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Comings & Goings

New faces at HRC; Agers joins Brother Help Thyself

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Comings & Goings, gay news, Washington Blade
Comings & Goings, gay news, Washington Blade

The ‘Comings & Goings’ column chronicles important life changes of Blade readers.

The Comings and Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at [email protected].

There are new faces at Human Rights Campaign.

Sarah McBride, gay news, Washington Blade

Sarah McBride

Sarah McBride was set to join the team this week as national press secretary for the HRC Foundation, supporting various programs and campaigns designed to increase understanding of LGBT issues and encourage LGBT-inclusive policies in schools, the workplace, health care facilities and faith communities, HRC officials said.

McBride was campaigns and communications manager for the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress. There she managed a diverse portfolio and has routinely represented the organization on multiple media platforms.

She’s a native of Wilmington, Del., and serves on the board of directors of Equality Delaware, the state’s primary LGBT advocacy and educational organization. McBride helped lead and served as the primary spokesperson for the successful effort to add gender identity and expression to her state’s non-discrimination and hate crimes laws during the 2013 legislative session. She has also worked for Gov. Jack Markell (D-Del.) and former Attorney General Beau Biden (D-Del.).

McBride is an American University graduate. She was student body president there and came out as transgender in the student newspaper. She was the first openly trans woman to intern at the White House.

Nick Morrow will be press secretary for HRC’s Project One America, a comprehensive, multi-year campaign to dramatically expand LGBT equality in the South through permanent campaigns in Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas.

Morrow returns to HRC from SKDKnickerbocker, where he worked on a range of high-profile issue campaigns and corporate projects. He has previously worked with HRC for several years and was an integral part of HRC’s communications effort to win nationwide marriage equality and helped launch HRC’s Project One America in 2014.

He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Tennessee and a master’s degree in global communication from George Washington University.

Nick Morrow

Nick Morrow

Julius Agers has joined the board of Brother, Help Thyself as secretary. He was recently honored with the 2016 Engendered Spirit Award by Capital Pride.

Agers is a transgender man active in the local and national LGBTQand two-spirited communities. He has served as vice president of political affairs for the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club and currently serves on D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Advisory Committee to the Office of LGBTQ Affairs.

“I was thrilled when Julius accepted my call to serve as BHT’s Secretary,” said Jim Slattery, Brother Help Thyself president. “He is a legend in the LGBTQ community both locally and across the country and we look forward to working with him in this capacity.”

Agers said the organization “does such great work.” He hopes to build “strong relationships” with his fellow Brother board members.

Julius Agers, gay news, Washington Blade

Julius Agers (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

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Virginia

Elected officials turn out for annual Equality NoVa Ice Cream Social

Northern Virginia LGBTQ group stresses ‘political awareness, education’

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Freddie Lutz, on right, and his husband Johnny Cervantes host the annual ice cream social. (Photo courtesy of Lutz)

Four LGBTQ supportive members of the Virginia General Assembly and two candidates running for seats on the Arlington County Board were among more than 100 people who turned out on Sunday, Sept. 24, for the LGBTQ organization Equality NoVa’s annual Ice Cream Social.

The event was held at the Arlington, Va. home of Freddie Lutz, owner of the Arlington gay bar and restaurant Freddie’s Beach Bar, and Lutz’s husband, Johnny Cervantes.

Daniel Hays, president of Equality NoVa, told those attending the event in introductory remarks that Equality NoVa, which recently changed its name from the Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance (AGLA), was founded in 1981 and is the oldest continuously operating LGBTQ organization in Virginia.

In an announcement in April the group said the name change came after it had taken on for some time the activities and representation of the now-defunct LGBTQ groups in Alexandria and Fairfax counties and had expanded its operations to cover most if not all the regions known as Northern Virginia.

Hays noted that the group is a nonpartisan organization that doesn’t endorse candidates for public office but organizes educational and political awareness events and awareness campaigns on issues impacting LGBTQ people related to statewide and local government agencies and officials.

The elected officials attending the event were Virginia House of Delegates members Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria & Fairfax), Elizabeth Bennett-Parker (D-Alexandria & Arlington), and Vivian Watts (D-Fairfax).

Also attending was Virginia State Sen. Barbara Favola, a Democrat whose district includes parts of Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun Counties.

Joining the state lawmakers attending the Equality NoVa social were Arlington County Board candidates Maureen Coffey and Susan Cunningham and Arlington County School Board candidate Miranda Turner.

Many of those attending the event said they were rooting for the re-election of Herring, Bennett-Parker, Watts, and Favola in the upcoming Virginia elections in November. All members and candidates for the General Assembly will be on the ballot in an election that political observers say could decide which party controls both houses of the state legislature.

Currently, Democrats control the 40-member Virginia Senate by a margin of 22-18 seats. Republicans currently control the House of Delegates by a margin of 51 to 46 seats, with three vacancies in the 100-member House.

With Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) putting in place through executive action public school policies that LGBTQ activists consider hostile and discriminatory for transgender students, LGBTQ activists are hopeful that a Democratic takeover of the House of Delegates would result in a reversal of Youngkin’s school policy.

Some of the activists attending the Equality NoVa event said they were fearful that a Republican takeover of the state Senate and if Republicans retain control of the House of Delegates could result in the General Assembly approving the type of anti-LGBTQ legislation passed in Florida and other states.

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Virginia

Anti-transgender heckler interrupts Danica Roem during debate

Trans lawmaker is running for the Va. state Senate

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Virginia state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) speaks at the LGBTQ Victory Fund National Champagne Brunch in D.C. on April 23, 2023. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

An anti-transgender heckler interrupted Virginia state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) on Sept. 28 during a debate with her Republican opponent for the state Senate.

The woman heckled Roem during the Prince William Committee of 100-organized debate between her and Bill Woolf that took place at Metz Middle School in Manassas. 

“Thank you for reminding me why I won three elections in this district in Prince William County, which is the most diverse county in all of Virginia and the 10th most nationally where we welcome everyone because of who they are, not despite it, no matter what you look like, where you come from how you worship, if you do, or who you love because you should be able to thrive here because of who you are, never despite it,” said Roem.

Audience members applauded Roem after she responded to the heckler who was eventually removed from the auditorium.

Roem in 2017 defeated then-state Del. Bob Marshall, a vocal LGBTQ rights opponent who co-wrote Virginia’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman that voters approved 11 years earlier. Roem subsequently became the first openly transgender person seated in a state legislature in the U.S.

Roem in 2019 became the first out trans state legislator to win re-election. Roem in May 2022 announced she is running to represent the newly redistricted Senate District 30, which includes western Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.

Woolf during the Sept. 28 debate did not say whether he would support the repeal of the marriage amendment. Woolf also reiterated his support of a bill that would require school personnel to out trans students to their parents.

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Virginia

Virginia Beach high school students stage walkouts to support transgender rights

City’s school board approved policy to out trans students to parents

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Transgender flags (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.)

Students at five Virginia Beach high schools on Friday staged walkouts in support of transgender rights.

The walkout is in response to the Virginia Beach School Board potentially approving policy 5-31, which the Pride Liberation Project says will require schools to out trans students to their parents.

Students have been organizing walkouts across the state since Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin earlier this year announced new guidelines for trans and nonbinary students.

“Students like me aren’t going to be able to talk to our teachers if we’re constantly worried about our school officials calling home to forcibly out us,” AJ, a trans Kellam High School Student, told the Pride Liberation Project.

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