Since 1993, when he joined the Coalition of Lavender-Americans on Smoking and Health (CLASH) in San Francisco, California, Mr. Gordon has been a leader in addressing tobacco-related harms within the LGBT community. His leadership has been pivotal in bringing the LGBT community together to take a stand against the tobacco industry, while championing smoking cessation classes geared specifically to LGBT and HIV-positive smokers.
He has collaborated with a variety of organizations including: San Francisco's Tobacco Free Coalition, The Last Drag, CLASH and The California LGBT Tobacco Education Partnership, where he currently serves as Project Director. Mr. Gordon has also been acknowledged as a major player in the movement to pass San Francisco's groundbreaking legislation prohibiting the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies.
"Each year, Legacy's Community Activist Award acknowledges an individual who is taking action at the community level by spearheading innovative and influential tobacco control projects, especially those that reflect Legacy's mission to build a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit," said David Dobbins, Chief Operating Officer at Legacy. "Mr. Gordon embodies the core values of social justice. He has always been a strong advocate for the LGBT community - encouraging others to make important changes as individuals and as activists working in the wider community."
In addition to helping create a shared sense of purpose within the LGBT community, Mr. Gordon has also reached out to California's priority population networks, building bridges to other communities working in tobacco control. Mobilizing the partner networks was important in getting the State of California to start collecting data on sexual orientation through its quit lines - data that is useful in measuring the scope and impact of tobacco use in the LGBT community. As a result of his tireless efforts, the LGBT community has been better educated about the tremendous toll that tobacco takes on LGBT people.