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LGBTQ rights pioneer from NYC area named to ‘Out100’ list

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“We thought we could change the world,” said Randy Wicker. “And guess what? Unbelievably, we succeeded!”

Thursday, December 21, 2023 10:09PM

Dan Krauth has the latest details.


NEW YORK (WABC) — One hundred people from across the country are being honored for being trailblazers in the LGBTQIA+ community.

And one of those at the top of this year’s “Out100” list is a longtime activist who lives right here in the New York City area.

Randy Wicker has spent more than six decades fighting for equal rights.

“We thought we could change the world,” Wicker told me. “And guess what? Unbelievably, we succeeded!”

At 85 years old Wicker has a long history of historic firsts.

“I made history, without even knowing it at the time,” he said.

RELATED: Our America: Pride In History III | Watch the Full Episode

“Our America: Pride in History III” celebrates the amazing stories of perseverance as the LGBTQ+ community rose up on a path of greater acceptance.

He was the first person to organize a gay rights demonstration, back in 1964, and he was the first openly gay man to participate in a live television show.

He was the most visible gay person in America in the 1960s.

“Absolutely,” he said. “From 1958 to 1963 or four. Certainly, yes I was.”

“What was your motivation back then?” I asked him.

“To simply educate the public that gay people were just like other people,” he replied.

Randy Wicker didn’t realize it then, but he was helping people be able to not only display the Pride flag proudly, but be who they are as a person.

“I’m sad that so many people that were there then didn’t live to see us,” he said. “I’ve lived to see how far… I mean, today it’s almost like being anti-homosexual is as bad as being a racist!”

“Did you every imagine that being a reality?” I asked him.

“And gay marriage? Never, never!” he replied.

Wicker continues his activism today. He says the country has come a long way, but still has a long way to go.

“You can look at the negative or you can look at the positive,” he said.

And that’s why Randy Wicker made Out Magazine’s “Out100” list this year.

It is a list of the most impactful and influential people in the LGBTQIA+ community.

“I was somebody who dared speak the truth and believed that if you spoke the truth you would succeed at convincing people,” he said.

Other people on this year’s “Out100 List” include ABC’s Robin Roberts and Gio Benitez.

The “Out100” special, featuring all 100 of this year’s honorees, airs on Channel 7 on December 23rd at 5 a.m. It is also streaming right now here on


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