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Michael Billy

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki
Michael Billy
🏡 ResidenceJersey City, New Jersey
🏳️ NationalityAmerican
💼 Occupation
LGBTQ Activist
📆 Years active  1998 - Current
👔 EmployerHudson Pride Center
🏡 Home townTeaneck, New Jersey
👩 Spouse(s)Matthew Argenti
🌐 WebsiteHudsonPrideCenter.org

Michael ‘Billy’ Bisogno (b. May 17, 1982) is an American human rights activist, actor, broadcaster, and CEO of Hudson Pride Connection Center in New Jersey.

Early activism[edit]

When Michael was fourteen years old, twelve of his fellow students assaulted him for being queer. Michael went on to create GAYLY, Gay and Lesbian Youth, to bring together the local gay community in Bergen County. For his advocacy, he was awarded the Suzanne Big Crow Memorial Award. ‪[1]‬ In 1999, he was awarded the Equality Awards by the Human Rights Campaign. The same year, Michael was asked to the White House to meet with Attorney General Janet Reno to discuss anti-bullying in schools. Michael also joined the National Board of Trustees for the National 4-H Council.[2] Michael dealt with mental illness and addiction beginning in his teens. In and out of hospitals for suicide and depression as a teen, he was over medicated and one clinic tried to convert him to being straight. He often speaks about his mental health during his talks and public speeches to stop the stigmatization of people with mental health diagnosis.‪[3]

Broadcasting and acting career[edit]

In the early 2000s, Michael attended the Connecticut School of Broadcasting, where he now teaches.[4] He accepted an internship at SiriusXM in the news department with OutQ as the anchor for the overnight. He also worked with Vinnie Politan for two years on the “Me and Vinnie” show discussion legal and political matters.[5]

In 2007-2009, Michael hosted 8 episodes of the Emmy nominated show In the Life. Starting in 2011, Michael began to act as a cultural commentator on HLN and CNN.[6] Michael’s cinematic premiere began in 2011’s “The One” where he played Stephen, the gay best friend of the main character. In his second film “Bad Parents” (2012), he humorously played himself. Sony pictures The Evangelist is Billy’s most recent film where he played a detective searching for a serial killer. His newest film, Rock, Paper, Scissors, premieres in April 2019.


From 2011-2015, Michael Billy joined his former CSB student, Jarl Haugedal, at NYC-NY, an international hotel in Jersey City. Together, they started Humanity Pride Productions. Their premiere project was “Mr. Gay World USA” which had twelve contestants compete for the title of Mr. Gay USA. The winner then moved on to South Africa to fight for the title of Mr. Gay World.[7] Using Humanity Pride, Jarl and Billy also created JB Talent to specialize in bringing the international talent of music, stage, and screen here to the United States.[8]

In 2014, Jarl and Michael joined with Maureen and Craig Goletz to create the Jersey City International TV and Film Festival. Their inaugural show brought 55 submissions, 35 of which they showed throughout the festival.[9]

Local politics[edit]

In 2017, Michael ran for the Ward E Council Position located in downtown Jersey City.[10]. He worked closely with the mayoral administration to create the LGBT TaskForce with Mayor Steve Fulop and the Diversity and Inclusion Board.[11] Michael left the race in August of 2017 work as the CEO of Hudson Pride Center.[12]

Current activism and Hudson Pride Center[edit]

Michael spoke at the first Jersey City Pride Festival in 2001,[13] but in 2014, took a more active role. He began working with Eddie Baez as a co-chair in 2015. Under Eddie and Michael, the annual festival has grown from a single Saturday event to a month-long event throughout Hudson County.[14]

Michael has created and produced some of the largest rallies in the state of New Jersey. He also helped author and championed Jersey City becoming a Sanctuary City in 2017.[15] After the Orlando shooting, Michael produced a large vigil in downtown Jersey City under Jersey City Stands. Jersey City Stands became the activist arm of the community to protest for immigration reform, against the Muslim ban, and trans rights. Mostly recently, Billy and various community leaders stood up against Donald Trump separate children from their parents at the border. Speakers ranged from clergy to community members from all backgrounds.[16]

Although beginning to work with Hudson Pride Center, then known as Hudson Pride Connection Center, he took an official position on the board of trustees in early 2017. In August of that year, Michael joined Hudson Pride Center as the Chief Executive Officer.[17] Michael rebranded the company from Hudson Pride Connection Center, to the simpler, Hudson Pride Center. He brokered a deal wit Carepoint Health to expand the services, and helped expand more fully outside of Jersey City with events and outreach.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Michael has been with Matthew Argenti since 2006, and the two married in September, 2015.[19]


  1. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1110683
  2. "A School for Iqbal 07/2000 Update". mirrorimage.com. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  3. Shelly Straub, "Living with Addiction"], Connextions, Winter 2013
  4. https://www.gocsb.com/blog-detail/THANK-YOU-GRACIAS-MERCI-ARIGATO
  5. J, Dr (5 May 2009). "Cinco de Mayo: Featuring Ricki Lake". Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  6. "CNN.com - Transcripts". transcripts.cnn.com. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  7. Journal, Stephanie Musat/ For The Jersey. "Humanity Pride Productions aims to market Jersey City to a new audience". NJ.com. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  8. "JB Talent Management introduces Baby M to America". CONNEXTIONS MAGAZINE. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  9. Guest, Katherine (21 October 2014). "Jersey City International TV and Film Festival offers something for everyone". Hudson County View. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  10. Bussanich, Marc (24 May 2017). "LGBTQ activist Michael Billy formally kicks off Jersey City Ward E council campaign". Hudson County View. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  11. "MAYOR'S LGBT TASK FORCE - City of Jersey City". www.cityofjerseycity.com. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  12. Content, Submitted (27 September 2017). "Billy Bisogno withdraws from council race". Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  13. Reporter, Hudson (23 August 2001). "Gay pride Jersey City hosts first annual Gay Pride Festival". Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  14. Journal, Sam Carliner The Jersey. "Inaugural Hudson County Pride Month kicks off". NJ.com. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  15. Sullivan, Al; Writer, Senior Staff (5 February 2017). "'No ban, no wall, sanctuary for all'". Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  16. "Jersey City vigil for victims of Orlando massacre brings out thousands". NJ.com. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  17. "Hudson Pride Connections Center Names New Executive Director". 17 August 2017. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  18. Columnist, Jersey Journal Guest. "Join in Hudson Pride's efforts to provide home for LGBTQ community - Opinion". NJ.com. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  19. Kozakiewicz, Author Mel (9 January 2017). "Michael Billy Jersey City". Retrieved 4 February 2019.

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