Capital Pride Alliance Announces “Hero, Engendered Spirit, Larry Stansbury and Inaugural Breaking Barriers Awards” to be Presented at the Capital Pride Honors hosted at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

LGBTQ+ Community Achievements by Individuals and Groups

will be Recognized at Annual Reception May 31


April 24, 2019, Washington, DC……..The Capital Pride Alliance today announced the recipients of the 2019 Capital Pride Heroes Award, Engendered Spirits, and awards named for late founding board members, Bill Miles and Larry Stansbury, as well as a new “Breaking Barriers” award. The recipients will be honored at the Capital Pride Honors reception, on Friday, May 31 at 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and G Streets, NW and generously supported by Capital One, Pepco, Tito’s, and Heineken. This is a pre-reception to the inaugural Countdown! Pride Celebration Kick-Off Party at 8:30 PM – 1:00 AM presented by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Smithsonian Pride Alliance, Capital Pride Alliance, and BYT.

Martin Espinoza, Ben De Guzman, Amanda Hackett, Kimberley Bush, Rea Carey and Tony Nelson will be honored as heroes, Xemiyulu Tapepechul and Larry Villegas-Perez will receive the Engendered Spirit Awards, Alan Thompson and Donald Burch the Bill Miles Award, and Team DC will be recognized with the Larry Stansbury Award. Finally, a new award this year is the Breaking Barriers Award, whose inaugural recipient will be the National Center for Transgender Equality.


Honoree bios and descriptions of each award can be found below.

“We’re thrilled to recognize and honor the individuals and organizations contribute so much to our community through their leadership, work and advocacy in the DMV and across the country,” said Ryan Bos, Executive Director of the Capital Pride Alliance. “Our honorees are nominated each year by members of the community, based on the criteria of having advanced the causes of LGBTQ+ rights. A committee of Capital Pride’s Board of Directors recommends nominees to the full Board, which then approves recipients, along with the Engendered Spirits, who were recommended by the Trans Pride Committee,” continued Bos. “Finally, we are excited to add a new award this year, Breaking Barriers. The Breaking Barriers: Community Impact Award will be presented to an organization that has made a significant impact on the LGBTQ+ community,” concluded Bos.


Award recipient bios:

Martin Espinoza: Martin Espinoza is the co-founder and President of Stonewall Sports, a not-for-profit national volunteer organization that was established in 2010 to serve the LGBTQ+ community; it is currently located in 16 cities with over 12,000 participants nationally. Martin, who is formerly from Arizona, has been living in Washington, D.C. for over 11 years.  Off the field, he works at United Fray/On Tap Media as Senior Director of Events making fun possible for clients and constituents across the DC Metro, Phoenix, Jacksonville, and New Orleans markets.

Over the course of 10 years, Martin has brought thousands of LGBTQ+ athletes and participants together to build an inclusive community that recognizes and celebrates our diversity in organized sports and events.


Ben De Guzman: Ben de Guzman is the Acting Director of the Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (MOAPIA). He comes to MOAPIA from the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, where he served as the Community Outreach Specialist. During his tenure there, he helped execute two major first time events for the Office: the “District of Pride” LGBTQ cultural performance event, and the 32nd Annual 17th Street High Heel Race, presented by the Mayor’s Office as lead organizer. When he first moved to the District in 1997, he connected with the newly formed group AQUA—Asian Pacific Islander Queers United for Action. He helped AQUA form a strong pan-ethnic, multi-gender Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) LGBTQ coalition that included organizations such as APIQS (API Queer Society) and KhushDC (South Asian LGBTQ organization).  The coalition built community, provided advocacy, and recognized leaders via an annual Pride and Heritage event—a forerunner to this year’s Capital Pride AAPI event. In 2015, he received a Community Service Award from Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. Nationally, he was principal staff at the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) for almost 10 years.


