Daniel Campbell has been a gay rights activist for over 49 years, and says his work continues to go on. The Lansing Community College professor of cultural history has been chosen as grand marshal for this year’s Michigan Pride.
Campbell considers himself to be one of the first college students out on campus in the nation. Due to his coming out in the early 1960s, Campbell says he faced intense ridicule.
“(In 1963), I came out very publicly three times at Antioch College,” he said, “and the third time was beaten, dragged out of the cafeteria, thrown to the ground, kicked and threatened with lynching at the ‘most liberal college in the country.’”
At the University of Connecticut, Campbell claims his coming out in 1967 led to his expulsion. These challenges were anything but discouraging for Campbell: He says he went on to work for Parents Magazine, the Democratic National Committee and the Republican Congressional, Senatorial and National Campaign committees.
He also wrote the memoir “First Gay Out” and “Indians Laughing,” a history book about the interactions between pioneers and Native Americans.
Since moving to Lansing, Campbell has worked as an advocate for mental health services for veterans, local residents and LCC students and faculty.
Campbell says he is honored to be this year’s grand marshal because it helps to further his advocacy for the LGBTQ community, particularly his efforts to influence older members to reach out and tell their stories.