I talked with Grace Sterling Stowell, Executive Director of BAGLY (the Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Youth). Grace is being awarded the History Project's Fourth Annual HistoryMaker Award for her longtime, selfless commitment to our LGBT community. For more than 30 years Grace has been a source of light and inspiration not only for LGBT youth but for the entire LGBT community in New England and beyond. I talked with Grace about what this award means to her and issues facing our LGBT community.
Because Grace is from Massachusetts and is a longtime LGBT advocate, I asked her for her spin on Mitt Romney's run for president. Grace stated:
I was born and raised in Massachusetts doing this work, so I remember when Mitt Romney was governor of this state. He ran as somewhat of a moderate Republican, and over the course of his governorship he became increasingly conservative for his first presidential run, and it was very damaging. He cut funding, specifically funding for LGBT youth issues. He pulled back support for the commission on LGBT youth and ultimately abolished it. He ran as a moderate and ended up a much more extreme conservative, and many of us felt he had misrepresented himself for public gain and did not really care for the lives of the people of the state that he was charged with supporting. Certainly we're seeing more of the same in his second run for president. He's taking positions that are contrary to social justice, contrary to LGBT equality, that hurts lots of folks, including women of color and poor and working-class folk. He's not in touch with the needs of the majority of this country, who need strong leadership from a president to understand their issues.
Grace is also a nationally known speaker, consultant, and trainer on the needs and issues facing transgender youth and young adults. She has been a leading member of several local and national transgender education and advocacy organizations and currently serves on the Steering Committee of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC). On Sept. 20 she will be honored with the History Project's Fourth Annual HistoryMaker Award at their premier fundraising event. Chris Mason, a nationally recognized leader and organizer on LGBT issues with a fierce passion for social justice, will be receiving the Lavender Rhino Award. The ceremony will be followed by a reception featuring cocktails and hors d'oeuvres provided by the Paris Creperie and will be held at the Goethe Institut in Boston's Back Bay.
For tickets and information, visit historyproject.org.
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