MAPLEWOOD, NJ — South Orange Maplewood Board of Education Member Shannon Cuttle and Maplewood Township Committee Member Dean Dafis have been named to the InsiderNJ.com list, “Insider Out: 100 LGBT Power List,” a list of New Jerseyans whose influence in LGBTQ issues is felt in their communities and statewide.
Dafis is listed at number 23 for efforts that go far beyond Maplewood’s borders. The list notes that he “is among the most compelling and persuasive voices in America against so-called conversion therapy, a barbaric practice where LGBTQ kids are tortured ostensibly to turn them straight.” They also acknowledge “Dafis’ recent efforts to expand the Hetrick-Martin Institute mean more healthcare options for Essex County’s LGBTQ community.”
Dafis told TAPinto SOMA that the nod is both an acknowledgement of the past but also a call to action for the future. “To be recognized and visible is gratifying and rewarding but with that comes the tremendous continued responsibility to lift others up, raise silenced voices, and empower the powerless, those left behind,” he said.
InsiderNJ noted that Cuttle, number 32 on the list, is “a gatecrashing history-maker” who “snagged the most votes – first place – in an 8-way race for school board to become NJ’s first transgender elected official.”
They were also called “a rising star in the state and national Democratic Party as evidenced by high profile roles at this summer’s DNC” convention, where they were a delegate.
“It means a great deal” to have Maplewoodians on the list, Mayor Frank McGehee said. “Shannon and Dean have made significant contributions to our community in their roles and it is nice to see their efforts recognized.”
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