Terry Bean

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Terry Bean
Terry Bean.jpg
Terry Bean at an HRC gala dinner
Alma mater University of Oregon
Occupation Bean Investment Real Estate, President and CEO
Organization Member of Democratic National Committee, Member of Barack Obama's National Finance Council, Delegate to every Democratic National Convention from 1992-2008

Terrence Patrick "Terry" Bean is an American political fundraiser, a civil rights activist, and a pioneer of the LGBT rights movement. He is known for co-founding several national LGBT rights organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, and the National Gay Games. As of 2012, he is the CEO and President of Bean Investment Real Estate and resides in Portland, Oregon.

Early life[edit]

Terry Bean is a fifth-generation Oregonian and was born in Portland, Oregon.[1] He is the son of Ormond and Jean Bean.[2][3] He graduated from Lake Oswego High School,[4] after which he attended the University of Oregon on the Chick Evans Golf Scholarship[4] graduating with a Bachelors degree in political science.[3]

Early political involvement[edit]

Bean first became active in politics during college as a member of the anti-Vietnam War movement.[4][5] In his senior year at the University of Oregon, he came out and helped found one of the first LGBT student groups in the country.[citation needed]

In 1971, he began lobbying the Oregon State Legislature and the city council of Eugene, Oregon,[4] and helped work on a gay rights ordinance,[1][4] which passed in 1977. The ordinance produced an anti-gay backlash and was overturned by voters in a referendum on May 23, 1978. Bean was a leader in the campaign to defeat the referendum and coordinated efforts with Harvey Milk.[6][7]

In 1979, Bean helped to organize the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.[5]

Business activities[edit]

Terry Bean is a real estate investor and broker. He is the President and CEO of Bean Investment Real Estate, a private company that trades and invests in commercial real estate, as well as large residential complexes.[2][3][8] He formed a partnership with Williams & Dame and Reliance Development, Inc to purchase the Portland Center Apartments, a group of three high rises in downtown Portland that they converted to condominiums.[8]

Human Rights Campaign[edit]

The late 1970s saw a rash of successful anti-gay ballot measures around the country. Realizing that their state-by-state efforts were failing, leaders of the gay and lesbian rights movement decided to focus their efforts on the national level. This led to the founding by Terry Bean and others of the Gay Rights National Lobby (GRNL) and the Human Rights Campaign Fund (HRCF), two groups which later merged to become the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).[2][4][5][9][10]

Bean was the primary fundraiser for GRNL,[7] when it was still a new organization, and created the "GRNL 48", a club of top donors who contributed $1,200 or more per year. In its early history, the group found it difficult to find politicians willing to accept campaign contributions from a gay PAC.[11] The GRNL 48 eventually became the HRC's Federal Club.[2][4]

Bean has been on the Human Rights Campaign's Board of Directors since 1980. He is also a member of its Foundation Board and its Public Policy Committee.[12] and takes part in deciding the organization's political endorsements.[10]

HRC headquarters building[edit]

In 2000, the HRC launched its Capitol Campaign to raise the funds to purchase a suitable headquarters in the nation's capitol. Bean was a co-chair of this campaign. In 2002, the HRC acquired a medium-rise office building in Washington, DC, from B'nai B'rith International to use as its national headquarters. Joe Solmonese, the Executive Director of HRC, has said that Terry Bean was instrumental in acquiring the building.[5] Elizabeth Birch, the Executive Director of the organization during the time when the building was purchased, believes that Bean's background in real estate was crucial in the purchase. "All of us had very healthy skepticism. Generally, nonprofits do not buy buildings... But there was only one guy in the crowd who said, 'We have to do this. This is historic...' And it was the guy who knew most about Real Estate and that was Terry."[13]

Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund[edit]

In 1991, Terry Bean and Vic Basile, the first executive director of the Human Rights Campaign Fund, founded the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a Political Action Committee (PAC) to raise money for gay and lesbian candidates.[4][5][14] Bean helped recruit the board members and served on the board himself. When the organization was established, there were only 49 openly LGBT elected officials in the country. By 2007, that number had climbed to over 400. In addition to providing financial support to LGBT candidates, the Victory Fund offers candidate training, holds fundraising events across the U.S. where these candidates can meet potential donors, and provides a "Coming Out Kit".[14]

Other political and community involvement[edit]

