DC's pride organization has announced their list of Capital Pride Heroes for this year and, after only nine months in the city, I was shocked to find out I got picked as one of them! Community members nominate people for the award; so, to whomever nominated me, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
There will be a gala event at the Swedish Embassy to honor this year's honorees and we'll all be riding in the parade on June 11th. As the guy who's usually in the crowd taking pictures and doing interviews, it'll be strange to be the center of attention instead. Thankfully, no speechifying is required this time.
Capital Pride is pleased to present The 2011 Capital Pride Heroes and the 2011 Engendered Spirit Awardees. This year's honorees include 12 individuals whose work has positively impacted the local LGBT community. The awardees will be honored at a gala and silent auction on Tuesday, June 7 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the House of Sweden, 2900 K Street NW, Washington, D.C. Tickets are $50 in advance, $75 at the door. Purchase online at capitalpride.org.
Each year Capital Pride recognizes as "Heroes" those individuals who have have made contributions to and helped further the causes of the LGBT community. The Heroes are honored at a Gala and during the annual Capital Pride Parade.
Quick question for readers: Would it be gauche to continue taking pictures and video from the convertible? Or should I ask another contributor to cover the parade instead?
The list of award winners is after the break.
2011 Capital Pride Heroes
Bil Browning - The long-time LGBT activist and writer who founded the Bilerico Project, runs the largest group blog reporting on news, politics, and culture from an LGBT perspective. He has used his website and his status as a contributor and commentator for outlets such as The Huffington Post, FOX, and NPR to promote LGBT issues and social justice. The Bilerico Project is one of the most widely read LGBT-centric blogs in the country, providing a virtual smorgasbord of viewpoints from a prominent group of contributors and a freewheeling forum for the LGBT community to discuss, debate, and organize around issues and causes meaningful to them.
June Crenshaw - One of the leading African-American lesbian activists in the District, June Crenshaw has served as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Whitman-Walker Health and continues to serve on the Board. In addition, she is the Co-Chair of Rainbow Response Coalition (RRC), which addresses the lack of resources, education and outreach to victims and survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV) in the LGBT communities and she is a member of the Advisory Board of the D.C. Office of LGBT Affairs. June also is a facilitator of a women's coming-out group at Whitman-Walker Health. These 10-week groups occur at least three times a year and provide a safe space for women who are questioning their sexual orientation or in the process of coming out. June shows her commitment to the lesbian women of color community by being a visible and highly active participant at many community meetings and events.
Tyrone Hanley - Tyrone Hanley, as the former HIV Prevention Manager for the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League, has served the most vulnerable members of the LGBT community, focusing his efforts on youth and informing them of ways they can protect themselves from contracting HIV and other STDs. He has also served as a Youth Program Co-Coordinator for the Gender Public Advocacy Coalition and has volunteered with Youth Pride Alliance as President, the Children's National Medical Center's Outreach Program for Gender-Variant Children, DC Trans Coalition, Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive (HIPS), and the Mayor's GBLT Affairs Advisory Committee. Tyrone is currently an UDC David A. Clarke School of Law student and serves as Outlaw Co-President.
Dr. Theo Hodge - An infectious disease specialist, Dr. Theo Hodge is an "out" gay African-American doctor who specializes in the treatment of HIV/AIDS. He has worked at Washington Hospital Center and the Veterans Administration Hospital, and has reached out to members of the African-American community to educate them about the dangers of HIV/AIDS. Dr. Hodge was instrumental in pushing African-Americans to become involved in clinical trials in the 1990s, a time when very few clinical trials for medicine and other treatments involved African-Americans. Dr. Hodge has also reached out to uninsured and underinsured patients to ensure they get adequate treatment for the disease, and has been instrumental in making connections with high at-risk populations within the African-American community. Dr. Hodge has been praised for providing a safe, nonjudgmental medical environment for LGBT individuals who have experienced discrimination from other doctors.
