Recognizing Those Who Fought for the Rights of the LGBTQ Community


Megan Snyder

“We need in every community a group of angelic troublemakers,” said Bayard Rustin, an African American leader in social movements for civil rights, socialism, nonviolence, and gay rights.

Noemi Skovierova, Staff Reporter

Although LGBTQ representation has dramatically risen last few years, it has been a part of activism culture for decades. As Pride Month starts this year, despite attention sometimes shifting to other issues present in today’s world, it is vital to remain focused on the needs of those who have had their communities fail to protect and defend them. We must celebrate those who have put their lives on the line to give a voice to those who haven’t had one.

Harvey Milk

Harvey Milk became the first openly gay elected official in the United States in 1977.

After studying math and history at State University in New York, Milk began advocating on behalf of women, the Hispanic community, and many others in New York. As his popularity began to grow, he not only gained many supporters of his work, but many also began to despise him for his progressive views and ideologies. On Nov. 27, 1978, Harvey Milk was assassinated by a former city supervisor, Dan White. 

Marsha P. Johnson

Also known as the “drag mother,” Marsha P. Johnson has become the face of resistance and advocacy for LGBTQIA+ youth. Born on Aug. 24, 1945, Johnson began to find joy in drag after moving to New York City. 

After seeing the amount of homeless LGBTQ youth on the streets, Johnson began to speak out against the injustices that they were facing and started personally giving aid to those in need. She became the face of the gay liberation movement, while organizing the Stonewall uprising, and establishing the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) organization to aid the homeless transgender population in New York City, Chicago, California, and England. 

On July 6th, 1992, Marsha P. Johnson’s body was found in the Hudson River, and the case was ruled a suicide by the police, but the case has once again been opened. 

Bayard Rustin

A close friend of Martin Luther King Jr. and a main organizer of the Washington March, Rustin was an openly gay civil rights organizer, who focused his attention on the rights of the queer community as well as the African American community and the civil rights movement. His activism and connection to his community earned him the Presidential Medal of Freedom before he passed away on August 24, 1987.