A Personal Update from PROMO’s Leader

I have now been the PROMO interim executive director for a full month, and I’m looking forward to continuing PROMO’s incredible progress, working alongside amazing staff and supporters. I hope you will continue this journey with me. I want to share one of the ways that PROMO, Missouri’s statewide LGBT advocacy organization, is working to further equality for transgender and non-binary Missourians, specifically a new online project, and a little bit about my own personal transition.
Trans-inclusion has always been a focus of PROMO’s work. In the last few years in particular, we have sought out ways to not just make PROMO’s work inclusive of transgender people and families, but to create opportunities to specifically improve the lives of transgender and non-binary Missourians.
By the end of the year, we will be launching a new microsite dedicated to updating transgender and non-binary Missourians on current policy and legislation, and potential updates, that affect their everyday lives. Additionally, there will be a mechanism for Missourians to report discrimination, resources to become a better trans ally, and guest blogs from other transgender and non-binary Missourians.
I have always been proud and grateful to work with an organization that made transgender equality a priority. For me, this is personal. In the last few months, I have started to transition. My wife and I have started to tell our friends, coworkers, and family, and it is important to me to also tell each of you. I am now using he/him/his pronouns and going by “Steph” exclusively.
Personally, this has been a long and arduous journey, one that I have been fortunate to share with my wife and a few of our friends along the way. Even though I work in an environment where my job and home are secure throughout my transition, I still had to take the time to become confident in myself and my decisions around this transition. Everyone’s journey, timing, and steps are different, and I had to find mine. I have been privileged, so far, to be met with support and love, but my seven-plus years at PROMO have shown me that this experience is often not the norm for other Missourians as they come out to family, friends, and colleagues.
This is why I know the work we are doing is vital, and I hope you will partner with PROMO to further equality for the entire LGBTQ community. You are each an important piece of this work in so many ways, and I look forward to making even more progress with you in my new role at the organization and with this new step in my life.

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