Matthew Shepard led an unremarkable life, but his shocking death transformed him into an icon of the glbtq movement for equality.
After serving several terms in the Arizona state legislature, Kyrsten Sinema ran successfully for the United States House of Representatives in 2012, becoming the first openly bisexual person elected to that body.
An early leader in the struggle for glbtq rights, Los Angeles activist Don Slater was sometimes at odds with others in the movement but never wavered in his devotion to the cause.
The son of a homophobic psychoanalyst, Richard Socarides became the first openly gay man to serve in a prominent White House staff position.
Representative Gerry Studs, a Democrat from Massachusetts, was the first member of the United States Congress to acknowledge that he was gay.
Social and political commentator Andrew Sullivan has established himself as an influential participant in Anglo-American political discourse.
The psychiatrist Harry Stack Sullivan, a gay man, developed the psychiatric program used by the American military during World War II to weed homosexuals out of the Army.
In 2012, Mark Takano, a Japanese American from Riverside, California, became the first openly gay person of color to be elected to the United States House of Representatives.
British activist Peter Tatchell, a vocal proponent of glbtq rights since the early 1970s, is controversial figure even within the glbtq community.
Twenty-year-old Brandon Teena was brutally murdered on December 31, 1993 on account of gender non-conformity.
Prolific inventor and developer of the alternating current system used in modern electric power generation, Nikola Tesla exhibited no sexual interest in women, which fueled rumors of homosexuality.
One of the most prominent American educators of the early twentieth century, M. Carey Thomas shared her home with another woman while serving as the second president of the women-only Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.
Financial writer Andrew Tobias, the author of the classic coming out memoir The Best Little Boy in the World (1973), was elected Treasurer of the Democratic Party in 1999.
One of the greatest scientists of his generation, computer pioneer Alan Turing was also a victim of cold war homophobia.
Charismatic performer and activist Robin Tyler has spent much of her life enmeshed in the struggle for gay and lesbian rights, from planning national marches to promoting same-sex marriage.
Nineteenth-Century German activist Karl Heinrich Ulrichs was both the first modern theorist of homosexuality and the first homosexual to "come out" publicly.
Activist Urvashi Vaid has devoted her energies to trying to create a queer liberation movement that would have as its core the liberation of all people.
Veteran activist Lilli Vincenz, who commenced her activism before Stonewall, also collected thousands of documents about the movement for glbtq rights; donated to the Library Congress, they provide scholars an invaluable resource.
Activist and editor Anna Vock pioneered in organizing lesbians and gay men in Switzerland in the 1930s.
American activist and scientist Bruce Voeller was a leader in both the gay rights movement and the fight against AIDS.
Lillian Wald, an American public health nurse and social reformer, is the model of a Victorian-era lesbian active in the settlement house movement.
Hostess A'Lelia Walker, the "joy goddess" of the Harlem Renaissance, especially valued the company of black glbtq artists and writers, which gave her gatherings a distinctly gay ambience.
Provocative, intellectual, and earthy, New Zealand's Marilyn Waring is both a contented goat farmer and one of the most innovative political and economic thinkers in the world.
Finnish sociologist, anthropologist, and moral philosopher, Edward Westermarck wrote a number of classic books on sexuality and sexual mores.
Diane Whipple, the coach of the women's lacrosse team at Saint Mary's College in California, was killed in a dog-mauling; the response of her partner helped establish the right of same-sex partners to equal treatment with heterosexuals.