By Jon Barrett
Originally published on Advocate.com April 07 2010 4:00 AM ET
I was enthralled by the testimony offered in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the federal trial challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8. And even though I had to follow the proceedings on Twitter (since the U.S. Supreme Court blocked any broadcast of the trial), I felt the magnitude of the words spoken by the plaintiffs and their attorneys, Ted Olson and David Boies.
Regardless of the outcome of this case at the district, appellate, or high court level, there’s been a ground shift in the way so many Americans think of our civil rights (if only insomuch that they’re thinking about them). And the catalysts behind this ground shift are the 40 men and women profiled in this issue, The Advocate’s annual Forty Under 40.
Whether it’s our cover subject, Chad Griffin, who is the mastermind behind Perry v. Schwarzenegger and the Boies-Olson collaboration, or Selly Thiam, who was motivated by the 2004 murder of a gay activist in Sierra Leone to begin documenting the lives of LGBT Africans, these 40 are just a sampling of the thousands of amazing folks (as many over 40 as under) whose stories come across our desk every year. They’re proof that activism knows no age limit and that—41 years after Stonewall—we’re as determined as ever to win every inch of our full equality.