HRC Statement on the Death of Maya Angelou

by Ianthe Metzger

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today mourns the passing of Maya Angelou, trailblazing American author, poet and advocate for justice.

HRC President Chad Griffin released the following statement in response to the news:

“I’ll never forget the first time I heard ‘On the Pulse of Morning’ in 1993. I was only 19 years old and still very much in the closet, but Maya Angelou’s greatest gift was the ability to reach each and every person with her wisdom, the beauty of her language, and her simple insistence upon a better and more just world.”

“Angelou has said that there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you. LGBT people know this truth well—and it is part of why so many in our community have looked to her as a hero for so long. For those of us whom Angelou inspired to tell our own stories and live our own truths, we will always miss her indispensible voice.”

Maya Angelou was a longtime friend to the LGBT community and to the Human Rights Campaign in particular. As far back as 2000, Angelou spoke at an HRC dinner in Atlanta, GA. Her books, poems, speeches and essays have long been—and doubtless will continue to be—a source of inspiration for LGBT people and for all people who seek a more open, more hopeful and more just world.


The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.


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