Part 5: Our Hall of Fame

Any celebration of the The Advocate's founding in 1967 must honor the heroes for LGBT rights that we've covered for 45 years. With one honoree named per year, this is the final installment before a celebration Thursday in Los Angeles.



HEROES 1996 JUDITH LIGHT X 560 | ADVOCATE.COMThe tragedy on September 11 brought Americans shocking sadness, but the victims gave us long-lasting inspiration.

New York City fire department chaplain Mychal Judge, who his coworkers learned was gay after his death, symbolizes those who risked their lives to help others. The Franciscan friar died while helping victims at the World Trade Center. Helping others is what he had always done, working with the homeless or AIDS patients, plus victims of the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800.

Mark Bingham made it clear that the hijackers picked the wrong flight with United 93, and the bravery of he and fellow passengers has changed every flight since. In addition to a judo instructor, a weightlifter, a one-time paratrooper, and a former college quarterback, the 6-foot-4 gay rugby player Bingham was on board. The 31-year-old San Francisco public relations entrepreneur was one of the those who stormed the cabin, preventing the al-Qaeda terrorists from slamming United 93 into either the U.S. Capitol or the White House. Bingham and the other rebels on that flight saved hundreds, if not thousands, of lives.
-Neal Broverman, Lucas Grindley