We met Eran Thompson when he came to the first Not in Our Town National Leadership Gathering in 2006 in Bloomington, IL. Eran was in high school during the time of the original events in Billings in the early 90s, but he became a community organizer and was asked to join in an effort to renew the local Not In Our Town group. After the Gathering, he went back and did just that! The Not In Our Town Billings group has thrived under his leadership. Not In Our Town National took notice and invited Eran to serve as a member of our board of directors. It is because of Eran that we are all returning to Billings this June to celebrate the 20th anniversary with the second National Leadership Gathering. Oh and when you meet him, ask him to perform your favorite Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quote—he will nail it. —Rhian Miller, co-founder of Not In Our Town/The Working Group Eran Thompson, chair of Not In Our Town Billings Tell us about your community and the work you do there.
"African-American people are LGBT people, they are allies of the LGBT community, and family members of LGBT people. The African-American community is not homogeneous. Our community is diverse just like the LGBT community." When opponents of the LGBT community used President Obama's support of same-sex marriage as an opportunity to drive a wedge between African-American and LGBT communities, Eran Thompson spoke up. Thompson is an activist who serves his hometown of Billings, Montana as the chairperson of Not In Our Town Billings and serves on the board of the Montana Human Rights Network and Not In Our Town/The Working Group. In this piece, Thompson addresses the supporters of the Montana Human Rights Network.