32. Jeff Graham

Jeff Graham
Photograph by Fernando Decillis

Focus Activism, Politics
Age 51
From his early days in the 1990s as an ACT UP rabble-rouser to his leadership of Georgia Equality since 2008, Graham has been one of this conservative state’s most active—and effective—advocates for the LGBT community. As Georgia’s top gay rights activist, he led efforts to defeat “religious freedom” legislation two years in a row and helped make sure local officials across the state issued marriage licenses following the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Expect Graham to keep pushing for greater civil rights protections for Georgia’s LGBT population.

Love wins Hours after same-sex marriage became legal in Georgia this summer, Graham orchestrated a mass ceremony at the Fulton County Government Center.

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This article originally appeared in our October 2015 issue.