Terry Bean served on the founding board of directors of the Gay Games. In 1982, he won two medals for golf in the first games held in San Francisco.[15]

In Oregon, Bean co-founded the Right to Privacy PAC with four others in the early 1980s. The Portland-based group was the first statewide gay-rights PAC in Oregon.[4][5]

In 1989, Terry Bean co-founded the Equity Foundation, a Portland-based philanthropic organization that gives grants to LGBT community groups and programs as well as academic scholarships.[5] He is currently a member of the board of advisors, along with Portland Mayor Sam Adams and former Oregon Governor Barbara Roberts.[1][3]

Fundraising[edit]

Terry Bean's political involvement is often behind the scenes as a fundraiser,[2][4] which has assisted in the initial success of several organizations, including the Gay Rights National Lobby and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.[citation needed]

Bean often hosts fundraising events in his Portland home for Democratic politicians including Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Al Gore.[16][17]

In 1992, Bean helped raise over $1,000,000 in the successful campaign to defeat the anti-gay Oregon Measure 9,[18] which would have amended the state constitution with a provision declaring homosexuality "abnormal, wrong, unnatural, and perverse".[citation needed]

Elizabeth Birch, the former Executive Director of the Human Rights Campaign, says of Bean, "He understood that politics needed to be played with votes and money, even though the much more fun stuff was happening on the street."[this quote needs a citation]

Role in the Democratic Party[edit]

Terry Bean has been a lifelong Democrat and has considerable influence in the party as a member of the Democratic National Committee.[2] Among his contributions are his fundraising for Bill Clinton,[18] serving on the DNC's Convention Committee in 2000,[2] serving as a co-chair of Howard Dean's 2004 National Finance Committee,[5] and being the first LGBT member of Barack Obama's National Finance Committee.[19] He was the main fundraiser for Oregon Governor Barbara Robert's 1990 campaign.[14]

In 2008, Bean launched the LGBT for Obama campaign website, which served as a fundraising tool and a means of outreach to the LGBT community.[19]

Friendship with Senator Gordon Smith[edit]

Though a staunch Democrat, Terry Bean's influence at the highest levels of government is not confined to his own party. Former Oregon Senator Gordon H. Smith, a Republican, was elected in 1996 as a social conservative. After the election, Terry Bean, who had campaigned against Smith, had a meeting with the new senator,[20] in which they reached an unexpected understanding. Smith, a conservative Mormon, was able to relate to Bean's experience as a member of a marginalized demographic because of his own experiences. Referring to his Mormon heritage, Smith said of Bean, "When you grow up as part of a group that has suffered discrimination, it is easier to listen with feeling to the stories of others, like Terry, who have felt the jackboot on the back of their neck. For me, empathy is a call to action."[9]

Senator Smith cited his "unlikely and unexpected" relationship with Terry Bean as a factor in his decision to break with his party and champion several LGBT causes, saying of Bean, "He really played a significant role in opening my heart and opening my mind to the perspective of a gay man in Oregon."[13]

Smith co-sponsored the Employment Non-discrimination Act (ENDA), the Ryan White Care Act, and teamed up with Senator Ted Kennedy to introduce a hate crimes protection bill. Smith regularly read incidents of anti-LGBT hate crimes into the congressional record to raise awareness of this issue.[9] In comments on the Senate floor to mark the successful passage of the Ryan White Care Act, Smith referred to Bean as "...a highly valued advisor on issues affecting the gay and lesbian community in Oregon," adding, "I do feel lucky that Terry's advice is dispensed on the golf course – though the only criticism I may have for Terry is that he lacks the political savvy to lose to a United States Senator."[21] Smith's support of LGBT rights won him the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign for his 2002 re-election bid, although Bean did not personally endorse the Senator[9]

Motivations behind political involvement[edit]

Terry Bean regularly shares the story of his childhood to develop understanding for the LGBT community, stating that he felt isolated and alienated from society and experienced constant fear and anxiety.[2][4][5][11] He believes that if the political climate had not been so hostile when he was growing up, he would have felt differently about himself.[5] In 2008, he was presented with an award by the HRC. In his acceptance speech he said, "In a way, I'm actually grateful for the fact that I've never been able to forget how I felt as a child – that someone would find out my dark secret. That painful memory actually drove me to activism, and that activism gave me a front-row seat, watching our movement grow from near infancy."[22]

