Grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pa. and moved to New York in the mid-70s. My life partner and husband of 30+ years live in upper Manhattan in New York City, 2 blocks from Columbia University. We raised our two sons there. Our sons are now adults. Justin lives in trendy Brooklyn. Zack is married and lives in Raleigh, NC. Both Michael and I are very active in our community. I am very proud to say that I was the first openly gay African-American elected official in New York City in 1996 for the NYC Community School Board. In June 2004, my term ended after serving 8 years.
In 2004, Michael and I joined 4 other lesbian and gay couples in a lawsuit that sued the City of New York for the right to marriage. One year later, our case won in New York City. The City of New York (Mayor Michael Bloomberg Administration) appealed the case and won. The case was eventually merged with other statewide litigants and heard by the New York State of Appeals Court. Unfortunately, we did not win this case. The court's decision was laced with homophobic opinions. Fast-forwarding, on June 24th, 2011, thanks to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature passed marriage equality. Michael and I with our sons as best men and witnesses, married on Sunday July 24th, 2011 by Judge Doris Ling-Cohen who wrote the original decision to approve same-sex marriage in 2005. We were one of the 1st five couples to be married in Manhattan. It was quite a glorious day for my family and me.
My interest over the years is quite broad. In recent years, I have focused my attention on neighborhood activities such as revitalizing our local park and addressing needed government services in the community. My many years of activist work have come in handy in addressing the many layers of government red tape and helping to organize a community response. I'm sure that it should not come as a surprise that I enjoy political and social activism discussions.... Read moreRead less