Equality for all


Students and faculty attended anti-bullying assemblies throughout the day on Wednesday, March 23 intended to promote awareness of the LGBTQ+ community. Many thanks to project manager and trainer, Damien Lopez who visited us, sharing his story and providing information about the organization, Garden State Equality.

Lopez was born and raised in Newark. A published Queer author, he is a proud transgender man. His story has been recognized by First Lady Tammy Murphy of New Jersey, the 2021 dotCOMM Platinum Awards, El Vocero de Puerto Rico, and ThemsHealth 2021 Children’s Book Recommendation List. Lopez attended the Culinary Arts Institute at Hudson County Community College in Jersey City, and completed his Bachelor of Science for Nutrition and Food Sciences at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey. While he was introduced into advocacy and involvement with the LGBTQ community in college, Lopez has worked in community involvement and engagement by organizing events to raise money and donate binders to those fighting against anti-transgender laws in the United States. Lopez is currently in the works to become a Career and Technical Educator for inner city students for Hospitality and Restaurant Management. Lopez is also an ordained minister and can officiate marriages in New Jersey. He is a Transgender advocate, and completes seminars that assist with Trans inclusion and the experience of being Trans. He is passionate about Transgender Issues, education, and culinary arts!

Things to know about Garden State Equality

  • Garden State Equality lifts up the diverse voices of LGBTQ+ communities through education and advocacy to advance the movement for equality in New Jersey and nationally. We work tirelessly to ensure the communities we serve experience lived equality.
  • Garden State Equality is the largest LGBTQ+ advocacy organization in New Jersey, with over 150,000 members. Established in 2004, we are now one of the most successful statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organizations in the nation.
  • Our services include advocacy, policy work, and trainings. We work to address safe environments for youth, improvement of health services that meet LGBTQ+ community needs, and respectful treatment of seniors. Beyond that, Garden State Equality supports New Jersey’s activist community by bringing an LGBTQ+ lens to the shared struggle for justice.
  • All our current work is informed by racial, economic, and disability justice concerns. We envision a vibrant and diverse Garden State with full equality in the law and LGBTQ+ residents of all backgrounds experiencing equality in their lives.

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