Out100 2021: 18 LGBTQ+ Policy Makers and Advocates Changing the World
Jordan Budd is a family man. The executive director of COLAGE, the organization that offers support to people with one or more LGBTQ+ parents, has dedicated himself to helping to connect people, often kids, with mentors and peers. And Budd, who refers to himself as “second-gen queer spawn,” knows something about queer caregivers.
An organizer and strategist, Budd served as Florida’s Youth and LGBT Vote Director in 2012 for President Obama’s reelection campaign “where he solidified his commitment to elevating the voices of young people and people of color.”
While Budd, who is Black and queer, has focused a great deal of his advocacy on LGBTQ+ issues, he’s also worked as international representative for the Office and Professional Employees International Union. In that position, he advised, organized, and represented union members with “contract negotiations and pro-labor workplace demonstrations and campaigns.”
Budd, who lives in Rhode Island with his partner, describes COLAGE as “the only national organization expressly dedicated to supporting people with one or more LGBTQ+ parents or caregivers, uniting them with a network of peers and supporting them as they nurture and empower each other to be skilled, self-confident, and just leaders in their communities.”
Part of the 30-year-old organization’s ongoing work has been to grow with ever-expanding LGBTQ+ families. And Budd’s mission is to continue that trajectory.
“My plan is to continue to grow COLAGE’s footprint across the United States with more opportunities for POC-led LGBTQ+ families to participate in our programming,” he says.
Although COLAGE has three decades of infrastructure, the past 18 months have presented challenges. The pandemic threw up roadblocks to how to move forward for so many, and Budd navigated those obstacles personally and with COLAGE. “My biggest accomplishment this year has definitely been the successful and safe return of Family Week, the largest gathering of LGBTQ+ families in the world,” Budd says. — Tracy E. Gilchrist, Photo Cedric Wilson
Published at Wed, 03 Nov 2021 09:00:00 +0000