Amanda Hackett: an immigration attorney based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. She provides affordable legal advice and counsel on immigration matters for individuals. Ms. Hackett’s practice focuses on LGBT/Sogi-Minority-based asylum claims, and marriage-and-family-based petitions. She was a member of the Peer Review Committee for “Stronger Together: A Guide to Supporting LGBT Asylum Seekers,” which is a vital resource for practitioners unfamiliar with the particular needs of our communities.


Kimberley Bush: Kimberley Bush, the Director of Arts and Cultural Programs at The DC Center for the LGBT Community, hails from Westchester County, NY and moved to the DMV in 1989. She has passionately lived many professional lives that range from a successful Realtor to Ceramic Artist to Executive Director of two Non Profit Arts organizations.

Kimberley works tirelessly in the DC LGBTQ+ community as an arts advocate dedicated to providing opportunities and support to creatives and their craft. Kimberley thoroughly believes and fights for inclusion, diversity, and equality for all LGBTQ+ folxs by routinely bringing people together to celebrate ourselves through the myriad of programs she oversees, manages, and co-curates such as Center Arts Gallery, Arty Queers: DC’s LGTBQ Indoor Art Market, Outwrite: DC’s LGBTQ LIterary Festival, DC Queer Theatre Festival, Reel Affirmations: DC’s International LGBTQ Film Festival and Monthly Film Series.


Rea Carey: Rea Carey is a proud D.C. resident who has spent three decades serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community, and is one of the most respected leaders in the movement. Shortly after moving to D.C. in 1989, Carey got involved in the direct action activist groups OUT! and ACTUP/DC.  As a volunteer with Whitman-Walker Clinic, she provided HIV/AIDS education, helped create a safer-sex training for lesbian and bi women, and helped to develop health services for women, including a gynecological clinic. In partnership with other activists, Carey co-founded D.C.’s Gay Men and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV). Through her leadership at the National LGBTQ Task Force since 2004—first as deputy executive director and, since 2008, as executive director—Carey has advanced a vision of freedom for LGBTQ people and their families that is broad, inclusive and unabashedly progressive.


Tony Nelson: Tony “And I Thank You” Nelson has been one of DC’s leading and most respected emcees and comedians for two decades. His second moniker—Ms. WTF? —was given to him by the legendary Empress of Atlanta Niesha Dupree while they hosted a preliminary to Black America- the oldest Black Pageant in the country. Tony’s style is unique: he’s not the typical drag performer. He often jokes he isn’t a drag queen, just “a man in a dress.” Donning a full beard, jewels, and elaborate wigs, he is in a league of his own. He started the bearded-drag gig in the DMV, and was featured in “Drag Dolls, Dames and Divas,” the book by acclaimed photographer James Hicks. Tony is a highly sought-after emcee in DC and the rest of the country. He was the first emcee to host a drag show on the National Mall, and to host a regular drag show in Georgetown: MASCARA. He also hosted Shiqueeta Lee’s first show at the Howard Theater.   For 10 consecutive years he has been the emcee for DC Black Pride and Daryl Wilson Entertainment’s Main Stage. He is also the longest running host of the Sunday show at Bachelor’s Mill—sixteen consecutive years. His regular gigs include Stronjai’s Lipstick review at Mr. Henry’s, and Daryl Wilson’s first and third Fridays at Ziegfeld’s.  Leaving the costume at home, he co-hosts The Swerv Show on WLVS.


