2010 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.
Lifetime Achievement Award
The Morris Kight Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual whose lifetime of work has left a lasting major imprint on the LGBT community.
To make a lasting impression on an individual takes a special person. To make a difference in the lives of many takes a lifetime of work and a tremendous amount of selflessness. Nadia Sutton makes a difference in the lives of the people that she encounters every day. For her many years of outstanding service enriching the lives of others, Christopher Street West honors Nadia Sutton with the Morris Kight Lifetime Achievement Award.
Nadia is described by her peers as a champion and as an individual constantly working to help others. In 1989, Nadia founded PAWS/LA (Pets Are Wonderful Support), a non-profit organization dedicated to helping those affected by HIV/AIDS who had difficulty caring for their pets. Nadia saw a need and wrangled a team to make sure that those in need were not forced to lose their cherished animal companions. Since then the organization has expanded its scope and currently serves nearly 2,000 low-income households and those living with terminal illness.
Nadia is passionate about fighting against injustice and for equality. She is among the first to mobilize teams of people to show up at a march or demonstration. She hits the streets for youth, seniors, pets, and those outside of the LGBT community as well. She is a long-time volunteer at the Hollywood/YMCA transitional housing program. With the passage of Proposition 8, Nadia quickly demonstrated her passion by working with the Stonewall Democratic Club and organizing and participating at many demonstrations, phone banks, and protests.
Nadia is also a tireless advocate for many organizations that rely on her expertise and reach among many diverse communities including the Tweakers Project, Equal Roots Coalition, CITYx1, the LA Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and others. She offers resources, advice and a beaming smile to help them move forward. In addition, Nadia serves on the West Hollywood Lesbian & Gay Advisory Board, the West Hollywood Women’s Mastermind Group, Friends of the Center for Sex and Gender Research at CSUN and the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
Nadia is a social activist, volunteer, and inspiration. Her tireless giving and constant contributions do not go unnoticed. One nominator wrote, “Nadia embodies the true attributes of a heroine. She has committed herself to the LGBT community for decades and asks for nothing in return!”
Christopher Street West proudly awards Nadia Sutton the Morris Kight Lifetime Achievement Award knowing that she is a wonderful example of PRIDE: 365. Power. Passion. Purpose.
Person of the Year Award
The Person 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.
“I am what I want,” words written by Jane Velez-Mitchell, an inspirational and dedicated journalist, author and advocate. Christopher Street West proudly names Jane Velez-Mitchell as the 2010 Person of the Year for her activism, her honesty in sharing her journey overcoming addiction and being an out lesbian working in national media. She currently hosts "Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell," a topical event-driven show with a wide range of viewpoints.
Velez-Mitchell is a veteran television news journalist who spent more than a decade anchoring and reporting for KCAL-TV in Los Angeles. She also served as a reporter and anchor for eight years at WCBS-TV in New York City. She reported for the nationally syndicated Warner Brothers/Telepictures show "Celebrity Justice" and regularly served as a guest host for "Nancy Grace," a Headline News program. As a commentator on high-profile cases, Velez-Mitchell has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and other national cable television programs. She has been featured on CNN's "Larry King Live" on several occasions.
In addition, Velez-Mitchell is a published author. She wrote a nonfiction book, Secrets Can Be Murder: What America's Most Sensational Crimes Tell Us About Ourselves and an autobiography, I Want: My Journey from Addiction and Overconsumption to a Simpler, Honest Life. Her book was released on October 5, 2009, and became a New York Times bestseller. Her personal story chronicles a lifelong battle with alcoholism, coming out as a lesbian and her discovery of a healthier, happier and more meaningful existence. It is an honest and to the heart story of what it is like to come out as a lesbian working in the media and an inspiring account of overcoming addiction. In her book, Velez-Mitchell reveals that she strives “to experience the ultimate joy and freedom that lies in compassion and being of service to other people and other living beings.”
In addition, Velez-Mitchell is a strong animal rights activist. She has worked diligently for many non-profit organizations advocating the humane treatment of animals. While working on "Celebrity Justice," Velez-Mitchell's reporting earned the show two Genesis Awards from the Humane Society of the United States. She is also a practicing vegan.
Velez-Mitchell is the recipient of a Los Angeles Emmy Award and a New York Emmy Award. The KCAL-TV newscasts she co-anchored won three Southern California Golden Mike Awards and an Emmy. She also wrote, directed and produced "Dancing Through Life," an award-winning documentary.
Christopher Street West proudly honors Jane Velez-Mitchell as the 2010 Person of the Year for demonstrating true PRIDE 365: Power. Passion. Purpose.
