October 6, 2011 at 10:19 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Activists honored at D.C. Center reception

Longtime LGBT activists Frank Kameny, Earline Budd, Rick Rosendall, and Sheila Alexander-Reid were honored on Sept. 29 as recipients of the D.C. Center for the LGBT Community’s Annual Community Service Award.

The awards ceremony took place at the Center’s annual Fall Reception held at the Hotel Sofitel in downtown D.C.

Kameny is credited with launching the city’s LGBT rights movement in the 1960s and playing a lead role in LGBT rights efforts on the national and local level for more than 40 years. He was founder of the city’s first gay rights organization, the Mattachine Society of Washington in the early 1960s.

Budd has served as an advocate for transgender rights for more than 20 years in the D.C. area. Among other endeavors, she has served as a caseworker and counselor for members of the transgender community in cooperation with D.C. government agencies and has trained city employees on issues related to the transgender community.

Rosendall, the current vice president of the Gay & Lesbian Activists Alliance, has been a lead LGBT rights advocate in D.C. since the 1980s, working on issues ranging from marriage equality and employment non-discrimination to GLAA’s longstanding system of rating candidates for public office on LGBT-related matters.

Alexander-Reid, currently vice president for administration of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, has been a longtime advocate for the local lesbian community through social networking projects and political organizing. She founded in the early 1990s Women in the Life, an events production company that catered to lesbians of color. Alexander-Reid later transformed the company into the Women in the Life Association, where she took on social justice causes.

D.C. Center President Michael Sessa and Center Executive Director David Mariner said the Center’s programs have grown dramatically in recent years. The two said the Center looks forward to moving into a new and expanded space in the near future following the expected closing of its current rented building at 1318 U Street, N.W., due to real estate development.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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