Urvashi Vaid: The lonely nerd turned LGBT activist
Behind a successful lesbian, there’s usually another successful lesbian beside her, as with the case between political comedian Kate Clinton and long-time partner Urvashi Vaid.
This is one reason why the term “lesbian power couple” became an identifiable factor for a lot of lesbian couples: they’re usually productive in both their careers.
While Clinton is the more famous between the two, Vaid shines in her own hemisphere as lawyer and fighter for LGBT rights.
Likewise, as CEO of Vaid Group LCC, Vaid is still loyally committed to Clinton for 29 years.
Urvashi Vaid as the young nerd
Vaid was born in New Dehli, India but grew up in the US when her family migrated when she 8 years old.
As a kid, she always felt like an outsider, mainly because she was a nerd, she was from India, she had an accent, and her intellectual leanings were more serious than children her age.
With her long, straight Indian hair and very thick glasses, Vaid was very shy and always had her nose in a book.
At age 11, she already had political views and was part of the movement against the Vietnam War. In her college years in Vassar College, the very politically charged environment of the school led her to an activism towards feminist movements.
Taking English and political science, she formed political groups and after graduating, volunteered as an intern in the Women’s Prison Project for three months.
She began working as a legal secretary for a small criminal and business law firm in Boston.
She then took up law in Northeastern University and two years into law school, she was a co-founder of the Boston Lesbian/Gay Political Alliance, which endorses LGBT candidates for political office.
Urvashi Vaid and the National Lesbian and Gay Task Force
By the time Vaid was 31, she’d created quite a reputation for herself because she was tasked to head the National Lesbian and Gay Task Force (NLGTF).
During this time, it was the most important LGBT political action group in America.
As director of public information, she organized NLGTF to become more professional and came up with using the media to cover the group’s activities and agenda.
The group became the voice of information concerning lesbian and gay issues.
She was also tasked to become executive director in NGLTF in Washington, where she was able to raise funds enough to increase their budget and staff.
Urvashi Vaid’s mission and achievements
While she resigned from the group in 1992 to write the book Virtual Equality, her mission remained the same through the years: to make queer mainstream and to make the LGBT movement to remain vigilant and evolve with the times.
Though she’s proud of the achievements of the LGBT movement, particularly with the Obama administration, still she doesn’t want the movement to put their guard down.
“The job isn’t done yet, the win hasn’t been achieved,” she said.
In 2012, she launched the first Lesbian Super Pac or LPAC, where she aimed to balance lesbian lifestyle such as Dinah Shore music festival with political awareness.