Randolfe Wicker was born on February 3, 1938. In 1958, Wicker joined the New York Mattachine Society. Wicker was an organizer of Mattachine's monthly lectures. Randolfe graduated from the University of Texas in 1960.
In 1962, Wicker parlayed an interview about homosexuality with the Pacifica station WBAI-FM in New York City into a nationally covered event including a full page in Newsweek Magazine and a news story in The New York Times. This was among the first vocalizations of the homosexual community's demand for equal treatment.
In April 1963, Randolfe Wicker led a demonstration for homosexual civil rights at the U.S. Army Induction Center at Whitehall Street in New York City. The Homosexual League of New York was joined by heterosexual members of The League for Sexual Freedom.
In February 1964, Wicker was the first publicly-acknowledged homosexual to appear on television. A few months later, he appeared as a guest commentator with Dick Leitsch of the New York Mattachine Society in the first nationally broadcast discussion of homosexuality on television's "David Suskind Show".
In 1965 to 1969, Wicker helped organize and participate in the first annual gay and lesbian civil rights demonstrations that took place in New York, Washington, DC and Philadelphia.