January 26, 2012 | by Joey DiGuglielmo
Queery: Nick McCoy

Nick McCoy (Blade photo by Michael Key)

Nick McCoy’s work in politics and activism — he freelances in community affairs consulting — took him to several East Coast states before he settled in Washington about five years ago.

The 36-year-old has been passionate about this kind of work for about 15 years and has worked in North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine and Florida on everything from post-Katrina hurricane cleanup and restoration to same-sex marriage battles in Maryland and D.C. to Martin Luther King Memorial dedication work to political campaigns for D.C. Council member David Catania and Clark Ray to LGBT youth work.

He credits the grandparents who raised him — he was born in D.C. but grew up on a military base in North Carolina — with instilling these values in him.

“My grandparents both taught me that these things don’t just happen,” McCoy says. “But it’s a natural inclination for me. It’s where I feel at peace, where I don’t have to sweat. And it’s not about me — that’s why I keep doing it.”

He considers D.C. home and would like to eventually run for City Council.

McCoy, who’s single and lives in Shaw, enjoys running, basketball, beautification projects and dancing in his free time. He also likes cooking large meals for friends, reading comic books and watching “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” to relax. (Blade photos by Michael Key)

How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?

Seventeen years. My grandfather. My grandparents raised me and after my grandmother passed, my grandfather came to Georgia for a family reunion and I had been living out for four years and he asked me to come to the reunion. I came up with every reason not to go until it was over and he had gone home. Then I called crying and boohooing in the phone and he told me “Nicky, calm down — what’s wrong?” I said, “Daddy, I’m gay.” To which he replied, “Boy, Nicky, I am your father, I know that!” I was quiet for a moment and I asked if my grandmother knew before she passed and without missing a beat he said, “Nicky, we raised you son! There was nothing we did not know about you. We loved you just the way you were even though you are so damn hardheaded!” I miss my grandparents.

Who’s your LGBT hero?

Bayard Rustin

What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present? 

I enjoy Level One/Cobalt.

Describe your dream wedding.

Marrying the person I love. Maybe on a beach in Lenin?

What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?

Class issues

What historical outcome would you change?

None! “What we see today are the results of the achievements and mistakes made yesterday… what we see tomorrow are the results of what we do today!”

What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?

The election of Barack Obama as our 44th president. It proved we are not done changing, we are not done growing as a race of humans there is so much more to come from us!

On what do you insist?

Equality

What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?

Today was a full day! Breakfast at the Governor’s Mansion for a press gaggle on Maryland’s marriage equality legislation! Board meeting at The D.C. Center and rounded the evening up with our President’s State of The Union! AWESOME!!!!

If your life were a book, what would the title be?

“Sleepwalker”

If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?

If it is safe, I would rejoice for those who feel anguish in their bodies now for there could be a way to end their pain.

What do you believe in beyond the physical world? 

Fundamentals of thought: be, do and have.

What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?

Be humble, listen and remember that the work doesn’t belong to us it belongs to our community, we have to share in how we succeed and fail.

What would you walk across hot coals for?

Love, justice and a coach bag.

What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?

The assumption that gay men’s voices automatically go up several octaves when we’re mad. I also hate it when family says they can’t understand why I’m not rich just because I’m gay.

What’s your favorite LGBT movie?

“Paris is Burning”

What’s the most overrated social custom?

Acknowledging political figures. I need you to work on issues that are pressing for the respective community.

What trophy or prize do you most covet?

I would like a partner. I am a mess I need some Yang for my Ying!

What do you wish you’d known at 18?

How important it is just to be present.

Why Washington?

I’m home here and will serve my community first. “I will share what I have and what I have learned. I will make a career of humanity, commit myself to the noble struggle for equal rights. I will make a greater person of myself, a greater nation of our country and a finer world to live in,” to quote MLK.

 

Joey DiGuglielmo is the Features Editor for the Washington Blade.

5 Comments
  • Where is “on a beach in Lenin”?? Lenin?? Never heard of it, and I’ve been to over 60 countries, some multiple times.

    With regard to changing an historical outcome, thank God you didn’t repeat what everyone else says – the election of 2000. Kudos for your creativity and unconventionalism.

    Beautiful response to the sexual orientation change question! I’ve been waiting for someone to hit the jackpot!!

    Oh, but as a gay man you are rich – in seeking equality, love, and justice. But let’s rethink that pop culture moment – Obama is a rhetorical hot air balloon that will burst in November.

    Let’s get a new shirt, too. One with collar stays or a button-down. That picture looks like you’ve got wings and are about to take off…

  • Lenin is clothes, not a place.

  • Joey, you mean linen? Since Google knows nothing about Lenin either, except as a former Soviet dictator, I guess I’m not totally naive.

  • I’m not gay, not male, but the passion for justice, fairness, equality is what is needed on the City Council NOW

  • So proud of you, Nick! Keep up the great work!!

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