Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride Announces 2017 Parade Grand Marshals
Monday, April 03 2017 – Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride is proud to announce the 34th Annual Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride Parade Grand Marshals with this year’s theme “Viva La Vida”. Grand Marshals are selected by the Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride Board members and are selected based on their service to the LGBTQ community.
Participating in the parade on Sunday, May 21st, will be the Grand Parade Marshal, California State Senator Ricardo Lara, raised in East Los Angeles, Senator Ricardo Lara is the product of strict, supportive and fair Mexican immigrants. He made history in 2012 by becoming the first openly gay person of color elected to the California State Senate. He serves as the co-chair of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus, where he continues his advocacy for the LGBT community. Recently, he initiated the Sister-Pride Program, with Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride and Sydney, Australia Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, to move both organizations toward a common goal of supporting all LGBT community members globally in their plight toward equality.
Selected as the “Morris Kight” Political Grand Marshal is a strong supporter of the LGBTQ community, Janice Hahn, Los Angeles County Supervisor, 4th District. While serving on the Los Angeles City Council, she voted to make marriage equality the official policy of the city and campaigned against Proposition 8. In Congress, Janice Hahn was an outspoken member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus. She co-sponsored the Respect for Marriage Act and an advocate for the repeal of DOMA. She co-sponsored the Equality Act which establishes explicit, permanent protections against discrimination of LGBTQ Americans as well as the Student Non-Discrimination Act which would prohibit public schools from discriminating against any student on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. In 2016, she cosponsored legislation to correct the records of veterans who were discharged from the military because of their sexual orientation. As a newly-elected LA County Supervisor, Janice Hahn will continue to fight on behalf of the LGBTQ community.
Selected for the “Whitey Littlefield” Community Bridge Building Award is Long Beach Councilmember Jeannine Pearce, Second District. Councilmember Pearce believes that building a Long Beach that works for everyone starts by bringing together all stakeholders to develop creative solutions. Her first agenda item in council was to permanently raise the pride flag at City Hall. She has been a staunch supporter of equity in the City of Long Beach and has a history of working with organizations to educate residents on the services, as well as, resources that can be provided for the LGBTQ community.
Chosen for the Judith Doyle Community Grand Marshal is Jannay Lima. Voted as one of the most influential Lesbian Latina’s in Los Angeles County in 2016, she has been an active member of the LGBT community as a LGBT advocate, the Co-Producer of Long Beach Festival Gay Latino, and member Long Beach Pride Parade Committee. She also served on several non-profit organizations board such as; AIDS Food Store Long Beach and few others. Jannay recently was elected Ms. Long Beach Gay Pride 2016 by the International Imperial Court of Long Beach for raising money for non-profit organizations around the city. Last year alone, she raised over $35,000 for causes such as; LGBT Youth, Immigration and AIDS support. As she would say, her hobby is to help others and she has made that her mission in life.
Selected as the Special Recognition Grand Marshal is Michelle Molina. A true ally to the LGBTQ community, Michelle Molina has assisted in supporting numerous causes within the community that continues to create a stronger thread in the weave to oneness within our city. Her generosity reaches all aspects of the Long Beach LGBTQ community. From supporting our youth to the feeding of our ailing, her wide-spread endearment has touched many LGBTQ lives within the city.
The Bob Crow Community Grand Marshal is Rory Moroney. In October of 2014, Rory was the victim of an undercover sting operation performed by the Long Beach Police Department that sought to target homosexual men for indecent exposure and lewd conduct, an operation that an expert witness described as “coming out of the era when homosexuality was criminal.” After his arrest, Rory could’ve capitulated and taken the easy road by accepting a plea bargain, but he didn’t. He took his case through a pretrial. After almost two years to reach a decision through the court process, Superior Court Judge Dhanidina invalidated the charges made against Rory and dismissed the case. As a result of Rory’s refusal to capitulate and accept anything less than justice, the sting operations which had previously forced scores of innocent gay men to register as sex offenders have been completely exposed and have become precedent for other courts around the state, as well as, the nation.
The recipient of the Marilyn Barlow Community Grand Marshal is Sabreena. For over 25 years, Sabreena has been a mainstay in the Long Beach drag community. Born and raised in Houston Texas and arriving in Long Beach in 1992, Sabreena has developed a deep passion for Long Beach and helping others. Sabreena has been a long time member of International Imperial Court of Long Beach and has reigned as Empress three times over her long affiliation. Over her 25 year involvement with The Court, Sabreena has helped to raise over $100,000 for non-profits in the community. She created the King and Queen of Hearts contest which has raised over $25,000 for local charities.
As for the Dr. Robert Garcia Youth Grand Marshal Award, the Mayor has selected Abel Avalos. Abel feels lucky enough to live in one of the most accepting and diverse cities in the country, Long Beach, California. Because of this, he has felt safe enough to come out–first as bisexual and then as a trans man when he was 15. He was raised by a single mother, the youngest of five kids and second generation Mexican-Dominican. His activism has a lot of intersectionality due to his heritage—his mother being an immigrant from the Dominican Republic. Being a person of color, he has many identities that play a part in the issues that concern him.
The parade kicks off at 10:30 am at Ocean Blvd and Lindero Avenue. It travels West on Ocean Blvd and ends at the curve on Alamitos Avenue. Over the past several years, the Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride Celebration has become one of the premiere Pride events nationwide now attracting over 80,000 participants over two days. The Festival Celebration includes seven large dance areas including a main stage, which has featured musical artists such as Grammy Award Winner Jennifer Hudson, Queen Latifah, Maya, India.Arie, and Village People. For more information log onto www.longbeachpride.com.