The whole Family Equality team is thrilled to reintroduce our President and CEO, Jaymes Black!
Just a few years ago, Family Equality had the immense honor of introducing the Family Equality community to our amazing President and CEO, a bold, inspiring, and innovative trailblazer who would — in no time — help us take significant strides in the fight for LGBTQ+ family equality. And today, we are thrilled to reintroduce our fearless leader under a name that reflects who they are and how they want to move through the world. Friends, say hello to Jaymes Black (any/all pronouns)!
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After years of keeping this name hidden in the shadows of my soul, I am finally bringing it into the light. I’m sure you all know how it feels to shed layers of old and step into the new.Jaymes Black, President and CEO of Family Equality
Every day in this work, we advocate for the authenticity and happiness of LGBTQ+ families — and, as Jaymes steps into this new chapter of their life, they remind us all that personal growth and self-discovery are not only ongoing processes but also journeys worthy of celebration. Jaymes’ decision to change her name models a truth central to this work: Every one of us has the right to define our identity and live authentically.
“To anyone contemplating a similar step,” Jaymes writes on her Instagram announcement, “Know it’s okay to prioritize your happiness and authenticity. Your journey matters. Let’s celebrate each step towards being our true selves.”
“Our names are fundamental aspects of our identity and serve as a powerful means of self-expression,” writes Scott Gatz and Alexis Kantor, Family Equality’s Board of Director co-chairs. “By embracing a new name, Jaymes is showcasing their capacity for growth and change, inspiring others to embark on their own journeys of self-discovery and self-expression. In doing so, Jaymes contributes to a more empathetic world where people are recognized and accepted for who they truly are. We are proud of Jaymes leading the way and providing a shining example for us all.”
Before joining Family Equality, Jaymes faced many challenges coming of age in the rural South. From navigating the complex social and legal challenges of being LGBTQ+ in Texas to becoming a national champion of justice and equality, their personal journey mirrors our community’s broader narrative of progress and change. Every step of her path — from the growing pains of self-discovery to becoming a parent and a leader in social justice — has prepared Jaymes to fiercely defend the values we treasure most: love, family, and freedom.
In celebrating Jaymes’ name change, we extend our heartfelt congratulations and admiration for her courage. May her journey inspire us all to reflect on our own paths and find the strength to be true to ourselves. Here’s to Jaymes Black and to each of us on our unique journeys toward authenticity!