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Mary Trump joins board of PAC seeking to elect queer women to office

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Mary Trump, gay news, Washington Blade
Mary Trump has joined the board of LPAC. (Copyright Peter Serling 2020)

Mary Trump, who needled former President Trump during his re-election bid with allegations of racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic remarks in his family, has joined a political action committee that works to elect queer women to public office.

LPAC, a political organization dedicated to electing queer women to public office, on Friday announced Mary Trump, the niece of former President Trump and a lesbian, would join its board of directors.

“We will only create lasting and systemic change for progressive values if we increase the number of diverse players in power, and that includes LGBTQ women,” Mary Trump said in a statement. “I am so excited to work with LPAC to create more opportunity for these new leaders and to build alliances with other progressives across the country.”

Founded in 2012 as a political action committee intended to give queer women a greater voice in politics, LPAC endorses and supports candidates through direct investments and independent investment campaigns. LPAC has raised more than $6.3 million and endorsed more than 150 candidates, according to a statement.

LPAC supported Democratic Sens. Tammy Baldwin and Kyrsten Sinema in recent election cycles as well as Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. As of now, there are 11 openly LGBTQ members of Congress, including Baldwin and Sinema.

Laura Ricketts, a member contributor to the Democratic Party and LPAC board chair, credited Mary Trump with having “demonstrated thought[ful] leadership, media and political savvy over the last year as she has stormed the country with her insights and opinions.”

“We couldn’t be more excited to have her join us in building the power of our political action community and developing the next generation of LGBTQ women leaders,” Ricketts.

(Mary Trump and Laura Ricketts, co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, have something else in common aside from now both being board members of LPAC: They stand out as supporters of Democratic candidates in families that are overwhelmingly backers of the Republican Party.)

According to an article in Politico, Mary Trump joins LPAC as part of a broader effort to stay engaged in politics and recognition of the importance of LGBTQ voices.

“If it’s only men making decisions about women’s issues or straight people making decisions about LGBTQ issues, then that’s where we run into problems and we’ve seen this,” Mary Trump is quoted as saying.

Mary Trump is also working on a new book that would build on the success of an earlier tell-all book about the Trump family. The second book, “The Reckoning,” is set to examine “America’s national trauma, rooted in our history but dramatically exacerbated by the impact of current events and the Trump administration’s corrupt and immoral policies,” Politico reported.

Lisa Turner, executive director of LPAC, said in a statement Mary Trump would be a welcome addition to the organization as it pursue its “ambitious agenda for the next election cycle.”

“We can’t afford to accept the status quo,” Turner said. “We must organize across the country and develop new leaders to walk the corridors of power. That is our core mission. We are thrilled to have Mary’s help in doing so and invite all who are interested to join our effort.”

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Politics

Victory Fund honors Maine House speaker at D.C. conference

Ryan Fecteau is gay Catholic University alum

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Maine House Speaker Ryan Fecteau accepts the Tammy Baldwin Breakthrough Award at the Victory Fund International LGBTQ Leaders Conference in D.C. on Dec. 4, 2021. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

The Victory Fund on Saturday honored Maine House Speaker Ryan Fecteau on the last day of its International LGBTQ Leaders Conference in D.C.

Fecteau — an openly gay Catholic University of America alum — won a seat in the Maine House of Representatives in 2014. He became the chamber’s speaker in 2018.

“Hate and intolerance will not derail us,” said Fecteau after Florida state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith presented him with the Tammy Baldwin Breakthrough Award, which is named after U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.). “Our community will not be intimidated.”

The Victory Fund on Friday honored Guatemalan Congressman Aldo Dávila, a gay man who is living with HIV.

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Victory Fund honors gay Guatemalan congressman at D.C. conference

Aldo Dávila a vocal critic of country’s government

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Guatemalan Congressman Aldo Dávila speaks at the 2021 International LGBTQ Leaders Conference after he received the Global Trailblazer Award. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

The Victory Fund on Friday honored an openly gay Guatemalan congressman who has faced death threats because of his efforts to fight corruption in his country.

Dávila — a member of the Winaq movement, a leftist party founded by Rigoberta Menchú, an indigenous human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner — in 2019 became the first openly gay man elected to Guatemala’s congress. Dávila, who also lives with HIV, had previously been the executive director of Asociación Gente Positiva, a Guatemala City-based HIV/AIDS service organization.

Supporters of President Alejandro Giammattei have lodged several formal complaints against Dávila after he publicly criticized the government over corruption, its response to the pandemic and other issues.

Three men on April 19 approached Dávila’s vehicle near Guatemala’s National Library and tried to rob him. One of Dávila’s bodyguards shot one of the men, but the two other assailants fled the scene before police officers and passersby arrived.

Dávila told the Washington Blade in September during an interview at a Guatemala City hotel that he and his partner installed cameras in their apartment after someone killed their dog.

Two female police officers who arrived at the hotel with Dávila sat in the lobby while he spoke with the Blade. The government a few weeks later reduced his security detail.

“Guatemala is living through the worst democratic crisis in the last 40 years,” said Dávila after he accepted the Victory Fund’s Global Trailblazer Award at its 2021 International LGBTQ Leaders Conference that is taking place in-person at the JW Marriott in downtown D.C. “Guatemala right now is being paralyzed by corruption and impunity and my voice is uncomfortable because of this.”

Dávila became emotional at the end of his remarks.

“I will keep fighting for our rights,” he said.

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Comings & Goings

Nathanson takes role at Outright Action

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Rikki Nathanson

The Comings & 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] 

The Comings & Goings column also invites LGBTQ+ college students to share their successes with us. If you have been elected to a student government position, gotten an exciting internship, or are graduating and beginning your career with a great job, let us know so we can share your success. 

Congratulations to Rikki Nathanson on her new position as Senior Advisor – Global Trans Program with OutRight Action International in New York. Nathanson will be based in D.C.  

 “I am absolutely thrilled to be taking on this new role as Senior Advisor in OutRight’s Global Trans Program,” said Nathanson. “I have finally found the perfect fit for me: as a trans woman who has been fighting for equality not only for myself, but for others globally, this position is not only a job, it’s intrinsically part of who I am. So, what better way to live, nurture and grow myself.” 

Nathanson will be working closely with all program staff to ensure a cohesive and intentional approach to gender issues throughout OutRight’s programs, including its approach to gender ideology movements. She will lead new initiatives on gender advocacy and policy change, focused but not limited to legal gender recognition and anti-discrimination legislation and policies.

Prior to this Nathanson was director of housing programs at Casa Ruby in D.C. She has also held a number of other positions including: founder/executive director of Trans Research, Education, Advocacy & Training (TREAT), Zimbabwe; chairperson Southern Africa Trans Forum, SATF, Cape Town, South Africa; executive director, Ricochet Modeling Agency, Zimbabwe; and company secretary for Dunlop Zimbabwe Limited, Zimbabwe. 

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