2012 LA PRIDE HONOREES
PRESENTED BY CHRISTOPHER STREET WEST
2012 Honorees | 2011 Honorees | 2010 Honorees | 2009 Honorees | 2008 Honorees | 2007 Honorees | 2006 Honorees | Other Past Award Recipients
Each year, Christopher Street West recognizes people and groups that have especially impacted the LGBTQ community. With a demonstrated commitment to greater visibility and understanding, advocacy, human rights, empowerment, marriage equality and service, CSW is very excited to present the 2012 LA PRIDE Honorees:
Dr. Virginia Uribe
Morris Kight Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Virginia Uribe is a fearless advocate for LGBT youth. 28 years ago at Fairfax High School she was the one teacher gay students could confide in. At the time, just one year after the discovery of AIDS, this was not only strikingly controversial and but also revolutionary.
The supportive atmosphere and safe space Dr. Uribe created in her classroom morphed into Project 10, the renowned LAUSD district-wide program that provides support for LGBT students. Project 10 also works with school administrators and tries to create campuses that are free from bullying. Remarkably, this program is still the only one of its kind in the world. Dr. Uribe has continued working tirelessly to ensure LGBT youth are supported and spearheaded Models of Pride, a one-day conference for LGBTQ Youth and their allies.
For an extraordinary lifetime of work, Christopher Street West is honored to present Dr. Virginia Uribe with the Morris Kight Lifetime Achievement Award.
Named for trail-blazing CSW co-founder, Morris Kight (1919-2003), this award recognizes an individual whose body of work—over the course of a lifetime—has left a lasting and major imprint on the LGBT community.
Christopher Street West annually presents The Person of the Year Award to someone consistently making a positive and lasting impact on the LGBT community.
Chaz Bono's 2011 memoir and Sundance-premiering, Emmy-nominated documentary were media sensations, however it was his courage on Dancing with the Stars that gave transgender issues unprecedented visibility to millions of fans of this hit show. Even with pressure put on ABC to disqualify Chaz, he showed up, danced, charming us all, and upon his most graceful exit said proudly, "I wanted to show America a different kind of man," dedicating everything he did to people like him, especially the kids and teens who are struggling.
The massive impact Chaz has had on our society as a respectable, generous and very public transgender man is untold. For this, we are thrilled to present him as 2012 Person of the Year, and are extra pleased to celebrate him here in his hometown.
The Person of the Year is an individual who is consistently involved in an important undertaking that has made a positive impression for the entire LGBT community.
Harvey Milk Legacy Award
Mia Yamamoto's life started behind barbed wire in a Japanese internment camp. After serving our country in Vietnam, she earned her J.D. from UCLA in 1971. In the public sector as a newly minted lawyer, Mia's career as a civil rights activist took off. In private practice, she continued on this path through affiliations with the Multi-Cultural Bar Alliance, International Bridge to Justice, which provides due process education to judicial systems in China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia, ACLU of Southern California and The Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity for the American Bar Association.
Mia currently lectures on transgender and LGBT issues for the UCLA, USC and Southwestern Law School OUTLaw Organizations, as well leading undergraduate classes and community forums. For all that she had accomplished, above and beyond the call of duty, and often in a quiet yet powerful way, it is our honor to present the 2012 Harvey Milk Legacy Award to Mia Yamamoto.
The Harvey Milk Legacy Award recognizes an individual who give of themselves well beyond the call of duty in numerous ways. The legacy award is dedicated to the memory of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay City Supervisor of San Francisco who was assassinated in 1978.
Kamala Harris is the first woman, first African-American and first Asian American to serve as Attorney General for the State of California. In this formidable elective role, Harris has made the fight against fraudulent foreclosures, the effects of which continue to devastate homeowners throughout our State, her signature issue.
However, it is her bold leadership on matters of paramount importance to the LGBT community and unwavering support of marriage equality that have made her a stand-out among elected officials. At her victory party in 2010 she announced she would not defend Prop 8. As the lengthy legal journey continues, Prop 8 is currently on appeal in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Harris continues to champion marriage equality. In 2011, she asked the 9th Circuit to allow marriages to resume while the proposition's constitutionality is considered. "It is a civil rights issue," she has said. "I wholeheartedly believe that equal marriage rights for all will soon be the law of the land." Putting prescient words into action, Harris was recently named one of the National Co-Chairs of President Obama's re-election campaign where she is part of a growing number that support a pro-marriage equality platform.
