Today’s LGBT History Month icon is political commentator and New York Times best-selling author Keith Boykin.
Born August 28, 1965, Boykin is the editor of The Daily Voice and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC and BET.
Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Boykin became politically focused working on local campaigns while in high school. At Dartmouth he was the editor of the daily newspaper and graduated with a B.A. in government.
After college, Boykin worked on the Dukakis presidential campaign. Thereafter, he attended Harvard Law School and continued working on campaigns, including the 1992 presidential campaign of Bill Clinton. Boykin worked as special assistant to the president and served as President Clinton’s liaison to the LGBT community.
In 1994, Boykin became the executive director of the National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum and completed his first book, “One More River to Cross: Black and Gay in America.” In 1997, he served with Coretta Scott King and the Rev. Jesse Jackson on the U.S. presidential trade delegation to Zimbabwe.
Boykin wrote two other books, “Respecting the Soul” (1999) and “Beyond the Down Low: Sex, Lies and Denial in Black America” (2005). His work shed light on AIDS, internalized homophobia and black men on the “down low.”
Boykin is a commentator on major political talk shows. In 2004, he starred on Showtime’s “American Candidate” and hosted BET’s “My Two Cents.”
Keith Boykin is working on a fourth book, “For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Still Not Enough.”
He currently lives in New York City.
Below you can see an interview with Boykin in which he discusses his show “My Two Cents” and his literary work:
- “Keith Boykin, Author, Beyond the Down Low.” Gothamist. 8 June 2011.
- “Keith Boykin – TV Host/Author/Speaker.” Keith Boykin. 8 June 2011.
- Malmgren, Jeanne. “The way he sees it.” St. Petersburg Times Online. St. Petersburg Times. 8 June 2011.
- One More River to Cross: Black & Gay in America (1997)
- Respecting the Soul: Daily Reflections for Black Lesbians and Gays (1999)
- Beyond the Down Low: Sex, Lies, and Denial in Black America (2005)
Image from LGBT History Month video, no infringement intended.