6. Ruth Simpson

Ruth Simpson was born in Cleland, Ohio in 1926 and moved to New York City in 1970. Shortly after moving to the city, Ruth came out as a lesbian and took on the position of President in the New York City chapter of the lesbian organization, the Daughters of Bilitis, where she met her partner, Ellen Povill. She and Povill moved to Woodstock, New York, where they became activists in their new neighborhood.

Simpson often documented events by taking videos of them and these videos were often aired on local programming. She was featured regularly on public cable talk shows and produced the talk show, “Minority Report.” Ruth Simpson was known in the community as someone who fought for LGBT spaces, education and social networks, and she created the first Lesbian Community Center in the area. She also wrote the popular book, From the Closet to the Courts, which sheds light on the connectedness of 70’s Gay Rights Movement, feminism, lesbianism, and the Civil Rights Movement. Ruth died in 2008 from old age and breathing problems.