Capital Pride Honorees 2019
Each year the Capital Pride Alliance acknowledges outstanding individuals, leaders, and activists who have furthered the causes important to the LGBTQ+ community in the national capital region and beyond.
Each year the Capital Pride Alliance acknowledges outstanding individuals, leaders, and activists who have furthered the causes important to the LGBTQ+ community in the national capital region and beyond.
The Paving The Way Award acknowledges an individual or organization that has provided exemplary contributions, support, and/or advocacy that has impacted the LGBTQ+ community, and whose leadership has inspired continued progress.
The Washington Blade was founded in 1969 as a black & white, one-sheet community newsletter. In 2019 the Blade celebrates its 50th anniversary as America’s LGBT News Source. The Washington Blade was selected to join the pool rotation for the White House Press Corps, becoming the first LGBT publication to participate in these duties. Readers locally and globally rely on the Blade’s unmatched coverage, which has garnered scores of local and national journalism awards. The Blade is recognized as the nation’s “Newspaper of Record for the LGBT Community.”
“As the only LGBTQ outlet in the White House each day and in the president’s pool rotation, the Blade plays an important role in holding the administration accountable on our issues.” Kevin Naff, Editor, Washington Blade.
More About The Washington Blade
The Gay Blade first published as a monthly newsletter.
Blade publishes first multi-page edition.
Blade printed in newsprint for first time.
Blade changes publication from monthly to bi-weekly.
Name changed to The Washington Blade.
Washington Blade publishes weekly.
Online edition of Washington Blade launched.
John McCain becomes first Republican presidential nominee to do interview with LGBT publication.
Washington Blade purchased by Brown, Naff, Pitts Omnimedia.
Washington Blade admitted to White House pool rotation (First LGBT publication ever).
Washington Blade celebrates 50th Anniversary.
The Heroes Award recognizes individuals who have furthered the causes important to LGBTQ+ community in the national capital region. These heroes have brought about positive changes to our lives and our community.
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.
More About Kimberley
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. Her fierce perseverance will pay off with a groundbreaking move, relocating the film series to Landmark’s E Street Cinema. This move represents the next level in presenting LGBTQ Cinematic stories at a mainstream arthouse.
During Reel Affirmations’ 26 years, it has been ranked in the top five LGBTQ film festivals in the country. Kimberley’s intense involvement has spanned 15 of those 26 years fulfilling roles of Film Festival Director, Director of Programming, Marketing, Development, Outreach, Board Member and chairperson of its grant program which raised seed and finishing funds for filmmakers.
Fast forward to 2018, when The DC Center needed an interim Executive Director, the Board of Directors appointed Kimberley who enthusiastically stepped into that challenging role—while maintaining her position as Director of Arts and Culture—to continue The Center’s efforts to educate, empower, celebrate, and connect the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities through our four core areas: health and wellness, arts and culture, social and peer support, and advocacy and community building.
Kimberley personally believes that #ArtChangesLives. Her commitment to providing multiple artistic platforms/venues for creatives to share their vision, talent, and life stories with the community—in the hopes of positively impacting one life at a time—is paramount.
Kimberley’s Mantra: Walk through the world authentically and with gratitude.
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).
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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. She grounds her work solidly in racial, economic, gender, and social justice. This approach to leadership has delivered results as diverse as: winning an LGBTQ-inclusive federal hate crimes prevention law; defeating multiple state anti-LGBTQ ballot measures; fighting discrimination against transgender people; winning marriage equality; positioning reproductive rights, health, and justice solidly as an LGBTQ issue. She has also worked to center voting rights as an LGBTQ issue; build stronger support for immigration reform within the LGBTQ movement; and, successfully secure scores of changes in federal agencies to attend to the needs of the LGBTQ community.
Prior to her work with the Task Force, Carey worked extensively in HIV/AIDS prevention locally and nationally, on issues affecting homeless and LGBTQ youth, and in organization and leadership development. She was the founding executive director of the National Youth Advocacy Coalition, an LGBTQ youth leadership organization. Carey is a Hunt Alternatives’ Prime Movers Fellow and serves on the boards of directors for the Flamboyan Foundation and the Freeman Foundation.
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.
More About Martin
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. Through organized competition in various sports, mental wellness in the form of yoga, running, and other community programming, Stonewall Sports has allowed a safe space for many people to be themselves.
