Voeller was born in Minneapolis. When he was at school, he was assured by a school counselor that he was not homosexual, even though he had felt such feelings very early on.
Voeller graduated with a bachelor's degree from Reed College in 1956, and after winning a five year fellowship to the Rockefeller Institute, he gained a Ph.D. in biology in 1961. He eventually worked his way up to the position of associate professor in 1966 at the institute. He wrote four books while at the institute, as well as editing others' work, and writing numerous papers and articles. He married Kytja Scott Voeller, whom he met at graduate school, and they had three children.
He came out at the age of 29, and divorced from his wife in 1971. After becoming president of the New York Gay Activists Alliance, he decided it was not wide enough in its coverage. Therefore, with some friends, he founded National Gay Task Force in October 1973, of which he was the director until 1978. The Task Force established affiliation with more than 2000 gay groups, and by 1978 had over 10,000 members. He also founded the Mariposa Foundation, which specializes in sex research, and sexually transmitted diseases.
Before the 1980s, AIDS was known by various names, including GRIDD (Gay Related Immune Defense Disorder). Since this term was inaccurate, Voeller coined the term acquired immune deficiency syndrome. His partner was Richard Lucik, who was also his associate at Mariposa. Voeller died in 1994 of an AIDS related illness in California, at the age of 59.
Gay Power: An American Revolution by David Eisenbach
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Da Capo Press (May 18, 2007)
Amazon: Gay Power: An American Revolution
The definitive history of how the gay rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s sparked an American revolution that transformed a nation.
Creating Change: Sexuality, Public Policy, and Civil Rights (Stonewall Inn Editions) by John D'Emilio, William B. Turner & Urvashi Vaid
Paperback: 544 pages
Publisher: Stonewall Inn Editions; 1st Stonewall Inn Edition, Feb, 2002 edition (April 16, 2002)
Amazon: Creating Change: Sexuality, Public Policy, and Civil Rights (Stonewall Inn Editions)
The two dozen essays assembled in Creating Change examine some of the most bitterly contested and controversial public events and public policy battles in American history. These writings, each by a leading activist or scholar, recount how a specific constituency—gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons, and their allies—achieved tremendous progress despite seemingly insurmountable barriers. With each of the chapters written by an activist or scholar integral to the specific area of discussion, this is a work of scholarship and a work of passion about the way the American political and cultural landscape became what it is today. It is the story of how social change is made.
Bringing Lesbian And Gay Rights into the Mainstream: Twenty Years of Progress (Sexual Minorities in Historical Context) by Steve Endean
Hardcover: 378 pages
Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (April 27, 2006)
Amazon: Bringing Lesbian And Gay Rights into the Mainstream: Twenty Years of Progress (Sexual Minorities in Historical Context)
A lively memoir of LGBT activist Steve Endean—one of the most influential political strategists ever to lobby Washington DC!
Bringing Lesbian and Gay Rights Into the Mainstream: Twenty Years of Progress is the spirited and provocative memoir that blows the lid off the complex machinations of state and national politics. LGBT activist Steve Endean’s autobiographical chronicle, completed shortly before his death in 1993, tells insider stories that are sometimes rousing, other times infuriating, recounting the fight for lesbian and gay rights from the trenches of the Minnesota state capital to the Washington Beltway. Readers get a clear view of the political activism of building grassroots support systems, fundraising efforts, lobbying to rally support for bills, and the election/reelection of sympathetic political representatives.
Bringing Lesbian and Gay Rights Into the Mainstream: Twenty Years of Progress dynamically recounts Endean’s activism and instrumental leadership of the LGBT movement from 1973 to just before his death in 1993. From being the first Executive Director of the Gay Rights National Lobby, founder and Executive Director of the Human Rights Campaign Fund, and founder of the Speak Out mailgram campaigns for grassroots pressure on congresspersons on G/L rights issues, the author discusses with amusing anecdotes and self-effacing humor his strategies, victories, and failures as movement leader. This lively mix of the accomplishments in those crucial years and the “dos and don’ts” of political activism is peopled with well-known and lesser-known movers and shakers on the political landscape.
More LGBT History at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics
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