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activist Cheryl Ann Spector dies

activist Cheryl Ann Spector dies

Washington, D.C.--based lesbian activist Cheryl Ann Spector died Tuesday after a battle with acute myeloid leukemia. She was 49.

She was diagnosed with the disease in June and hospitalized for 10 weeks with two rounds of chemotherapy, according to TheWashington Blade.

Spector sat on the board of directors for the Rainbow History Project, and committed 20 years toward LGBT activism. She was also involved with several organizations including the Human Rights Campaign, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Queer Nation, and the Mautner Project.

According to the Blade, Spector came out in 1982 and began documenting the gay rights movement, including the first AIDS candlelight vigil in 1983. She was also a key coordinator for the 1987 and 1993 marches on Washington.

"I just remember standing on the Mall and crying," she told the Blade in January. "I was watching them line the walkways of the quilt--I couldn't believe it. It was a culmination--a real time for me to start the healing process of losing [her brother] Stan. Things started to take off after that."

The activist will be honored posthumously with the Mautner Project's Unsung Hero Award on September 29. Her sister, Barbara Spector Yeninas, will accept the award on her behalf.

She is survived by Yeninas and her brothers Martin and Alan.

Her funeral will take place September 30. (The Advocate)

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