Self-described “professional party crasher” Ashley Lucas is the national business development lead for The Welcoming Committee, a group that organizes LGBTQ “takeovers” of ostensibly straight places and events-think baseball games, cruises, buzz-worthy restaurants and Caribbean resorts. With more than 20,000 members and networks in 10 cities, The Welcoming Committee aims to build a community across the country so that any LGBTQ person will feel right at home, no matter where they are. Based in Boston, Lucas joined The Welcoming Committee after serving with its founder on the Young Leaders Council of the LGBT-focused Fenway Community Health Center. That was three years ago, and since then, Lucas has helped the organization branch out to New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta and other hubs, and curates more than 100 takeovers a year. Lucas says the fun of bringing people together never gets old. “There was one particular evening where I introduced a few people to one another after learning that they had just moved to Boston, and an hour later I saw all of them exchanging phone numbers. Those kinds of moments are incredibly powerful, because I know how lonely new spaces and new cities can be.”-KL
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