In 2018, Stonewall Sports introduced an initiative around education and training that started with the first Summit Day, which took place on the day before the annual Tournament weekend. It included over 1,000 players and friends from around the country and Canada. Summit Day included keynote speakers and breakout discussions focusing on current issues faced in our community, such as mental health, diversity, and inclusion. The program was such a success that it will continue at this years’ Raleigh, North Carolina Tournament, with a full day of programming at no cost to attendees. In addition, Stonewall Sports has been able to raise and dedicate over $10,000 to fund programs and materials to go beyond the one-day summit.
Martin has continued to explore new program needs and support continued growth in existing cities with more cities to come, as Stonewall Sports regularly receives expansion interests across the country. The volunteer team has a goal of reaching 20 cities in 2020, after which Martin plans to “retire” from the board in celebration of 10 years of Stonewall Sports—though he may not get too far. He wants to launch global experiences and travel site that includes volunteer service in communities while enjoying different cultures.
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.
More About Ben
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. As Co-Director of the federation of 40 Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander LGBT groups around the country, he authored articles and op-eds that have appeared in mainstream and special interest media, anthologies, and academic publications, including the Encyclopedia of Asian American Issues Today.
As an advocate for equity and recognition for Filipino veterans of World War II, he played a key role in two of the most significant legislative victories on their behalf. In 2009, he organized a national legislative campaign that led to the creation of the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund. He led communications and outreach strategies for the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project that led to the passage of the Filipino Veterans of WWII Congressional Gold Medal Act in 2016.
Ben is the son of Filipino immigrants and while he was born and raised in New Jersey, he is proud to be a resident of the LeDroit Park neighborhood of Ward 1.
Amanda J. Hackett is 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.
More About Amanda
Amanda’s work is truly transformational. She helps people who are living in the shadows, some who may be afraid to come out, and those who are fighting for their lives. Immigration is a long and arduous process under any Administration, and is particularly difficult for people to navigate without assistance now. Ms. Hackett is working diligently to specifically serve queer people and provide a safe space for them to tell their story. She is truly a hero in our community.
Amanda started her law firm for the express purpose of helping LGBTQ+ folks seeking asylum from places where they face persecution. No one should face death for the simple act of living in truth. Her work is priceless to those who seek it. In this current political climate her work is especially needed to protect some of the most vulnerable in our community.
Ms. Hackett is a graduate of Smith College and the Howard University School of Law. She has been heavily involved with the LGBTQ+ community in D.C. Amanda has enjoyed her time playing with multiple leagues through Team DC, learning new dance styles with the QT Fusion
Dance Community, and continuing to engage in a variety of volunteer and pro-bono projects benefiting the local LGBT community. You can join her in song with Theatre Washington’s showTunes & Cocktails most months. Amanda is an enthusiastic student of Bahasa
Indonesia. She is a proud aunt and future dog owner.
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.
More About Tony
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. Tony is proud to be the lead emcee and Board Member/COO for Black National Pageantry Systems and founder/mentor of Black National Prince and Princess—a system designed to help cultivate careers for aspiring young performers.
The spirit of giving back and community bonds define Tony’s legacy. As a lifelong community advocate, he has served on the board of Transgender Health Empowerment, and is the proud parent to 21 sons, and mentor for numerous others. He is affectionately referred to as Ma, Mother, Pops, Dad and Unc by many young people of DC’s LGBTQ community. Many benefit from his love, counsel, and—because he was taught that no one should go hungry—his dining room table.
The Engendered Spirt Award recognizes those individuals who are outstanding advocates, activists, and supporters of the transgender community.
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.
More About Xemi
Xemi has been published in Cultural Survival, Efniks.com, 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.
Xemi is consistently making space for transgender, intersex, and gender non-conforming Native American and POC artists and advocates. The spaces she creates help heal, protect, uplift, and nurture the community, and help educate those outside of the community. Her passion and powerful voice, is inspiring to many people, young and old. All of the programming she creates, curates, and manages centers the transgender community, especially the Native American and POC transgender communities. She ensures that all of her events have a diversity of Transgender people featured, including transgender women, transgender men, non-binary people, intersex people, and more. She has directed, written, designed for, and acted in many plays that center the transgender community, including participating in the DC Queer Theatre Festival, NextStop Theatre Company’s DarkNights, Artomatic@Frederick, and the DC Black Theatre Festival.
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.
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His educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with emphasis in psychiatric nursing and oncology, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling-Psychology, psychoanalysis training, life coaching, and he is also a certified Hypnotherapist.
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. Larry VP is a member of the ICH Solid Foundations DC Comprehensive Plan to End Youth Homelessness, and is planning to complete his PhD in Psychology in the near future.
