Urvashi Vaid (Photo by Rex Wockner) LGBTQ icon Urvashi Vaid spent her life advocating for justice VICTORIA A. BROWNWORTH | Special Contributor In May this year, when Urvashi Vaid died, at the age of 63, after a valiant fight with breast cancer, thousands of LGBTQ people who had been touched by her decades of activism mourned her passing.
Over a half-century of activism that began when she was only 11, Vaid worked on a wide range of issues — from LGBTQ civil rights to women’s rights to the rights of prisoners to immigration justice to health care justice.
Vaid’s activist voice was unique and unequivocal. She insisted decades ago that the fight for LGBTQ rights must not be dismissed nor demeaned by the language of straight politicians or the religious right.
At the March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation in April 1993, Vaid declared, “The gay rights movement is not a party.