Temple University, 1801 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19122
Mark Segal was born January 12, 1951 to Martin and Shirley Weinstein Segal in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Segal was 13 when his grandmother took him to his first civil rights demonstration. He attended public school in Philadelphia and upon graduating from high school made his way to New York, at a time when the gay rights movement was poised to experience a watershed moment, the Stonewall Riots in June 1969. He and Marty Robinson, the soon-to-be co-founder of the Gay Activist Alliance, were hanging out in the Stonewall bar the night of the raid that sparked the rebellion.
As an activist, journalist, and publisher, Segal participated in and often organized a range of civil rights and social groups, protests, legal actions, and other activities in support of gay rights. He became well known for his very public acts of civil disobedience as a member of the Gay Raiders, termed "zaps," on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite and the Mike Douglas Show in the early 1970s. Those appearances coupled with scheduled appearances on various national and local television and radio talk shows fulfilled one of the goals for Segal's activism, "to show the nation who gay people are: our sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers."
In 1976, Segal founded and currently publishes the influential newspaper, Philadelphia Gay News. With an increasing political profile, Segal used the influence and power of the gay press and his standing within political circles to further promote LGBTQ civil rights legislation. During the late 1970s and into the present day, these efforts met with criticism and sometimes outright acts of hate (newspapers boxes of the Philadelphia Gay News were often targets of anti-gay placards and vandalism). Segal and the many others working toward the goal of equal rights for LGBTQ persons were not deterred. Working within political circles and sometimes outside them, many landmark laws and court decisions were achieved in national, state, and local governments.
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