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Photo provided by Triangle Foundation
|Born||May 9, 1953
|Occupation||US lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activist|
Jeffrey Montgomery (born 1953 in Detroit, Michigan), is an American lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activist. Montgomery was the founding Executive Director of Triangle Foundation since the organization was founded in 1991 until September 2007.
 Political Activism
Montgomery provides commentary and witness on evolving gay culture and the myriad issues that are unfolding today, from the perspective of a voice that is rarely heard. His is an alternative to the coastal urban gay experience. Montgomery reflects a mid-America, industrial heartland activism, sharpened by the challenges of being out-of-the-closet in Detroit, a conservative environment that encourages suppression of gay identity.
A frequent guest and commentator on television and radio programs, appearing in several newspapers, and as a presenter at national conferences. He is an advocate for human rights, civil rights and recognition of LGBT bias crimes.
Montgomery serves as a resource on LGBT-related homicide and "homosexual (gay) panic" defenses and his analysis has informed national media, such as the New York Times, Court TV and USA Today on those topics. He has observed and been a commentator at more than two-dozen glbt-specific murder trials, including the trials of Jonathan Schmitz (the so-called "Jenny Jones" murder) and Aaron McKinney, in the Wyoming murder of Matthew Shepard. In 2001, Montgomery was a featured participant in an A&E Network documentary about the Matthew Shepard case. The presentation was part of the American Justice series and aired nationally and to great critical acclaim.
In 1994, Montgomery led a delegation of gay community leaders in a meeting with then-Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer, the first time in history that a sitting Detroit Mayor met officially with members of the gay community. Montgomery serves on the Chief's Crime Prevention Advisory Committee, Detroit Police Department, and he was a member of the Bias Crime Response Task Force of the Michigan Commission on Civil Rights.
Montgomery was the co-chair of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), for which he was also a national spokesperson, and was a member of the Steering Committee of the Michigan Alliance Against Hate Crime.
Montgomery was among a group of LGBT grassroots anti-violence activists, representing NCAVP, invited to Washington, D.C., from 1997 to 2000, for meetings with senior policy officials at the White House, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Department of Justice. Those meetings opened a dialog with Federal officials about aggressive policies and actions to address anti-LGBT violence at the highest level of government. He is certified by the U.S. Justice Department as a faculty trainer in the Department’s National Hate Crime Curricula.
In 2002, Montgomery was invited, with about a dozen other LGBT leaders from across the country, to meet with and inform United States Senators about the issues and challenges facing the LGBT community. Montgomery’s testimony about anti-LGBT violence helped secure a commitment from the Senate to advance legislation that would recognize the problem and address it through a Federal government response.
Montgomery is as a speaker at conferences, as keynoter, and on college campuses throughout the country. In 1999 he was invited to Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island to deliver the inaugural Matthew Shepard Memorial Lecture. That address, "America...You Kill Me," won national recognition and was published in the prestigious journal, Vital Speeches of the Day.
In 2000, Montgomery was also selected by the Gill Foundation as one of 20 LGBT national leaders to participate in a groundbreaking program designed by the Center for Creative Leadership in Colorado Springs. In selecting the participants, Gill cited each person’s "vision, courage and integrity…optimism, passion, commitment and longevity," as the key criteria for selection.
Jeffrey is one of the founding board members of the Woodhull Freedom Foundation (also known as the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance). During his time as Media Liaison for the organization, Montgomery provided a consistent public voice for sexual freedom as a fundamental human right.
He is an inaugural member of the WikiQueer Global Advisory Board and serves as Strategic Counsel to the wiki's parent organization, The Aequalitas Project.
In May 2003, Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm honored Jeffrey Montgomery’s work with a special tribute, calling him a “hero and living legend.” The Governor also noted that “he is among the most visible and accomplished advocates for safety and equality of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in Michigan history.”
The Detroit City Council has recognized Montgomery’s activism; in 1993 he was recipient of the first of three "Spirit of Detroit" awards and a City Council Testimonial Resolution for being "a strong leader in a difficult position for those who have been ignored in their fight for civil rights..." In 1994 he received the first "Unsung Hero" award from the Detroit Human Rights Commission, and the Political Action Award from the lesbian and gay community of Michigan. In addition that year, Hardee’s Restaurants and WKBD-TV also named him a "Hometown Hero".
In 1997 Montgomery was recognized with two prestigious awards. He received a "Golden Apple" Award from the Roeper School, as a role model for students and for reflecting the Roeper philosophy of "diversity and respect…and that everyone has the right to the possibilities of their own identity." The Oakland County branch of the ACLU honored Montgomery for "exemplary achievement and courage in the arena of human rights."
The Michigan Legislature has twice commended Montgomery with Special Tributes. First, in 1997, recognizing "his efforts in the struggle for gay and lesbian rights," and again in 2000, citing his "relentless" advocacy for an end to bias crimes and assaults on the glbt community from the radical right.
In August 1999, Montgomery was named one of the "Best and Brightest" national LGBT activists by The Advocate magazine. The Human Rights Campaign, in 2000, recognized him with an Equality Award for Community Advocacy.
In May 2003, Montgomery was named, along with twelve other prominent leaders, a "Michiganian of the Year" by the Detroit News for contributions to the state and community and as an individual who makes a difference.
In September, 2012, the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance honored Jeffrey with its Vicki Sexual Freedom Award.
He graduated from Michigan State University in 1976.
- Charney, Jennifer (14 April 1998). "Motor City Blues". The Advocate. p. 52. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
- Irwin, Jim (4 March 2004). "Gay couples are denied marriage licenses in Detroit". Argus-Press. AP. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
- "WikiQueer:Global Advisory Board". WikiQueer. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
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