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Brooklyn LGBTQ activist Alan Fleishman dead at 62

2019-08-29

Alan Fleishman, Brooklyn’s first openly gay district leader, died Tuesday after a five-year battle with cancer.

Alan Fleishman, Brooklyn’s first openly gay district leader, died Tuesday after a five-year battle with cancer. He was 62.

The Brooklyn-born Fleishman became a political powerhouse later in life after taking a job in the city comptroller’s office. He was instrumental in building the LGBTQ community’s voice and influence in city politics, according to Gay City News, which first reported his death.

Fleishman also helped ensure sexual orientation was protected under the city’s Human Rights Law, one of many highlights of his activist career.

“Alan was a fearless advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. He was able to challenge barriers to equality with tenacity and resolve, while maintaining his sense of humor,” Rep. Nydia Velázquez said in a Wednesday statement.

Police officers put Brendan Fay, center, into a police van to join Jimmy McNulty (upper left), and Alan Fleishman (upper right) of the Lavender & Green Alliance after they were arrested in Brooklyn on March 21, 1999, after they forced their way into a St. Patrick's Day parade from which they had been barred. Police said they arrested eight people from the New York-based Irish lesbian and gay organization who were protesting their exclusion from the parade.
Police officers put Brendan Fay, center, into a police van to join Jimmy McNulty (upper left), and Alan Fleishman (upper right) of the Lavender & Green Alliance after they were arrested in Brooklyn on March 21, 1999, after they forced their way into a St. Patrick's Day parade from which they had been barred. Police said they arrested eight people from the New York-based Irish lesbian and gay organization who were protesting their exclusion from the parade. (KATHERINE LEUTHOLD/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Fleishman was a former president of the Brooklyn LGBTQ political club Lambda Independent Democrats. He became an Assembly district leader in 2002 and held the post until 2010, Gay City News reported.

Raised in Canarsie, Fleishman worked as a DJ before entering politics in 1990 and launching a second career. He’s survived by his mother, his brother and sister as well as two nephews and a niece, according to Gay City News.

He “lead our community through the AIDS crisis, a time when no one would touch us,” Lambda Independent Democrats posted on Facebook.

“Alan brought his wisdom, mentorship, and grit to generations who followed him. He is irreplaceable, and will he missed tremendously.”