Poet, author, and activist Maya Angelou has passed away at the age of 86. Among her accomplishments is her renowned autobiography, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings."
Angelou once addressed an LGBT crowd in Florida in 1996, saying, "“I am gay. I am lesbian. I am black. I am white. I am Native American. I am Christian. I am Jew. I am Muslim.”
In 2009, she called three New York State Senators to advocate for marriage equality, which would come to the state 2 years later. She is quoted as saying, “To love someone takes a lot of courage,” the 81-year-old said in an interview with the newspaper. “So how much more is one challenged when the love is of the same sex and the laws say, ‘I forbid you from loving this person’?"
To listen to Maya Angelou, as I was fortunate to do in college, is to learn the power of our voice to make a difference.
— Sarah Kate Ellis (@sarahkateellis) May 28, 2014