Profiles of LGBT people, from the past and today – and celebrating their birthdays! All Birthdays →

Urvashi Vaid

Urvashi Vaid was born in New Delhi, India, in 1958 and was raised for several years by her maternal grandmother. In 1966 Vaid immigrated to Potsdam, New York, where she was reunited with her parents and sisters. In 1979 Vaid earned a B.A. from Vassar College, where she helped found the Feminist Union. Vaid continued to be involved in feminist, anti-apartheid, and LGBTQ+ activism while attending Northeastern University School of Law, where she received a J.D. in 1983. While attending Northeastern, Vaid was a contributor and board member at Gay Community News and on the board of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders and the Boston Lesbian/Gay Political Alliance. After graduation, Vaid worked as a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project from 1983 to 1986 in Washington D.C. Vaid next worked for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force as media director (1986-89), executive director (1989-1992), and policy institute director (1997-2001). In 1995 Vaid published Virtual Equality: The Mainstreaming of Gay and Lesbian Literation and in 2000 she co-edited Creating Change: Sexuality, Public Policy, and Civil Rights with John D’Emilio and Willian B. Turner. Vaid worked with various philanthropic organizations in the early 2000s, serving as the deputy director of the Governance and Civil Society unit at the Ford Foundation (2001-2005), a board member at the Gill Foundation (2004-2014), and the executive director of the Arcus Foundation (2005-2010). In 2012 Vaid published Irresistible Revolution: Confronting Race, Class and the Assumptions of LGBT Politics. Vaid also was a founder of LPAC, the first lesbian super PAC (public affairs committee) in the United States in 2012. She served as the president of the Vaid Group LLC until she passed away on May 14, 2022, in New York City. For more on Urvashi Vaid,see Urvashi Vaid: The Vassar and Boston Years, 1975-83, by Marc Stein.