2009 Christopher Street West
Los Angeles LGBT PRIDE Honorees
Each year, individuals are proudly awarded recognition for noticeable contributions they have made over a significant period of time. Nominations come directly from the community to Christopher Street West through advertised channels, outreach and open recommendations for candidates that stand to strengthen our commitment to the goals of human rights, equality, empowerment and a better understanding within the LGBT community of itself and in relation to the non-LGBT community.
Awards in multiple categories are given for outstanding contributions in a wide variety of specialties such as arts, community service, political involvement, sports, and media publication. We are tremendously grateful to all Honorees, Grand Marshals and numerous nominees for their significant achievements and tireless efforts from which so many benefit. While we recognize these outstanding contributions, our community is eternally grateful for all of the efforts and achievements of those who work towards a greater global humanity.
Morris Kight Lifetime Achievement Award
The Morris Kight Lifetime Achievement Award, first given in 2003, recognizes an individual whose lifetime of work has left a lasting major imprint on the LGBT community.
For decades, Jeanne Córdova has understood that community organizing is not just an agenda, it is a lifestyle to which she has tirelessly devoted her life. After coming out as a lesbian while in the order of the Immaculate Heart of Mary convent in 1967, she earned a masters degree in community organization from UCLA. She served as chapter president and later newsletter editor with the Daughters of Bilitis. Jeanne went on to produce The Lesbian Tide, arguably the newspaper of record for the lesbian feminist decade. Córdova opened the first lesbian center in Los Angeles, was a key organizer in the first National Lesbian Conference, sat on the Board of the Gay Community Services Center (now the LA Gay & Lesbian Center) and became the Human Rights Editor of the Los Angeles Free Press. She campaigned to defeat the anti-gay Briggs initiative where her vital efforts encouraged the resurgence of a co-gender alliance. Helping to form the California State Gay and Lesbian Caucus within the National Democratic Party, Córdova was a founder of the LA Gay and Lesbian Press Association, a founding board member of the Connexxus Womens’ Center/Centro de Mujeres and worked as media director for STOP-64, defeating the California ballot measure to quarantine people with AIDS. The author of multiple books, essays, columns and stories, Córdova continued publishing as a form of activism by founding the Community Yellow Pages and served as President of the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives. She and her partner, Lynn Harris Ballen, published the first queer co-gender magazine, Square Peg, and upon returning to Los Angeles, founded LEX – The Lesbian Exploratorium project.
Thank you, Jeanne Córdova, for a lifetime of insightful strength, creative motivation and the unifying efforts you have exhibited as an essential partner in building the Pride community!
Woman of the Year Award
The Woman of the Year is that individual who is continually involved in an important undertaking that makes a positive statement for the LGBT community as a whole.
Powerful, dynamic and articulate, Therese Stewart worked as a litigator for 20 years before joining the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office as Chief Deputy City Attorney. In 2004, she defended Mayor Gavin Newsom’s order authorizing 4,000 same-sex unions at City Hall. On March 4, 2008, Ms. Stewart presented oral argument to the California Supreme Court in the Marriage Cases with the high court decision issued on May 15, 2008 ultimately allowing for 18,000 legal same-sex unions in California. In the wake of Proposition 8, Stewart again argued before the California Supreme Court stating, “A guarantee of equality that is subject to exceptions by the majority is no guarantee at all. Stewart graduated from UC Berkeley’s School of Law and was the first openly gay president of the Bar Association of San Francisco. She has been with her wife, Carol Scagnetti, for 16 years. Her intelligent demeanor and insightful ability has brought incredible strength and resolve in the fight for civil rights.
Thank you, Therese Stewart, for your unique talents and incomparable expertise in standing up to fight on behalf of a global Pride community!
John A. Pérez
Man of the Year Award
The Man of the Year is that individual who continually is involved in an important undertaking that makes a positive statement for the LGBT community as a whole.
