Read About Barbara May Cameron, A Human Rights Activist 

barbara may Cameron

Barbara May Cameron was born May 22, 1954, in Fort Yates, North Dakota, United States. She was an American photographer, writer, poet, and human rights activist. She led and advocated for the lesbian and gay community and women’s rights. Moreover, she became a trend when, on 22nd May, Google Doodle celebrated her 69th birthday. 

Early Life 

Barbara May Cameron’s grandparents raised her. She lives with them on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota. There is no official information about her parents. She completed her schooling there after completing high school on the reservation. For further studies, she attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She studied photography and film there as she always wanted to become one. Under the guidance of her grandparents, she attended the San Francisco Art Institute. 


Cameron became a photographer and movie maker. In 1975, she and Randy Burns founded the Gay American Indians, a gay rights organization. In 1978, Cameron participated in creating a book called “Our Right to Love: a lesbian resource book.” By the 1980s, the organisation had 1,000+ members and launched the GAI history project. She operated  LGBTQIA+ acceptance and mentioned many racism in queer. She also organised the Lesbian Gay Freedom Day Parade and Celebration from 1980-85. 

Moreover, she co-led and won a case against the Immigration and Naturalization Service. This policy discriminates against LGBTQ+ individuals. However, in the late 1980s, she became president of  Alice B. Toklas’s LGBT Democratic Club. Along with some other women, they called themselves Somos Hermanas (We are sisters). They visited Nicaragua to study there and helped improve women’s lives. It was all life-changing for her, and she could feel it because she, too, belonged to the community. 

After some time, she became executive director of Community United Against Violence. There, she supported people affected by crimes and violence. From 1989 to 1992, she participated in the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. She helped with AIDS and childhood immunisation programmes. She became the first recipient of the Bay Area Career Women Community Service Award. In 1993, she connected with AIDs education. She travelled to various Indian reservations in America. Throughout her career, she kept writing and contributing. 

Awards and Achievements

1. Media and theatre arts award.

2. Became the first gay American Indian liberation organization.

3. Participated in the Lesbian Gay Freedom Day Parade and Celebration

4. Contributed to This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color

5. Became vice president of the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club 

6.  Co-chair for Lesbian Agenda for Action

7. Mayor of  the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

8. Became executive director of Community United Against Violence (CUAV)

9.  Founded the Institute on Native American Health and Wellness

Personal Life

Barbara May Cameron fell in love with Linda Boyd during her revolution. They were together for 21 precious years and had a boy, Rhys Boyd-Farrell. Her partner Linda shares many memories of Cameron. She says that Cameron was really kind-hearted and helpful. Also, she has been a busy activist her whole life. 


Barbara May Cameron took her last breath on February 12, 2002, at 47. Her death was natural. The president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Tom Ammiano and Carole Migden, a politician representing a part of California, attended her death ceremony. People remember Cameron because she fought for the rights of gay and lesbian Native Americans. She was the saviour of the LGBTQ community and gave them a name. She was an amazing writer, poet and photographer. 

Final Thought

Barbara May Cameron was a poet, writer, and photographer. She later became a human activist who advocated for the rights of the LGBTQ community. Her grandparents raised her and helped her with school. Later, she joined the San Francisco Art Institute to pursue Photography and film. Moreover, she won many awards and achievements in her life. She married Linda Boyd and had a son, Rhys Boyd-Farrell. She died on February 12, 2002, with natural death. A group of the LGBTQ community mourned for her. Her partner says Cameron spent her life improving people’s lives. 

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