For all that Attorney General Kamala Harris has done, and will continue to do, Christopher Street West is proud to present her with the 2012 LA PRIDE George Moscone Ally Award, named in honor of another passionate ally from San Francisco.
The George Moscone Ally Award recognizes a non-LGBT ally who furthers human rights and takes a leadership role in involvement or speaking out on LGBT issues. Moscone was the Mayor of San Francisco when he was assassinated in 1978 along with Harvey Milk.
For 17-year-old high school junior Katy Butler, enough was enough. After coming out as a lesbian in middle school, and being bullied as a result, she was outraged that the new documentary "Bully" was to be released with an "R" rating. This meant that those under 17, the youth directly affected by bullying would not be able to see the film.
Current data suggests that 13-million students in the US are victims of bullying. Katy started an online petition via Change.org to urge the MPAA to change Bully's rating from "R" to "PG-13." 500,000 signatures later, and with the support of stars like Ellen Degeneres, who welcomed her on her show; the Washington Post named Katy "a new voice against bullying."
For demonstrating to us all that one is never too young to inspire change, we are honored that Katy will be our 2012 Outstanding Youth Leader.
The Outstanding Youth Leader Award recognizes individuals between the ages of 14-24, who have volunteered their time for the betterment of youth in the LGBT community. The recipient of this award is one who has been instrumental in making sure that events, activities, and programs for LGBT youth are diverse, creative, artistic, educational and productive.
Steve Jimenez is a teacher by trade, but a rock star when it comes to supporting LGBT youth and their families within LAUSD, the nation's second largest school district. Since 2003, he has been the indefatigable go-to on LGBT student issues, assisting 30,000 teachers, administrators and staff when it comes to the rights and protections LGBT students are entitled to as well as best practices for prevention and intervention of bullying.
In 2006, Jimenez was named Coordinator of Project 10, the incredibly innovative support program for LGBT students--one of the first in the country--within LAUSD through which he connects students and their families to available resources and LGBT student events.
One of his proudest accomplishments is the LGBT Youth Scholarship program he co-founded in 2007 which has provided thousands of dollars to help LGBT students and allies attend college. Additionally, he co-facilitates the Silver Lake chapter of the renowned support group PFLAG and founded the nonprofit, Gay and Lesbian Administrators and Allies.
Overall, Jimenez has contributed immeasurably to the health and well-being of LGBT students for many years, and in doing so, has helped foster an environment of acceptance and better understanding. For his tireless work on behalf of LGBT youth and their families, we are most honored to present Stephen Jimenez with the 2012 LA PRIDE Connie Norman Spirit Award.
The Connie Norman Spirit Award recognizes an individual or organization for outstanding achievement in fostering racial, ethnic, spiritual and gender unity within the LGBT community. This award is named for beloved transgender activist, Connie Norman, who fought tirelessly for the rights of people with HIV/AIDS.
Andelson/Thais-Williams Business Award
Jewel's Catch One opened in 1972 as the nation's first black gay and lesbian disco. But as AIDS devastated her community, owner-activist Jewel Thais-Williams yearned to help. She co-founded The Minority AIDS Project and became a board member of AIDS Project Los Angeles. With her partner Rue, she co-founded Rue's House, the first of its kind residential home for women and children with HIV/AIDS. Advances in treatment allowed Rue's House to close, so Jewel reopened it in 1997 as the Village Manor, which to this day continues providing physical, emotional, spiritual and mental health support to all in need.
While the legendary doors of 'The Catch' still welcome thousands to its pulsating dance floors every weekend, during the day it is a community center. For all that she has accomplished, leading the way for so many in the business world, Christopher Street West is most proud to rename the Sheldon Andelson Business Award, to the Andelson/Thais-Williams Business Award, and name Jewel Thais-Williams its inaugural awardee.
