Tim Campbell | Uncredited | 16016
Gay History is sad to learn of the passing of long-time activist Tim Campbell, the former editor of the GLC Voice newspaper, who died on Dec. 26, 2015 at a hospice in Houston, Texas. He was 76 and had fought a short battle with aggressive cancer.
Confrontational in approach at times, in the 1980s he was one of the few openly gay men who would get back to reporters on issues ranging from the AIDS crisis to gay bathhouses and the annual Pride Festival. He and former Minneapolis City Council Member Barbara Carlson almost came to fisticuffs on several occasions. He was fearless in his arguments with police, and once took a swing with his briefcase at a member of the Minneapolis vice squad after the officer called him “Timmy.”
He will be remembered for bringing a cream pie to an AIDS task force meeting, and dressing as a campy Lady Liberty to protest the Rev. Jerry Falwell.
“He was the queen of guerrilla theater,” his longtime friend Dean Amundson said.
The Star-Tribune notes that
Campbell was tireless in his coverage of HIV/AIDS and promotion of safe sex. He advocated for gay marriage long before same-sex civil unions were even recognized by employers.
Campbell founded the GLC Voice in 1979 after working for a short-lived newspaper called Positively Gay. Every two weeks over the paper’s 13-year run, 10,000 copies of the GLC Voice were distributed on college campuses, in gay bars and sex-oriented bookstores and in street racks.
He never made money on the venture and said half-jokingly that he “earned a starving.”
His activism goes back more than 40 years. In 1973-74, Campbell joined with Jack Baker and Mike McConnell, the pioneering advocates of gay marriage, to conduct seminars in sensitivity training on gay issues for students, police, drug counsellors and business people. He advocated for news organizations to use “gay” and “lesbian” rather than “homosexual.”
When he retired 10 years ago he returned to Texas and immediately took up advocacy for his retirement community.
Gay History sends condolences to Mr. Campbell’s family, friends and colleagues.