Photo by JPI Studios<
Best in Drag Show
CSW Special Community
The CSW Special Community Award acknowledges outstanding persons, organizations, businesses, etc., that are indentified as deserving of special recognition for exceptional reasons.
Exciting, exuberant and entertaining are three adjectives that can be used to describe the Ladies of the Best in Drag show on-stage. Off-stage they are community leaders and volunteers; each dedicated to helping others.
The Best in Drag Show is a unique and entertaining event benefiting Aid for AIDS (AFA), an organization committed to the well-being of those living with HIV/AIDS.
Christopher Street West recognizes the team from the Best in Drag Show for its outstanding community service and leadership in raising funds and awareness for people living with HIV/AIDS by honoring it with a CSW Special Community Award.
Best in Drag Show is a labor of love by a group of friends who donate their time and remarkable talents to bring just the right combination of brilliant polish and crazy charm. Each year, the event takes about seven months to prepare, from elaborate costumes and witty routines to choreography and music. Originally called the Battle for the Tiara, the Best in Drag Show is a spoof on the Miss America Pageant. It began production in 1989, the brainchild of Patrick Rush and Alexis Pittman and has since generated over $1million in donations. Rush says, “We wanted to raise money for an organization that had actually helped people we knew.”
Past celebrity judges have included Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Lynch, John C. Reilly, Caroline Rhea, Charlie Sheen, Niecy Nash, Peter Gallager, Kathy Griffin and many more.
Honored with the CSW Special Community Award, Christopher Street West commends the Best in Drag Show team for their PRIDE 365: Power. Passion. Purpose.
CSW Special Community
The CSW Special Community Award acknowledges outstanding persons, organizations, businesses, etc., that are indentified as deserving of special recognition for exceptional reasons.
¡Si se puede! Yes we can make a difference. HONOR PAC, a political action committee, works to make a difference for the Latina/o LGBT communities. HONOR PAC is a voluntary non-partisan committee that supports legislation and legislators that work to advance progressive policy.
Christopher Street West recognizes HONOR PAC with the CSW Special Community Award.
What does HONOR PAC do? HONOR PAC supports education for Latina/o immigrant students and helps Latino LGBT youth by supporting anti-bullying legislation. It strives to provide access to health care and support for HIV/AIDS funding. In addition to fighting for marriage equality, it works to achieve equal protection for transgender individuals. HONOR PAC wants to improve the quality of life by standing up to discrimination. HONOR PAC works to elect candidates that support and advocate for the interests of the Latina/o LGBT communities. It supports or opposes ballot propositions that serve the interests of the Latina/o LGBT communities. HONOR PAC promotes LGBT education and mobilization of lawful political action, including support and advocacy for increased Latina/o LGBT voices in elected and appointed offices.
HONOR PAC continuously demonstrates PRIDE 365: Power. Passion. Purpose.
Outstanding Youth Leader Award
The Youth Leader Award recognizes a youth who has volunteered their time for the betterment of young people in the LGBT community.
Ari Ruiz is a young and inspiring activist. His list of accomplishments is extensive and continues to grow. Christopher Street West recognizes and honors Ari Ruiz with the Outstanding Youth Leader Award.
In August 2009, Ari Ruiz was appointed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to the Commission for Children, Youth and their Families. He was also the youngest individual to be elected Political Vice President for the Stonewall Young Democrats, an organization representing and mobilizing the LGBT youth within the Democratic Party. In addition to his leadership, Ari has helped execute grass root campaigns and created coalitions among immigrant Spanish-speaking communities, policy makers and organizational leaders. He worked to improve education in East Los Angeles by getting involved with the InnerCity Struggle, a community based organization. He also worked in the community of El Serano as the Outreach Coordinator for Barrio Action, which ensures that community members participate in after-school tutoring, English as a Second Language for adults and basic computer skills building for adults and children.
Ari organized workshops and reviewed workshop proposals focusing on the concerns and interests of the LGBT youth within the Los Angeles Unified School District as a member of Project 10. As the Political Vice-President of the Stonewall Young Democrats, Ari organized the “LGBT Community Reception for Congresswoman Judy Chu,” “EFCA and ENDA Panel with panelist speaker Maria Elena Durazo,” and “The LGBT and Immigrant Community.”
Ari Ruiz is a dedicated and active individual. He exudes PRIDE: 365: Power. Passion. Purpose. and is proudly honored by Christopher Street West.
Guy Baldwin, M.S.
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.