California State Assemblymember John A. Pérez, understands that in order to achieve equality, we must bring everyone to the table. Creating broad-based coalitions, this first openly-gay person of color elected to the State Assembly, throughout his career he has exemplified effective community service. John has created good jobs at fair wages, access to quality, affordable health care, safe schools where children can learn and improved air and water quality. His diverse and inclusive body of work promotes greater acceptance and opportunity for the inclusion of all Californians regardless or race, gender or sexual orientation. He serves as an elected member of the Democratic National Committee and has served as a board member for the California League of Conservation Voters, AIDS Project Los Angeles, the Latino Coalition against AIDS, the California Center for Regional Leadership and the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation and received a Presidential appointment to serve on the President’s Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS. A recognized leader in the civil rights arena, John possesses an extensive record of lobbying on behalf of marriage equality, immigrant rights, hate crimes legislation and a woman’s right to choose. He continues to make a positive statement for not only the LGBT community and Southern California, but for all citizens of our great state who benefit from his passionate work.
Thank you, John A. Pérez, for your fervent and dedicated spirit delivering tangible improvements, greater equality and a betterment of all human conditions!
Claudette Colbert a.k.a.
“Claudette Sexy DJ”
CSW Special Community Award
The CSW Special Community Award acknowledges outstanding persons, organizations, businesses, etc., that are identified as deserving of special recognition for exceptional reasons.
With more than 20 years of entertainment experience in radio, dance clubs and TV as an emcee, vocalist, comedienne and DJ, Claudette Colbert a.k.a. “Claudette Sexy DJ” is so much more than just a DJ. Her loving spirit, infectious charisma and endearing personality unites people through music with her one-of-a-kind community dance floor interaction. When Claudette Sexy DJ takes to the stage, and spins her signature beats, one is able to hear things in a different way and conversely gain new insight into other cultures and generations beyond themselves. Claudette Sexy DJ has generously shared her voice having spun at such fundraisers and volunteer events as “Single de Mayo”, Vanity Fair-APLA, NAACP, Battered Women’s Shelter, The Center/The Village Youth Outreach Halloween Party and Tuesday’s Child.
Thank you, Claudette Colbert, for sharing your gifts providing fun, esteem building and meaningful entertainment! .
CSW Special Community Award
The CSW Special Community Award acknowledges outstanding persons, organizations, businesses, etc., that are identified as deserving of special recognition for exceptional reasons.
Jim Williams is a secret hero. He is a positive and encouraging force who inspires volunteers to a greater level of service and builds leaders through strong and powerful words. Growing up in New Orleans lower ninth ward, he worked to rebuild after hurricane Camille and ultimately returned to witness the aftermath of Katrina - experiences that further influenced his drive to serve the community. Jim is acutely aware of empowering the youth to move beyond external forces and invigorating them to make informed choices in every aspect of their identity. Currently the Program Manager overseeing Volunteer Resources, Reception and Facilities, Jim has worked with AIDS Project Los Angeles since March of 1993. He has focused to redefine the confines of gender, racism and ageism as it relates to both communities of color and the LGBT community.
Thank you, Jim Williams, for years of service to those in need and inspiring youth to make a significant difference in the future of our community by mentoring young people through the volunteers process!
Outstanding Youth Leader Award
The Youth Leader Award recognizes a youth, between the ages of 14-24, who has volunteered their time for the betterment of young people in the LGBT community.
Chris Angel Murphy is an intelligent, caring and determined leader, who at only 21 years of age, has already amassed five years of critical and innovative community service. As a subcommittee leader of the Models of Pride planning committee, Chris has planned workshops and helped to produce a successful event hosting more than 300 LGBTQ youth in Los Angeles. Chris is an active member of the San Fernando Valley Courage Campaign mobilizing people to stand up against injustices towards not only the LGBTQ community, but other marginalized groups facing oppression. Chris served as Gay Straight Alliance president at Taft High School and is currently president of the GSA at Pierce College. An inspiration to the entire community, Chris courageously gives by openly sharing details of a genderqueer identity and personal life experiences, including teaching graduate students LGBTQ sensitivity. Chris has also been a guest speaker providing youth perspective on the injustice of Prop 8 and has collaborated on Project Transvoices, an educational video project argeted to help youth understand issues of gender.
Thank you, Chris Angel Murphy, for exemplifying enthusiasm and passion in bringing greater awareness and advancing solutions for all Pride generations!
Hollywood United Methodist Church
The Berman/Schaffer Award recognizes an individual or organization within the LGBT community that has made a noticeable and positive impression on the community, inspires self-esteem and builds strategic partnerships.
