Interview Date(s):Monday, June 1, 2015
Location:New York City
Arnold (Arnie) Kantrowitz, a 1961 B.A. alum of Rutgers University-Newark, was a pioneering activist for LGBT equality in the United States. He served as vice president of New York City's influential Gay Activists Alliance, founded in 1970 in the wake of the Stonewall uprising, and in 1985 co-founded the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation in response to antigay coverage of the AIDS crisis by New York City tabloids. GLAAD, still today the leading advocate for fair and accurate representation of LGBT people in the media, counts among its early successes an effort to persuade New York Times editors to replace "homosexual" with "gay" as the preferred descriptive term. Kantrowitz’s memoir Under the Rainbow: Growing Up Gay, released in 1977 by the respected New York house William Morrow & Company, was a milestone for LGBT visibility in publishing, and describes the author’s early life in Newark, his college years at Rutgers, and his subsequent activist career. He published countless articles in the LGBT press and was a longtime faculty member, now emeritus, at the College of Staten Island. As a senior at RU-N, he was president of the English Club and editor of Gallery, the student literary magazine.