Capital Pride, the organization that sponsors D.C.’s annual LGBT Pride parade, festival and related events, has named nine prominent LGBT activists and community allies as recipients of its annual Capital Pride awards.
Awards categories include the Capital Pride Heroes recognizing significant contributions to the LGBT and allied communities; Engendered Spirits, which recognizes contributions to and support for the transgender community; the Bill Miles Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service; and the Larry Stansbury Award for Exemplary Contributions to Pride.
The recipients are scheduled to be honored May 21 from 7-10 p.m. at the Capital Pride Heroes Gala & Silent Auction at the Artisphere arts center, 1101 Wilson Blvd., in the Rosslyn section of Arlington, Va.
The Capital Pride Heroes are:
• LGBT rights advocate Nicholas F. Benton, editor and publisher of the Falls Church News-Press, which covers general interest as well as LGBT-related news in Northern Virginia.
• David M. Perez, board president of the Latino GLBT History Project and development director for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the largest and oldest Latino membership organization in the U.S.
• Rev. Dean Snyder, senior pastor at Foundry United Methodist Church in D.C. and, according to a Capital Pride biography, a “prime and unwavering leader in the fight to end discrimination against LGBT persons in the United Methodist denomination.”
• Dr. Imani Woody, founding director and CEO of Mary’s House for Older Adults, the first LGBT-friendly residential housing development project in Washington, D.C., and a diversity consultant in the field of health, aging and other issues affecting LGBT people of color.
• Tom Yates, according to the Pride committee, is “a steadfast leader and supporter of the Leather/Levi community” and its charitable activities and a longtime member, supporter and past board member for the LGBT Catholic organizations Dignity USA and Dignity Washington.
The Engendered Spirits awardees are Amy Nelson, supervising attorney at Whitman-Walker Health’s Legal Services Program, which provided services for more than 260 transgender clients in 2013; and Alexa Rodriguez, “an avid advocate for transgender Latina equality” and an activist for 12 years “fighting for the rights of the HIV positive and members of the transgender community.”
The Miles Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service is being given to Al Pellenberg, who has been involved in organizing LGBT Pride celebrations for 30 years in Atlanta and Washington, D.C.
The Stansbury Award for Exemplary Contributions for Pride is being given to Robert York, deputy director of development for Whitman-Walker Health and executive director of Capital Pride for six years – from 1999 to 2005.
Capital Pride also announced two of four entertainers for this year’s festival: DJ Cassidy and Betty Who. The remaining two headliners were to be announced after Blade deadline.