The Hollywood United Methodist Church has been a “sanctuary of hope” since the organization of its first congregation in 1909. The famed English Gothic Revival style cultural monument offers a physical and stable peace in the heart of dynamic and ever-changing Hollywood. Currently lead by Rev. Kathy Cooper-Ledesma, the 14th senior pastor and the first woman to fill that role, the growing and diverse congregation has a thriving children’s ministry, a variety of music programs and a strong-held commitment to mission and service. Their efforts to uphold this community philosophy have been consistently illustrated by actions such as the red AIDS ribbons affixed to the sanctuary tower as well as outreach and support for those affected by HIV/AIDS. After a bishop suspended the priesthood of Father Geoff Farrow for his refusal to tell parishioners to vote yes on Prop 8, Hollywood United invited him to deliver a sermon and hold round table discussions on LGBT issues in religion. Post Prop 8, the church grounds were opened as the starting point of the December Hollywood Candlelight Vigil. This beacon of hope, where all are truly welcome, offers an inclusive invitation to all persons to share in faith, community life and ministries.
Thank you, Hollywood United Methodist Church, for the longstanding legacy in ministering to those in need, inspiring a greater sense of community and sharing the divine spirit of God’s love for all!
Connie Norman Award
The Connie Norman Award recognizes an individual or organization for outstanding achievement in fostering racial, ethnic, religious and gender unity within the LGBT community. This award is named for transsexual Connie Norman, who fought tirelessly for the rights of people with HIV/AIDS.
Sophisticated, conscious and empowering, Doug Spearman is an accomplished actor, writer, producer and director, perhaps best known for his starring role as Chance, the reserved economics professor on the hit LOGO series, Noah’s Arc. His talent and perseverance has yielded professional success, while his open, honest and hard working personality has been a spotlight of encouragement for those seeking to openly identify with the LGBT community. With great courage, Doug uses his success and notoriety for community involvement reaching all areas of our diverse family including working for the Human Rights Campaign, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, The Black AIDS Institute, the Sexual Minority Youth for Leadership and Equality, LifeWorks Mentoring in West Hollywood and serving on the Board of Directors of Equality California.
Thank you, Doug Spearman, for the outstanding service, encompassing inclusivity and inspirational participation in finding new ways to accessibly bind and productively entertain the Pride community!
George Moscone Award
The George Moscone Award recognizes a non-gay individual who furthers human rights and does not shy away from involvement or speaking out on LGBT issues.
Two-time Academy Award® winner Sean Penn has become an American film icon in a career spanning nearly three decades. Penn has been nominated five times for the Academy Award® as Best Actor for Dead Man Walking, Sweet and Lowdown, I Am Sam and won his first Oscar® in 2003 for his searing performance in Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River and his second Oscar® as Best Actor in 2009 for Gus Van Sant’s Milk. The performance as gay rights icon Harvey Milk also garnered Penn “Best Actor” awards from The Screen Actors Guild, New York Film Critics Circle and Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
Thank you, Sean Penn, for boldly using your talent and voice to speak for those who need to be heard and for your actions that have motivated others to greater levels of humanitarian values!
Maria Louise Roman
Harvey Milk Award
The Harvey Milk Award recognizes an individual who gives of themselves well beyond the call of duty in countless ways.
Classy. Courageous. Committed. Maria Louise Roman is all about supporting the brothers and sisters of our community to improve their quality of life and full legal equality and protection under the law. Maria refuses to be silenced and has continued
to be a leader in social services for the Latina transgender community for over 15 years. She has served as a board member for the Liberty Hill Foundation, on the West Hollywood Transgender Task Force and the Trans-Unity planning committee. She has taught police sensitivity training to the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and been a presenter at the US Conference on AIDS and LLEGO National Latino Conference. In 2006, Maria was a victim of a hate crime in Miami where she was physically assaulted, molested, discriminated against by police and wrongly incarcerated.
Thank you, Maria Louise Roman, for actively influencing change in the hearts and minds of all. Even in the face of brutal discrimination, you inspire those around you to rise to action and continue in service to the needs of our community!
