Out in the Open’s HB Lozito to receive Con Hogan Award

HB Lozito

HB Lozito, executive director of Brattleboro-based Out in the Open, a grassroots advocacy organization of and for rural LGBTQ+ people in Vermont, has been named winner of this year's Con Hogan Award for Creative, Entrepreneurial Community Leadership by The Vermont Community Foundation.

The award, which recognizes community leaders who demonstrate generosity, enthusiasm and a collaborative approach to their work, carries a $15,000 cash prize. It is named for the late Cornelius "Con" Hogan, a 40-year Vermont public official who served for nearly a decade as secretary of the Agency of Human Services.

For over a decade, Lozito has been instrumental not only in creating safe and thriving places for rural LGBTQ+ people, but also in building long-term visibility, knowledge and power in the community, searching out previously uncollected data to support this work. They have helped redefine what it means to be queer and live rurally.

Originally from rural Maine, Lozito became interested in organic gardening and farming but grew up during a time when LGBTQ+ people were told they needed to move to cities to find community and safety. For Lozito, it was not the LGBTQ+ community that needed to move, but rather the rural narrative that needed to change.

After moving to Brattleboro in 2011, Lozito immediately began work in Vermont to bring visibility to the already thriving rural LGBTQ+ community, help people find each other and create welcoming events and spaces. They have now spent more than 20 years organizing in the rural LGBTQ+ community.

Lozito will receive their award on Wednesday, Oct. 11, at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier.