, designer of the Rainbow flag.
- 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
- 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.
- Chaz Bono (born 1969), transgender son of Sonny Bono and Cher.
- David P. Brill (1955–1979), Boston-based journalist.
- Blake Brockington (1996-2014), African American transgender rights activist.
- Margarethe Cammermeyer (born 1942), former colonel in the Washington state National Guard whose coming out story was made into the 1995 movie Serving in Silence, starring Glenn Close.
- Ryan Cassata, American transgender activist, public speaker and singer-songwriter,
- June Chan (born 1956), Asian American lesbian activist.
- Jarrod Chlapowski (born 1982), Army veteran, DADT repeal activist, co-founder of the now defunct Servicemembers United, and former HRC lobbyist.
- Madonna Louise Ciccone known as Madonna (born 1958), 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.
- Lynn Conway (born 1938), transwoman computer scientist and electrical engineer.
- Ruby Corado, Salvadoran activist and founder of Casa Ruby, a bilingual, multicultural LGBT organization in Washington, D.C.
- 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, Also an important figure in the modern 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.
- Fran Drescher, (born 1957, Flushing, New York) is an outspoken healthcare advocate and LGBT rights activist.
- 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
- Matt Foreman (born 1953), Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF).
- Barney Frank (born 1940), member of the Democratic Party who served as a member of Congress from Massachusetts from 1981 to 2013.
- Aaron Fricke (born 1962), who sued the Cumberland, Rhode Island school system in 1980 and won a landmark First Amendment case granting him the legal right to attend prom with another boy. He chronicled the experience in the seminal growing up gay story Reflections of a Rock Lobster.
- Patt Gavin (born 1959), gay advocate and author of Almost Paradise, a novel concerning gay marriage.
- 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).
- 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).
- 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.
- James Gruber (1928—2011), original member of the Mattachine Society.
- Hardy Haberman, author, filmmaker, prominent member of the Leather/Fetish/BDSM community
- 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.
- Harry Hay (1912–2002), co-founder of the Mattachine Society.
- John Heilman Councilmember of West Hollywood from 1984–present.
- Essex Hemphill (1957–1995), African American poet
- 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.
- Brenda Howard (1946–2005), bisexual-identified LGBT rights activist, an instrumental figure in the immediate post-Stonewall era in New York City. Also an important figure in the modern 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.
- Dale Jennings (1917–2000), co-founder of the Mattachine Society.
- Cleve Jones (born 1954), conceived the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt and worked with Harvey Milk; co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation
- 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).
- Morris Kight (1919–2003), founder of Los Angeles' Gay and Lesbian Front and Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.
- Lisa Kove (born 1958), Executive Director of the Department of Defense Federal Globe and President of Empowering Spirits Foundation.
- 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).
- 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.
- Cyndi Lauper (born 1953), founder of the True Colors Fund charity which promotes equality for members of the LGBT community.
- 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.
- Scott Long (born 1963), Executive Director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch.
- Phyllis Lyon (born 1924), lesbian activist who co-founded the Daughters of Bilitis with longtime partner Del Martin.
- Del Martin (1921–2008), lesbian activist who co-founded the Daughters of Bilitis with longtime partner Phyllis Lyon.
- 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.
- Nathan Monk, former Orthodox priest who was excommunicated after promoting marriage equality.
- David Nelson (born 1962), founder of Gay and Lesbian Utah Democrats, and Stonewall Shooting Sports of Utah.
- 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.
- Romaine Patterson (1978-), lesbian talk show host and founder of Angel Action.
- 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.
- Gary C. Ross (born 1977), United States Navy Lieutenant Commander, married to Dan Ross, first same-sex military couple to legally marry in the United States,[better source needed] plaintiff in McLaughlin v. Hagel, contributing author for "In the Shadow of Greatness", recorded story for StoryCorps, interview published in "Love Together: Longtime Male Couples on Healthy Intimacy & Communication", Founder and Chairman of Genentech's Solano County gPRIDE
- 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.
- José Sarria (born 1922 or 1923), first openly gay candidate for political office in the United States, founder of the Imperial Court System.
- Tully Satre (born 1989), blogger who gained fame in March 2006 for challenging then-Senator George Allen
- 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 OutServe, the association of actively serving LGBT military.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Phill Wilson (born 1956, Chicago, IL), co-founder of the National Black Lesbian & Gay Leadership Forum and founder of The Black AIDS Institute
- Evan Wolfson (born 1957) is the founder and president of Freedom to Marry, a group favoring same-sex marriage in the United States.
- 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.
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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.Missing or empty
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