Guy Baldwin is a pioneer, an educator and an advocate in the LGBT, BDSM, D/S, and Leather communities. Christopher Street West awards Guy Baldwin with the Berman/Schaffer Award for his work and continuous support of the LGBT, BDSM, D/S, and Leather communities.
Guy Baldwin was the first gay man to join the Society of Janus, an education and support organization devoted to safe and consensual BDSM. He quickly helped educate and expand the group. Guy continued to develop. He returned to L.A. in 1980 for grad school. During his psychotherapy internship, Baldwin challenged academia by “insisting that ‘taboo’ erotic practices had been misunderstood by mental health-care providers.” In 1987, Guy attended the March on Washington and with a friend began the “DSM Project.” He worked to change the view and recognition among professional metal health practitioners concerning alternative or kinky sexuality. He was co-creator of the Kink-Aware-Professionals List, the first global Internet referral resource specifically for kink-friendly health care, legal and other professionals. The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom now administers the KAP List. (www.ncsfreedom.org)
Instrumental to its inception and development Guy has helped changed the world’s perception regarding alternative or kinky sexuality. He has received awards and recognition including: Mr. National Leather Association, International Mr. Leather, the Pantheon and Dominion Lifetime Achievement Awards. In 2008 the NGLTF honored Baldwin with its third ever Leather Leadership Award."
The Berman/Schaffer Award is proudly given to Guy Baldwin, M.S., for his help in changing perceptions, inspiring others, and building a network of support for the BDSM, D/S, and Leather communities.
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.
“Yo soy un milagro. I am a miracle,” words spoken by Bamby Salcedo, a transgender woman who has survived against great odds and is presently working to make a difference in the lives of many others. Christopher Street West awards Bamby Salcedo with the Connie Norman Award to recognize her for her work in the transgender community and fight for the rights of people with HIV/AIDS.
Bamby Salcedo is the project coordinator for the transgender youth program with Children's Hospital Los Angeles. She previously worked as the program manager for the Transgeneros Unidas with Bienestar Human Services in Southern California.
Ms. Salcedo is a strong advocate and activist on issues regarding HIV prevention and economic and professional development for Latina transgender women who reside in the United States. She has presented at many national health and HIV prevention conferences, and serves in various planning groups statewide, including the California HIV Planning Group (CHPG), in which she chairs the transgender working group. Ms. Salcedo is also a member of the Transgender Service Provider Network (TSPN) in Los Angeles. Bamby is the creator of the Angels of Change Calendar which provides positive and assuring images to transgender youth.
Demonstrating Pride 365: Power. Passion. Purpose., Bamby Salcedo is honored with the Connie Norman Award.
Sheryl Lee Ralph
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.
A Diva, not “simply” singing, Christopher Street West proudly recognizes and honors Sheryl Lee Ralph for her contributions and work in HIV/AIDS awareness with the George Moscone Award.
Sheryl Lee Ralph is an acclaimed actress, activist and creator. In 1990, she established the Diva Foundation and created DIVAS Simply Singing!; a magical evening of song. Divas Simply Singing! is a star-studded, fundraising extravaganza, produced by, and featuring Ms. Ralph and a host of committed Divas, including Chaka Khan, Stacey "Fergie" Ferguson, Miss Nancy Wilson, Loretta Devine, Melissa Manchester and Raven Symone. The annual event has helped raised millions for organizations such as AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Women Alive and the Black Pride Institute and Project Angel Food. Through entertainment, Divas Simply Singing! educates and changes the perception attached to this deadly disease. The Diva Foundation is a pre-eminent AIDS-awareness organization recognized nationally and continuously aiding in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
“Women’s voices have been silent for too long in the struggle against HIV/AIDS,” Sheryl says, “and their stories need to be told. Their health and well-being matter too.”
As a straight ally, Sheryl Lee Ralph shows support with PRIDE 365. Power. Passion. Purpose and Christopher Street West proudly recognizes her.
Reverend Dr. Neil G. Thomas
Harvey Milk Award
The Harvey Milk Award recognizes an individual who gives of themselves well beyond the call of duty in countless ways.
Reverend Dr. Neil G. Thomas presently resides as the Senior Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church Los Angeles, an organization instrumental in an international movement outreaching in and beyond the gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning, and inter-sex community.
Christopher Street West honors Reverend Dr. Neil G. Thomas with the Harvey Milk Award for his tireless dedication, compassion and selfless work within the LGBT community and beyond.
