The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has been named Community Grand Marshal for LA Pride 2013. The announcement was made Monday (May 13) by Rodney Scott, president of Christopher Street West, the non-profit organization that produces LA Pride and has advocated for the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community for 43 years.
The mission of NGLTF, founded 40 years ago, is to train activists and help state and local organizations build campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation.
“Honoring those who have taken a public stance against inequality, those who continually support our community and those who have dedicated their life’s work to LGBT issues are the reason we celebrate LA Pride every year,” Scott said.
Scott also announced other honorees for LA Pride, which is officially celebrated June 7 through 9. A host of special events are scheduled in the preceding week in Los Angeles and West Hollywood. The actual LA Pride parade and festival, which attracts hundreds of thousands of people to West Hollywood each year, is set for June 9.
The other LA Pride awards and honorees are as follows:
GEORGE MOSCONE ALLY AWARD | Brendon Ayanbadejo
Ayanbadjo, an NFL linebacker who currently is a free agent, was signed by the Atlanta Falcons in 1999. He played college football for the UCLA Bruins. He has also been a member of the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins in the NFL, the Amsterdam Admirals in NFL Europe, and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Toronto Argonauts and BC Lions of the Canadian Football League. Last year Ayanbadejo was on the Baltimore Ravens team that defeated the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 in Super Bowl XLVII, becoming a Super Bowl champion.
A straight ally, Ayanbadejo has spoken out in favor of marriage equality and encouraged fellow professional athletes to do the same. The George Moscone Ally Award celebrates straight allies who make a difference within the LGBT community.
PERSON OF THE YEAR AWARD | U.S. Rep. Mark Takano (D-41st District)
Takano’s election last November made him the first openly gay, non-white member of Congress. Takano is Sansei — the grandson of people born in Japan who immigrated to the United States. In his 20 years of public service he has been a school teacher and since 1990 a member of the Riverside Community College board of trustees.
The Person Of The Year Award is given to an individual who, for the past year, has had a major impact working for the betterment of the entire LGBT community.
PAT PARKER CULTURAL ARTS AWARD | June Mazer Lesbian Archives
The Mazer Archives is the largest major archive on the West Coast dedicated to preserving and promoting lesbian and feminist history and culture. Mazer creates a safe place for women to explore the richness of lesbian history and add to it themselves. Besides its archival collection, the Mazer Lesbian Archives creates a community for women with a Book of the Month feature, dissemination of news on lesbian-specific topics and numerous cultural events with authors, poets, musicians and more.
The Pat Parker Cultural Arts Awards honors those who honor the community through the arts.
ANDELSON / THAIS-WILLIAMS BUSINESS AWARD | Lisa Henson
Henson, CEO of the Jim Henson Company, put her business on the line this past July by ending a product-placement deal with Chick-fil-A following the fast-food chain’s public stance against marriage equality. In addition, Henson herself donated the payment from the deal to Glaad, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
Andelson / Thais-Williams Business Award celebrates business leaders who have taken a stand against inequality and strongly support the LGBT community.
CONNIE NORMAN SPIRIT AWARD | Richard Zaldivar: Founder & CEO The Wall Las Memorias
Zaldivar founded the Wall Las Memorias Project on Dec. 1, 1993, World AIDS Day, to honor people who have died of AIDS. The project’s goal is to engage the community to foster a conversation about cultural silence, shame and stigma surrounding AIDS. The Wall Las Memorias, erected in Lincoln Park at 3600 N. Mission Rd. in Los Angeles, is the only publicly funded AIDS monument in the country.
The Connie Norman Spirit Award honors those who work tirelessly on behalf of the community fostering racial, ethnic, religious and gender unity.
OSBORN / MICHAELS MEDIA AWARD | Diane Anderson-Minshall: Advocate Executive Editor
Anderson-Minshall has written for a long list of LGBT publications over the past 20 years. Her stories have shed light on women’s issues and she has given a voice to the transgender community through her own unique perspective and experiences. Anderson-Minshall and her husband, Jacob, were legally married in 2006 after Jacob changed sex from female to male.
The Osborn / Michaels Media Award honors those who disseminate information to the public for the betterment of the LGBT community in order to raise awareness and fight for equality.
HARVEY MILK LEGACY AWARD | Cary Davidson
Davidson has worked with numerous non-profit organizations whose goal is to protect and enhance the rights of the LGBT community. Davidson’s legacy has included providing pro-bono services to organizations including Human Rights Campaign, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, California Faith for Equality, American Civil Liberties Union, Honor PAC, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, No on Prop 8, Equality California, Log Cabin Republicans.
The Harvey Milk Legacy Award honors those who continually give themselves to the fight for equality and betterment of the LGBT community.
OUTSTANDING YOUTH LEADER AWARD | Zoey
Zoey, 11, is a transgender student who faced bullying at her school after disclosing her gender identify. With the help of her mother and the American Civil Liberties Union, Zoey fought school officials for her right to self identify in school. Even in the face of bullying and endless teasing from both school officials and students, Zoey continues to live her life as she is and tells her story in the hopes of helping others persevere in living their authentic lives.
The Outstanding Youth Leader Award is given to a young person who has worked for the betterment of young people in regards to LGBT issues.
BERMAN / SCHAFFER SERVICE AWARD | Payasos LA
Payasos L.A. is a brotherhood of gay/bisexual Latino men committed to enhancing the quality of life for gay and straight communities through fundraising, public appearances and volunteering that supports youth programs. Payasos promotes a Latino presence in the arts with clown costumes and makeup and generates awareness about issues that affect the Latino community in Los Angeles.
The Berman/Schaffer Service Award focuses on organizations or individuals who bring a positive change to the community by building partnerships and strengthening the community through service.
MORRIS KIGHT LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD | Los Angeles City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl
Rosendahl, who represents the 11th District, which includes Brentwood, Del Rey, Mar Vista, Pacific Palisades, Palms, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Venice, West LA and Westchester, is the first openly gay member on the council and the highest-ranked openly gay official in Los Angeles. Before his election, Rosenthal was a professor at California State University, Dominguez Hills and the producer and moderator of public affairs television shows such as “Local Talk,” “Week in Review” and “Beyond the Beltway.”
All 2013 Honorees will attend the LA Pride parade, which takes place June 9 at 11 a.m.