Skip to Navigation Skip to Content
Back to Impact Stories

HB Lozito, Out in the Open Executive Director, to Receive 2023 Con Hogan Award

HB5

The Vermont Community Foundation and the organizing committee for the Con Hogan Award for Creative, Entrepreneurial Community Leadership are pleased to announce that HB Lozito will be honored with this year’s award. Lozito is the executive director of Brattleboro-based Out in the Open, which is working to build a multi-issue, multiracial social justice movement of rural LGBTQ+ people.

The annual award, established by a group of Con’s colleagues in 2015, celebrates his life’s work by recognizing a community leader who shares his vision of a better Vermont and seizes the responsibility for making that vision real. The awardee shows deep community involvement, generosity, enthusiasm, a collaborative approach, and a focus on data and measurable outcomes in their work.

Through Lozito’s (they/them) leadership, Out in the Open has expanded what it means to be part of the rural LGBTQ+ community. 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. They have spent more than 20 years organizing in the rural LGBTQ+ community.

They moved to Washington State in 2002 to attend Whitman College, majoring in environmental studies and politics, which included a study abroad in India. Lozito worked on a community organic garden in college, on bioregionalism in Portland, Oregon, and on food justice in Oakland, California. But their love of rural life drew them back to Maine and an organic farm in Freedom. 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.

Lozito is a 2013 Senior Fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program, a 2019 Better Selves Fellow, one of the Advocate Magazine's 2022 50 Champions of Pride, an alum of the Vermont Changemakers Table, and Marlboro College's Nonprofit Board Fellowship Program and Nonprofit Management certificate program, a board member of Vermont Public, the founder and creator of projects including the Out in the Open Summit for Rural LGBTQ+ Folks, the Vermont Trans Audio Retreat, the Rural LGBTQ+ Power & Belonging Fellowship, and a key collaborator in the Andrews Inn Oral History Project. This last project led to the placement, in Bellows Falls of one of Vermont’s two historic markers honoring LGBTQ+ history.

Lozito was presented with the $15,000 Con Hogan Award, to be used however they choose, at a ceremony at Vermont College of Fine Arts on Wednesday, October 11, at 4:30 PM

Visit vermontcf.org/ConHogan for more information about the award.

Members of the Con Hogan Award committee are Will Belongia, Paul Cillo, Jon Cocina, Steve Dale, Scott Johnson, Etan Nasreddin-Longo, Jericho Parms, Arnold Isidore Thomas, and Diana Wahle.