LGBT Heroes to Remember

On the following pages, read about acts of bravery by LGBT Americans, some of who have shaped the course of history. All came to the aide of another person in imminent danger, including young Allan Fonseca who guided customers to safety during a mall shooting in Oregon. We welcome suggestions for other LGBT people who deserve their own medal of honor; send to [email protected].

BY Neal Broverman

August 05 2011 5:00 AM ET UPDATED: December 13 2012 3:00 PM ET


Mark Bingham

It's been said that 9/11 hijackers picked the wrong flight with United 93. In addition to a judo instructor, a weightlifter, a one-time paratrooper, and a former college quarterback, 6-foot-4 gay rugby player Mark 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 brave rebels on that flight saved hundreds, if not thousands, of lives that terrible day.

Bingham's heroics were commemorated by Senators John McCain and Barbara Boxer at a ceremony on September 17, 2001; Bingham's partner, Paul Holm, was presented with a folded American flag. Further cementing his legacy was the 2006 film United 93, which starred gay actor Cheyenne Jackson as Bingham. In 2002, Jon Barrett, The Advocate's senior news editor — and later, the magazine's editor in chief — authored the book  Hero of Flight 93: Mark Bingham.

Tags: Crime