Rev. Brad Laurvick
“I’m the United Methodist pastor serving the people of Denver with Highlands United Methodist Church.”
“I love everything about where I am right now. In five years, I’d just like to be wiser and able to affect more positive change in the world from right here. I’d like to see the United Methodist Church in a place of full LGBT inclusivity, and Highlands United Methodist Church an even stronger center of community for NW Denver.”
The collective ability of community to affective change is the greatest example of power I know. True power is brought forth from connection relationship, relationship, and the wisdom to work together.
“I love time with my family, conversations over Sweet Cow ice cream, and use any free time for yoga, biking, and swimming.”
I know all the words to Tommy Boy, The Emperor’s New Groove, 10 Things I Hate About You, Empire Records, Dogma, Big Trouble … (oh, did you say “movie” singular?).
“Helping people find meaning in their everyday lives is what’s important to me professionally. Making religion relatable and reclaiming what it means to be a person of faith in this world … and giving Jesus some new PR.”
“What’s truly important to me on a personal level are my relationships. My family, friends, colleagues, congregation, neighbors … my relationships keep me honest, keep me humble, and keep me going.”
“I’m an attorney with Reilly Pozner and normally represent businesses and individuals in high-stakes litigation. I’ve recently been lucky enough to do some significant work in LGBT rights litigation.”
The riskiest thing I’ve ever done professionally was going to law school. I had a good career in publishing (though you don’t make any money), and it was scary to leave all of that and take on the huge amount of debt that comes with law school.
“In five years, I hope to still be practicing law here in Denver, married to my husband and raising our child(ren).”
“The best part of my day is seeing the smile on our daughter’s face every morning. I wish I could be half that happy when I wake up in the morning.”
“If I could choose to live in any era, I’d choose this one … or maybe the future. I’m a big fan of indoor plumbing, modern conveniences, and being able to openly be gay.”
“I’m addicted to Dr. Who.”
“My favorite thing about work is being with very intelligent and very funny people with whom it is an absolute joy to interact. Beyond that, I love coming to work and being challenged every day.”
“I love Colorado. Ideally, in five years, I would like to continue to live and work here. I’d like to spend more time giving back to the community. Having the pleasure of serving on the Board of Trustees of the National Sports Center for the Disabled, I see myself focusing in areas that celebrate the uniqueness of all people and helping to make a difference in the way we think and grow as a community.”
“My advice to the world is embrace people for who they are. Leave your stereotypes at the door and be open to the vision and values of others. When you make the effort to learn how others see the world, you open yourself to appreciate them for their energy, how they think, and the way they operate.”
“I’m passionate about motorcycling. There’s nothing like being on the open road and just enjoying the scenery. I’ve been doing it for about 15 years and value the fact that motorcyclists represent a real cross-section of the population. I also enjoy working on my bike, doing my own maintenance, and getting my hands dirty.”
“I’ve embraced winter mountain sports such as snowboarding, and am now venturing into downhill mountain biking. It’s a summer extreme sport that’s popular in Colorado and one that I would like to get better at.”
“At the end of the day, I consider myself fortunate to live in Colorado and enjoy so many things that most people have to fly here to experience.”
“I believe millennials, as a generation, have shown a greater ability to look beyond stereotypes to value each individuals uniqueness. Perhaps we should all take a step back and look at one another through the lens of a child, when we simply saw ourselves as children sharing the same world.”
“In the future, I see myself teaching cake decorating and helping others.”
“My favorite thing to do is decorate cakes and talk to my customers. The best part is seeing the final product put a smile on their faces, or setting up a beautiful wedding cake in the middle of a ballroom.”
“My dream vacation is on a beach in front of the ocean with my family.”
“My husband (and best friend) Hansell and my two kids Fernando, 18, and Santiago, 8, are my inspiration and what keep me going during difficult times.”
My piece of advise to the world would be, dont hate! Let’s eat cake. We need to love, care, accept, and help each other more to better the world we live in. I’m always trying to get better at managing my business, taking business owner classes and training myself to be a better leader for my team.
There’s no doubt that working in the nonprofit arena takes most of my time when I am not at work, but I get a great amount of gratification from these efforts.
“I hope to be very active into the next decade. I would think that I would still be involved in nonprofit organizations, as I find a great deal of gratification trying to help make this a better world.”
“If I could choose to live in any era, it’d be this one. I’m excited by what is happening now and have great anticipation of what will happen in the future. There are very significant advances happening — especially in the LGBT community. I hope we continue to put the effort into the evolving issues that need to be addressed, especially in the transgender arena.”
“The riskiest thing I’ve done professionally was probably becoming a professional golfer. I’m afraid I was unsuccessful in that endeavor, but I would’ve wondered for the rest of my life about that potential if I hadn’t tried. I learned a lot from that failure and enjoyed every minute of it!”
“My partner Jason and I are about to embark on what must be considered my dream vacation. We’re going to fly to Auckland, NZ, cruise around the islands, then finish up with three stops in Australia, finally arriving in Sydney for a few days, then coming home.”
Power Organization: The GLBT Center of Colorado
“From day one, The Center’s main service was helping people come out,” says Phil Nash, The Center’s first paid staffer in 1976. In the early days, people came for support groups, meetings, and to visit the free library. “People called, people dropped in — often after walking by the building a dozen times to build up the courage.”
