When Torey Carter joined the Victory Fund staff four years ago, he says the organization’s singularity of focus was the main draw.
“The thing that strikes me is that we’re now seeing victories in places where you don’t readily or quickly think of there being LGBT officeholders,” the 37-year-old Hertford, N.C., native says. “I’m not talking about California or New York but in the heartland and in the South, I have the opportunity to work for an organization that works to get people elected in the kinds of towns like where I grew up. It hasn’t happened there, but it’s a reality that’s completely possible now and it wasn’t then. That’s why I still come to work every day.”
Victory Fund has its champagne brunch, one of its key annual events, Sunday at 11 a.m. at the Washington Hilton Hotel (1919 Conn. Ave., N.W.). Individual tickets are $250 and several sponsorship brackets are available. Several LGBT elected officials such as Maine’s Rep. Mike Michaud and Rep. Jared Polis will speak. Tickets are still available at victoryfund.org.
Carter has been in the D.C. area for about 25 years and worked many years as an accountant before joining Victory Fund.
Carter and partner Mike Conneen live together in Washington’s Takoma neighborhood. Carter enjoys home improvement projects, gardening, cooking, exercise and playing with Rex, his 6-year-old Quaker parrot, in his free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I’ve been out about 15 years. It was hardest to tell my grandmother because her health at the time was poor and I worried it would add to her worries. But she welcomed my truth and embraced me with unconditional love.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
Bayard Rustin was a man ahead of his time.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
Nothing compares to standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, gazing out at the stars over the reflecting pool with the Capitol Building in the distance, reflecting on the history that unfolded at that site.
Describe your dream wedding.
Matching suits, family, friends and lots of Beyonce on the dance floor.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
Every child deserves a quality education. It’s the best resource for folks that come from a place like me to level the playing field.
What historical outcome would you change?
I’d change who shot J.R. It would have been more interesting if one of the main characters, like Sue Ellen, had done it. And I’d make sure the Bible was properly translated.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
I’ll never forget where I was when I found out who shot J.R.
On what do you insist?
No pork, no chocolate, no diet soda.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
“What is this white stuff falling from the sky???” (Sunday, March 30, 2014)
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
“Torey Carter: A Model Life”
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would
I would welcome all newly converted straight people to the gay community.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
I was raised Baptist and I believe in a just but loving God. I also still believe Pluto is a planet, regardless of what scientists say.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
The momentum is in the blue states. But the laws, minds and hearts to change are in the red states.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
My future children, and my children’s future.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
That gay men and lesbians don’t/can’t get along.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
“Broken Hearts Club” has a special place in my heart.
What’s the most overrated social custom?
Family-style portions are excessive. And second and third place are unnecessary; there’s only one winner.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
I should win an Oscar for my ability to impersonate select reality TV stars.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
My father — I wish I would have known that we only had 10 years to fix almost 30.
Washington is an international symbol of freedom and democracy. But when my mom and I moved here from North Carolina (at age 12), it was also a city of hope and opportunity. And it still is.