This piece is the first part in a series of posts about moving forward LGBTQ equality in Illinois.
After eighteen years as the public face of the top LGBTQ advocacy organization in Illinois, Equality Illinois, it was announced Friday that Rick Garcia and Equality were parting ways. Illinois is better-off for Rick's leadership as our community's top lobbyist for nearly two decades. Thousands of Illinoisans will be eternally grateful for his leadership, and eager to see where life takes Rick in the future.
Rick's departure from Equality is sad in some ways--sad to see a familiar face and fierce fighter go--but Garcia's departure as Political Director of the state's most visible LGBT advocacy group also opens the door for change in Illinois not possible just last week. Over the course of the next few weeks I will be sharing my conversations about the future with Illinois LGBTQ leadership.
Illinois' LGBT leadership shows great diversity in geography, age, philosophy, race, ethnicity, gender identity and experience. With Illinois' LGBT activism's star player leaving the game, the time has come for many fresh faces to share the spotlight. In the wake of the passage of our civil unions bill, I'll be examining what other issues our state's LGBT community faces: from geographic and economic disparities to issues of inclusion and diversity. Let's see who is at work right now helping make Illinois a better place for the entire LGBT community [read the first installment with Anthony Martinez].
I'm also calling for your thoughts about the future of LGBT leadership in Illinois. If you'd like to share your thoughts with me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.