Dallas again has 2 representatives after Buck Massey’s death
The late Buck Massey was a big supporter of the gay Democratic youth movement.
So it’s only fitting that Massey should effectively be replaced on the board of directors of National Stonewall Democrats by 27-year-old Paul Tran of Dallas.
Tran is credited with helping start Stonewall Young Democrats chapters throughout the country, including in Dallas and Houston.
“I don’t think I could ever appropriately step into Buck Massey’s shoes, but Buck was incredible for youth activism,” said Tran, a doctoral candidate in political science at the University of Texas at Dallas. “He was a major motivation for me.”
“For us to be able to keep the momentum going, we’re going to have to train and educate people to take the older generation’s place,” Tran added.
Tran was elected to an at-large seat earlier this month in a unanimous vote by the national board of directors’ 40 members. Although Tran will not take over Massey’s Region 6 seat, which already had been filled, his election once again gives Dallas two representatives on the board.
Stonewall Democrats of Dallas President Jesse Garcia, the other representative, said Massey attended a meeting the night before he died in March to plan a relaunch of the Dallas chapter of Stonewall Young Democrats. The next day, Massey was set to attend an organizational meeting for a chapter of Stonewall Young Democrats in Tarrant County.
“That was one of Buck’s issues, getting the youth involved,” Garcia said. “It really bothered him that when we registered voters, that the young people would not bother to stop by and take five minutes.
“It helps to have people like Paul,” said Garcia, adding that he lobbied hard for Tran’s election, “because he’s able to relate to that generation.”
Tran said as a board member, he will continue to work on starting new chapters of Stonewall Young Democrats. There currently are four, he said, with 11 pending.
Tran, who is half Vietnamese, also will become one of only two Asian members on the board. Tran said he has worked for the Dallas County Democratic Party both as an intern and director of finances. He also started the Democratic student club at UTD.
Tran will be featured speaker at the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas/Dragonflies Mixer on Saturday Aug. 11. The event will be from 6 to 8 p.m. at Woody’s, 4011 Cedar Springs Road.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 10, 2007