January 5, 2010 – As Lambda Literary Foundation begins its twenty-second year of service to the literary community, we are pleased and proud to announce that by unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees our interim executive director, Tony Valenzuela, has been named our permanent executive director.

“From the first day Tony walked in the door to help us out he has impressed every single one of us on the Board,” comments Board President Katherine V. Forrest.  “Over the last several months, under the most challenging of conditions, he’s put to impressive use his wealth of experience in the non profit world.  He’s shown us many ideas to further the Foundation’s programs through fundraising and new systems toward greater efficiencies.  He’s displayed energy and initiative, a firm grasp of today’s economic realities, and a vision for expansion of our services–what’s necessary and possible to more fully serve our entire LGBT publishing community.  This appointment, combined with the forthcoming launch of our dynamic new website, promises a grand new year for LLF, and we on the Board are excited to have a leader of Tony’s caliber as we begin a new decade of LGBT literary history.  We congratulate Tony.  We are very excited about our future.”

tonyA graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing program of the California Institute of the Arts, Tony Valenzuela is a longtime community activist and writer whose work has focused on LGBT civil rights, sexual liberation and gay men’s health.   His previous positions include Manager of Research and Administration at GLASS (Gay & Lesbian Adolescent Social Services) in Los Angeles, the largest and oldest LGBT child welfare organization in the country serving abused and neglected LGBT youth;  Administrative Director of the Lesbian and Gay Men’s Community Center in San Diego where he spearheaded campaigns ranging from anti-gay hate crimes awareness to the needs of LGBT youth in schools; and Director of VOICES ’96 (Voters Organized in Coalition for the Elections).  He is credited with having ruptured the conventional wisdom in HIV/AIDS prevention among gay men by launching an international debate regarding responsible sex without condoms and continues to this day to be a leading voice in the gay men’s health movement.  Out Magazine has listed him among the “Out 100.”  He wrote, produced and performed his acclaimed one-man show, “The (Bad) Boy Next Door,” a second generation AIDS narrative which toured in a dozen cities in the U.S.  He has continued to publish essays, fiction and journalism and is currently working on a memoir.  He lives in Los Angeles with his husband, Rob Ferrante, and their dog, Boo.


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