Xemiyulu Tapepechul: Xemiyulu Manibusan Tapepechul, or Xemi the Two-Spirit, is a Nawat Trans Femme from Kuskatan, the land known internationally as El Salvador. She is a playwright (Yultaketzalis; Protect & Preserve; Illegal NDN; The Cosmic Twins; Siwayul (Heart of a Womxn)), spoken word artist, a published author (Metzali: Siwayul Shitajkwilu; My Woman Card Is Anti-Native & Other Two-Spirit Truths; The Cosmic Twins; Siwayul (Heart Of A Womxn)), the Director of Art and Culture of Trans-Latinx DMV, the Artistic and Development Director of Nelwat Ishkamewe Two-Spirit Artist Collective, the Ask Rayceen Show 2018 Poetry Slam Champion, the recipient of the 2018 Latino GLBT History Project’s Heritage Legacy Award, and has been recognized as a “40 Under 40 Queer Women of Washington” in 2019 by The D.C. Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, the Washington Blade and the Mayor’s Office of Women and Policy Initiatives. Xemi has been published in Cultural Survival,, the Washington Blade, Indige-Zine, La Horchata Zine, Yellow Medicine Review Fall 2018—Our Stories, Our Breath, Our Stage: The Native Playwriting Issue, and others. Her book, My Woman Card is anti-Native & Other Two-Spirit Truths was nominated for the 2019 Lambda Literary Award for Bisexual Poetry. Xemi, along with 178 other Womxn worldwide, was featured in Project #ShowUs by Girlgaze, Dove, and Getty Images, as a USA Market Feature.


Larry Villegas-Perez: a mixed race Native American-Hispanic born in Venezuela, is an activist and mental health practitioner with about 20 years in the public health field. He has provided training and technical assistance on community engagement, project management, sustainability, substance abuse, and transgender visibility topics to programs in at least 22 cities in the U.S., and within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). He is an early pioneer on the importance of transgender visibility and representation in all levels of society, having spoken on the matter on the shows of Christina and El Padre Alberto in Miami. As a community volunteer he participated in programs at the former Whitman-Walker Clinic, Advocates for Youth, AIDS Walk, DC AIDS Ride, One in Ten Film Festival, SMYAL, Family Place, Sasha Bruce and initiated his work at Casa Ruby in the summer on 2012 as a support group peer-counselor volunteer. Though his volunteer work for the past 18 years he has acquired a skill set like very few cisgender community leaders when working and meeting the needs of the transgender community in the Washington DC area. Currently, he is the Deputy Executive Director and Chief Data Officer at Latinos en Accion/Casa Ruby, where he manages holistic programs helping homeless youth, refugees, victims of crime, and HIV related programs to create success stories among LGBTQ2+ individuals.


Alan Thompson: a longtime Capital Pride volunteer who has worked with virtually every event associated with CPA, most prominently the March, in particular managing the portion that winds through Dupont Circle


Donald Burch: For more than three decades, Donald has been the quintessential volunteer in DC’s diverse LGBTQ+ communities. Donald is a pillar of the community and a dedicated volunteer. In addition to his work with Reel Affirmations, Capital Pride, DC Black Pride, Trans Pride, and “May is All About Trans,” Donald has contributed his time and skills to the DC Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gay Men, Inner City AIDS Network, Us Helping Us, Inner Light Unity Ministries, Faith Temple, Whitman Walker Health, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the Center Global and Center Aging programs at the DC LGBTQ+ Center, Metropolitan Community Church, Unity Fellowship Church, and the Rainbow History Project (RHP). Donald’s active involvement in so many of our LGBTQ+ communities has made him indispensable part of RHP as that organization seeks to accomplish its mission to collect, preserve, and promote diverse history, arts, and culture in the DMV.

Donald is a regular volunteer at The Ask Rayceen Show and other Team Rayceen events, as well as ManDate, Adodi. He also volunteers at events affiliated with The DC Center, including Reel Affirmations and OutWrite. Donald loves theater and volunteers at several local venues, including Arena Stage, Studio Theater, Alan Sharpe and the African American Collective Theater, and Monte Wolfe and Brave Soul Collective Theater.


Team DC: Team DC is the Association of LGBTQ sports clubs in the greater Washington DC region that began in 1990 and was formally incorporated in 2002. Currently there are 40 member teams and leagues with an estimated 7,000 participants. Team DC began as a vehicle to build support for a bid to host the international Gay Games and has now evolved into, perhaps, the most active LGBTQ sports association in the world. In addition to serving as a clearinghouse for information about local sports options, Team DC sponsors various events to help fulfill the mission of “Building Community Through Sports.”  These efforts include a College Scholarship Program for local LGBTQ high school student-athletes which has now awarded scholarships to 78 students from across the region. Team DC also hosts the annual Night OUT Sports Series, which organizes “Pride Nights” at all of the local pro sports teams. The biggest being the annual Night OUT at the Nationals, which is not only one of the largest such events in pro sports, but is the longest consecutive Pride Night in Major League Baseball. Team DC also sponsors the annual Night of Champions Awards Dinner that recognizes local LGBTQ sports leaders who have been nominated by their teammates.


