Four local LGBTQ community leaders will be honored at Harvey Milk Promenade Park on Friday, May 13 at 11:00AM. The Harvey Milk Promenade Park (HMPP) Committee, Mayor Robert Garcia and Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez have invited the public to attend the ceremony, where the honorees will be inducted into the Equality Plaza portion of the park, created to recognize those who have fought for equal rights and historic preservation, as well as against discrimination and other issues, according to the release.
“The LGBTQ history in Long Beach is so rich and inspiring,” Gonzalez said. “Thank you to the Harvey Milk Promenade Park Committee for honoring these leaders, through the Committee’s efforts, the City is able to recognize these leaders’ contributions for many generations.”
Each recipient will be honored with a plaque at Equality Plaza, the centerpiece of the park that commemorates Milk and local advocates and stands as the backdrop to a concrete replica of the soapbox Milk used to voice his inspiring beliefs. Harvey Milk Promenade Park in Long Beach opened four years ago, capping the end of the Promenade as the first park in the nation to be named after the valiant gay rights leader.
“We created Harvey Milk to honor our LGBTQ community and recognize the accomplishments of local leaders like these in the struggle for human rights and equality,” said Garcia in a statement. “I greatly appreciate Councilwoman Gonzalez carrying on this tradition and my congratulations to these outstanding members of our community.”
The HMPP Committee, a group of volunteer members that are a part of the LGBTQ community, meets each year to nominate and select the honorees to be inducted. The nomination process requires that the individual be a member of the LGBTQ community whether living or deceased, and have “exceptional or outstanding contribution or service to the Greater Long Beach Area LGBTQ community,” according to the release.
“I’m so proud the Committee is honoring these individuals who have been long-time activists for equality,” said Raul A. Añorve, Chair of the HMPP Committee in a statement. “This celebration is always special as it embodies Harvey’s legacy by honoring our local LGBTQ community during Pride Month.”
This year’s 2016 honorees are:
- Jim Deaton: Board, Lambda Democratic Club; Board & President, Teacher’s Association of LB; PFLAG Chapter of LB
- Lee Glaze (Posthumous): Pre-Stonewall pioneer; Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
- Audrey Stephanie Loftin: President, Lambda Democratic Club; LBPD Chief’s Gay & Lesbian Advisory Group; Founding Member, Gay & Lesbian Business Network; Board, LGBTQ Center of LB; LA County Commission on Alcohol; First openly gay President, Women’s Lawyers of LB
- Marsha Naify: President, Lambda Democratic Club; LB Human Relations Commission; Co-chair, LB LGBT History Project; Board, AIDS Walk LB; President, LB Community Business Network
Last year’s honorees were David Hensley, a volunteer of 25 years at the ONE Archives recording LGBTQ history, Norman B. Reed, honored posthumously for his years of service, Dave Newell, one of the longest-serving residents of the Long Beach Lambda Democratic Club and a contributor to the Coming Out in Long Beach exhibit and Judi Doyle, co-founder of Long Beach Pride.
For more information about the committee, click here.
Harvey Milk Promenade Park is located at 212 East 3rd Street.