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

Mandy Carter

Mandy Carter was born to African American parents in Albany, New York, where she was raised in Albany Children’s Home. Carter briefly lived in New York City before hitchhiking to San Francisco, where she joined the War Resisters League. After coming out in 1969, Carter became a prominent member of the San Francisco lesbian bar scene. In 1982, she moved to Durham, North Carolina, to work for the War Resisters League. In Durham, Carter became the manager of North Carolina’s Senate Vote ‘90, a grassroots campaign founded by lesbians and gay men to defeat Republican U.S. Senator Jesse Helms. In 1993 Carter attended the annual National Gay and Lesbian Task Force where she co-founded Southerners on the Ground with other attendees. In 1996, Carter served as the manager of the Mobilization ‘96 campaign, against Senator Helms and in support of Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt. While the campaign failed, it was instrumental in the mobilization of LGBTQ and African American voters in North Carolina for the Democratic Party. From 1996 to 2000, Carter was the North Carolina Member-At-Large of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and a member of the DNC Gay and Lesbian Caucus and the DNC Black Caucus. Carter spoke at the 2003 Lincoln Memorial Rally for the 40th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In 2008, she was one of five national co-chairs of Obama LGBT Pride. Carter also is a co-founder of the National Black Justice Coalition and leader of the Bayard Rustin 2013 Commemoration Project. In 2012 she and co-authors Elizabeth “BetitaMartinez and Matt Meyer published We Have Not Been Moved: Resisting Racism and Militarism in 21st-Century America. In 2006, Carter was awarded the Spirit of Justice Award from Boston’s Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defender, and in 2012 she was inducted into the International Federation of Black Pride’s Black LGBT Hall of Fame. For more on Mandy Carter, see Mandy Carter: Activism During the 1990 and 1996 Helms-Gantt Campaigns by Ramya Ramaswamy.