“You are going to respect me and that’s what this is about”

By Jang KapgenLex Kleren

Mark Segal has fought for LGBT+ rights since he was 18 years old. Now he is 70. Having witnessed the Stonewall Riots, organized the very first Pride and caused several TV disruptions, the gay activist was interviewed by Lëtzebuerger Journal about his life-long activism and why he is visiting Luxembourg.

To be queer in today’s society is not always easy. But imagine what life has looked like for a queer person 50 years ago. This change is thanks to activists like Mark Segal. For that reason, the Centre CIGALE welcomed Segal as part of his Europe tour at their first post-lockdown event.

Mark Segal has been an activist since he witnessed the Stonewall Riots in 1969 – when he was only 18 years old. As a reaction to the queer resilience shown during these riots, he founded the Gay Liberation Front organization with his fellow activists and coordinated the very first Pride in 1970. To further broaden public attention on gay issues, Segal performed several infamous zaps and disrupted live nation TV broadcasts from 1972 to 1974. Having fought for a spotlight, Segal started talking to several policy makers in the coming years. In 1976, he then started his “activist newspaper” Philadelphia Gay News, to make queer news accessible and visible. Nowadays, Segal is still an active journalist and activist, currently working with the Biden administration to fight for queer liberation within and outside of the United States.

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“You are going to respect me and that’s what this is about.”

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