Tom of Finland Foundation
Pat Parker Arts Award
Sheldon Andelson Award
Regent Media is a powerful network of quality, entertaining and educational LGBT images, media and information of which the community should be deeply Proud. Formed by Regent Entertainment cofounders Paul Colichman and Stephen P. Jarchow, Regent Media is the world’s most dynamic LGBT-targeted, multi-platform media company. The company includes here! Networks, America’s premium gay and
lesbian television network and America’s best-known magazines and books for the gay and lesbian market with brands including The Advocate, Out, HIV Plus and the Alyson Books publishing division. Regent Media’s online presence incorporates the award-winning Advocate.com, Out.com, and HIVPlusMag.com along with Gaywired.com and the new SheWired.com. Boasting an impressive and diverse staff in Los Angeles and New York as well as a portfolio of media properties that are rich in cultural significance, history, entertainment, fashion and stunning imagery, this amazingly unique entity showcases, empowers and arms the community with knowledge, accuracy and unparalleled excellence.
Thank you, Regent Media, for the visionary excellence in leading the way to an inspired and accepting future where the LGBT community can self-express, own and reflect its honest and diverse image!
Torie Osborn/Dick Michaels Media Award
This award recognizes an individual or organization serving the community through the media. Torie Osborn is a best-selling author and social activist for the past three decades. Dick Michaels and partner Bill Rand started The Advocate as one of the first gay newspapers in 1967.
Pat Rocco is a pioneer who understood the importance of bringing positive LGBT images to the screen as an early advocate for the rights of the LGBT community in the formative years of the Pride Movement. He is a true servant and leader of the community. During his tenure as the first President of an incorporated Christopher Street West, Pat was a driving force in adding the festival component to the Los Angeles LGBT PRIDE Celebration. He started Hudson House, a shelter for homeless gay men and lesbian women, sang at the Metropolitan Community Church services, served with the Stonewall Democratic Club and remains on the board of directors for the United States Mission, providing shelter, food, clothing and job assistance for thousands. Perhaps some of his greatest contributions to the LGBT community were the films he produced, edited, wrote and directed that were among the first gay-themed films to play to the general public. Some of the only footage of early festivals, parades, protests and historical rallies are in archives today because of the talented insight and historical generosity that Pat exhibited in documenting the roots of our community.
Thank you, Pat Rocco, for the Pride you hold in your community is met with equal affection and admiration of your persistent support and groundbreaking contributions.
Chelsea Handler & C
Long-time supporter of equality, famed late-night talk show host of the E! Entertainment series, Chelsea Lately, Chelsea Handler boasts the consistently highest-rated program on E! We as a community are so fortunate to have this fresh, popular and talented artist, comedian and author of two best-sellers bring an appropriate integration of diverse humor to an ever-growing audience. When this queen of comedy was asked about the substantial cash donation she made towards defeating Prop 8, she was quoted in a January 2009 The Advocate article declaring, “If you don’t believe in gay marriage, don’t get married to a gay person! You don’t go back on civil rights.” From her stardom on Girls Behaving Badly to her hugely popular MSN online web series In The Motherhood, her charming spirit and quick-witted style brings an aura of light and approachable humor to the table in confronting difficult issues. Her first book, My Horizonital Life: A Collection of One Night Stands, was followed up with Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, which debuted at #1 on the NY Times Best Seller list with her authentic and hilarious commentary, Chelsea, along with her sidekick, Chuy Bravo, helps the world see past human differences and joins people together in laughter. Her continued support and eager embrace is of benefit not just to the LGBT family, but to a world of humanitarian values.
Thank you, Chelsea Handler, for your vision, strength and good humor moves us deeply all while making the world laugh through your thoughtful actions and selfless devotion.
Community Grand Marshal
OUT West is a coalition of organizations that are representative of the communities they serve, working toward common goals of equal rights for LGBTQI people, through mobilizing their community at the grassroots level. One of the most important things any member of our community can do to support the rights and equality of our movement, is to show up. Face to face, with a united voice, the barriers that can potentially separate any human being are quickly dissolved through the familiarity of a shared desire for improved humanity.
Every member of this coalition is a tribute to the dedication and revitalized energy that will allow us to achieve the social acceptance and full equality that every human being deserves.
All or Not at All
API Equality LA
California Faith For Equality
Dawn and Marie
Equal Roots Coalition
Equality Action Now
Get To Know Us First
Here to Stay Coalition
Latino Equality Alliance
Long Beach Equality
Love = Love
Love Honor Cherish
Marriage Equality USA
Obama Alumni for Marriage
Orange County Equality
Roots of Equality
San Diego Equality Campaign
Stonewall Democratic Club
Stonewall Young Democrats
The Wall Las Memorias Project
Unite The Fight
White Knot for Equality