National Center for Transgender Equality: The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) was founded in 2003 by transgender activists who recognized the urgent need for policy change to advance transgender equality. With a committed board of directors, a volunteer staff of one, and donated office space, NCTE set out to accomplish what no one had yet done: provide a powerful transgender advocacy presence in Washington, DC. Today, NCTE has more than 20 staff members who—alongside our nationwide community of transgender activists and allies—advocate to change policies and society to increase understanding and acceptance of transgender people. In the nation’s capital and throughout the country, NCTE works to replace disrespect, discrimination, and violence with empathy, opportunity, and justice. NCTE has an extensive record of winning life-saving change for transgender people, including more than 160 federal policy wins under the Obama Administration.


Award descriptions:


The Heroes Award recognizes individuals who have furthered the causes important to the LGBTQ+ community in the national capital region. These heroes have brought about positive changes to our lives and our community.

This Heroes Award will be presented annually. The award may not be presented to standing board members, officers, employees, committee chairpersons, or contractors of the Capital Pride Alliance or its affiliates.

A maximum of six awards may be presented annually. Candidates shall be nominated by the general community and approved by the Board of Directors.



The Engendered Spirit Award recognizes those individuals who are outstanding advocates, activists, and supporters of the transgender community.

This Engendered Spirit Award will be presented annually. The award may not be presented to standing board members, officers, employees, committee chairpersons, or contractors of the Capital Pride Alliance or its affiliates.



The Bill Miles Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service acknowledges exemplary contributions to the annual Capital Pride celebration.  Nominees will demonstrate significant contributions to the festival, parade, or other Pride-sponsored activities.

This Bill Miles Award will be presented annually for extraordinary contributions by volunteers of the Capital Pride Alliance and its committees. The award may not be presented to standing board members, officers, employees, or contractors of the Capital Pride Alliance or its affiliates.



The Larry Stansbury Award for Exemplary Contributions to Pride acknowledges outstanding efforts related to the annual Capital Pride celebration or Pride movement.  Nominees will demonstrate sustained and significant contributions to the festival, parade, or associated activities.

This Larry Stansbury Award will be presented only for extraordinary contributions and may not be presented annually unless highly qualified nominations are received.  The award will be presented for long-term, multiyear contributions to the Pride movement.  Nominations should describe other examples of community contributions.  The award may not be presented to standing board members, officers, employees, committee chairpersons, or contractors of the Capital Pride Alliance or its affiliates.

A maximum of one award may be presented annually. Candidates shall be nominated by the Capital Pride community and approved by the Board of Directors.


Breaking Barriers: Community Impact Award

The Breaking Barriers: Community Impact Award acknowledges an individual or organization who has demonstrated a significant impact to the LGBTQ+ community at either the local or national level and who has helped eliminate barriers for social, personal, or professional growth of the LGBTQ+ community.

The Breaking Barriers: Community Impact Award will be presented when a qualified individual or organization is deemed appropriate and does not need to be presented annually. The award may not be presented to standing board members, officers, employees, committee chairpersons, or contractors of the Capital Pride Alliance or its affiliates.


For more information go to

The Capital Pride Alliance, located in Washington, DC, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the needs of the LGBTQ+ community and its partners through educational events, entertainment, community outreach, and celebrations of diversity throughout the year. Capital Pride produces each year Trans Pride and the Pride Celebration in the nation’s capital, one of the largest Pride events in the country, which includes the Pride Parade, Festival, and Concert, plus a variety of educational and community events throughout the year. Facebook (CapitalPrideDC), Twitter (CapitalPrideDC), YouTube, Instagram (@CapitalPrideDC).