The AIDS pandemic impacted Terry Bean's life in a very personal way. He lost many friends and two partners to the disease.[2][4][5] Bean decried the failure of the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations to respond to the crisis and threw his fundraising muscle behind Bill Clinton's candidacy in 1992, because of his promise to address the AIDS crisis. He said, "I have way too many friends who have just too few T-cells in their blood to be able to survive four more years of George Bush. This is the politics of survival."[18]

Bill Dickey, an Oregon business owner and gay rights activist, said of Bean, "He's on a different plane than most of us, but I've seen him standing on the Morrison Bridge holding a sign at eight o'clock in the morning saying 'Vote NO on 9', And he is in the trenches, and he's working with the President, and everything in-between."[13]

Recognition and awards[edit]

Terry Bean has received many awards for his political activism over the years, including from the Equity Foundation, the Victory Fund, the Human Rights Campaign, and Basic Rights Oregon.[citation needed] Former Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski declared August 23, 2008, to be "Terry Bean Equality Day" in Oregon, in recognition for the work he has done on LGBT rights causes since the 1970s.[19][23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Steves, David (10 May 2007). "Amid grins and tears, two gay-rights bills become law". The Register Guard (Eugene, Oregon). p. D1. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Baker, Nena (14 February 1999). "Portlander Advances Gay, Lesbian Rights". The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon). p. C1. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Executive Profile: Terry Bean". Portland Business Journal. 30 January 2004. p. 13. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Collins, Patrick (16 October 1998). "Mr Fundraiser: Charity-minded man about town Terry Bean is about more than money". Just Out (Portland, Oregon). p. 6. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Cuti, Jaymee R. (4 August 2006). "Strong Brew: Activist Terry Bean’s power is felt in Portland and nationwide". Just Out (Portland, Oregon). p. 14. 
  6. ^ Beck, Byron (12 November 2008). "Just Add Milk: Director Gus Van Sant delivers the story of the gay-rights movement’s patron saint in his most political film to date". The Willamette Weekly (Portland, Oregon). 
  7. ^ a b Endine, Steve (2006). Eaklor, Vicki L, ed. Bringing Lesbian and Gay Rights Into the Mainstream: Twenty Years of Progress. Binghampton, New York: Harrington Park Press. pp. 80–83. ISBN 978-1560235255. 
  8. ^ a b Miller, Brian K. (22 September 2005). "Equity Residential Sells Apartment Towers to Converters". Globe St. 
  9. ^ a b c d "The Education of Senator Smith". The Advocate. 9 October 2001. pp. 31–34. 
  10. ^ a b Prado, Ryan J. "Repeal Reaction: Portland advocates sound off on DADT repeal". Just Out (Portland, Oregon). Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  11. ^ a b Zusman, Mark (12 January 2005). "Terry Bean, Gay-rights Moneyman". The Willamette Weekly (Portland, Oregon). p. 23. 
  12. ^ "The Human Rights Campaign Board Members". Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  13. ^ a b c "Terry Bean Basic Rights Oregon Tribute". Youtube. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  14. ^ a b c "The Victory Fund: A brief history". The Victory Fund. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  15. ^ "Gay Games 1; Golf Results". Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  16. ^ Beck, Byron (7 January 2004). "Making Kings". The Willamette Weekly (Portland, Oregon). 
  17. ^ Zusman, Mark (14 November 2001). "The murder of death with dignity: The White House's attack on Oregon's assisted-suicide law shouldn't have surprised anyone". The Willamette Weekly (Portland, Oregon). 
  18. ^ a b c Walker, Martin (15 October 1992). "All the President’s Gays". The Guardian (London). p. 2. 
  19. ^ a b c "Gossip Should Have No Friends: Bean Town". The Willamette Weekly (Portland, Oregon). 27 August 2008. 
  20. ^ Detzel, Tom (20 October 2002). "Showdown for the Senate: Gordon Smith". The Oregonian (Portland, OR). p. A1. 
  21. ^ 2000 Congressional Record, Vol. 146, Page S146 (June 7, 2000)
  22. ^ "Terry Bean on the Importance of the 2008 Election". Youtube. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  23. ^ "Terry Bean Gay Rights". Retrieved Jan 4, 2013. 

External links[edit]