Unsung Hero Dies
Allan, who was a dear friend of mine, came out of the closet in 1974 during his first term as a State Senator. It was an era when being openly gay likely meant political suicide, but Allan chose honesty over safety. And for several decades, he remained one of only a handful of openly gay or lesbian elected officials in the US. As recently as 1993, when I was elected to the Carrboro Board of Aldermen, there were less than 50 openly gay elected officials across the country.
He not only was a leader in Minnesota, but he also took time to mentor younger openly gay leaders like Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) and me.
You may have never heard of Allan Spear, but he helped change America for the better. Read about Allan here.