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Randy Wicker
Photo by Brendan Fay

Randy Wicker

Randy Wicker

Randy Wicker

Meet one of the artists, disruptors, educators, groundbreakers, innovators, and storytellers who all helped make the world a better place for LGBTQ+ people.

Over the last 65 years, LGBTQ+ advocate, journalist, and archivist Randy Wicker has achieved many firsts. In 1962 he organized a radio broadcast that caused the Federal Communications Commission to rule that homosexuality was a legitimate topic for on-air discussion. In 1964 Wicker organized the first public demonstration for gay civil rights in the United States, which took place in front of the U.S. Army Induction Center in New York City. Also in 1964, he was the first out gay person to participate in a live television show when he answered calls on The Les Crane Show.

“I’ve always been a truth-telling journalist willing to confront power and champion unpopular causes,” says Wicker. “That is what motivated me to join the New York Mattachine Society in 1958 and be the first self-identified homosexual to speak out on radio in 1962.”

Now 85 years old, Wicker shows no signs of slowing down. This year Wicker launched a petition to remove the statue of Gen. Phil Sheridan from Stonewall National Park — because of Sheridan’s massacre of Indigenous people. He also served as a grand marshal at this year’s NYC Pride March.

Recently, he donated his archives to the National LGBTQ+ Archives. “My archives are titled ‘The Randy Wicker & Marsha P. Johnson’ archives since Marsha P. Johnson lived with me for over a decade and was the house mother of my extended gay family,” says Wicker. “Twenty-five years of my Christmas letters contain many stories about her.”

Though much progress has been made thanks to Wicker’s work, he is adamant that the fight continues, especially in other parts of the world. He notes that “genocidal hatred and religious intolerance” run rampant in many societies. “We must help LGBTQ+ people overseas improve their circumstances!” @randolfewicker


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