- James Hormel, a philanthropist and the first openly LGBT person to represent the United States as an ambassador, died August 13 at the age of 88. He served as the ambassador to Luxembourg from 1999 to 2001 under former President Bill Clinton.
- Pioneering Indian American LGBTQ leader, attorney, and author Urvashi Vaid, a lifelong advocate for LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, anti-war efforts, immigration justice and many other social causes. She was the Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force from 1989 to 1992 and cofounded the organization’s annual Creating Change conference. She was the author of the influential “Virtual Equality,” found many organizations including LPAC, the first lesbian Super PAC. Prior to that, Vaid held positions on the boards at the Ford Foundation, The Arcus Foundation (where she served as Executive Director from 2005 to 2010), and the Gill Foundation. She was a leader in the development of the currently ongoing National LGBTQ women’s community survey.
- Stephen Sondheim, the openly gay composer and lyricist who died November 26 at the age of 91. composer, songwriter and lyricist. He was of the most important figures in twentieth-century musical theater, credited for having “reinvented the American musical” with shows including West Side Story, Gypsy , A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and many others. Sondheim’ was the recipient of eight Tony Awards, an Academy Award, eight Grammys, a Pulitzer Prize, a Kennedy Center Honor, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
- Tyler Clementi, a gay 18-year-old Rutgers University student suicide following relentless bullying and cyberbullying captured worldwide media attention and moved his family to create the Tyler Clementi Foundation, dedicated to creating a safe environment for all individuals to thrive.
- Lesbian reporter and feminist Dolores Alexander, who died on May 13, 2008 at the age of 76. In 1969 she was named the first executive director of the National Organization for Women but resigned a year later after experiencing homophobia from the larger feminist movement.
Last modified: June 21, 2022