Larry VP is a highly motivated and socially engaged DC Freemason, and the Master of Federal Lodge #1. Through his work in the fraternity he has raised thousands of dollars, and organized volunteerism to engage freemasonry in helping communities like Casa Ruby.
Larry says: “We all have the potential, we only need the opportunity.”
The Bill Miles Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service acknowledges exemplary contributions to the Capital Pride Alliance, it’s programs, initiatives or other Pride sponsored activities.
Donald Burch, III grew up in Detroit, where he attended public schools and then received a bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University in 1984. He moved to Washington, DC in 1986 and since then has had a long career, including volunteer work, in social services. He received an MSW from Howard University School of Social Work in 2002. He retired from DC government as a licensed independent clinical social worker in 2013.
More About Donald
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.
An event producer with whom Donald regularly works reports that Donald’s contributions cannot be overstated. He is one of the most reliable, competent, and trustworthy volunteers she has ever encountered. He is kind, generous, and an inspiration to younger generations of activists and volunteers.
In the late seventies and early eighties Alan Thompson lived in and around New York City. It was the heyday of the gay community, but it was also the beginning of the AIDS crisis. He watched as thousands died, and figured if God let him make it through, he would dedicate his remaining years to helping others.
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When Alan arrived in the D.C. area in late 2010 he thought that the best way to meet people was to volunteer, get to know others, and build a relationship of trust. He started with Burgundy Crescent Volunteers, which included work for The Point Foundation, Casey Trees, Food & Friends, and the DC Central Kitchen. Alan also worked with the DC Center HIV Working Group at a time when HIV was on the rise, especially among younger people. That led to his work with other organizations such as the Cherry Fund.
Alan then began volunteering for the 17th Street Festival and Capital Pride. During the Parade his first year, the head of security told Alan, “I’ll give you DuPont Circle.” Alan didn’t know what that meant, but for the ensuing six years Alan’s work for Capital Pride has included “owning DuPont Circle,” which means keeping control of one of the largest parts of the Parade crowd and knowing where every inch of bike rack is supposed to go. Alan also volunteers at nearly every event that Capital Pride produces. In addition, he works with the annual Miss Adams Morgan Pageant, the 17th Street High Heel Race, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, Northern Virginia Pride, and New York City Pride.
When he returned to New York last year he recalled the city he had come to six months before Stonewall occurred in 1969. Having lived through the AIDS crisis, Alan was finally able to march down Fifth Avenue proudly remembering all those he knew and never knew who are no longer with us. When he arrived in New York City he was a scared young gay kid from late sixties. He has no reason to be scared any more.
The Larry Stansbury Award for Exemplary Contributions to Pride acknowledges outstanding efforts related to programs and initiatives of the annual Capital Pride Alliance or Pride movement.
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.
More About Team DC
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.
While all member clubs operate independently, Team DC supports its members by helping with fundraising, recruitment, advocacy and community engagement. Team DC appreciates the need for strong community partnerships not only within the sports world, but with other LGBTQ groups, including the Capital Pride Alliance. Such partnerships help build bridges to best meet the broader needs of the community that any one single organization simply cannot do alone. The quarterly Sports Council meetings are great opportunities for teams to identify mutual needs and collaborate for success.
Team DC recognizes that our strong sports community helps to create a safe and welcoming place for everyone who wants to play a sport whether they are rookies, old pros, or just looking to have fun and meet people. Team DC is a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit agency registered in Washington D.C. More about the organization can be found at www.teamdc.org.
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 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.
More About NCTE
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.
In addition to advocating for and defending pro-trans policies at the federal level, NCTE has a number of programs that strengthen the transgender community. In 2015, NCTE conducted the US Transgender Survey (USTS)—the largest survey examining the experiences of transgender people in the United States—with almost 28,000 respondents. Results from the USTS have been cited everywhere from US Supreme Court briefings to Time Magazine. NCTE conducts the survey every five years, with the next one scheduled for 2020. NCTE also has a robust ID Document Center, which provides resources for trans folks across the country. The organization also actively works with state administrative agencies to change state ID and healthcare policies to be more trans-friendly. Additionally, NCTE’s Voices for Transgender Equality and Families for Transgender Equality programs have created a strong network of individuals willing to share their own stories to help advance trans equality both nationally and within their local communities.
NCTE envisions a society in which transgender people not only survive, but thrive, with accepting families and communities, full self-determination over their identities and bodies, and freedom from disrespect, discrimination, and violence. For this vision to become a reality, NCTE also strives to create equity, equal opportunity, safety, health, and economic well-being for all people over their entire lifetimes.