A list of LGBT rights activists who have worked to advance gay rights by political change, legal action or publication. Ordered by country, alphabetically.
- Rodney Croome
- Desislava Petrova
People's Republic of China
- Li Yinhe
- Szymon Niemiec
- Fannyann Eddy
- Joel Gustave Nana Ngongang
- Josephine Ho
- Jeremy Bentham 19th century jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer.
- Jackie Forster actress, TV Personality and Lesbian campaigner.
- Ian McKellen actor and spokesperson for Stonewall (UK)
- Robert Mellors 20th century writer and Gay Liberation Front campaigner.
- Peter Tatchell politician, human rights and LGBT rights campaigner.
United States of America
- Chaz Bono (born 1969), son of Sonny Bono and Cher.
- David P. Brill (1955–1979), Boston-based journalist.
- Margarethe Cammermeyer (born 1942), former colonel in the Washington state National Guard whose coming out story was made into the 1995 movie Serving in Silence, starring Glenn Close.
- Stephen Donaldson (1946-1996), founder of the first American gay students' organization, first person to fight a discharge from the U.S. military for homosexuality, early bisexual activist
- Danielle Egnew (born 1969), lesbian musician, actress, producer, and psychic who endorsed and provided campaign materials to Virginia's VoteNO campaign, protecting the legalities of same-sex civil unions in Virginia—also Spiritual leader and founder of The Church of the Open Christ, an inclusive and progressive LGBT ministry.
- Matt Foreman (born 1953), Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF).
- Barney Frank (born 1940), member of the Democratic Party who has served as a member of Congress from Massachusetts since 1981.
- Aaron Fricke (born 1962), who successfully sued the Cumberland, Rhode Island school system in 1980 for the right to bring his boyfriend to the senior prom.
- Barbara Gittings (1932–2007), founder of the New York City chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis who also pushed for the American Psychological Association to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).
- Harry Hay (1912–2002), founder of the Mattachine Society, the first gay rights group in the United States.
- Brenda Howard (1946–2005), an instrumental figure in the immediate post-Stonewall era in New York City.
- Cheryl Jacques (born 1962), former member of the Massachusetts State Legislature and the president of the Human Rights Campaign from January through November 2004. She resigned from this post less than a month after the passage of 11 state constitutional amendments banning gay marriage.
- William Dale Jennings (1917–2000), cofounder of the Mattachine Society.
- Frank Kameny (born 1925), participant in many gay rights rallies of the 1960s and 1970s, most notably the push in 1972-1973 for the American Psychological Association to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).
- Morris Kight (1919–2003), founder of Los Angeles' Gay and Lesbian Front and Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.
- Larry Kramer (born 1935), author and playwright who helped form the prominent gay rights organizations Gay Men's Health Crisis and AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT-UP).
- Scott Long (born 1963), Executive Director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch.}
- Phyllis Lyon (born 1924), lesbian activist who co-founded the Daughters of Bilitis with longtime partner Del Martin.
- Del Martin (born 1921), lesbian activist who co-founded the Daughters of Bilitis with longtime partner Phyllis Lyon.
- Harvey Milk (1930–1978), openly gay city supervisor of San Francisco, California who was assassinated (along with mayor George Moscone) in 1978.
- Gavin Newsom (born 1967), heterosexual mayor of San Francisco, California who directed his office to issue wedding licenses to same-sex couples in February 2004. This process was halted the next month by the California Supreme Court.
- Jean O'Leary (1948–2005), former Roman Catholic nun who helped found National Coming Out Day in 1987.
- Elisia & Carrie Ross-Stone (a.k.a. The Rainbow Grannies) (born 1954 & 1955 respectively), Founders of Rainbow Law, the first online LGBTQ free legal document preparation service. The Grannies twice rode their bicycles across the US (in 2003 and 2004) to advocate for marriage equality and are featured in the documentary, Lesbian Grandmothers from Mars.
- Tully Satre (born 1989), blogger who gained fame in March 2006 for challenging then-Senator George Allen at a political meeting in Culpeper, Virginia.
- Dan Savage (born 1964), columnist of Savage Love and author. Editor of the Seattle weekly, The Stranger.
- Ruth Simpson Founder of the first lesbian community center. Former President of Daughters of Bilitis New York. Author of From the Closet to the Courts.
- Joe Solmonese (born 1965), former political fundraiser and current (as of March 2007) president of the Human Rights Campaign.
- Urvashi Vaid, (b. 1958, New Delhi, India) is an American activist who has worked for over 25 years promoting civil rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons.
- Template:Cite newspaper
- 《同性恋亚文化》 (Subculture of Homosexuality),China Today Press,1998.
- Ho's personal website
- PFI Profile - Jackie Forster
- (2006) Who's Who. London: A and C Black. ISBN 0713671645.
- Power, Lisa (1995). No Bath But Plenty Of Bubbles: An Oral History Of The Gay Liberation Front 1970-7. Cassell, 340 pages. ISBN 0-304-33205-4.
- Katz, Jonathan (1985). Gay American history: lesbians and gay men in the U. S. A.: a documentary. San Francisco: Harper & Row. ISBN 0-06-091211-1.
- David Eisenbach (2006). Gay Power: An American Revolution. New York, NY: Carroll & Graf, 51–79,260–262. ISBN 0-7867-1633-9.
- Shilts, Randy (May 1993). Conduct Unbecoming: Gays and Lesbians in the U.S. Military. New York: St. Martin's Press, 173, 294. ISBN 031209261X.
- Donaldson, Stephen (1995), “The Bisexual Movement's Beginnings in the 70s: A Personal Retrospective”, in Tucker, Naomi, Bisexual Politics: Theories, Queries, & Visions, New York: Harrington Park Press, pp. 31–45, ISBN 1560238690
- Gill Foundation: Board and Staff: Urvashi Vaid
- New York Progressive Network