The Agenda

Out appointee urges LGBT Americans to get involved

The Bay Area Reporter today posted comments made October 1 by Vic Basile, senior adviser to John Berry, director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and the highest-ranking openly gay presidential appointee in U.S. history.  Speaking to the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association in Washington, D.C., Basile  demanded that the federal government be more responsive to LGBT issues, and that the LGBT community be more assertive in pressing those demands.

Basile, who helped found the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund in 1991, traced some of the improvements that have already been made since the change in administrations, and covered other areas where fruit may soon bear.

“It is enormously exciting for me to play a small role in helping to bring about these changes” after three decades on the outside as an advocate for the community, Basile said. … But he warned, while the election of Barack Obama “meant that the door was now open for us to participate in the democratic process,” it did not guarantee results.

Edwin Craft, an employee with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and Jesse Milan, board chair of the Black AIDS Institute, also spoke at the event and stressed the importance of representation in the fight to secure equality.