Part 2: Our Hall of Fame

Any celebration of the The Advocate's founding in 1967 must honor the LGBT rights heroes that we've covered for 45 years. With one honoree named per year, the list will be announced in segments and culminate in an event in Los Angeles this month.



HEROES 1998 MATTHEW SHEPARD X560 | ADVOCATE.COMWhen V. Gene Robinson became the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church in 2003, he hoped to bring people on the margins back into the church. He could not have known that his example of what it means to be both Christian and gay would inspire a wave of LGBT people of faith to live openly and with pride.

After he became bishop, the church threatened to split apart over the election. Robinson held forums at Episcopal churches all over the country so people who were uncomfortable or angry could ask questions. But Robinson's ascension to bishop set off a conversation about the role of LGBT people in all churches, not just his own. All the while, through heated debate and repeated death threats, Robinson insisted he was doing God's work.

“As long as I’ve got the attention of the world’s media,” Robinson told The Advocate in 2003, “I’m going to use it for the church and I’m going to use it for God.”
—Lucas Grindley