It is with mixed emotions that I write today to announce that I plan to depart Fair Wisconsin at the end of February 2015.

As my six-year anniversary with Fair Wisconsin approaches, I have spent several months reflecting on my tenure and have decided, regardless of the outcome of the marriage case, that it is time for me to embark on the next chapter of my work.  I notified our Boards of Directors in early September to allow for a thoughtful and extended six-month transition.

Although it’s hard to leave so many good friends and colleagues, as well as this vibrant movement, I’m also excited about the future — for our organization, for the LGBT community, and for me.

When I joined the organization in 2009, I never imagined how this work, this organization, and this movement would completely transform the way I see the world. Fair Wisconsin was never a job for me; it has been a way of life.

I am extremely proud of the work we have done together.  During my time with Fair Wisconsin, we

  • Passed the domestic partnership registry and defended this landmark legislation before the Wisconsin State Supreme Court;
  • Achieved several critical trans* inclusive nondiscrimination victories in local communities;
  • Strengthened the LGBT equality movement by successfully merging with Equality Wisconsin and launching the Wisconsin LGBT Leadership Conference with our partners at Diverse & Resilient; and,
  • Built the public support needed to achieve marriage equality.

I want to thank the Board of Directors for the tremendous opportunity to lead Fair Wisconsin. I have been inspired by the courageous people I have met who have put themselves and their families on the line to achieve our shared vision for a fair, safe, and inclusive Wisconsin.

Wisconsin is a different place than when I joined this organization nearly six years ago.  But we know much work remains to achieve full legal equality for the entire LGBT community, as well as ensure that legal equality becomes a lived reality for LGBT Wisconsinites.  I am confident that Fair Wisconsin, through our strong board leadership, the skilled staff team, and the strength of our programs, will remain a powerful force in Wisconsin for years to come.

It has truly been an honor to call Fair Wisconsin home.

— Katie Belanger