Texas is known for producing strong, vocal activists, but one in particular is breaking ground in the conservative state — and she’s bringing Texans along for the ride.
By day, The Advocate's Champion of Pride Meghan Stabler is a senior executive at BigCommerce, one of the worlds leading SaaS eCommerce platforms where she heads Global Product Marketing. But in her spare time, since the 1990s, she’s helped lead the fight for LGBTQ equality, spending the last eight years on the Human Rights Campaign National Board of Directors and the last few years co-chairing the C4 Public Policy Committee. She’s also a member of HRC's Business Council focusing on LGBTQ workplace issues, policy and practices.
Recently, Stabler added a new role to her roster. In May, she was elected to the Planned Parenthood National Board of Directors, becoming the first out trans person to be at the national level. The staunch advocate plans on bringing her no-nonsense approach to the role — something that’s helped her when advising foreign and domestic legislators. Having transitioned 15 years ago, Stabler knows how powerful her voice can be.
“The one thing that meeting with, advising, and lobbying legislators have in common is seeing our humanity,” she shares. “We may not like how they vote on our causes, but I equally spend time with out opponents as I do with our allies. I find common interests and advance the conversation towards an understanding of the LGBTQ narrative and how much we still have to gain, and lose, based on their vote.
If they can see us, hear us, know us, and we visit with them often, then we can see progress — even when it is at glacial speed. I bring facts, stories and faces of our community to every conversation and meeting. Of course, we have a long way to go, I know it, but I endeavor to advance legislation however I can.”
As a vocal board member, Stabler spearheaded efforts for more trans inclusion within HRC, working especially close with the board and leadership. “I felt that we needed to be part of the conversation at HRC and with leadership,” she reflects now. “If we are not, then others would be able to define policy without our voice or knowing what was needed.”
“We still have a long way to go before we see full LGBTQ+ equality and we must all double down to achieve that and defend the successes we’ve had,” Stabler adds.
Throughout the years, Stabler has contributed her savvy voice on TV, radio and print media speaking on a number of industry, LGBTQ, and political issues. Recently, she appeared on an ESPN documentary discussing sports and the LGBTQ community. Her advice to young queer youth is simple: “Stand up. Speak up.”
“Sure there will be a lot of damage to overcome and rebuild from,” she explains, “but truth will win, equality will win, and justice in the eyes of the law will be on our side. I do see the Equality Act becoming law along with many other policies that we so desperately need. Stonewall led to us massing on the streets to fight for our rights, now we need to turn our as a majority at the ballot box and in our state houses. We will win and the younger generation will be the benefactors of it.”