- Today I was nominated for Most Valuable Organizer for RootsCamp 2013. I am asking that people who read my blog often go too the link Vote for Bryan John Ellicott and vote for me and than share it on Facebook and on Twitter. We have the chance for a transgender and bisexual identified person to have the chance to be seen…lets been seen and allow us to have a place at the table.
- How the nominee exhibited innovation
I don’t think I’ve ever seen Bryan meet a challenge that he can’t handle. His most innovative moment came during the United for Marriage Equality Rally in Washington, DC in March. During this rally, he was proud to be holding a trans* pride flag near the rally stage and unfortunately encountered aggressive, transphobic comments and actions. He detailed his experience in a blog post (located here: http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/1-op-ed-my-supreme-court-marriage-rally-transphobic-experience-from-hell/marriage/2013/04/08/64584/#.Um8BfhBW0k0) and used that post as a way to bring attention not only to the shortcomings of certain HRC staff members, but to the general ignorance and overshadowing that the transgender community experiences whenever LGBT issues are discussed. But it’s simple to write an angry rant about a bad experience. What Bryan did took things a step further. The tone of his writing is calm and professional and he doesn’t complain about the problem. Instead, he offers solutions and suggestions for what can be done in the future to avoid a situation like this from happening to someone else.
- How the nominee exhibited respect
Bryan is always absolutely professional and inclusive. His friends come from diverse backgrounds, but they are all committed to bringing attention to the issues faced by those who have been marginalized by society. He speaks up for himself and for his friends, he commits himself absolutely to whatever tasks he has to do, and his passion for working toward a safer, better world inspires enthusiasm in others. He is honest, he is plain-spoken, and he is trustworthy. He is also incredibly friendly and approachable, which makes everyone feel comfortable around him. All these qualities have helped him build a culture of respect within the campaign because when you interact with him, you know that you’re talking with someone who truly cares about those around him.
- How the nominee exhibited courage
Going back to the SCOTUS rally incident, Bryan took a real risk by remaining standing with the trans* pride flag even when he was approached by two staffers and asked to remove the flag because the event “wasn’t about the trans* community”. In fact, Bryan only handed off the flag to another member of the organization he was there with, GetEQUAL, when an unnamed videographer threatened to burn the flag and Bryan no longer felt safe. But even then, he made sure that the flag was still visible and still standing with all the others, reminding everyone that the trans* community was there to support this very important step toward marriage equality for all people. And in taking that risk, in choosing to stand up for himself and the trans* community, he made sure that he was not silenced. He wrote the post that first appeared on his personal blog, but later appeared on a nationally recognized website. He also dared to name the people who tried to silence him, connecting them with this incident even though the organization publicly denies that it happened.
- How the nominee exhibited excellence
Bryan’s intelligence and vast knowledge of the issues faced not only by the trans* community but also by New Yorkers in general is incredible. And whenever you’re in a discussion with him about something, you always wind up learning something new. He inspires others to come up to his level because he’s not only talking about these things, he’s out there actively working to enact change. His energy, his enthusiasm, and his tireless work ethic are what truly make him great at what he does. He never stops talking, writing, campaigning, and working toward the things he wants to see happen in New York, in the United States, and around the globe. That’s why he stands out and why people take notice of him – because he makes them notice him. He makes sure that he is seen and heard and watching him do what he does best, be a political activist and a force for change, makes you stop and think about what you’ve done today to try and make the world a better place, because he’s already done about seven and you need to step up your game.
- Additional Comments
Bryan is one of my best friends and it has been an honor and a pleasure to know him. I can speak about his ability to inspire enthusiasm and passion for change in others because that’s the effect that he’s had on me since I’ve known him, and I’ve seen it in other people as well. He’s a consummate professional, highly intelligent, caring, honest, and hardworking. He has a real ability to motivate people and get the job done right, and I can’t wait to see how much farther he’ll go with the work that he does
Nominee’s Personal Statement
- It is an honor to be nominated and considered for this award by RootsCamp and the person who nominated me Allison. I want the transgender to community to have a voice and a presents in the community, and a seat at the table at all times. Equality and social change happen when people can see faces hear stories and learn about the people that live and work in their city, state and country.
- Submitted By Allison Unger
- Relationship to Nominee: Friend