“I’d been working it, looking for ways to die without active suicide, passive suicide–the solution of the working class–liquor and fast cars and brutal women.”
is an American writer, speaker, and member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Her writing includes themes of class struggle, sexual abuse, child abuse, feminism and lesbianism. Allison’s first novel, the semi-autobiographical Bastard Out of Carolina, was published in 1992 and was one of five finalists for the 1992 National Book Award.
“He wanted a gay and lesbian youth prom. And it was like guys and guys, and girls and girls.”
is a proud enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Coya has been working doing activist work in various communities and movements since the age of 15. She is a founding member of the First Nations Two Spirit Collective; they are a Collective working to building a stronger political presence for Two Spirit people.
“sitting at that table, being shredded by these horrific members of Congress that were throwing me like red meat to the right wing, it made me want to get married.”
is an American attorney and former corporate executive who chaired the board of directors of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force from 1992-1994. She served as the Executive Director of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT organization, from January 1995 until January 2004.
“The more victimized you were, the more of a woman you were. And I was like what are you talking about. The women I came from weren’t victims. They kicked butt.”
is an American writer and feminist. She is best known for her first novel Rubyfruit Jungle. Published in 1973, it dealt with lesbian themes in an explicit manner unusual for the time. Brown is also a mystery writer, screenwriter, and founding member of Radicalesbians.
“Women starting performing in the early 70’s. Suddenly there were audiences going from 50, to 300, to a thousand, to two thousand.”
decided to begin Olivia Records 30 years ago. A pioneer in the music industry, Judy produced hundreds of concerts and events specializing in women artists, including four sold out shows at Carnegie Hall. In 1990, Judy took her vision one step further and introduced Olivia Cruises & Resorts, a company dedicated to providing premiere vacations exclusively for women.
“This was the first time that anyone had ever done this kind of a memorial. I think that our AIDS quilt is one of the most inspired ideas of the 20th century.”
was a prominent American activist for gay equality. She organized the New York chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis from 1958 to 1963 and worked closely with Frank Kameny in the 1960s on the first picket lines that brought attention to the ban on employment of gay people by the largest employer in the US at that time: the United States government.
“There was a distinct separation between lesbians of color and white lesbians. But what grew out of that separation was kind of a cultural fountain of activities.”
is an American author, poet, critic, playwright, and founding member of GLAAD. She lived and worked in New York City for twenty-two years working in public television, theatre as well as philanthropy before relocating to the West Coast. Her writing—fiction, poetry, essays and cultural criticism—has appeared in a wide variety of venues, both feminist and mainstream.
“There was nothing like the 1979 march. They say you always remember your first.”
served as GMHC’s managing director for community health before becoming the CEO in 2006. She also previously served as assistant commissioner for the Bureau of HIV/AIDS at the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In October 2012, Hill was appointed chair of the New York State AIDS Advisory Council by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“The gay and lesbian community was able to learn a lot from the women’s health movement…very consciously taking our health care into our own hands.”
is editor in chief of Women’s Review of Books and a faculty member in the Solstice MFA Program at Pine Manor College. She has been an editor at Gay Community News, South End Press, and the Unitarian Universalist World magazine. She taught writing and literature at the University of Massachusetts and Emerson College and served as development director for the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities
“Betty Friedan, may she live in peace, had called us the lavender menace. She said that lesbians were going to ruin the women’s movement.”
is a professor of English and the director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program at Pace University. A pioneer in the field of lesbian and gay studies, she is widely published. When activists founded the Gay Liberation Front in the wake of the Stonewall Riots of June 1969, Jay, openly lesbian, was an early member
“Letting a youth live in a gay establishment was anathema. If we didn’t help these youth, whose families had abandoned them and kicked them out, who would?”
is an LGBT rights activist, spent ten years as an attorney with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), including three years overseeing the disaster response and recovery operations of its largest region. Jean holds a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University. In 1993, Jean became CEO of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.
“Well, actually it felt really good becoming a famous lesbian, that people take a lot of courage from other people that they see.”
is an American politician, and a former child actress. She most recently served as a Democratic member of the California State Senate, representing the 23rd district in Los Angeles County and parts of southern Ventura County. A former member of the California State Assembly, she was elected to the Senate in 2000 and served until December 2008.
“My fear was that if I came out and said that I’m lesbian, that I’d be banned from those ceremonies. I did go on to begin a ceremony for Native lesbians.”
helped coin the term “two-spirit in 1993 (to signify queer Native Americans) and in 2001 became the first Native American to serve as grand marshal of a Gay Pride parade. Beverly created the lesbian Sun Dance in St. John, Ariz., with 13 Native Americans and 87 other women participating. It was later moved to women’s land in Vermont.
“Everything we do has got to contribute to the struggle, because everything they do is grinding us to into dust and we will not be ground.”
was a self-styled “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,” writer who dedicated both her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing the injustices of racism, sexism, and homophobia. In the late 1980s Lorde and fellow writer Barbara Smith founded Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, which was dedicated to furthering the writings of black feminists.