Reverend Dr. Thomas is a social activist. He has helped create feeding programs for the homeless, night and day shelters, safer sex initiatives, better working relations between law enforcement and the LGBT community, Over the Rainbow (a drop in center offering counseling, support and information), and other LGBT youth services. Reverend Thomas has served as Chaplain to the Sanctuary (an HIV/AIDS hospice), five drug and alcohol rehab houses, Women’s Refuge and Mayor of Bournemouth. As the President of California Faith for Equality, Reverend Dr. Thomas works with an interfaith coalition to build a collective voice that will bring about Marriage Equality in California. He is also the President of the Los Angeles LGBTQI Clergy Council. Reverend Dr. Thomas “believes that God is calling us all to make a difference and to reach the world, one life at a time.”
The Harvey Milk Award is bestowed upon Reverend Dr. Neil G. Thomas with sincere admiration by Christopher Street West for being an exemplary role model of PRIDE 365: Power. Passion. Purpose.
West Coast Singers
Pat Parker Arts Award
The Pat Parker 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.
Created in 1983, the West Coast Singers is the third oldest mixed-voiced chorus of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender singers in the nation. Upon its inception the organization’s primary purpose was to provide a safe environment for gays and lesbians to come together and sing. After twenty-seven years the West Coast Singers is now known worldwide and continues to impact its community. The West Coast Singers describes itself as “The Chorus of the Lesbian/Gay Community of Los Angeles,” and its mission is “singing and community involvement.”
Christopher Street West honors The West Coast Singers with the Pat Parker Arts Award for its dedication and support of the LGBT community though song and community service.
Through song, The West Coast Singers “educates and facilitates mutual respect between the gay and lesbian community and the community at large.” Through community, The West Coast Singers has performed at many community events including: the California AIDS Lifecycle closing ceremonies, the Gay & Lesbian Center’s 25th anniversary, PFLAG’s 20th anniversary dinner, the Lazarus Project’s awards dinners, the GLAAD Tidings annual holiday party, the Imperial Court of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley Coronation Food Awards dinner, the Human Rights Awards Dinner, and the Names Project presentation of the Aids Memorial Quilt at UCLA.
The West Coast Singers embraces diversity, and consecutively demonstrates PRIDE 365: Power. Passion. Purpose.
Sheldon Andelson Award
Christopher Street West awards the M·A·C AIDS Fund with the Sheldon Andelson Award for its unwavering fight against AIDS and financial contributions to find a cure.
The M·A·C AIDS Fund, the heart and soul of M·A·C cosmetics, was established in 1994 to support men, women and children affected by HIV/AIDS globally. MAF is a pioneer in HIV/AIDS funding, providing financial support to organizations working with underserved regions and populations. As the largest corporate non-pharmaceutical giver in the arena, MAF is committed to addressing the link between poverty and HIV/AIDS by supporting diverse organizations around the world that provide a wide range of services to people living with HIV/AIDS. To date, MAF has raised over $150 Million (U.S.) exclusively through the sale of M·A·C’s VIVA GLAM Lipstick and Lipglass, donating 100 percent of the sale price to fight HIV/AIDS.
The M·A·C AIDS Fund’s serves people of all ages, all races and all sexes affected by HIV and AIDS. MAF funds innovative programs that help the marginalized, stigmatized and under-heard victims. MAF celebrates humanity, life, creativity and individuality. Making a difference, one VIVA GLAM lipstick at a time.
The M·A·C AIDS Fund is PRIDE 365: Power. Passion. Purpose. and is honored by Christopher Street West with the Sheldon Andelson 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.
What does DIVA stand for? D.I.V.A.: Diverse and Inclusive Visionary Artists is a grassroots, non-profit organization comprised of 2,000+ industry members dedicated to promoting the creative endeavor and maximum visibility of multi-ethnic and/or LGBT artists and professionals in the media.
Christopher Street West honors D.I.V.A. with the Torie Osborn / Dick Michaels Media Award for giving these artist a platform and greater visibility.
In 2003, Nelson Melgrito created D.I.V.A. as a result of his involvement with other community organizations. He recognized the need to provide a forum for multi-ethnic LGBT artists with an alternative niche to network. Membership has grown from 200 to 2,000 since its inception and D.I.V.A. plays host to high-profile events, mixers, screenings, premieres, and film festivals, including: award-winning movies such as "Tarnation", "Boy Culture" "Gay Republicans", "Paper Dolls" and "Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros"; Will & Grace Series Finale benefiting Lifeworks Mentoring; Equality U Soulforce Fundraiser, and the only organization to produce Madonna Confessions Promotion in L.A..
