NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- "The world has changed dramatically," David Rothenberg said. "The mere fact, I am being interviewed openly with you I would have never done in 1967."
David Rothenberg is a man who has been a powerful, consistent force in the fight for equality in the LGBTQ community.
"We were able to transform the power of what Dr. King said into our own lives," David said.
David is a veteran Broadway producer, radio host and activist, who in 1973 came out in a very public way, on the David Susskind Show.
"I thought I was absolutely alone in the world," David said.
Just a few years earlier, David and two others founded the Fortune Society, which supports formerly incarcerated men.
He feared revealing his true self would negatively affect his organization and so Rothenberg told several clients he would make the announcement and resign.
"He said, listen, you've stood by us for six years, give us the chance to stand by you. I realized that time, true love transcended any preconceived notions and so I went to work that day, continued working," David said.
Front and center at the National Gay Task Force in 1985 David ran for city council, using his platform to raise awareness about AIDS.
"I met so many men who were closeted, whose families learned they were gay when they learned their loved ones were dying," David said.
David took part in his first pride march in 1970 and will be back out there sunday. The 89-year-old said he'll draw strength from what Barack Obama once noted about democracy, that this nation will have many peaks and valleys.
"We are definitely in the valley now and I hope there are enough people, that we can pull us back towards the mountains," David said.
We are your home for the NYC Pride March on Sunday, June 25. Watch the broadcast from noon until 3 p.m. on Channel 7 and anywhere you stream ABC7NY. And be sure to join us Saturday, June 24 for our special as we tell inspiring stories about pride.
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