June 5, 2012
Tom Duane, our beloved New York Senator and long time ally of Housing Works is retiring after 14 years.
We salute you Tom Duane! Thank you for your courage, audacity, and conviction as a public politician championing our fight to end HIV/AIDS, the discrimination of LGBT folk everywhere, and advocating for housing as a human right.
Thank you for standing strong and coming out as not only gay, but HIV-positive early on -- the first openly HIV-positive person elected in the history of office. You were -- are, an inspiration to us all, and you gave us hope in the grimmest of times.
We remember standing with you in Albany with HIV-positive tenants, demanding the 30% rent cap bill that you sponsored. You got arrested alongside Charles King and other Housing Works staff during the big-stand off with Gov. David Paterson.
You advocated so greatly for GENDA (Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act), and helped mobilize a huge consortium of people state-wide, nation-wide, and helped educate the masses about major issues still afflicting our communities.
Your work has directly led to LGBT couples to legally marry in New York. You pushed for hospitals to legally require providers to offer HIV tests during routine visits of patients. You were an integral player in the passage of the Hate Crimes Protection Act, saving countless individuals from becoming victims of discriminatory crimes simply because of who they are.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You are a friend, a brother, a hero. We hope to see you again on the frontlines.
Check out our favorite example of Tom Duane's activism, in this monumental speech.