The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund Campaign Board has a new face: Malcolm R. Gage Jr. of Irving was recently voted onto the Victory Fund board.
The Victory Fund is the nation’s largest LGBT political action committee and the only national organization dedicated to increasing the number of openly LGBT officials at all levels of government.
Organized in 1991, the organization has helped many LGBT candidates in local, state and federal elections.
"A large percentage of the people they endorse are elected," Gage said.
The Irving resident was nominated in February for the position by Victory Fund Vice President Anne Wallestad and staff member Jason Mida, director of strategic partnerships and leadership with the Victory Fund.
Gage was elected later that same month.
"Basically what I really want to do now is grow awareness in the Dallas/Fort Worth area," Gage said.
He said it’s an exciting time to be a part of the organization, especially with local LGBT candidates who are being helped by the Victory Fund, such as Sheriff Lupe Valdez who is up for re-election, and gay Republican Justin Nichols who is running for Plano City Council.
"It’s challenging to me because I always thought I was really involved in politics," Gage said. "Now I have to keep an eye on national politics. It’s challenging because you kind of have to keep up with everyone."
Gage said that includes watching what legislation is being proposed and passed in other states.
"Legislation can be introduced in other states that can cause a ripple effect here," Gage said.
The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund representatives say they seek "true equality" for the LGBT community, but that will only come when openly LGBT individuals step up to lead their communities, add their voices to political debate and show what they want for their own families the same as their straight colleagues — the freedom to live their lives honestly and without fear. "This is important for the gay community as a whole," Gage said of the organization.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 18, 2008.