NEW YORK, NY, JUNE 1, 2022On Thursday, June 23, five LGBTQ icons will be added to the National LGBTQ Wall of Honor at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. The honor wall was inaugurated in 2019 in a partnership between the Imperial Court and the National LGBTQ Task Force. That year, 50 names were added to the wall to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising.
This year, the following individuals will be added to the wall:
James Hormel, a philanthropist and the first openly LGBT person to represent the United States as an ambassador, died August 13 at the age of 88. He served as the ambassador to Luxembourg from 1999 to 2001 under former President Bill Clinton.
Pioneering Indian American LGBTQ leader, attorney, and author Urvashi Vaid, a lifelong advocate for LGBTQ rights, women's rights, anti-war efforts, immigration justice and many other social causes. She was the Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force from 1989 to 1992 and cofounded the organization's annual Creating Change conference. She was the author of the influential "Virtual Equality," found many organizations including LPAC, the first lesbian Super PAC. Prior to that, Vaid held positions on the boards at the Ford Foundation, The Arcus Foundation (where she served as Executive Director from 2005 to 2010), and the Gill Foundation. She was a leader in the development of the currently ongoing National LGBTQ women's community survey. She passed away in May 2022.
Stephen Sondheim, the openly gay composer and lyricist who died Nov. 26, 2021, at the age of 91. composer, songwriter and lyricist. He was of the most important figures in twentieth-century musical theater, credited for having "reinvented the American musical" with shows including West Side Story, Gypsy , A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and many others. Sondheim' was the recipient of eight Tony Awards, an Academy Award, eight Grammys, a Pulitzer Prize, a Kennedy Center Honor, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Tyler Clementi, a gay 18-year-old Rutgers University student suicide following relentless bullying and cyberbullying captured worldwide media attention and moved his family to create the Tyler Clementi Foundation, dedicated to creating a safe environment for all individuals to thrive. He passed away in 2010.
Lesbian reporter and feminist Dolores Alexander, who died on May 13, 2008, at the age of 76. In 1969, she was named the first executive director of the National Organization for Women but resigned a year later after experiencing homophobia from the larger feminist movement.
Murray Ramirez, as the Queen Mother I of the Americas for the International Imperial Courts of the USA, Canada, and Mexico, oversees the selection of the quintet of LGBTQ people posthumously honored each year.
Ramirez said,: "Our goal with the Wall of Honor wall is to ensure the inductees are remembered. There are great LGBTQ individuals who have contributed to our movement, our culture and our world. We should never forget them and it is our responsibility to create a space to honor their lives and their legacies. My hope is that anyone who see the wall and does not know who these individuals are take the time to learn about the pioneers and icons on whose shoulders we stand."
National LGBTQ Task Force Executive Director Kierra Johnson said: "The Task Force is humbled and moved to partner with the Imperial Court and recognize the extraordinary contributions of this year's inductees, including our own Urvashi Vaid, whose brilliance shaped our organization and the queer movement. As we fight back against attempts to erase the contributions of LGBTQ people in schools and elsewhere, a partnership like this can help ensure the world never forgets the contributions of these individuals."
The 2022 Stonewall Inn honorees will be inducted during a ceremony at the bar at noon Thursday, June 23. For more information about the honor wall, click here.