Tag: role

Family Equality’s New ED: “I Have Been Preparing for This Role My Entire Life”

Family Equality’s New ED: “I Have Been Preparing for This

Stacey Stevenson, the recently hired executive director of Family Equality, is serious about the work ahead. “This isn’t about a job for me; this is about survival,” she told me in an interview. “Through all of the adversity I have faced over the years, I feel I have been preparing for this role my entire life.”

Stacey Stevenson - Photo credit: Angela Flournoy

Family Equality Executive Directory Stacey Stevenson. Photo credit: Angela Flournoy

Stevenson comes to Family Equality, the national organization for LGBTQ+ families, after more than 20 years in the corporate world, most recently as senior managing director for talent at financial giant Charles Schwab. She has also been an executive at technology and defense corporations in a variety of operations and supply chain roles. “I’ve kind of done it all,” she said. One constant, though, she said, is that “I feel very strongly about leading people and ensuring that I’m showing up as a leader and being as egoless as possible.”

She also has the lived experience of being a Black lesbian mom residing in Texas, who encountered many obstacles on the way to forming a family, from eight fruitless years of fertility treatments, to an adoption agency that went bankrupt, to another that refused to work with same-sex couples. “I don’t want anyone to have to go through that,” she said. Eventually, though, she and her wife adopted twin boys, who are now “rambunctious” six-year-olds.

Forming her family was not the only challenge Stevenson has faced, though. She grew up in a small Texas town, was outed as a teenager, and endured bullying and physical abuse until she dropped out of school. She eventually obtained a GED and at age 21 moved to Dallas with $70 in her pocket, where she got a degree, met her wife, and started her career.

At Schwab, Stevenson was also the local and national co-chair for the company’s Pride employee resource group and established partnerships with multiple LGBTQ+ nonprofits. She also came to know Family Equality by sharing her family story for the organization’s 2020 “Out in Texas” video series. When the executive director position opened, she said, “I was ready to make a move out of corporate America to do more non-profit work and to make more change in the world.”

I think the biggest challenge is ensuring that we can form our families without denial of services.

She takes the helm at Family Equality at a pivotal time. “I feel like we’ve come out of trauma after the last four years before this new administration,” she explained. With a new Congress and administration, however, “There’s a kind of awakening happening,” she feels.

Difficulties remain, though. “I think the biggest challenge is ensuring that we can form our families without denial of services,” she said. She noted one case now before the U.S. Supreme Court, Fulton v. Philadelphia, which could let adoption and foster care agencies around the country use their religious beliefs as a reason to discriminate against LGBTQ people and others. “This case is really important for LGBTQ+ families as well as youth-in-care, and we hope the Court does the right thing and does not carve out an exception to generally applicable law for these taxpayer-funded agencies,” she explained.

Family Equality does more than just legal and political advocacy work, however, but also provides tools and connections for LGBTQ families and LGBTQ prospective parents. “Family Equality has specifically created this space for LGBTQ families,” she explained. “I’m hearing that more people want to have families but they’re a little afraid, [asking] ‘How do I parent in this heteronormative world?’” She asserted, “We provide that resource.”

She cited a 2019 Family Equality study that found as many as 3.8 million LGBTQ millennials were considering starting or expanding their families. “I want to attract more of those millennials to Family Equality,” she said.

That means being there for any LGBTQ people who have or want families. “In our policy work and everything that we do, we’re being very conscious of all LGBTQ families regardless of race or socioeconomic status,” she said. She wants to be even more intentional in their policy and program work “about touching Brown and Black families who would normally not know that Family Equality existed.” She added, “Black lives do matter at Family Equality, but we are in the process of continuing to evolve and build racial and social justice into our daily work.”

Nine days into her tenure, when we spoke, she doesn’t yet know exactly what that work will encompass, but she’s starting with a listening tour. “I want to hear from everyone,” she said, including not only employees and the board, but also volunteers, partners, donors, and others. “I want to use that to shape our strategy because sometimes that’s where some of the best ideas come from.” Overall, though, she said, “We feel really good about the future.”

Now that I have a family, I can’t imagine any LGBTQ person who wants to form a family not having a family.

Her own advice for LGBTQ people who want to start a family? “If that’s what your heart desires then you should do it,” she counseled, but cautioned, “We have to understand that there are additional complexities related to LGBTQ people being parents because of the world we live in.”

At the same time, she added, “Now that I have a family, I can’t imagine any LGBTQ person who wants to form a family not having a family.” To help that happen, she said, “I’m ready to hit the ground running.”

Visit familyequality.org for more on the organization and about their virtual gala, “LookingOUT: Together for LGBTQ+ Families” on April 22, as well as their annual Family Week in Provincetown, which will likely have both virtual and in-person components this summer.

Originally published as my Mombian newspaper column.

Joe Biden hands Pete Buttigieg key role in making his presidency a reality

Joe Biden hands Pete Buttigieg key role in making his

Former Mayor of South Bend Pete Buttigieg (David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Pete Buttigieg has been tapped to serve in a key role on the presidential transition team of his former rival Joe Biden.

