Giuliano, first openly gay mayor of major city, pens memoir


By Anna Peirano

Neil Giuliano has a long history with the LGBT community. He became the first openly gay mayor of a major city (Tempe, Arizona), is the former President of GLAAD and is currently the CEO of the San Francisco AIDs Foundation. 

He’s recently written a book titled “The Campaign Within: A Mayor’s Private Journey to Public Leadership” about his path from closeted Republican Mayor, to national LGBT activist and Democrat. 

“I had known for a long time I would one day have to face the music for having spent my career — my whole life — dividing my world into neat boxes,” writes Giuliano in his memoir. “Initially, I kept those worlds separated by thousands of miles. The journey of them uniting at last was long and arduous, for reasons you’ll come to know. It was an internal campaign; longer and tougher than any I had ever had for public office.”

This Tuesday, from 6:30-8:30, the LGBT Center in New York City will be hosting a conversation, book signing, and reception with the author. The event will be moderated by out country music star Chely Wright, and hosted by David Mixner, Richard Socarides, and Richard Perez-Feria. See what these LGBT influencers and others had to say about the book below. 

The event is free, with books available for purchase. 

Register here

To purchase “The Campaign Within,” visit the Amazon bookstore here


“Neil Giuliano, true renaissance man, has written one of the most extraordinary books on being an out mayor of a major American City. Giuliano leaves no stone unturned in his quest to leave a written message to future generations. He has dedicated his life to public service and had performed another one with the honesty in this book. Treat yourself to a memorable, exiting and important read.”

— David Mixner

“Neil is an American gay rights hero. His personal story, beautifully told in his new memoir, is an often dramatic tale about the darkness and fear of the closet and the light and freedom of coming out — to family, friends, voters and most of all to yourself. It is a story about politics, media, gay rights, and most of all about integrity. The Campaign Within is a landslide winner.”

–Richard Socarides, former Special Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor, The White House, Administration of President Bill Clinton.

“Neil Giuliano takes his reader by the hand and by the heart in The Campaign Within, a gritty exploration of the American Dream– deeply entrenched in self-doubt, aspiration and faith. Neil does the difficult work; tackling mistakes with sincere regret and with deep compassion for those who caused him harm. His skillful and on-point storytelling allows one to relax and trust in his journey – and to ultimately throw two fists in the air in triumphant celebration as he reveals how he confronted and won The Campaign Within. This is a beautifully story, from the pen of a modern day hero.”

–Chely Wright, country music artist and author of Like Me

“A shockingly honest memoir; I was riveted by Neil’s transformation from secretive politician to proud advocate.”

–Marc Cherry, Creator and Executive Producer, Desperate Housewives

“It’s a challenge and blessing to be a pioneer, and Neil plumbs aspects of this unenviable role in his engaging and highly readable memoir. I’ve known Neil as a colleague, but knew few details of his full story. The Campaign Within is enthralling and left me grateful to know him as a friend and fellow activist.”

–Kate Kendell, Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights

“First he was straight, then he was gay. First he was a Republican, then he was a Democrat. So if you are straight, gay, republican or democrat you will love this book.”

–David Spade

“I cannot recommend The Campaign Within in stronger terms. The former mayor takes us on an important, revelatory journey that scorches with truth. We cry and we laugh; but, mostly, we find genuine hope and comfort in this remarkable man’s ultimate peace. After finishing this beautiful book, I can’t wait to see what happens next.”

— Richard Pérez-Feria, former Editor in Chief, People en Espanol

“Neil Giuliano’s remarkable ability to be both personally confident and dispassionate in describing his journey, and becoming a highly successful and respected mayor along the way, speaks to the uncertainties and possibilities of all of us. The Campaign Within is an especially relevant story for anyone serving in or preparing to run for public office.”

–Don Borut, Executive Director, National League of Cities

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