Each year, the Capital Pride Planning Committee selects a number of individuals to honor as ”Capital Pride Heroes.” These six honorees have made extraordinary efforts to bring full equality to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities. They will be recognized in the Capital Pride Parade on Saturday, June 9.
Sally Baird became the first out lesbian elected to public office in the history of Virginia when she won the race for the Arlington County School Board in 2006. Prior to running for office, she had formed the Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance Family, a group for families within AGLA. She also served on the AGLA board of directors.
Over the past six years, Dr. Dana Beyer has gone from being a closeted transgender woman to a leader of the national transgender movement. In 2006, she ran a viable and well-fought campaign to become the first ever openly transgender state legislator in the United States. Although she did not win, she broke down barriers simply through her effort.
The first openly gay man to serve in the Maryland state legislature, Rich Madaleno was elected to the House of Delegates in 2002. In 2006, he was elected to the State Senate. Prior to his election to the legislature, Senator Madaleno served on the board of directors of Free State Justice (now Equality Maryland) and played a crucial role in helping to pass Maryland’s non-discrimination law.
Darlene Nipper served as Director of the D.C. Office for GLBT Affairs from 2005 to 2007, where she became then-Mayor Anthony Williams’s main representative to the city’s GLBT community. She has also served in a volunteer or consulting capacity for several GLBT organizations, including the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League, the Mautner Project and the Women in the Life Foundation.
Kevin Shipman has been a voice of advocacy on GLBT substance abuse in DC government for more than 20 years. As a member of the Mayor’s GLBT Advisory Committee, he has been an advisor to three D.C. mayors on substance abuse issues that affect our community. He also designed and implemented the first GLBT substance abuse treatment continuum funded by a state or local government.
A very visible and vocal activist, Brian Watson currently serves as the director of programs for Transgender Health Empowerment, an organization that enhances the lives of transgender people in the D.C. area. He is also the current president of the D.C. Coalition of LGBT Men and Women, an organization he helped to revitalize in 2005.