Reverend Jill McCrory - The Reverend Jill McCrory, interim pastor at Open Door Metropolitan Community Church in Boyds, Maryland, has been a longtime ally of the LGBT community. A straight, married Baptist pastor, Reverend McCrory has opened her church to LGBT individuals and made a safe, welcoming space for those who have been rejected by other churches or religious denominations. Reverend McCrory has marched for equal rights for LGBT individuals, forming a large Baptist contingent in the Pride Parade over the last seven years. She is a proponent of same-sex marriage rights, testifying before the D.C. Council, working on the same-sex marriage bill in Maryland, and marrying same sex couples in D.C. She serves as the Chair of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, an organization of member-churches that have come out in support of all people being welcomed into the full life and ministry of the Baptist family of Churches. Reverend McCrory has earned praise from many in the LGBT community for her stances on equality, especially considering her own sexual orientation and religious background, and for her attempt to "bridge" the gaps between the LGBT and straight communities in the D.C. Metropolitan area.
Rebecca Roose - An attorney and environmental protection specialist by trade, Rebecca Roose has a longstanding record of volunteerism, especially where the environment is concerned. As a member of Burgundy Crescent Volunteers (BCV), a group providing volunteers to gay and gay-friendly non-profit organizations, she and her fellow volunteers have worked on the BurGREENdy initiative, which supports various environmental activities. While an active member of the BCV Board of Directors Rebecca co-founded the BurGREENdy imitative in 2008 and the BurGREENdy committee in 2010. BurGREENdy has supported local efforts to clean up and restore local watersheds, provide recycling during the National Cherry Blossom Festival and 4th of July celebration, and maintain the historic National Cherry Trees around the Tidal Basin. Since 2008 Roose has been involved with efforts to "green" Capital Pride, including the creation of a Capital Pride Green Committee that endeavors to make Pride events more environmentally sustainable. Through her activism and leadership, Roose has helped to communicate the environmental values held by many members of the LGBT community and provided LGBT volunteer opportunities that lead to a cleaner, more livable city.
2011 Engendered Spirit Awards
Terra Moore - Terra Moore is a young activist who found her beginnings with the Sexual Minority Youth Assistant League. Terra has gone from a young African American, gay male to a beautiful young mixed-race Trans Woman. While Terra has not quite solidified a claim of gender, she nevertheless uses feminine pronouns. However, she sees herself more as a spirit than a gender. Terra was the 2009 winner of the Colli Higgins Youth Courage Award. Terra has strong roots in HIV and LGBT activism with special interest in Transgender Rights.
Gibby Thomas - Gibby Thomas started working in the HIV/AIDS field in 1999, and has worked for various non-profit organizations, including Us Helping Us and Transgender Health Empowerment, Inc., both which provide services to the Transgender communities. She is currently in her twelfth year of providing services to the community.
Mara Keisling - Mara Keisling is the founding Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. Mara is a transgender-identified woman and a parent. As one of the nation's leading voices for transgender equality, she has appeared on news outlets such as CNN and CSPAN, and is regularly quoted in the New York Times, the Washington Post and hundreds of other national and local print and electronic media. Mara is a graduate of Penn State University and did her graduate work at Harvard University in American Government.
Ruby Jade Corado - For the last 15 years, Ruby Jade Corado, a D.C. Trans Woman, has advocated for many local and national social causes including access for the Latino LGBT community to health care, immigration rights, and HIV prevention and care. She has worked as a program manager for organizations such as Whitman Walker Health, Transgender Health Empowerment, Inc., and Latin@s En Accion, a group she currently leads as President and CEO. Ruby has worked with government-funded needs assessments in D.C. and Virginia where she collaborated in the first statewide transgender health needs assessment. She is a nationally recognized sensitivity trainer focused on Latino LGBT immigrants and transgender communities of color.
Drs. Dennis and Christine Wiley - Drs. Dennis and Christine Wiley are distinguished theologians and prominent civic activists. The Wileys are in the forefront of the struggle for freedom, justice, and equality for all persons, regardless of race, class, gender, or sexual orientation. Dr. Dennis Wiley is a recent Co-Chair of D.C. Clergy United for Marriage Equality. Dr. Christine Wiley has worked closely with Transgender youth and those who provide services to Transgender youth. The Wileys are co-pastors of Covenant Baptist United Church, also known as "The Miracle on South Capitol."
Joe Izzo, LICSW - Joe Izzo, a 62-year-old Brooklyn native, has been in the D.C. area since 1965 and in the city itself since 1977. He has worked at Whitman Walker Health for many years and conducts individual and group psychotherapy sessions. He specializes in transgender and substance abuse issues.