David Mixner attends an event in New York. The gay-rights legend died earlier this week. | lev radin

David Mixner, a longtime advocate for LGBTQ rights, has died. He was 77.

Mixner started his community organizing and activism in college in the 1960s. He eventually moved to New York and continuing is work there until his death.

His advocacy for the gay community, and for AIDS funding, catapulted him into positions of power within the Democratic Party in the 1980s and 1990s. When the promises about marriage and military service made to him by candidate Bill Clinton went unfulfilled by President Clinton – resulting in the Defense of Marriage Act and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell – Mixner never lost his compass, sticking by the gay community despite it costing him political capital.

Mixner was also a big sports fan, particularly football. He was a huge Raiders fan. It was with pride that he watched Carl Nassib come out publicly while wearing the silver-and-black.

As he told Outsports in 2008, it was the “bad boy” image of the Raiders, particularly when they left Los Angeles in the 1980s and moved to Oakland, that drew him to the team.

“I was watching a game and realized that there wasn’t a player on the team that any mother would want to be a role model for their son,” Mixner said. “They were the bad boys of football and loved them for it.”

He attended Arizona State University. There he was a “huge” baseball, basketball and football fan. In fact, he said he had a special connection with one of the athletes.

“My first love was a team member playing football,” he said. “Who can forget that as the most unforgettable experience?”

The LGBTQ community remembers David Mixner

Mixner is being remembered by advocates and organizations from across the community.

“David changed the world forever and equality would not be where it is today without his leadership, passion, and immense heart and humor,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. 

From the Victory Fund: “David was a courageous, resilient and unyielding force for social change at a time when our community faced widespread discrimination and an HIV/AIDS crisis ignored by the political class in Washington, DC.”

Mixner will be remembered as a legend in the community. He will be missed.