October 23, 2018 News & Features » Cover Story


Ted Lewis, 36 

Executive Director of Side by Side

click to enlarge tedlewis2.jpg

Scott Elmquist

Ted Lewis is the executive director of Side by Side, which provides outreach for the LGBTQ community. A longtime volunteer for the organization says, "I have yet to meet someone like Ted who consistently works to better our environments for queer young people." Free or low-cost therapy sessions and housing assistance are just some of the resources Lewis has delivered to youth in the commonwealth.

But Lewis' story really starts in childhood, around a kitchen table. Deep dinnertime conversations sprang from Lewis' mother and stepfather, an interracial couple. "Both of my parents instilled values of empathy, caring for others, and embracing difference," Lewis says. "My hope is to live their example, and that motivates me quite a bit."

It took time and determination to apply that example, though. "I wouldn't fully come out and live authentically until college," says Lewis, who recalls being asked to resign from a professional job for being gay. "I want to make sure that no other LGBTQ youth ever has to experience that."

Today, Lewis serves as the first associate director of LGBTQ campus life at the University of Richmond. The university is host to one of Side by Side's signature events, called Q Summit, a regional youth conference. With outreach expanding to Charlottesville and Petersburg now, Lewis looks to the words of Ayesha Siddiqi for inspiration: "Be the person you needed when you were younger."

Back to the Top 40 Under 40


Latest in Cover Story

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Connect with Style Weekly

Newsletter Sign-Up

The Flash
The Bite
The Scoop

Most Popular Stories

  • Title X Crisis

    Title X Crisis

    A look into the federal grant program and what its new restrictions could mean for Virginia’s family planning services.
    • Sep 17, 2019
  • Mayor Fires Chief Administrative Officer

    Mayor Fires Chief Administrative Officer

    Inspector general report finds issues with the hiring of family members at City Hall.
    • Sep 18, 2019
  • Finding Beulah

    Finding Beulah

    A bestselling novelist digs into a sensational local murder trial from 1911 and gives a voice to the 17-year-old victim lost in the middle.
    • Sep 17, 2019
  • A Mystery and a Mission

    A Mystery and a Mission

    The quest by Regina Boone, daughter of the founder of the Richmond Free Press, to find out what happened to her Japanese grandfather after World War II.
    • Sep 10, 2019
  • More »

Copyright © 2019 Style Weekly
Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
All rights reserved
Powered by Foundation