As a young Girl Scout, Jeanne Rubin learned early on about the importance of helping those less fortunate and standing up for the underdog. Over the years those values matured into principles of social justice and she’s developed a bit of an intolerance for discrimination of any kind.
Jeanne is president of the non-profit Gay & Lesbian Alliance of North Texas (GALA), and is deeply committed to its mission of celebrating diversity and enhancing equality for LGBT Texans in our schools, workplaces and communities. Jeanne is one of the loudest voices for change in Collin County.
She is very involved in GALA’s political work supporting local policies like the Equal Rights Ordinance in Plano and bills at the state level. She also works to support Texas Competes in its mission to gather Texas-based business signatures in preparation for the 2017 legislative session and to educate the public on the flurry of anti-LGBT bills that are expected in the upcoming session.
Jeanne serves on the Plano Chamber Public Policy Committee and Frisco Chamber Government Affairs Committee. She is a graduate of Frisco City Hall 101, Leadership Frisco and the Citizens Police Academy. In 2014 she was awarded the Spirit of Community Leadership Award by the League of Woman Voters of Collin County for her work on behalf of GALA.
Jeanne shared a quote by Alice Walker that resonates with her on a truly profound level, “Activism is the rent I pay for living on the planet.” She’s inspired by other women who are out in front on the issues, such as feminist Gloria Steinem, poet Maya Angelou, and the founders of the Daughters of Bilitis, the first national lesbian organization in the U.S. She’s also fascinated by “accidental activists” such as Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.
But when it comes to role models in community service, Jeanne’s also inspired by her own family. Her great aunt Minnie volunteered at a nursing home until she herself was older than many of the residents. Jeanne’s mother worked the polls every election day and was a Girl Scout leader for more than 20 years. Growing up in a supportive, loving family nurtured Jeanne’s passion to fight against social injustice.
When asked why she dedicates so much time to this fight, Jeanne replied, “It is a labor of love. I’ve never really given credence to the idea of fate, but my advocacy work has to be the reason that this Jewish lesbian yankee found herself in one of the most conservative suburban counties in the country.”See all of the women in our Girl Boss 2016 feature >