5 questions with Ernesto A. Gallegos
Ernesto A. Gallegos is an employee of NUVO and, as of 2008, the co-chair of the Associate (under 30) Group for the DFW Federal Club. He grew up in Weatherford and moved to Dallas in 1999. He rode that year in the AIDS Ride, cycling 400 miles in four days to raise nearly $6,000 in tribute to a friend who died of AIDS. Anyone interested in the Associate mixers can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do you do as part of the DFW Federal Club?
I work to recruit and maintain membership of the under 30 crowd. We have mixers each month, and I coordinate and facilitate them. We have 800 members, but only 20 under 30. We’re really pushing people to get involved … to get the leaders for tomorrow now.
How did you happen to join the Federal Club?
One of my employers, Susan Melnick, has been a member for about 10 years, and she invited me to a mixer. I didn’t join for about seven months. Then, I just woke up and realized it’s about making a change, and not living it day by day without mattering.
What motivated you to become so involved in community activities?
When I was 13, I had some bad episodes, so I was just trying to find goodness in myself. Then I saw that others could affect things. I came to really, truly believe in the human spirit, and in the idea that you matter. You can make a difference. The important thing is that you just do it.
What single issue is of the most pressing concern to you?
The non-awareness of young people. Young people need a wake-up call. We are so about living today and not worrying about tomorrow, but even though society is more accepting than before, we are not where we should be, politically or financially. In the nine years I’ve been in Dallas, I have seen just a handful of young participants. It’s a good handful, an effective handful, but numbers do matter.
What’s the one thing you want to accomplish?
I love children. Whether it would be through adoption, fostering or something like that, as a gay man, I would like to just provide for a child, though not necessarily in my household. It would be wonderful to be a dad. A child is one of the biggest gifts. You can get anything out of them. How special is that?
Soundout is a weekly column featuring people whose jobs and interests have an impact on the daily lives of members of the LGBT community. It features those who often go unnoticed by the press and community. If you’d like to recommend someone to cover in this column, send an e-mail to email@example.com.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 4, 2008