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GLBT History
Month: 31 Days, 31 Heroes

GLBT History
Month: 31 Days, 31 Heroes


October is GLBT History Month, a national celebration of queer culture through the ages. To remind people of our achievements, the Equality Forum has honored a hero for every day of the month. Who made the list?

This month's GLBT History Month was created to remind our youth that gay people can accomplish anything. The Equality Forum -- the nonprofit civil rights group that coordinates GLBT History Month -- is spreading the word about gay achievement by honoring a different queer leader every day through Halloween. Its esteemed list is below; click here for more info on these history-makers.

1. Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon -- Gay rights advocates and longtime partners. Martin and Lyon were legally married in California just months before Martin passed away in August.

2. Stephen Sondheim -- Tony-, Oscar-, and Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway composer and lyricist. His works include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Sweeney Todd.

3. Gianni Versace -- Trendsetting fashion designer who designed for the jet set before his murder in 1997.

4. Sheila Kuehl -- In 1994, Kuehl became the first openly gay person elected to the California legislature. In her youth Kuehl played the role of Zelda in the TV sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.

5. Tennessee Williams -- Tortured playwright who wrote unforgettable works like Cat on a Hot TinRoof and A Streetcar Named Desire.

6. Alice Walker -- Author and feminist who won a Pulitzer for her groundbreaking book The Color Purple.

7. Greg Louganis -- Olympic diver who took home the gold at the '84 Olympics in Los Angeles and the '88 games in Seoul.

8. Bertrand Delanoe -- This Paris mayor has a reputation for honesty as he backs environmental and LGBT causes in the City of Lights.

9. Margaret Mead -- American cultural anthropologist who remains a legacy in feminist history. Her views helped to advance the sexual revolution of the 1960s.

10. Mark Bingham -- Hero of 9/11; Bingham was one of the brave fliers believed to have overpowered the hijackers on United Flight 93 and saved the U.S. Capitol from being attacked.

11. Cleve Jones -- An intern for Harvey Milk, Jones founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and is best known for the creation of the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

12. Jann Wenner -- Editor of the influential Rolling Stone magazine, which has been publishing for over 40 years.

13. Harvey Fierstein -- This gravelly voiced actor wrote and starred in the play and film Torch Song Trilogy. Fierstein also wrote the book to the much-loved musical La Cage aux Folles.

14. Margarethe Cammermeyer -- A colonel in the Washington National Guard who became a gay rights activist after being discharged from the military for being gay.

15. Anthony Romero -- Powerful executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

16. Melissa Etheridge -- Platinum-selling, Grammy- and Oscar-winning musician whose hits include "I'm the Only One" and "Come to My Window."

17. Gene Robinson -- Bishop of the diocese of New Hampshire in the Episcopal Church. Robinson was the first openly gay, noncelibate priest to be ordained a bishop in a major Christian denomination.

18. John Waters -- Cult film director whose movies, like Pink Flamingos and Girl Trouble, are legendary.

19. Robert Mapplethorpe -- Photographer best known for his sexy works X Portfolio, Y Portfolio, and Z Portfolio.

20. Georgina Beyer -- First openly transgender member of New Zealand's parliament.

21. Tony Kushner -- Pulitzer- and Tony-winning writer of Angels in America, an epic play about AIDS in the 1980s.

22. Rosie O'Donnell -- Outspoken comedian and actress who anchored her own talk show and starred in A League of Their Own and Sleepless in Seattle.

23. Philip Johnson -- Provocative architect who came out in 1994, when his biography was released. Johnson is the founding director of the Department of Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

24. E.M. Forster -- English author who explored sexuality and class differences in novels such as Maurice and Howard's End.

25. Randy Shilts -- San Francisco journalist and author who wrote The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk and And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic.

26. Allen Ginsberg -- Credited with coining the term "Flower Power," this poet and songwriter is best known for his book Howl and Other Poems.

27. Troy Perry -- Reverend Elder Dr. Troy D. Perry founded the gay-friendly Metropolitan Community Church, which has grown to over 300 congregations in 16 countries.

28. Bill T. Jones -- Dancer and choreographer who worked with his partner of 17 years to create such moving performances as Still/Here, dealing with HIV/AIDS.

29. Andy Warhol -- One of the most influential artists of our time, Warhol created the movement known as Pop Art.

30. Rachel Carson -- Best-selling author and influential marine biologist whose research prompted the government and everyday Americans to become conscious of environmental issues.

31. Michelangelo -- Italian Renaissance artist best known for his sculpture David and his artwork on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

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