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Meet LGBT History Month icon Brian Bond

Brian Bond was an executive director of the Victory Fund and, in the Obama administration, became the first openly gay deputy director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

A Missouri native, Bond got his start in politics as the executive director of the Missouri Democratic Party, where he helped to elect Democrats in local and state elections.

Bond told The Washington Blade that growing up in rural Missouri, he was always looking for openly gay role models and often came up short. “Coming out for me was extremely hard and honestly terrifying, as I know it has been for so many of us,” he said.

Bond searched the local library for what it meant to be gay and came out when he was 16. “When I finally had the courage to utter the words out loud,” Bond said in an interview, “it was to my priest during a face-to-face confession.” 

From 1997 to 2003, Bond served as the second executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a nonpartisan political action committee (PAC) dedicated to electing openly LGBT candidates for public office. During his tenure, the Victory Fund was instrumental in helping Tammy Baldwin win a Congressional seat. She was the first out lesbian elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Bond went on to serve as executive director of the Democratic National Committee’s Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council and then as National Constituency Director for the Obama for America Campaign in Chicago, before joining the White House staff.

In his 30s, Bond discovered he was HIV positive. “For some of us,” he said, “we don’t come out once, but twice.” He became an advocate for AIDS education, declaring that a mobilized community can reduce the number of people who become infected. Bond has written about his experiences as a gay man, a Democrat and an AIDS survivor in many nationally known publications. 

In 2016 Bond served as deputy CEO for public engagement for the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.