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22 Baby names inspired by LGBT activists

LGBT Pride Month, a.k.a., Gay Pride Month, takes place in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots. In the 46 years since that fateful event, prominent heroes have emerged in support and defense of the LGBT community. We honor them here with our list of some of the bravest activists of our time.

Audre Lorde: Affirmed her sexuality in The Black Unicorn, which she published in 1978.

Chad Griffin: Founded the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) in 2008; named president of the Human Rights Campaign in 2012.

Clela Rorex: Issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Boulder County, Colorado, way back in 1975, before any laws on the issue even existed.

Cleve Jones: Co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and launched the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, a 54-ton community folk art quilt commemorating the lives of people who died of AIDS-related causes.

Craig Rodwell: Founded the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop devoted to gay and lesbian authors and organized the first gay pride parade.

Dan Savage: Started the It Gets Better Project to support LGBT teenagers.

Dan Savage

Photo credit: Getty Images

Dannielle Owens-Reid and Kristin Russo: Founders of Everyone Is Gay, which supports LGBTQ (the Q stands for “Questioning”) youth at high schools and college campuses across the nation.

Dustin Lance Black: Oscar-winning screenwriter of Milk, the 2008 biopic about Harvey Milk (see below).

Frank Kameny: Filed the first civil rights claim based on sexual orientation after being fired from his job with Army Map Services. In 1971, he became the first openly gay politician to run for Congress.

Harvey Milk: Former Navy lieutenant and first openly gay man to serve in a public office in California.

Janet Mock: Transgender author of Redefining Realness.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson: Plays Mitchell Pritchett on ABC’s Modern Family and started Tie the Knot, a nonprofit charity “to advocate for the civil rights of gay and lesbian Americans throughout the United States and beyond.”

Jesse Tyler Ferguson

Photo credit: Getty Images

Laura Jane Grace (a.k.a. Thomas James Gabel): Transgender lead singer of the punk band Against Me!

Laverne Cox: Portrays inmate Sophia Burset on Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black; recently featured as the first openly transgender person on the cover of Time magazine.

Laverne Cox

Photo credit: Getty Images

Mary Daly: Lesbian feminist who taught at Boston College and wrote the book Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism in 1978.

Peter Tatchell: Co-founder of British LGBT rights group OutRage! who was severely beaten and suffered brain damage for taking part in the 2007 Moscow Pride March.

Ross Murray: Director of News at GLAAD and founder and director of The Naming Project, a faith-based camp for LGBT youth.

Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach: Highly decorated officer and the highest-ranking openly gay member of the U.S. Air Force until his retirement.

More for LGBT Pride Month

Why LGBT teens are turning to drugs
How to help gay teens find their way
Parenting a gay child

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