Influential Indian American LGBTQ and Social Justice Activist, Urvashi Vaid No More
India-West News Desk
NEW YORK, NY – Urvashi Vaid, LGBTQ activist whose career spanned from the early days of the AIDS pandemic to the continuing gbattles over equality for the LGBTQ community has died. Vaid, 63, succumbed after a long bout with cancer, here. Warm words of appreciation have poured in from the community she served. In April 2009 Out magazine named her one of the 50 most influential LGBT people in the US.
Vaid was the founder of LPAC, the first lesbian Super PAC, which was launched in July 2012 and as of 2020 has invested millions of dollars in candidates who are committed to legislation promoting social justice. She was founder of The Vaid Group, a social innovation consultancy that advises individuals and organizations working to advance equity, justice and inclusion globally and domestically.
Vaid had served as Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force from 1989-1992. The current officeholder Kierra Johnson, in a statement summed up the feelings of many in a statement, “We are devastated at the loss of one of the most influential progressive activists of our time,” and added, “Urvashi Vaid was a leader, a warrior and a force to be reckoned with. She was also a beloved colleague, friend, partner and someone we all looked up to – a brilliant, outspoken and deeply committed activist who wanted full justice and equality for all people.”
Another former Executive Director Rea Carey posted, “I am deeply sad that Urvashi Vaid has died. My heart is with Kate and all of Urv’s beloveds who have been with her these last years, months and days as she dealt with cancer. My activism has been greatly shaped by the fact that Urv took me seriously as a young leader in our movement. She seemed endlessly excited about the ideas and passion for justice that young activists held. She was one of our movement’s motivators and north stars.”
Kate Clinton, a comedian, was Vaid’s long time partner and specializes in political commentary from a gay and lesbian perspective.
Vaid held degrees from Vassar College and Northeastern University School of Law. The Indian American attorney was also an author having published, ‘Virtual Equality: The Mainstreaming of Gay and Lesbian Liberation’ and ‘Irresistible Revolution: Confronting Race, Class and the Assumptions of LGBT Politics.’
Vaid was the aunt of activist and performance artist Alok Vaid-Menon.