David Mixner

Internationally Known Human Rights Activist, Gay Rights Advocate & Bestselling Author


“The presentation by David Mixner was moving and heartfelt. Our audience really enjoyed it and was so pleased to have the opportunity to meet this great man of the world who is a stellar example to our students on how much a single human being can have an impact and make real change in a world which desperately needs such inspired and motivated people.”

—Michael Buckley, C.V. Starr Center, Washington College

“David Mixner’s speech is still making waves around campus. I can speak for the faculty and students when I say that we will never forget his kindness, sincerity, and inspiration.”

—Shane M. Benz, Washington College, Class of 2016

David Mixner, whom Newsweek once named the most powerful gay man in America, has been a highly regarded leader in American politics and international human rights for over 40 years and is a best-selling author of Stranger Among Friends, At Home with Myself, and Brave Journeys (co-written with Dennis Bailey). A sought after keynote speaker around the globe, Mixner has lectured at Oxford, Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, and the London School of Economics. In his riveting talks, Mixner shares an insider’s look at the triumphs and failures of American politics and offers candid insights on a wide range of topics from human rights activism, to the evolution of gay rights, to the crusade to prevent and fight HIV/AIDS. A gifted raconteur, he shares his wisdom and stories with, as Tony Award-winner Alan Cumming says, “a mesmerizing blend of wit, dignity and homespun charm makes you feel you are curled up on the porch next to him.”

Mixner has been an unofficial advisor to elected officials and business leaders on domestic and foreign policy for decades. Today, as a prominent international public affairs/strategic-planning consultant with expertise in HIV/AIDS, he is working on access, prevention and treatment projects in Russia, Ukraine and a number of African nations. In addition, he continues his work fighting HIV/AIDS here in the United States.

Mixner has raised over $30 million for candidates and charity organizations, including well over $1 million for openly gay and lesbian candidates across the country, and has participated in over 75 election campaigns, serving as campaign manager, fundraiser, or strategist. Campaigns include Gephardt for President, Clinton for President, Hart for President, McGovern for President, Bradley for Mayor, and Brown for Governor and Senate. Additionally, Mixner is a past member of the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Party National Commission on Delegate Selection and Party Reform, Congressional Fund, Municipal Elections Committee of Los Angeles (MECLA), the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund (former National Co-Chair), AIDS Project Los Angeles, Ambassador to the Wilton Park International Conference, the Presidents Salt II Committee, Pro Peace, and others.

Mixner’s screenplay with Richard Burns, Dunes of Overveen, won the Outfest MTV Award for Best New Screenplay. In addition, Mixner and Dennis Bailey co-wrote the screenplay Fire in the Soul, which is in pre-production, and a play, the historical drama Jacob’s Ladder. He was an executive producer of the award-winning documentary House on Fire, which highlighted the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the African-American community. Mixner has also written for Time, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, The Advocate, and many other publications.

Recently, Yale University’s Larry Kramer Initiative for Lesbian and Gay Studies created the David B. Mixner Collection, a catalogue of Mixner’s papers and correspondence from his work as a leading antiwar advocate during the Vietnam War to his participation in present day political campaigns.

David Mixner lives in New York City.

Praise for David Mixner

“When I met him when he was young I thought I have never met a person whose heart burned with fire for social justice so strongly. He has never forgotten the roots of his childhood . . . how fortunate we are in this country at this time with all the things we have to do to have his energy, his heart, his devotion and his passion.”

—   President Bill Clinton

“The nation has learned a lot these years about gay and lesbian rights and in a very real sense the greatest of all our teachers has been David Mixner. . .”

— Senator Edward Kennedy

“Your work has made an incredible difference to so many lives and inspired people not only in America but across the world.”

— Prime Minister Gordon Brown

“David Mixner has been personally responsible for helping to elect people to office – from the Governor of California, to the President of the United States. Among the many heroes produced by the lesbian and gay community, one figure will stand out – David Mixner, American hero, American patriot.”

— Senator Dianne Feinstein

Praise for Stranger Among Friends

“Impassioned. . .Poignantly told. . .[a] bittersweet political odyssey.”

—   Frank Rich, Op-Ed Page, The New York Times

“An intelligent and challenging biography of contemporary America. . .an epic that is partly David Mixner and partly his times, and future historians will be hard pressed to understand us without reading him.”

— The New York Times Book Review 

“Movingly personal. . . intriguing and timely. . .only sometimes does a notable life yield a worthy memoir, and this is such an instance. . . Stranger Among Friends is an optimist’s book, the achievement of a doer.”

—   Los Angeles Times

“Rarely have one man’s personal journey and a nation’s political odyssey blended as powerfully. . . Simply one of the best political autobiographies of the year.”

—   Book-of-the-Month Club Views

Praise for At Home with Myself

“This book is literally in a class by itself. No one has ever combined powerful leadership and political activism with gentle, homespun insights like David Mixner. He is truly an inspiration to me – for his courage as well as his unique wisdom and humanity.”

—   Judith Light

“From his upstate home, David Mixner takes us through his early days in the anti-war movement, the living hell of the AIDS crisis, his many arrests, the T of LGBT being forgotten, and myriad highs, lows, and lessons learned from a wonderful life dedicated to activism. His mesmerizing blend of wit, dignity and homespun charm makes you feel you are curled up on the porch next to him.”

— Alan Cumming

“Few leaders embody the inclusivity, optimism, and values-based politics of progressivism as fully as David Mixner. From his work as a peace and civil rights activist, to his strong feminism to his long service to the LGBT movement, to his passionate environmentalism, David has been at the heart of every major social change movement of our time. He shares stories, wisdom and insights in a wonderful, generous and enjoyable style – kind and satisfying. The observations from Turkey Hollow, like Thoreau’s at Walden, are compassionate and keen. The diary-like vignettes show the ways that ordinary lives are momentous and simple joys the deepest pleasure.”

— Urvashi Vaid

Praise for Brave Journeys

“Inspiring. . . The stories remind us of the difficulties involved in coming out publicly and the need for any community to have powerful individual examples.”

—   Out Magazine

“Provide[s] compelling narratives of courage and tenacity, of ample inspiration and commemoration.”

—   Publishers Weekly


Library Journal