Gary Vrooman is in his early 70’s and has a husband of 47 years. His activism started in San Diego during the mid 60’s where he helped found the Gay Liberation Front. In 1972 he was instrumental in establishing San Diego’s first Gay Center for Social Services where he also served on the founding board. He worked tirelessly in the Gay Community in San Diego and San Francisco. His work moved him to Los Angeles in 1992 where he joined Being Alive South Bay in the early 90’s serving from 1992 until 2006 helping to establish their first offices. In Las Angeles he served as President of Being Alive for 12 of those years, on the HOPWA Committee for 5 years, Los Angeles Commission on HIV from 2004 – 2006 and The Southern California HIV Advocacy Coalition from 1997 – 2006. He worked at various jobs in LA which included APLA from 1996 through 1997 as a Grassroot Advocate. As an AIDS watch Coordinator for the LA Area from 1996 to 2005 he helped organize the Sacramento and DC lobbying AIDS Watch visits as well as assisting with recruitment and training participants. During his activist stay in LA he received Being Alive’ Volunteer awards from 1992 -2006, The 1994 Kevin Bryson Award, the AIDS Project Pioneer Award in 1996 & The Heart of APLA in 1998. He also received a Congressional award in 1997 for AIDS services and The County of Los Angeles Exceptional Contribution to AIDS Services in 1998. His service also included The South Bay Free Clinic Citizens Review Panel from 1993 – 2003, the Freedom to Marry Committee from 1996 – 1997, The Long Beach Aids Consortium from 1995 – 2006, The Valley AIDS Consortium from 1996 – 1997, the Harbor Regional Center for the Disables Vendor Advisory Committee from 1998 – 2006, the City Of Torrance Advisory Committee from 1997 – 2006, The District leaders AIDS committee for Project Los Angeles for the South Bay & Long Beach 1994 – 1997, founding The South Bay Grassroots AIDS Network in 1994 and leading it until 2006. He developed the South Bay HIV/AIDS Resource guide in 1995. He also served on The Names Project of Long Beach / South Bay from 1995 – 1998. He was the regional director in Washington DC for the 1996 display.
Gary Then moved to Las Vegas with his then life’s partner from 1972 to take care of his elderly father. He opened an interior decorating service with his husband in 2006. He was appointed to the Ryan White Council in 2006 serving until 2009. During that time, he was a member of the Care Committee, the AIDS Watch Coordinator & Public Policy chairman for 2007 & 2008. He also founded the Neighborhood network in 2007 chairing through 2009 as well as serving as the Representative to the Nevada Statewide HIV/AIDS Taskforce in 2008 & 2009. Gary joined LAMBDA in 2006 and the board since 2013. He continues to work with local leadership in the gay community in any way he can support our continued work towards equality.
Gary’s work history includes 10 years of Retail management with Robinsons & Bullocks, 16 years of wholesale including Dian Von Furstenberg his own wholesale company, AIDS Project Los Angeles Los Angeles for 2 years professionally but many more as a volunteer. He is proud of 10 years of working with the Developmentally disabled as well, several of which were HIV or living with AIDS. In Las Vegas, establishing an interior design firm, working with The Nevada AIDS Project and Ashley Furniture. He now works at Palm Mortuary and has since 2013. My job includes events and working with the community’s non-profits, for-profits, senior services, veterans’ services, the Homeless along with other local groups. Gary continues to seek ways of bringing the community together to maximize the often-meager resources that we are required to work with.