Biden is currently putting together a transition team, which will lay the groundwork for him to take office in January if he triumphs over Donald Trump in the 3 November election.

Buttigieg, who exploded onto the national scene before ending his pioneering bid for president back in March, has been appointed to a 15-person advisory board for Biden’s transition team.

Joe Biden hires Pete Buttigieg for transition team role.

According to CNN, other advisory board members include former national security adviser Susan Rice and former deputy attorney general Sally Yates.

Former Delaware senator Ted Kaufman, who will co-chair the transition team, said: “We are preparing for this transition amid the backdrop of a global health crisis and struggling economy. This is a transition like no other, and the team being assembled will help Joe Biden meet the urgent challenges facing our country on day one.

“The co-chairs, advisory board, and senior staff are a diverse group of experts who are committed to helping a possible Biden-Harris administration beat the public health crisis and put Americans back to work in good-paying jobs.”

Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg announces he is ending his campaign to be the Democratic nominee for president on March 1, 2020
Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg announces he is ending his campaign to be the Democratic nominee for president on March 1, 2020 (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Buttigieg tweeted: “The character of our country is on the ballot.”

The Indiana mayor was previously promised a key role by Biden when he dropped out in March.

Biden had said: “I did speak to Pete Buttigieg a couple of days ago to encourage him to stay engaged because he has enormous talent.

“I indicated to him that if I become the nominee, I’d come and ask him to be part of the administration, to be engaged in moving things forward.”

Former presidential candidate has been vocal in his support for Biden.

Since the election, Buttigieg has taken up an academic post at the University of Notre Dame, and has continued to stump for Biden.

Last month he gave a moving speech at the Democratic National Convention that touched on the presidential candidate’s history of supporting LGBT+ rights.

He explained: “Just over 10 years ago, I joined a military where firing me because of who I am wasn’t just possible – it was policy. Now in 2020, it is unlawful in America to fire anyone because of who they are or who they love.

“The very ring on my finger – a wedding we celebrated right where I’m standing – reflects how this country can change.

‘Love makes my marriage real, but political courage made it possible – including that of Joe Biden, who stepped out ahead of even this party when he said that marriage equality should be the law of the land.”

Sister Jamie Lynn handed key financial role

Sister Jamie Lynn handed key financial role

Britney Spears (L) and Jamie Lynn Spears (R). (Getty Images)

Britney Spears’ sister, Jamie Lynn Spears, was quietly named the trustee of her massive fortune by her conservatorship two years ago, it has emerged.

Jamie Lynn was appointed trustee to the SJB Revocable Trust, which was set-up in 2004 to ensure Britney’s money would be transferred to her children in event of her death.

She was handed the role in 2018 by Britney’s then-conservators – appointed by courts to control certain aspects of her life since her 2007 breakdown – her father, Jamie Spears, and lawyer Andrew Wallet.

According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Jamie Lynn requested Fidelity Financial Management serve as financial advisor and that “blocked accounts” are created to hold Britney’s assets.

Upon Britney’s death, her sister will receive “the entire principal of the trust”, and will ensure her $60 million fortune goes to her sons Sean Preston and Jayden James Federline.

While the singer is alive, she remains its sole beneficiary.

Britney Spears has been in a conservatorship for the last 12 years. She wants to change that.

The update comes amid renewed speculation into Britney Spears’ personal and legal affairs, with the Free Britney movement campaigning for courts to release her from her 12-year conservatorship – and Britney herself indicating that she’s ready to take back control of her life.

Four years after the trust was formed, Britney experienced a highly-publicised breakdown.

Shortly after, she entered into a complex legal arrangement known as a conservatorship, wherein her financial affairs, estate and wellbeing are managed by others.

Britney Spears' father, Jamie Spears leaves the Los Angeles County Superior courthouse on March 10, 2008. (VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)
Britney Spears’ father, Jamie Spears leaves the Los Angeles County Superior courthouse on March 10, 2008. (VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

Britney’s father, Jamie, has been his daughter’s co-conservator since 2008, overseeing her mental health, among other things. He temporarily stepped down in 2019 amid ill-health and was replaced by licensed professional conservator Jodi Montgomery.

Britney, who has vastly remained silent on the matter, launched a legal bid to block her father from returning as co-conservator at the end of August.

In a filing drawn up by her legal counsel, Samuel Ingham, she said she is “strongly opposed” to having Jamie return to steer her wellbeing and would prefer Montgomery to continue after her role expires on Saturday (August 22).

The filing stated that Britney wants to conservatorship to “be changed substantially in order to reflect the major changes in her current lifestyle and her stated wishes”, notably her “desire not to perform at this time”. It included a reference to Britney possibly seeking to end the conservatorship in the future.

The court, however, ruled that no immediate changes would be made, with the conservatorship extended until at least February 2021.