The 37th Annual Capital Pride Heroes Gala & Silent Auction took place at the Living Social Building in downtown Washington DC. The event, which helps kick-off the yearly Capital Pride Festival, recognizes community-nominated individuals who have helped to further the causes of the LGBT community.
Recipients of this year’s Heroes Award:
- Andrew Barnett, executive director of metro D.C.’s Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL).
- Eboné Bell, whose BOI Marketing & Promotions gives DC an annual Capital Queer Prom.
- Michelle Benecke, cofounder of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.
- Kevin Paul Platte, founder of the DC Cowboys.
- Justin B. Terry-Smith, volunteer Maryland Defense Force and HIV activist.
There were also awards given to Mark Meinke and Cyndee Clay for their exceptional work in the community.
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 of The Real Housewives of D.C. However, she is involved with a number of charitable and philanthropic activities in the metro area. Among Amons’ endeavors is Labels for Love, “whose mission is to raise critical funds and awareness in support of women’s and children’s charitable organizations by producing unique fashion, art and design inspired events.”
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.
If honoring the community’s LGBT heroes weren’t reason enough to attend Tuesday night’s Heroes Gala & Silent Auction fundraiser, how about the Swedish Embassy and a Real Housewife?
This year’s gala is at the House of Sweden (the Swedish Embassy), a stunning contemporary building located on the Georgetown waterfront at 2900 K Street NW.
To top it off, Mary Amons will be one of the evening’s hosts — Amons was one of the stars of The Real Housewives of D.C. and is involved with a number of charitable and philanthropic activities in the metro area.
Tickets for Tuesday’s gala are $50 in advance and $75 at the door if still available (and the open bar comes with a ticket purchase). Proceeds from the silent auction benefit Capital Pride. Business or cocktail attire. The event runs from 6:30 to 9:30 pm.
Among Amons’ endeavors is Labels for Love, “whose mission is to raise critical funds and awareness in support of women’s and children’s charitable organizations by producing unique fashion, art and design inspired events.”
2011 Capital Pride Heroes: Bill Browning, June Crenshaw, Tyrone Hanley, Dr. Theo Hodge, The Rev. Jill McCrory and Rebecca Roose.
2011 Engendered Spirit Awards: Terra Moore, Gibby Thomas, Mara Keisling, Ruby Corado, Drs. Dennis and Christine Wiley and Joe Izzo.