Queens LGBT activist Bruce Friedman dies at 70

LGBT activist Bruce Friedman, the founder of the Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens, died after a long battle with leukemia.
By Bill Parry

Bruce Friedman, the longtime LGBT activist and former president of the Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens, died Monday at Mt. Sinai Hospital after a long battle with leukemia. He was 70 years old.

Friedman had been involved with community and political service at an early age, as he drew inspiration from his devoted parents and quickly learned that the giving of oneself through volunteerism was a natural way of life if one wants to have an impact on an organization. This concept of participation carried over into the political arena.

Born and raised in the Bronx, Friedman became a Queens resident in 1984. He served as treasurer of the Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club for three years until 2001, when he was elected executive vice president until 2004 when he was elected as president, a post in which he served until January 2012.

“Bruce’s leadership of the Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens was pioneering,” City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) said. “He tirelessly fought for LGBT rights at a time when it was not popular to do so. Bruce’s work led to the election of numerous LGBT-supportive public officials around the Borough of Queens. His knowledge and love for American history and politics gave him an innate ability to vet local candidates. His contributions to the LGBT movement in Queens are numerous.”

Friedman is survived by his sister, Margot Johnson, of The Villages, Fla. Funeral and burial arrangements are forthcoming.

“His strength and spirit will be sorely missed by LGBT and non-LGBT people alike,” Dromm said. “God bless Bruce Friedman.”

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

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