Florida LGBT Trailblazers and Pioneers

Photo by nancydowd via Pixabay
Photo by nancydowd via Pixabay

The current dangerous trend of trying to water down or erase history in the quest for “unbiased” and politically motivated reasons is covering our eyes from history as a whole — averting our attention from those lessons of the past that we must learn and remember lest we be doomed to repeat those same mistakes.

  • Addison Mizner, from Palm Beach, the best-known architect in the country in the 1920s.
  • Troy Perry, Christian minister, founder of the LGBT Metropolitan Community Church
  • Anthony Niedwiecki, former of vice-mayor of Oakland Park (2010)
  • Michael Gongora, politician, serves on the Miami Beach City Commission.
  • Rodrigo Lehtinen, transgender rights activist
  • Ronni Sanlo, University of Florida and North Florida graduate, UCLA professor, LGBT Historian, found of Lavender Graduation
  • Susan Stanton, transgender politician, former city manager of Largo, Florida (1990–2007), until her announced gender change and subsequent firing by city council, former city manager of Lake Worth, Florida (2009–2011)
  • Jim Stork, politician and businessman
  • Thomas Bistritz, journalist and author
  • Charles Perez, journalist
  • Wayne Besen, University of Florida graduate, leader of Truth Wins Out
  • Victoria Sigler, first openly LGBTQ circuit court judge in Florida
  • Brian Nolan, actor
  • Richard Thomas Nolan, Christian minister and teacher
  • Alan G. Rogers, U.S. Army soldier, first known openly gay casualty of Operation Iraqi Freedom, ordained pastor of Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church in Gainesville
  • Rand Hoch, first openly LGBTQ judge in Florida; President and Founder. Palm Beach County Human Rights Council
  • Robert Lee, first openly LGBTQ county court judge in Florida
  • Nadine Smith, journalist turned organizer, was one of four national co-chairs of the 1993 March on Washington. She was part of the historic meeting between then - President Clinton - the first Oval Office meeting between a sitting president and gay community leaders. She served on the founding board of the International Gay and Lesbian Youth Organization. She is currently the executive director of Equality Florida, the largest statewide LGBTQ Civil Rights organization working for full equality for the LGBT community.


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