Get to know 2012’s Spirit of Stonewall winnersAround the City Thursday, July 19th, 2012
State Sen. Christine Kehoe, Champion of Pride
In November of 1992, Christine Kehoe made San Diego history when, as a councilmember representing Council District 3, she became the first open member of the LGBT community to be elected to public office in San Diego. After serving on the council from 1993-2000, she was elected as the first openly LGBT person from San Diego County to the 76th District of the state Assembly, serving two terms. She won her state Senate seat in 2004. She will retire this year at the end of her term as state Senator for the 39th District after 20 years as a leader in California politics and as an advocate for progressive values focusing on LGBT and women’s issues.
Charles McKain, Lifetime Achievement Award
Charles “Charlie” McKain, who died March 17, at the age of 65, was a pioneer of San Diego’s LGBT political community. He served on the board of the San Diego Democratic Club, and was the club’s delegate to the former LIFE Lobby, a California legislative advocacy federation of LGBT and AIDS organizations and individuals. A member of the San Diego County Human Relations Commission from 1989 to 1993, serving as vice chair and secretary, he was the lead facilitator of the Gay/Lesbian Ad-Hoc Coalition during the 1990-91 San Diego City Council redistricting process. He was also on the Executive Rules and Credentials Committees of the California Democratic Party; and in 1980, he was one of the first openly gay delegates from San Diego to the Democratic National Convention. McKain was also elected as a delegate in 1992, 1996 and 2000. Charlie and his partner Robert McWilliams were together for 36 years, and became legally married in June 2008.
Dr. Aaron Bruce, Friend of Pride
Dr. Aaron Bruce became chief diversity officer at San Diego State University in July, 2007, and has continued to work as an advocate for the needs of the LGBTQ community on campus, and all marginalized groups. Upon his appointment, Aaron immediately reached out to the people involved with LGBT activism on campus and worked side-by-side – often on his own time – to make sure that the LGBT community was heard. The campus is now close to opening the long-awaited LGBT Resource Center, with Aaron championing the fundraising drive. He also created an LGBT lecture series on the campus, called FLUID, which discusses the many challenges and issues facing the LGBT community. He has been a regular participant in LGBT community activities, on and off campus, often bringing his wife and young daughter along, and also took part in San Diego Pride’s Equality Torch Relay.
The Imperial Court de San Diego, Stonewall Service Award
The Imperial Court de San Diego is the “oldest GLBT social service organization in San Diego.” With its primary goals of raising money for charitable organizations, increasing awareness and educating the public about our community, and furthering relationships with organizations and businesses within the community, it has contributed more than a million dollars to organizations and causes over the past four decades. The California state Assembly, the San Diego City Council, and many government officials, agencies and community organizations have officially honored the Court.
Linda Perine, Community Service Award
As a dedicated LGBT activist, Linda Perine has worked with HRC, the Victory Fund, and the LGBT Center’s Community Leadership Council. In 2011, she chaired the LGBT Redistricting Task Force during the 2010-11 constitutionally mandated redistricting process, which was created to protect and enhance the LGBT community of interest district (District 3) and encourage education and participation among other communities of interest in the city’s redistricting process. Headed by Linda, the LGBT Task Force attended more than 100 meetings, classes and mapping sessions. Linda’s tireless dedication to this process resulted in a final map that is very close to what the LGBT Task Force originally drafted.
Safe Schools Task Force, Stonewall Service Award
The Safe Schools Advisory Board came together officially in November 2010 as a result of a conversation between Superintendent Bill Kowba, Chief of Staff Bernie Rhinerson, and Dr. Delores Jacobs. It is intended to ensure the San Diego Unified Board of Trustees adopted a safe schools/anti bullying policy. Since then, the group – co-chaired by Dr. Nellie Meyer and Dr. Delores Jacobs, with strong support from Superintendent Bill Kowba, Trustees Richard Barrera and Kevin Beiser – has been involved in the work of researching and codifying a comprehensive set of protocols, procedures, and initiatives designed to ensure that all students, including LGBT students, have access to a school environment free from bullying, where each student is free to achieve their educational potential.
Tess Banko, Friend of Pride
Tess Banko is a USMC service related, disabled veteran, who is presently attending SDSU for her Masters in Sociology, with the intention of eventually getting her Ph.D. Tess is a major player in the veterans’ rights/advocacy movement. While stationed overseas years ago in the war zone, she witnessed mistreatment of a Marine that was presumed to be gay. Since then, she has organized, volunteered, and spent her own money to push for LGBT equality. She still attends veterans groups that are very opposed to LGBT equality and goes out of her way to open hearts and minds for LGBT people in a very hostile environment. She is also one of the original SDEC organizers that organized and managed the largest anti-Prop. 8 rally and march in the U.S., with some 25,000 people in San Diego. She went on to organize many events and rallies for LGBT equality.
Jerry Turner, Champion of Pride
Jerry has shown a tireless dedication to San Diego POZabilities, a supportive network for HIV+ men and their friends, which connects more than 500 members in San Diego through diverse social events in a safe, welcoming environment. His leadership and the people he works with, has resulted in an atmosphere of acceptance, caring, true understanding and empowerment for those who battle HIV and AIDS. The social stigma of living with HIV is daunting for many. We all owe Jerry Turner and the members of San Diego POZabilities a huge debt of gratitude for building a lasting, credible and successful organization that fills a crucial void for our friends and family in the HIV affected community.
Joey Powers and Joe Foster, Community Service Award
Joe and Joey’s unrelenting perseverance and dedication to the mission, vision and values of San Diego LGBT Pride make them a sought out commodity for Pride and in the community at large. Their volunteer service includes: The Center’s monthly food bank, Nightmare on Normal Street and Family Matters Garage Sale; the Earth Day Celebration; the Hillcrest’s BIA’s Mardi Gras and City Fest; and, for the last 12 years, San Diego LGBT Pride. Joe and Joey personify personal commitment, indomitable spirit, compassion and a desire to help others in need.
Congresswoman Susan Davis, Friend of Pride
With Congresswoman Susan Davis leading the debate, the House of Representatives voted to end the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. In effect for almost 18 years, DADT prohibited gay men and women from serving openly in the military. That’s only one of the reasons she is being honored this year as a Friend of Pride. Without the congresswoman’s efforts, the same might still be true today.
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