Scholar Class – 2011
Nicolas Martinez grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas and attended Catholic schools until his freshman year of high school, serving as an altar boy until he was 18. Influenced by the Church's teachings about homosexuality, he didn't come out until he was a senior in high school. Nicolas studied journalism and American studies at the University of Texas at Austin, before moving to California in 2006 to work for the Ventura County Star. In 2008, he was hired as a field organizer for the No on Prop. 8 campaign to protect marriage equality in California. Motivated by the campaign's tragic loss, he continued to volunteer at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, helping develop a highly effective door-to-door canvassing program to change hearts and minds on the issue of marriage.
In 2009, Nicolas was awarded a prestigious Organizing Fellowship with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, where he worked to kick off a campaign for a non-discrimination ordinance in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He additionally spearheaded a national recruitment project to send 63 volunteers to work 5,000 hours on a marriage campaign in Maine. Upon returning to Los Angeles, he began working at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, managing social media strategy, while also managing his own photography and design business.
Upon graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Nicolas plans to continue to work to reduce homophobia and create a culture where LGBT people are celebrated as individuals and treated equally under the law.