In a summer that was already set to see the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA) conclude their 40th anniversary season with an August 16 celebratory gala, and a concert at which they’ll perform a new collaborative work commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, June 19’s announcement of David Mixner as recipient of the group’s Lifetime Legend Award adds another distinct note of activist-minded achievement to the proceedings.
“Honoring David Mixner is so right,” said GMCLA executive director Lou Spisto, who called him “a pioneer, hero, and legend, in our community and many others.”
Presidential candidate Bill Clinton thanking friend David Mixner at ANGLE event in 1991 (Photo by Karen Ocamb)
Mixner’s activist roots trace back to 1959, when he worked as a volunteer for John Kennedy. An outspoken critic of the Vietnam War, he applied his leadership skills to the LGBTQ and civil rights movements, especially in the area of HIV/AIDS advocacy. Three best-selling books, over $60 million in fundraising for candidates and charitable organizations, and participation as a campaign manager, fundraiser, or strategist in over 75 election campaigns are among the actions and accomplishments that have, GMCLA noted in a press statement, made Mixner “a leader in American politics and LGBTQ Rights for the last 60 years.” This parallels, Spisto noted, GMCLA’s own decades-long commitment to activism, as well as that of “the heroes of, and since, Stonewall.”
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