By Julie Bolcer

Originally published on Advocate.com September 15 2009 2:50 PM ET

Glennda Testone, a leader in the LGBT and women’s movements for over a
decade, has been chosen as the new executive director of the Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of New York City, the
center’s board of directors announced on Tuesday afternoon. She will
assume leadership of the organization in November.


Testone, a 33-year-old out lesbian, becomes the first woman to head the center and one of the youngest leaders of a major LGBT organization.
The center, founded in 1983, is the second-largest LGBT community center in
the world, following the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, led by
Lorri L. Jean.

“At
a time when the opportunities and challenges faced by our community are
limitless, the center is a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of LGBT
people,” said Testone in a statement released by the center. “I am
honored and excited to lead the center in providing the kind of
thriving, nurturing community that we all want to come home to. It is
an ambitious goal, but my commitment to serving the LGBT community, the
passion of the people involved, and the possibilities for this
institution are also limitless.”

Testone comes to the center
from the Women’s Media Center, where she served as vice president for
three years and created the Progressive Women’s Voices media training
program. Prior to that, she worked as the senior director of media
programs at the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, where
she led the team that persuaded The New York Times to include
same-sex couples on its wedding announcement pages in 2003. She holds a
bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and philosophy from Syracuse
University, and a master’s degree in women’s studies from the Ohio
State University.

The center’s board of directors unanimously
chose Testone after a nationwide search. She succeeds Richard Burns,
who stepped down as executive director this year after 22 years.