Monday, March 5, 2018
2016 Daughters of Bilitis Awardees Sarah Goodfriend and Susanne Bryant
On February 19, 2015 Suzanne Bryant and Sarah Goodfriend had the privilege of receiving the first marriage license issued to a same-sex couple in Texas. Since June 26, 2015, when the U.S. Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land, the couple has been happily celebrating the hundreds of other same-sex couples now also legally married in Texas.
Sarah Goodfriend has been blessed with the opportunity to interweave her professional career with LGBTQ activism. Appointed in 1992 by Governor Ann Richards to the Texas Public Utility Commission, Sarah was both applauded (and condemned) as a high profile, “out” lesbian. Leaving government, Sarah ran a successful economic consulting firm and helped Suzanne raise their two daughters, Dawn and Ting. As their daughters matured, and President Obama stood up for the rights of LGBTQ citizens, Sarah’s need for political activism re-ignited. After grass roots organizing in New Mexico for Obama, she returned to join Battleground Texas and the Texas Democratic Party in hopes of making Texas a place of welcome for all people. She currently serves in her second term as President of Austin Stonewall Democrats. Her political activism was recognized by the Travis County Democratic Party as a 2014 Trio of Stars Honoree. This year, she and Suzanne are honored to serve as Grand Marshalls of the 26th Austin Pride Parade, August 29th.
Organizing for social justice has always been important to Suzanne Bryant. In the 1970s she was instrumental in starting a domestic violence shelter. When the headline in the Lawrence, Kansas paper called the shelter a “den of lesbianism” Suzanne diffused the issue by personally inviting City Counsel members to visit the shelter and meet the families.
After graduating from Duke Law School, Suzanne was a founding board member and later co-chair of the grassroots organization that is now the National LGBT Bar Association. Suzanne has received numerous awards from organizations including The Human Rights Campaign, The Texas Civil Rights Project and the State Bar of Texas.
Over the last 20 + years Suzanne has devoted her Texas family law practice to issues of importance to the gay community. She has helped several hundred LGBT families throughout Texas to obtain second-parent adoptions and is dedicated to creating lasting cultural change – one family at a time. Suzanne is thrilled to be parenting two teenage daughters with the love of her life, Sarah Goodfriend.
Suzanne believes that opportunities to make a difference in the world are everywhere and encourages everyone to watch for their own personal chance to create positive change.