Executive Director & CEO
A longtime advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality, Gregory Lewis is nationally recognized for his vision and leadership. In 2008, he worked with Cyndi Lauper and her co-founders to launch the True Colors Fund and has served as its executive director ever since. Under Gregory’s leadership, the True Colors Fund has grown into the leading national organization addressing the issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth homelessness, as well as an influential resource in encouraging straight people to give a damn about equality for all.
Gregory built the organization from the ground up, creating the infrastructure and development streams critical to its success.
The True Colors Fund’s work grew out of a yearlong in-depth assessment conducted by Gregory into the crisis of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth homelessness and the existing resources to address the issue. The True Colors Fund works to bring the number of homeless youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender from 40 percent to none by educating and engaging the public, advocating within government and media, creating empowering experiences for young people, facilitating leading research, and aiding service providers in building their capacity and creating an inclusive environment within their agencies.
Through its website, online engagement, and award winning public service announcements, the Give a Damn Campaign encourages folks to get involved in ensuring equality for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. Since 2010, the Give a Damn Campaign has spread its message of equality around the world with the help of its over 100,000 members and numerous celebrity partners, including Elton John, Whoopi Goldberg, Susan Sarandon, Ricky Martin, Jason Mraz, Anna Paquin, and many, many more.
Prior to joining the True Colors Fund, Gregory served as the managing director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Under his leadership, the organization grew significantly and developed a strong programmatic direction in its efforts to erase hate and promote acceptance and understanding.
Gregory’s career as an advocate was, in fact, prompted by Matthew Shepard’s death in Wyoming in 1998. Shocked by the hate crime, Gregory began volunteering with the DC-based Human Rights Campaign, the largest gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender advocacy organization in the country, where he was soon encouraged to apply for a full-time position. He spent seven years in HRC’s development department, including four years as the associate director of development operations and special projects, a role in which he oversaw the operations of a $30 million fundraising and membership department and focused on the creation of new revenue streams.
Gregory’s interest in bringing people together to make a difference dates back to his high school years, when he started a county-wide coalition of chapters of Students Against Drunk Driving. He spoke to national media, lobbied Congress on the issue, and was named one of the most Caring Young Adults in the nation by the DC-based Caring Institute.
Gregory grew up in New York and attended the University of Southern California, where he joined a long list of successful college dropouts.