Craig Rodwell was born in Chicago in 1940. He came out early in life and moved to Greenwich Village in the 1950s.
He became a radical figure in the early gay rights group, The Mattachine Society. Later, he formed the Mattachine Young Adults, to increase gay visibility.
From 1964 to 1969, he participated in picket lines in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia every Fourth of July, to inform passers-by that gay Americans still lacked basic human rights. In 1965, he helped organize a protest against the exclusion of gays from federal employment and the military.
He is best known for opening the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop, the country’s first gay bookstore, in 1967.
This Rainbow Minute was read by Reverend Robin Gorsline.
“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.