Born in Brooklyn in 1954, Harvey Fierstein came out at age 13. He loved going to Saturday matinees on Broadway, and even play-acted in drag as Ethel Merman.

Harvey graduated from Pratt Institute in 1973, aspiring to become a painter – but soon turned to playwriting. His award-winning show, Torch Song Trilogy, was first presented off-off-Broadway in 1981 – with him in the lead role. The awards were piling up, especially after hitting Broadway.

Harvey has long been a champion of LGBT rights. Brought into sharper focus by Matthew Shepard's murder, he spoke out with his characteristic husky voice – rallying the community to speak out, to vote, and to boycott.

In one inspiring speech, he reached out to the community, saying, "We are not different, we are extraordinary."

This Rainbow Minute was read by Sonia of Disappear Fear.

The Rainbow Minute is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 3:59am, 7:59am, 9:59am and 12:29pm on WRIR - 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It's also heard internationally on over 200 radio stations.