The Andelson / Thais-Williams Business Award recognizes an individual or business that exemplifies professional support to the LGBT community. This award is named in honor of Jewel Thais-Williams, who opened Jewel’s Catch One in 1972, and Sheldon Andelson, founder of the Bank of Los Angeles and co-founder of the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center.
For phenom event producer and entrepreneur, Tom Whitman, when the party is over, his philanthropic work is just getting started. He has been producing high-octane events locally and nationally within LGBT circles for a decade, including those for HRC, GLAAD, the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center and for LA PRIDE'S 2012 Community Grand Marshal, The Trevor Project. It is his more recent charitable endeavor, however, The Gang of 100, that has made him so well-regarded when it comes to giving back.
The Gang of 100 is an informal group of friends, men and women, 100-strong that utilize their social connections to raise funds for a variety of Los Angeles-based nonprofits. With 100% of the money raised at Gang of 100 events going directly back to the benefit organization, Whitman has elevated the community service model. Over the past 5 years, The Gang of 100 has raised an astounding $700,000 for The Trevor Project, The Point Foundation, AIDS Project Los Angeles and more.
Whitman currently serves as Chair of APLA's Board of Directors, serving as a Board member over the past five years.
For motivating his vast and influential circle to excite others about the importance of giving back, and for creating the channel by which it is fun, inclusive and cool, we are excited to present Tom Whitman with the 2012 LA PRIDE Berman Schaffer Service Award.
The Berman / Schaffer Service Award recognizes an individual or organization within the LGBT community that has made a noticeable and positive impression on the community and whose vision includes inspiring self-esteem and building strategic partnerships. This award is named for Steve Berman and Ralph Schaffer who were key in both the Los Angeles Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Community Services Center in the 1970's.
Dee Rees, a relatively new writer/director, and Spike Lee protégé, is at the dawn of what will assuredly be a heralded career, if her arresting film "Pariah" is an indication. "Pariah" is about a 17-year old African-American teenager embracing her identity as a lesbian. Premiering at Sundance in 2011, it received the Excellence in Cinematography Award, and went on to become a film festival and crowd favorite. Additionally Dee was honored with the John Cassavetes Award, at the 2012 Spirit Awards.
“Growing up I was very aware that there weren’t many people like me on the screen. My only queer reference was from a few scenes in the “The Color Purple,” and I had to leave the room for them. My role models came mainly from books, Toni Morrison and Alice Walker and a lot of others.”
The Osborn / Michaels Media Award recognizes an individual or organization that provides positive and compelling information to help advance the LGBT community. Dick Michaels co-created The Advocate in 1967—then a newspaper— one of the first LGBT-focused news publications. Through numerous television news appearances, Torie Osborn is recognized nationally as being at the forefront of the major fights for social justice for 45 years.
Pat Parker Cultural Arts Award
As it marks its most impressive 30th anniversary, the aptly-named Celebration Theatre is a community of artists dedicated to presenting innovative, provocative and relevant work examining the LGBT experience.
Founded in 1982 by gay rights pioneer, Chuck Rowland, one of the original founders of the Mattachine Society, Celebration Theatre is the only community-based professional theatre in Los Angeles endeavoring to accurately represent the LGBT community, telling our stories and honoring our past. Having just reached its 30th year in operation, the donation-based Celebration Theatre continually strives to provide the best in LGBT-focused entertainment.
For its continued service, it is our honor to present Celebration Theater with the Pat Parker Cultural Arts Award.
The Pat Parker Cultural Arts Award recognizes an individual or organization that supports the LGBT spirit through the arts. This award is dedicated to the legacy of Pat Parker, a groundbreaking African-American lesbian poet and activist.
Past honorees have demonstrated a commitment to the goals of human rights, equality, empowerment and a better understanding within the LGBTQ community and beyond. Every year, you are invited to nominate deserving individuals or organizations. Selection is by committee.
Multiple categories are awarded for outstanding contributions in a wide variety of specialties such as community service, political involvement, the arts, sports and the media.
CSW is tremendously proud of all the honorees past and present for their significant achievements and tireless efforts from which so many of us have benefited.