Stein Club Announces Award Recipients

Local LGBT leaders to be honored at LGBT Democratic club's 37th annual awards reception

The Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, the District’s largest LGBT political organization, will honor four local leaders who have made a contribution to the D.C. area’s LGBT community at the group’s 37th annual leadership awards reception at the end of the month.

Nikisha Carpenter, president and board member of Youth Pride Alliance, is set to receive the Heil-Balin Community Service Award for her work on behalf of LGBT young people. Toby Quaranta, past president of the Young Democrats of DC, will receive the Desi Deschaine Young Democrat of the Year Award for his work organizing among the LGBT community and engaging youth to become actively involved in Democratic politics.

Andy Bowen, a transgender-rights advocate and the driving force behind the JaParker Deoni Jones Birth Certificate Equality Amendment Act of 2013, which passed the D.C. Council earlier this summer and was signed into law by Mayor Vincent Gray (D), will receive the Wanda Alston Award for her work with the DC Trans Coalition, for efforts to advance the birth-certificate bill and for working to ensure that D.C. homeless shelters comply with laws prohibiting discrimination against transgender people.

The Richard Rausch Equality Award, given annually to the individual or organization that has demonstrated outstanding work to advance the rights of LGBT people, will be given to Trans Legal Advocates of Washington (TransLAW), a legal clinic assisting low-income transgender people in the D.C. area.

”These awardees represent some of the brightest leaders and advocates we have in our movement and we are proud of the work they’ve done to advance our equality within the Democratic Party and across the D.C. community,” Stein Club President Martin Garcia said in a statement announcing the award recipients. ”To Stein Club members and the Stein Executive Committee, deciding who to recognize was really quite easy; we’ve seen incredible progress in the D.C. LGBT community over the last 12 months and these are some of the people we can thank for that.”

The Gertrude Stein Democratic Club Awards Reception is Saturday, Sept. 28, from 2 to 4 p.m., at the Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar, 223 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Tickets are $75, available at the door or online.

[EDITOR'S NOTE, Thursday, Sept. 13, 3:12 p.m.: This story was updated to remove an incorrect description of Bowen's work as advocating for the LGBTQ Youth Homeless Shelter Act, and to add mention of her work on behalf of the city's homeless transgender community.]

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com