Meet Our Director of Family Equity + Justice

Family Equality is thrilled to welcome Lee to our Program Department!

Lee Means, Director of Equity + Justice

Lee A. Means (he/him/his) is the Director of Family Equity + Justice at Family Equality. He is a longtime New York City educator with a background in law and the performing arts. He taught in K-12 environments as a teacher and teacher leader. His first job in New York City was working with HIV-positive children and families at Birch Summer Projects as a volunteer camp counselor for two summers; a formative moment regarding the challenges that families who are structured differently can face.

Lee has a Bachelor of Arts, Religious Studies, and Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Indiana University. Lee earned a Master of Science in Education Policy from the University of Pennsylvania in 2022. He is bilingual in Spanish/English and able to read a few other languages.

Coming from a huge, diverse family in Indiana, he naturally examines conceptions and perceptions of family regardless of geography, composition, socioeconomic status, race, religion, gender identity, citizenry, ethnicity, and sexuality. He intends to be a conduit of powerful storytelling that magnifies and clarifies our families’ experiences and perspectives.

Lee is a vegan, an activist, a runner, a jokester, a New Yorker, a traveler, and an active listener with an insatiable curiosity.

Top 3 favorite podcasts, books, or TV shows?

  1. A Discovery of Witches Series
  2. We Want to Do More Than Survive
  3. Anything Walter Mosley, Anne Rice, or Rick Reardon

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? 

I love to spend time with my friends and family, travel, exercise, and watch detective shows from around the world.

What drives you to do this work?

I am driven by a desire to have a positive impact on my communities whether they be queer, Black, or human. 

What does family equality mean to you? 

Family equality means that every single configuration of family deserves respect, safety, opportunity, and space to exist and thrive. Family equality means that hierarchy, patriarchy, and white supremacy have been subverted and diminished to a point where they are simply a myopic historical reality; one that has been exposed and discarded as a tool for oppression and assimilation that isolated and diminished us as a species.

Life motto:

“If we don’t stand for something, we’ll fall for anything.” — Irene Dunne, actor