100 Women We Love: Class Of 2018

Each one of these women, in her own unique way, is a role model who exemplifies the best of the LGBTQ community.

Darra Gordon

Photo by Courtesy of Darra Gordon

As the Chief Operating Officer of Hetrick-Martin Institute, the nation’s oldest and largest LGBTQ youth organization, Darra Gordon has helped expand the agency’s reach nationwide. That’s become ever more important for HMI, which is also the home of the Center for Advocacy and Capacity Building, and Harvey Milk High School for LGBTQ youth in New York City. “These past two years feels like we have taken a huge step back, but if we continue to resist together, we will continue to make progress,” Gordon says. “But we must work together.” Gordon oversees the agency’s day-to-day operations, and prior to that led the fundraising and development of the organization, during which time the agency’s operating budget grew from $4 million to $9 million. Her work has won her accolades, including the BMW Woman of Xcellence award, the Stonewall Honors for leadership in the LGBT community, and the Outstanding Alumni award at her alma mater, Lycoming College. She was always drawn to nonprofit work, having previously supported development efforts at the Pearl Theatre Company and Literacy Inc. Her interaction with youth at HMI has been the most rewarding part of her work, she says. “When I talk with a young person, learn about what’s going on in their lives and talk with them about their future,” she says, she discovers what HMI has given them: “A future with friends, education, a career, a future with hope, love and support.” Stay tuned for some very big news regarding Darra’s career! —SEJ