Who is Barbara May Cameron? The activist and poet featured in today's Google Doodle

Who is Barbara May Cameron? The activist and poet featured in today's Google Doodle
Sienna Gonzales/Google

Today's Google Doodle features Barbara May Cameron, the late Native American photographer, poet, writer, and human rights advocate.

The search engine's website shows a cartoon of the activist, holding an LGBTQ+ flag with a camera around her neck, while smiling and hugging figures stand in the background.

The cartoon was illustrated by queer Mexican and Chitimachan artist Sienna Gonzales and the reason why she is being featured is because it would have been her 69th birthday.

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But who is she?

Cameron was a member of the Hunkpapa group and was born in Fort Yates, North Dakota.

She campaigned for LGBTQIA+ acceptance in the Native American community and addressed racism in queer spaces. In 1975, she co-founded Gay American Indians, the first ever dedicated Native American LGBTQIA+ group, with her friend and fellow activist Randy Burns.

From 1980 through 1985, she organised the Lesbian Gay Freedom Day Parade and Celebration. She also co-led and won a Supreme Court lawsuit against the Immigration & Naturalisation Service because of its policy of turning away gay people.

Later, she became an executive director at Community United Against Violence, where she supported people affected by hate crimes and domestic violence.

The San Francisco Mayor appointed Cameron to both the Citizens Committee on Community Development and the San Francisco Human Rights Commission in 1988, and the next mayor appointed her to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

She was also active within the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, the American Indian AIDS Institute, and served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control, helping with AIDS and childhood immunisation programmes.

Cameron died of natural causes on February 12, 2002, aged 47.

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