D.I.V.A. has many members, artists, personalities and supporters which include Margaret Cho, TR Knight, Alec Mapa, Wilson Cruz, Chad Allen, John Amaechi, Robert Gant, Peter Paige, Jai Rodriguez, Rex Lee, Michael Urie, Darryl Stephens, Reichen, JP Calderon, Del Shores and Jason Dottley to name a few.
Increasing awareness not only for itself, D.I.V.A. has helped raise funds and placed a greater spotlight on organizations such as the Equality California, GLAAD, The Trevor Project, Human Rights Campaign, Upright Cabaret, OUTFEST, and many others.
D.I.V.A. is an exemplary model of PRIDE 365: Power. Passion. Purpose.
Sharon & Kelly Osbourne
Christopher Street West Proudly welcomes Sharon & Kelly Osbourne as the 2010 Parade Grand Marshals.
Sharon Osbourne is a successful manager, mother, author, producer and philanthropist and is, at press time, competing on “The Celebrity Apprentice,” aiming to raise over $1 million for various charities. Sharon will also be back this summer on “America’s Got Talent.”
Her accomplished career in the music industry has spanned over 30 years. Sharon has managed numerous successful artists’, such as Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Electric Light Orchestra, and Smashing Pumpkins. In 1996, Sharon created and produced the wildly successful Ozzfest.
Sharon is credited with creating and producing the first reality celebrity TV show, “The Osbournes”, which earned MTV the highest ratings for any of their programs since its conception and won a Primetime Emmy for Best Reality Show.
Sharon’s additional television credits include “Days of our Lives,” “Punk’d,” and “Will & Grace.” Sharon’s “Will & Grace” role came about during a live auction benefit for The Trevor Project in which she bid $10,000 to support LGBT youth. Sharon recently participated in the “Give A Damn Campaign,” which seeks to inspire and engage people, especially in the straight community, to get involved in the advancement of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality.
Osbourne has authored several books including he recent release, Revenge, and Sharon Osbourne Extreme: My Autobiography.
After beating colon cancer, she started the Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Foundation in association with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The Foundation’s mission is to provide free screenings, support and healthcare to those who can’t afford it and are afflicted with the disease.
Kelly Osbourne is a television personality, singer, actress, author, fashion designer and model. Osbourne currently writes a weekly column for the UK magazine Closer and can be seen as a special contributor for “Dr. Phil.” Last year, she appeared on “Dancing with the Stars,” where she and her professional partner came in third.
After bursting onto our TV screens at 15 in the Emmy Award-winning MTV series “The Osbournes,” Kelly went on to star in the high school teen drama “Life As We Know It.” In 2009, Kelly was reunited with her family for the television special “The Osbournes: Reloaded.”
Last year, Osbourne released an autobiography titled Fierce which reached #1 on many of Amazon’s charts. Though the book contains autobiographical elements, it also was written to give advice and guidance through tough periods.
In 2007, Osbourne made her debut as the youngest person ever to play the role of Mama Morton in the hit musical Chicago. Her performance earned her a coveted Theatre Actress of the Year Award voted for by the readers of Glamour Magazine.
Osbourne’s debut album Shut Up!, was released in 2002 and debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart. Her single “Changes,” a duet with her father, hit #1 on the UK charts.
Osbourne considers one of her greatest achievements as being asked to be an Ambassador for the Prince’s Trust as well as her on-going work for her mother’s charity, The Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Foundation.
International Court System
Community Grand Marshal
Forty-five years in the making, Christopher Street West names the International Court System the Community Grand Marshal.
The International Court is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the LGBT community by spearheading AIDS fundraising and services, and human rights advocacy.
In 1965 the International Court was born in San Francisco and has grown to include 65 chapters in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. It has become the second largest LGBT organization in the world. The International Court worked on issues such as “Get Out The Vote” voter registration campaign in 2008; took a strong stand on the repeal of the ban on entry to the U.S. of persons living with HIV/AIDS; endorsed making Harvey Milk’s birthday a state holiday in California; supported the Employment Non-Discrimination ACT (ENDA). In 2009, it presented “Stonewall 40 - Trans Heroes 40,” in commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of Stonewall, honoring forty transgender individuals.
Christopher Street West proudly celebrates its 40th anniversary with the International Court System as the Community Marshal and wishes a happy 45th anniversary to the Court and its members.
The International Court System is a strong, passionate and important member of the LGBT community and continues to make a difference in the lives of others as it proudly demonstrates PRIDE 365: Power. Passion. Purpose.