30 years ago, the vision of 49 individuals changed the world for LGBT Equality

August 19, 2014 by Jaime Duggan & Chris Lindsey, 2014 Federal Club Co-Chairs

A Special Message from the Co-Chairs


Let's Make 2014 the Year of Upgrades!

Dear Federal Club Member,

You know that we greatly appreciate your generous support of HRC and all the great work it does. And you know that there are many hurdles that we still face in the struggle for equality. That’s why we are asking you to consider increasing your annual pledge to HRC.

How 49 People Changed the World
For some perspective, we’d like to take you back to when DFW Federal Club began -- to 1987. That year, a lot of LGBT folks were justifiably angry – the HIV/AIDS crisis was ravaging our community and government did little or nothing to help. “Sodomy” and “homosexual behavior” were illegal and punishable “criminal offenses.” At work, we stayed in the closet and, at home, we were “legal strangers” to the ones we loved.

The Birth of HRC's Federal Club
That same year, 49 men got together for dinner to talk about what was happening in the LGBT communities.  They realized that, if change were going to come, they were going to be the ones to make it happen. They realized that they had the ability to make a real difference in the struggle for LGBT equality and decided to commit themselves to supporting HRC for the long haul. That night, they pledged to donate $100 each month to HRC. That was not only the beginning of the DFW Federal Club, but also the birth of HRC Federal Clubs nationwide.

Leaps & Bounds for LGBT Equality
Almost 30 years later, the DFW Federal Club has more than 600 members, and HRC is the largest LGBT political action organization in the country.  Together, we have achieved tremendous progress on issues like marriage equality, being able to serve openly in the military and ending discrimination in the workplace.  Cities and corporations look to the HRC Equality Index rankings to see how they rate and to make improvements in the ways they treat LGBT citizens and employees. Did those 49 supporters back in 1987 have any idea that, less than 30 years later, they would be able to legally marry their partners in 19 states?

One thing about Federal Club has not changed since 1987—the $1,200 yearly commitment to join.  In real dollars, the commitment made in 1987 would translate to $2,500 today.

A Small Change to Create Bigger Change
Let’s make this the year for upgrades. Ask yourself, “What an incredible difference it would make if every Federal Club member giving $100 a month increased it to $125?” or “What could we do to advance equality if each couple gave $1,200 per person instead of per couple?”  So, we are asking you to really think about a modest, or not so modest, increase to your annual or monthly commitment to HRC.  Every dollar and every supporter counts. And, for those who have the resources, please consider becoming a part of the Federal Club Council. Council members are major donors who contribute at least $5,000 per year or just about $400 per month. 

The coming years will be extremely transformative for all of us in the LGBT communities.  We have made a lot of progress, but we still have a long way to go. With so much at stake, HRC is the single best way to educate and inspire our elected officials, corporate partners, judges and civic leaders across the country as they make decisions that will shape the future for all of us.

You ARE Changing the World!
Again, we greatly appreciate every dollar that you contribute and thank you all for your continuing generosity. Like those 49 visionary members of the Dallas LGBT community who came together so long ago, let’s think about how much different – and better – things can be for us 30 years from now as we all step up and keep working together!

Let's Make 2014 the Year of Upgrades!

Please consider increasing your pledges to HRC
and together let's keep changing the world for LGBT Equality!
If you are not a member, PLEASE JOIN US!


Yours in Equality,
Jaime Duggan & Chris Lindsey
2014 Co-Chairs | HRC's DFW Federal Club