“You know, sodomy, abortion, medical care, these are all the same issue. Keep your laws off my body. This is like nuts. How could this possibly be happening.”
has recently been appointed Director of the Labor Resource Center at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She spent 12 years with the Construction Occupational Health Program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where she served as Director for the first nine years of the program. Health and safety conditions for tradeswomen have been a key focus of Dr. Moir’s research.
“Somehow that got twisted into look lesbians want to steal your children and recruit them into their lifestyle. Which is ridiculous.”
wrote “Heather Has Two Mommies”, the first children’s book to portray lesbian families in a positive way. She has received many literary awards including Poetry Fellowships from the Massachusetts Artists Fellowship Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and the James Baldwin Award for Cultural Achievement. Nine of her books have been Lambda Literary Award finalists.
“People shot through my windows and put sugar in my gas tank. And scratched “lesbian” on the back of my car, which totally flipped me out.”
is an American politician and LGBT activist who served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives for two terms starting in January 1975. She was the first openly lesbian or gay candidate elected to a state legislature. She served two terms as representative for the Fenway-Kenmore and Back Bay neighborhoods of Boston.
“I can’t count the number of funerals I went to. I can’t count the number of people’s hands I held, while they died.”
was co-chair of Chicago Black Lesbians and Gays, director of the Chicago Department of Human Services youth division, and an associate executive director of operations for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago. She was honored in 1997 with the Chicago Commission on Human Relations Award, and the following year was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame.
“I mean I run into people all the time, you know, my age, mid-forties or fifties or late thirties, who can still remember their first women’s music concert.”
served as Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Director for the National Organization for Women (NOW). From 1988 to 1992, at the height of the AIDS epidemic in Los Angeles, she became the first woman Executive Director of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian in Washington, D.C., the nation’s oldest gay and lesbian civil rights organization.
“I came to consciousness to my own lesbian sexuality primarily through my involvement in the womens’ movement and in the feminist seventies.”
is a British filmmaker. She has worked as a director, producer and writer. Parmar is known internationally for her political and often controversial documentary film work as well as her activism within the global feminism and lesbian rights movements. She has collaborated with many well-known artists and activists, and public figures across the world.
“But so much in Congress happens in those cloak rooms, you really cannot discount the importance of having openly gay people in those meetings.”
is an American communications consultant, Democratic pundit, and former registered lobbyist. Since 2010, multiple sources have described her as a lobbyist. She worked for the Recording Industry Association of America for 16 years, including as CEO from 1998 to 2003. She has worked for the public relations firm SKDKnickerbocker since 2010.
“I guess we live in a global world now and what happens in Australia people hear about in America”
was the founding organizer of Mardi Gras in Australia. The first Mardi Gras parade took place on Saturday 24th June 1978 at 10pm and was met with unexpected police violence, during which Kate Rowe was arrested. Over the months that followed, more protests and arrests took place, and the actions of the police came to be seen as heavy handed. Kate was incarcerated for three days in Mullewa prison.
“The beauty of ACT-UP it put fear in the hearts of individuals, it became the protagonist, it became the bad guy, but it became the very smart bad guy.”
was the co-chair of the Human Rights Campaign Fund, a national lesbian and gay Political Action Committee. In 1985, Vivian was the guest speaker at “Black Tie Dinner” which is a non-profit organization that raises funds for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender supportive organizations serving North Texas
“Afro, straight hair, whatever, whatever we were looking at, there was no articulation that black women had any right to be on the planet.”
is an American lesbian feminist and socialist who has played a significant role in building and sustaining Black Feminism in the United States. Since the early 1970s she has been active as a critic, teacher, lecturer, author, scholar, and publisher of Black feminist thought. She has also taught at numerous colleges and universities over the last twenty five years.
“There were several women who came around to watch these lesbians, but we didn’t mind. Many of us there were used to performing.”
is a longtime Thai LGBT rights activist and founder of Anjaree Foundation, originally formed as a Thai group for women loving women and presently focusing on sexual rights. In 1998, Anjaree helped lift the ban on LGBT people appearing on television. In 2002, the group succeeded in getting the Thai Ministry of Health to publicly declare that homosexuality is not a mental illness.”
“I walked on stage and I declared my area a crystal Free zone. We like gods–I’m sorry, goddesses…the goddesses were tofu, vegetarianism”
is one of the Original Plaintiffs in the CA Supreme Court Lawsuit, Tyler v. County of LA. She also organized the 1st National March on Washington in 1979. In 2010, she wrote the one woman play, “Always A Bridesmaid, Never A Groom,” which met with rave reviews during its run at the Diversionary Theater.
“We had big balloons that said “Ask about Lesbian Lives, and we had a marching band that playing things like ‘We are Family.'”
was a professor of psychology at CUNY and had extensive experience in leftist organizing going back to the sixties. She was a mentor to many members who were new to activism. “For a lot of the people who came into ACT UP in the beginning, putting a sticker on the wall was a big anti-authority thing. And after a while, those stickers were everywhere.”
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