Five Heroes of the early US Gay Rights Movement

This is my third and final installment of my “lists of five” as we approach June and LGBT Pride Month. Please do link to and read my first two installments:
• LINK: Five things to never say to gay people
• LINK: Five common misconceptions about gay people

In this third and final installment here is my list of five heroes of the early LGBT rights movement in the USA:

Photo:  Lesbian pioneer activists Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon who were partners for 56 years before Del passed away in 2008.

Photo: Lesbian pioneer activists Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon who were partners for 56 years before Del passed away in 2008.

1. Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon. These two lesbians met at work in 1950 and began their relationship two years later. They were active in the Council of Religion and the Homosexual, National Organization for Women (NOW) and helped form the early lesbian group and publication “Daughters of Bilitis” in 1955. Del and Phyllis realized their life-long dream of legally marrying on June 16, 2008 as soon as California permitted same-gender marriage, and Del died two months later at the age of 87.

2. Dr. Frank Kameny. Frank was an out open gay man who was fired simply for being gay from his job as an astronomer for the US Army Map Service. His court case proceeded all the way to the

I got to meet Dr. Frank Kameny in October, 2009, two years before he passed.

I got to meet Dr. Frank Kameny in October, 2009, two years before he passed.

US Supreme Court (he lost), but Frank continued to be a leading gay-rights activist and lead and won the battle to have homosexuality removed from the American Psychiatric Association’s classification of mental disorders. Frank passed away in October 2011 at the age of 86.

3. Bayard Rustin. Bayard was an African-American civil rights leader who was the main organizer of Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1963 March of Washington. He was a long-time key figure working behind the scenes in the Black Civil Rights movement and in the later part of his career in the 1970s and 1980s shifted his focus to gay rights work, mostly in New York state.

4. The drag queens of Stonewall. On June 27-28, 1969, several patrons (a hand full of drag queens) of the Stonewall gay bar got fed up with the unfair police harassment at the bar and fought back, leading the “Stonewall Rebellion” which is considered by most people the beginning of the US’s Gay Rights Movement. Many cities now celebrate LGBT pride the last weekend of June each year to commemorate these brave members of our community.

5. Rev. Troy Perry. As a gay minister, Troy was forced out of his pastorate. Having the strong call to minister to the LGBT community, Troy held a worship service in his home with 12 people in October, 1968, and from this humble beginnings, Troy lead the Metropolitan Community Churches to become a dynamic global movement of approximately 15,000 members of over 200 churches across 40 different countries.

We should all remember and honor these leaders who paved the way for all us to continue in the journey for full equality of all LGBT people across the globe.

LGBT Gay Diversity in Direct Sales

This is a guest blog written by Rizala from

Direct sales can be defined as marketing or selling products directly to consumers outside of a fixed location. Some of the biggest direct sales companies in the USA are Avon, Mary Kay, Amway and Herbalife.

Entrepreneurial marketeer Rizala Carrington, author of this guest blog

Entrepreneurial marketeer Rizala Carrington, author of this guest blog

When looking at the direct sales Industry there has always been those reoccurring themes. Single mom wants to make money from home so she can take care of her family. Father (or mother) works full-time and they are finally tired of the 9-to-5 and they are ready to build the life they have always dreamed of. Or finally someone sees their life and realizes that they are not living the “dream”. But what about the the two gay dads that want to make an extra income by joining a direct sales company.

Is there a place for LGBT community in the direct sales industry? Being a part of the LGBT community, I found that there was a lack of LGBT precision in the industry. However, I did not feel like I was the only one in direct sales industry, just maybe the only LGBT member within that certain company. However, with the right research one can find supportive direct sales companies.

For example the largest cosmetic company Avon, received in 2012 and in 2013 the award for “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality” from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation. (link to story about Avon’s award)

“Avon has always been about inclusion, and I believe this 100% rating by HRC is a natural extension of that practice and philosophy,” says Joe Billone, Vice President, Global Representative Branding and Communications and the Executive Sponsor of the Pride Network, one of Avon’s Associate Resource Groups. “Avon has always been about reaching out to everyone. The demographics of Avon are the demographics of the world. Through our earnings opportunity, our philanthropy and our cultural sensitivity, we help diverse communities everywhere.”

But why aren’t more LGBT individuals involved in direct sales companies? Well, there is a definite possibility that there are LGBT individuals in direct sales companies. With estimated 15.6 million Americans involved in direct sales companies and with U.S. direct sales totaling over $30 billion in 2011: The next question would be how many of those sales came form the LGBT buying power of over $700 billion and the U.S alone. Definitely a lot.

As far as measuring the LGBT diversity in the direct sales industry at this current rate it can only be done from a company to company basis. So for individuals looking to join a direct sales company the most important element one should look at is the diversity within that company itself, and if the leadership supports and stands behind the LGBT community. Remember this is going to the company you plan to share with your friend and family.

For individuals already in direct sales (LGBT or not) and who are looking to diversify their downline, having the right partnership and networking with professionals like Stan Kimer and Total Engagement Consulting (who specialize in LGBT diversity management) will definitely help contribute to your success.

So direct sales may not be completely covered in rainbows …yet. But there are companies out there are support the LGBT community. You just may have to find them.

Thanks to Stan from Total Engagement Consulting for facilitating this guest blog post!

About Rizala Carrington: Born and raised in Southern California, Rizala Carrington is now a citizen of the world, having lived in a diversity of locales. She is the Rainbow Captain for Team “Take Massive Action”, and is helping individuals and businesses learn how to make money online using the 3 C’s of Marketing: Creating Traffic, Capturing Leads and Converting Sales. Want to connect with Rizala? Visit or email her at [email protected]

If you want to learn more about a Gay Friendly Online Direct Sales company that 100% supports the LGBT community please visit