Fred Sargeant is a gay American same-sex rights activist, whose roots in the movement go back to before the Stonewall riots. He was a proposer and organizer of the first pride march then known as the Christopher Street Liberation Day march, held on June 28, 1970. He was also the initial manager of the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop, the first gay and lesbian bookshop in the world, in New York City.
In June 18, 2019, he was honored for his role at Stonewall by the Association des Journalists LGBTQI+'s OUT d'or Awards in Paris. While there, he was part of the dedication ceremony at Place des Harvey Milk for two plaques commemorating both the Stonewall riots and Gilbert Baker's Rainbow Flag with Parisian Mayor Anne Hidalgo.
In 2014, he was honored by the Heritage of Pride's New York City Pride March, once again at the head of the march as he was on June 28, 1970.
He had introduced himself to Craig Rodwell in 1968, the founder of the bookshop, and the two of them became partners at work and at home. Fred became vice chairman of Craig's Homophile Youth Movement that was based out of the bookshop. They participated in the Stonewall riots, after which Fred was one of the four proposers for the first Pride march, which was approved at the Nov. 2, 1969 annual meeting of the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations (ERCHO) in 1970, with Rodwell, Ellen Broidy and Linda Rhodes.
Fred's eyewitness account at Stonewall in 1969, as told to Charles Pitts of WBAI days after the riot, is believed to be the only existing audio made contemporaneous to the riots (see audio on the site.)
In 1971 Fred left New York. In 1973 he became a police officer in Stamford CT, attaining the rank of lieutenant. Upon retirement, Fred moved to Provincetown MA and became involved in community service work on a variety of boards and committees, usually serving as chairman. In addition to his work on harbor development and regulations, community relations, community oriented policing, development of goals for the hiring of a new police chief and other matters, Fred proposed that the town take up the growing hate crimes issue in the early 1990s in Provincetown, which led to the creation of the Hate Crimes Working Group. The group was recognized by President Clinton for its work.
In June 2010 he appeared in the Peabody-award-winning documentary "Stonewall Uprising," which was produced and directed by Kate Davis and David Heilbroner.
He also wrote the forward to Gayle E. Pitman's "The Stonewall Riots: Coming Out in the Streets," for young adults, published in May 2019.
In December 2019 he became active again over his concern that the historical record of the late 60s and early 70s had undergone a significant change that erased the prominent figures and their contributions as well as the primary role of same-sex activism during that period.
He was born in Fontainebleu, France and has lived in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and Vermont throughout his life. He lives now with his husband in rural Vermont.