Empire State Pride Agenda, New York's leading LGBT civil rights advocacy group, has chosen a new leader.
Nathan Schaeffer will be the new executive director. Prior to this appointment, Schaeffer served as director of public policy for the Gay Men's Health Crisis. He will begin working for ESPA on October 15.
We have an exciting opportunity right now in New York to continue the momentum toward equality. As executive director, I look forward to working with LGBT New Yorkers and our allies from across the state to build consensus and aggressively advocate for change.
Nathan comes to us with significant policymaking, community advocacy and political action experience. He is the right person to lead the Pride Agenda at this time, and we are confident he will help the LGBT community earn the full equality and recognition that we deserve.
--Marla Hassner, ESPA Board of Directors Co-chair
I have proudly watched Nathan grow and evolve during his nearly five-year tenure as our director of public policy,. He is a strong leader, passionate health advocate, and innovative thinker.
--Dr. Marjorie Hill, CEO, Gay Men's Health Crisis
GMHC congratulated Mr. Schaefer more formally here.
The relevant part, for followers of TransAction:
There is much, much more to be done. We must pass the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA). That’s our next victory.
He also mentioned the importance of improving safety for LGBT kids in schools, improving the lives of LGBT seniors, and funding shelters for LGBT homeless youth.
He spent some effort to work GENDA into his message, so we shall invest some hope. GENDA will be eleven years old in December, so it is unsurprising that many in the trans community are skeptical.
I did a rather intensive search on the web for Mr. Schaefer and anything he may have contributed towards transgender equality and came up mostly empty. So he mostly presents as a blank slate as far as we are concerned.
I did, however, find this:
I was struck by and pleased with Nathan’s knowledge of the transgender community and his understanding of the issues we face in New York.
--Pam Barres, ESPA transgender board member
So maybe there is some hope.
At least he seems not to be like a commenter named Thomas, who added at Gay City News,
I have written my last check for ESPA. Rather than focus their efforts on securing gay equality in nearby states in need of help, such as PA, RI, and NJ, they have decided to make their top priority the rights of crossdressers and transsexuals, populations that are overwhelmingly heterosexual. I'm done with them. Hopefully, some new group will arise to champion the cause of gay civil rights because ESPA is no longer that.
We have encountered too many Thomases in the world.