Tim Campbell, RIP

The following appeared in 1976 in Vol. 6, Issue No. 23 of Lee Brewster’s Drag magazine:

Drag - 0623 - 01 Drag - 0623 - 02 Drag - 0623 - 03 Drag - 0623 - 04 Drag - 0623 - 05 Drag - 0623 - 06 Drag - 0623 - 07 Drag - 0623 - 08

There was no byline.

For many years I presumed it had been authored by Brewster and/or one of the other folks directly involved with Drag.

A little over two years ago I ran across the original source of the text that appeared in that issue of Drag.  Under a slightly different headline (“Equal Rights for Transexuals, Transvestites”) it was an article that appeared in the February 5, 1976 issue of the Minnesota Daily, the University of Minnesota’s newspaper.

And it had a byline.

The author was Tim Campbell.

He died in December at the age of 76.

There are several obituaries for him out in internet-land, but I’ll link only to the one in Lavender magazine.

And I link to it because Campbell wrote that one himself – not because of any particular trans aspect to it. He had his own priorities as to what he wanted people to think about when he died; he had that right (he wasn’t the host of a national primetime news program purporting to provide an objective view of history.) Having been a cohort of Jack Baker and Mike McConnell back in Minnesota in the 1970s, he not surprisingly saw last year’s gay marriage victory as a really big deal (the Baker-McConnell marriage being something he blogged about quite a bit.)

But there is one other thing I hope folks will remember even if he did not want to focus on it. He wasn’t just one of the early pro-marriage folks. And he wasn’t just the publisher, throughout the 1980s, of the GLC Voice newspaper. He also played a key role in bringing forth the trans-inclusive language that he wrote of in that Drag / Minnesota Daily piece.

Allan Spear, who Campbell did not think very highly of, did eventually begin introducing trans-inclusive legislation in Minnesota and was the Senate author of the bill that in 1993 became the first statewide trans-inclusive civil rights law.  But that wouldn’t have happened without the agitation at the state legislature in 1975 – which led to much in the way of hard feelings between the inclusionists and the incrementalists but also led to the trans-inclusion language being added to the then-gay-only Minneapolis Civil Rights Ordinance.

The fortieth anniversary of that occurred four days after Campbell’s death on Dec. 26.

That’s worth remembering.

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3 Comments

  1. Forgotten sheroes and heroes.

    There must be a way to her photos of the demo.

    • Well, when the item ran in Drag, there were photos but they were of a New York City pride parade.

      • It looks like Diana Slyter is still active- she ran for office a year ago.

        And the morgue for papers is a good resource for old photos. They’ll generally help – but want to be paid if the photos get used commercially.


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