Today, more than 40,000 people visit The Center annually. People from across the socioeconomic spectrum participated in Center programs and came from across the Denver metro area to visit. People still use the free library, but now they also come to visit the free cyber center. People participate in programs serving the transgender community, youth, seniors, and families. More than 400 people annually use The Center’s free legal help line to resolve legal questions.
SAGE of the Rockies (SAGE stands for “Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders.”) serves those 50 and better from across the metro area. About 27 percent of visitors to The Center came to participate in a SAGE program such as health and wellness activities, free art workshops, coffee and lunch groups, and teaching events.
Rainbow Alley is the GLBT Community Center of Colorado’s safe and brave space supporting LGBTQ youth and their allies, ages 11 to 21. “We provide drop-in space, youth-led events, and activities, health services, counseling, support groups, and life services in a warm and supportive environment,” says program director Nadine Bridges.
“The Transgender Program assists many transgender Coloradans each year in living their true selves,” says Sable Schultz, Transgender Program manager. “It’s really important work that saves lives.” The Center hosts support groups for those questioning or exploring their gender identity and continues to develop programs supporting job readiness in the transgender community.
And, of course, every June The Center hosts Denver PrideFest, one of the largest celebrations of LGBT pride in the country. This past June, Denver PrideFest celebrated its 40th anniversary.
“The Center was founded shortly after that first gay pride parade in 1975,” says Debra. “It’s amazing to think that The Center has been an advocate for LGBT rights, a resource for education, and a service provider for our community for nearly four decades.” As The Center marches towards its own 40th anniversary in 2016, the organization will continue to build on a proud legacy of serving Colorado’s LGBT community.
“The riskiest thing I’ve ever done professionally was leaving my full-time corporate job to pursue the development and expansion of BAD. I was scared to death since I had never had my own business and grew up thinking you had to keep a stable job/seek security. That was in 2007. I’ve been running it ever since and never looked back!”
“I wouldn’t live in a different era. I feel fortunate to be a baby boomer who experienced the evolution of civil and LGBT rights. I loved growing up in Brooklyn, too. I love modern technology and I welcome most of the digital revolution.”
My five year plan? It’s my hope to continue planning and hosting events, notably First Friday and Pride on a part-time basis while enjoying semi-retirement.
“Close and meaningful relationships with family and friends are what’s truly important. As I’ve gotten older, I realize I don’t need any more ‘stuff’ but what I need are meaningful experiences, whether it’s good conversation, family gatherings, vacations with family and friends, Democratic conventions, a good movie, or being a good friend/sister/aunt/manager/colleague.”
“If I could give one piece of advice to the LGBT community, I’d say, ‘Please try and find the courage to come out to as many people as possible whether you are gay/bi/transgender. It’s hard to hate us if you know us. It really does get better. Some of you will have to make difficult choices about family and friends who don’t accept you. I regret that I did not come out sooner to my family and co workers but I was fearful too.”
“My pet peeves are the words ‘tolerate’ and ‘accept’ when referring to LGBT. We want to be ‘embraced’ and ‘welcomed.’”
“I’m actively trying to get better at Pickleball, my absolute favorite sport to play. It’s a cross between tennis/ping pong and badminton — trust me, it’s so much fun.”
“My least favorite job was working as a security guard at a summer baseball camp in Cooperstown, NY. Between the owner of the camp being incredibly disrespectful to employees, constantly being yelled at by helicopter parents, and witnessing the inherent sexism that still exists within Little League (that I experienced when I was younger), it was an interesting summer.”
“Some of my guilty pleasures include singing along to Taylor Swift songs, watching romantic comedies, and taking pictures of my cats to post on social media.”
“As an introvert, the best part of my day is when I get home after a long day and get to spend some quality time with my partner and cuddle with our three cats.”
“My all-time favorite movie that I know all the words to is A League of Their Own.”
I’m the Health Policy Manager at One Colorado, working to advance LGBT health in Colorado by ensuring LGBT Coloradans and their families have access to inclusive, affordable, and adequate healthcare.
“What’s truly important to me on both a professional and personal level is being authentic. The work I do isn’t glamorous and can often be draining. There’s a thin line between what’s personal versus what’s professional as a transgender advocate. However, I try my best to bring my true and authentic self to all that I do and with the people I work alongside. I believe that’s how we build the relationships that will ultimately advance transgender rights.”
What’s truly important to me on a professional level is my integrity. I want to always do my best and try to accomplish my goals in a way that maintains my integrity and honesty.
“I am a Colorado State Representative for House District 8 in central and northeast Denver.”
“If everything goes according to plan, in five years I will be the Denver District Attorney and will be implementing criminal and juvenile justice reform in Denver.”
“The riskiest thing I’ve done professionally that actually worked out was to run for state representative in a very tough, contested Democratic primary. I won the primary and went on to win the general election and have been honored to serve in the Colorado General Assembly for seven years — one more to go.”
“What keeps me busy when I’m not at work includes jogging, skiing, hiking, and bicycling. I love [watching] theater as well.”
“My son recommended Game of Thrones and I got addicted. Despite the violence, I find the character development and larger themes of lust for power, cruelty, and human relationships very interesting.”
“One of my favorite books as a child was The Little Engine that Could. Sometimes I feel that way, as it seems I have to try several times to get certain things accomplished.”