George Nicola is a classic example of how one person can make a huge difference.

After coming out in 1970 through the fledgling Portland Gay Liberation Front, George wrote and submitted an historic gay civil rights plank that was adopted by the pre-primary convention of the Democratic Party of Oregon.

In 1973, George wrote and lobbied for Oregon’s first gay civil rights bill, House Bill 2930. Although numerous legislators and others were involved, it was largely George’s single-handed effort that won bi-partisan support and brought HB2930 to within two votes of passage in the House.

That process created numerous straight allies, many of whom were increasingly influential supporters for decades to come. Within our community, the bill helped build a sense of purpose and identity instrumental in the evolution of what became Oregon’s large LGBT movement.

Although in 1974 George needed to turn his attention to seeking full-time paid work, his published articles and many appearances on local talk shows and in college classrooms inspired many others to get involved.

Now retired, George helps to chronicle the history of the LGBT movement in Oregon, and tirelessly continues motivating others to work toward full human dignity for all.


Q Center and the Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN) have partnered on an annual multi-media celebration of LGBTQ pioneers and leaders from our local movement called Queer Heroes NW!

The project features a new queer hero (nominated by the greater LGBTQ community) every day online during Pride month (June). The 30 queer heroes are also featured on the walls of the Aaron Hall Gallery at Q Center for the months of June and July, as well as in Q Center’s Pride booths all over the region.

After Pride is over each year the portable display hits the road and makes the rounds all over community centers, schools, churches, and businesses in the Pacific NW! Help us honor our queer heroes by spreading the word.

Queer Heroes NW: 2013
Queer Heroes NW: 2012
Queer Heroes NW Videos by Q Center Media Team
Queer Heroes NW at the Oregon Department of Justice

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