From Luis Gomez and Matt Rhoades
See photos from the June 7 Heroes Gala at the House of Sweden.
The Capital Pride 2011 Heroes Gala & Silent Auction on Tuesday night honored 13 members of the LGBT community for their work as trailblazers and pioneers. The event at the House of Sweden on the Georgetown waterfront raised funds for Capital Pride.
The stunning contemporary building (home to Swedish and Icelandic Embassies) made for a beautiful backdrop as Capital Pride recognized this year’s group of heroes for their work promoting LGBT rights and causes.
This year’s winners includes a doctor, pastors, a therapist, an environmental activist, transgender activists, a writer and reporter, youth advocates, and HIV/AIDs prevention and healthcare workers. Awards were made in two categories, Capital Pride Heroes and Engendered Spirit Awards.
The list of winners and their stories illustrate what it takes to be an award winner: years of hard work in the trenches and an unyielding commitment to LGBT rights. (The list of winners with information about their work is below.)
Among the special guests at the June 7 gala was Birgitta Ohlsson, Minister of European Union Affairs for the Country of Sweden. Ohlsson spoke to the guests about the state of LGBT rights around the world.
Another guest was Mary Amons, perhaps best known as one of the stars ofÂ The Real Housewives of D.C. However, she is involved with a number of charitable and philanthropic activities in the metro area. Among Amonsâ€™ endeavors isÂ Labels for Love, â€śwhose mission is to raise critical funds and awareness in support of womenâ€™s and childrenâ€™s charitable organizations by producing unique fashion, art and design inspired events.â€ť
2011 Capital Pride Heroes
- Bill Browning: The longtime LGBT activist and writer who founded the Bilerico Project, runs the largest group blog reporting on news, politics and culture from an LGBT perspective.
- June Crenshaw: One of the leading African-American lesbian activists in the District, she has served as Chair of the Board of Directors of Whitman-Walker Health and continues to serve on the Board.
- Tyrone Hanley: As former HIV Prevention Manger for the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League, he has served the most vulnerable members of the LGBT community, focusing his efforts on youth and informing them of way they can protect themselves from contacting HIV and other STDs.
- Dr. Theo Hodge: An infectious disease specialist, he is an â€śoutâ€ť gay African American doctor who specializes in the treatment of HIV/AIDS. He has worked at WashingtonÂ Hospital Center and the Veterans Administration Hospital, and has reached out to members of the African American community to educate them about the dangers of HIV/AIDS.
- The Rev. Jill McCrory: She is an interim pastor at Metropolitan Community Church in Boyds, Maryland, and has been a longtime ally of the LGBT community.
- Rebecca Roose: An attorney and environmental protection specialist by trade, she has a longstanding record of volunteerism, especially where the environment is concerned.
2011 Engendered Spirit Awards
- Ruby Corado: She is an advocate for Latino LGBT community access to health care, immigration rights, and HIV prevention and care. Corado has worked as a program manager for Whitman Walker Health, Transgender Health Empowerment Inc., and Latinas En Accion, a group she currently leads as President and CEO.
- Joe Izzo, LICSW: Izzo has worked at Whitman Walker Health for many years and conducts individual and group psychotherapy sessions. He specializes in transgender and substance abuse issues.
- Mara Keisling: She is the founding Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality and is one of the nation’s leading voices for transgender equality.
- Terra Moore: She is a young activist who found her beginnings with the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League. Terra was the 2009 winner of the Colli Higgins Youth Courage Award.
- Gibby Thomas: She started working in the HIV/AIDS field in 1999 and has held positions at Us Helping Us and Transgender Health Empowerment Inc.
- Dr. Dennis Wiley and Dr. Christine Wiley: The Wileys are co-pastors of Convenant Baptist United Church and are distinguished theologians and prominent civic activists.