'As an early advocate and pioneer for equality Jean O'Leary was a true hero,' said HRC President Joe Solmonese.
WASHINGTON - Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese expressed his deep condolences upon the loss of Jean O'Leary, a leader in the fight for equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Solmonese made the following statement:
"As an early advocate and pioneer for equality Jean O'Leary was a true hero. By co-founding National Coming Out Day, she recognized the enormous power that visibility could have in the fight for equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Her contributions to the community cannot go understated. We are deeply saddened by her loss."
Lynn Shepodd, former executive director of National Coming Out Day from 1990-1993, worked with O'Leary. O'Leary co-founded the day with Rob Eichberg. Shepodd made the following statement:
"Jean and Rob had played heavily in LGBT politics for years, but they knew that our community's power was directly related to our visibility. When the time was right, at the 1988 The War Conference in Manassas, Va., Jean and Rob co-founded National Coming Out Day with full support of about 100 LGBT organizations from around the country. Jean was a fine activist with a keen business and political sense and an unstoppable determination for equality driven by a compassionate heart."
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