Name: Terry Stone
Hometown: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Occupation: Executive Director, CenterLink
Why I Found Him at Creating Change:
Terry came to Creating Change because it is an opportunity to network with community centers and be a part of a great conference to discuss equality and learn from each other!
Why are community centers important to Terry? Because he serves as Executive Director of CenterLink, which connects the over 168 LGBT Community Centers found throughout 45 of the United States. Half of these centers half budgets under $50,000 with no full-time staff, but many are still the only LGBT presence in many of their regions. Community centers, like Cortland, NY’s run by Lisa Tibbles, connect folks to resources, organize for change, provide support for coming out, provide direct healthcare (40% of centers), and also work to serve the needs of LGBT youth, elders, and people of color.
CenterLink serves two important purposes. First, it helps the centers connect with each other, share ideas and resources, and collaborate regionally. Second, it helps advocate for all community centers nationally. This is essential to the queer equality movement because sometimes a community center is the only visible recruitment center and educational resource for potential activists.
Terry Stone has worked in the movement for over 20 years. He knows that we will see a day when there is no question that we’re all equal. A primary concern for him right now is finding ways for aging couples to access benefits like social security.
What He’d Change in America:
Terry thinks we need to change the focus away from looking at differences and looking at the bigger picture of all the similarities we have. This is true not just with LGBT issues, but in general with all matters of identity like race and gender.
We should always be asking ourselves: “How do our actions influence each other?”