First Event for LGBT Pride Month is Held in the Bronx

Michael Czaczkes, Judge Linda Poust Lopez, Mary Ann Poust, Martin Morris, Councilman Andy Cohen

Michael Czaczkes, Judge Linda Poust Lopez, Mary Ann Poust, Martin Morris, Councilman Andy Cohen

One day before the officially recognized start of Pride Month, Bronx LGBTQ Pride held its kickoff event at The Bronx Brewery in the Port Morris section of the Bronx.

The brunch was a prelude to the Bronx LGBTQ Pride Awards Dinner that are to be held on July 14th at Eastwood Manor and the July 18th Bronx LGBTQ Pride & Health Fair will be held in Crotona Park.

The host and emcee for the brunch was Peter Frank, Founder and CEO of The Bronx LGBTQ Center and of the Bronx LGBTQ Pride events. The highlight of the brunch was the announcement of the 2015 honorees who will be honored at the first Bronx Pride dinner

The honorees for 2015 were announced by Michael Czaczkes, Policy Associate and NYC LGBTQ Liasion to Public Advocate Letitia James. During the brunch, I was reminded that President Barack Obama proclaimed June as Pride Month:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2015 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.  I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.

The 2015 Awards and their recipients are:

Bronx Pride BrunchJames Palacio (Empress Fiona St. James) is receiving The Rev. Magora E. Kennedy Stonewall Courage Award. James is a Bronx-based female impersonator and actor who played Fiona, the cross-dressing inmate on the HBO television series Oz, from season two until the show’s sixth and final season. Other television credits include Sex and the City, Law & Order, New York Undercover and Mike Nichols’s Angels in America for HBO. Palacio’s film credits include Flawless, Bringing Out the Dead, Summer of Sam, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, and Stonewall.

Bronx Pride brunchSean Coleman is receiving The Christine Jorgensen Trailblazer Award. Sean describes himself as a, “male of trans experience, and is founder of the Bronx LGBT group, Destination Tomorrow. He currently sits on the New York State Planning and Prevention Group representing the transgender community and the National House and Ballroom Coalition. Sean is a 2014 fellow with the We Are the Bronx Fellowship, sits on the Bronx Borough President’s Saving Pride in the Bronx coalition, and is a contributor to GBM News. He offers transgender sensitivity workshops and courses geared toward companies and agencies that wish to make their workplace more culturally competent for transgender people of color.

TyraARossTyra A. Ross is receiving The Brenda Howard Community Spirit of Pride Award. Tyra is a model, statuesque beauty, crowned pageant winner, a writer, and a strong advocate for transgender youth. She has written a book entitled, ‘The Transsexual from Tobago”. Describing her childhood in Tobago, “I struggled secretly but constantly with my sexual identification, always trying my very best to hide my feminine nature. By the age of fifteen I had attempted suicide over a dozen times. I constantly heard people speaking of what they did to people who identified differently from the norm and feeling the way I felt I began to fear that one day I would not be just yelled at or beaten but killed horrifically. I faced some very traumatic situations growing up but did not realize what I had faced until I finally decided to face my own reality. All I knew was that parts of my childhood were haunting me and causing me lots of turmoil mentally.”

The DJ Frankie Knuckles Pride in the Arts Award will be given to Longwood Arts Gallery. The gallery was established in 1981 as the exhibition arm of Bronx Council of the Arts. The gallery mounts contemporary art exhibitions throughout the year with individual and thematic group shows being featured. It is located in Longwood, one of the Bronx’s last surviving historic brownstone districts. Once a public school, the gallery also houses several studios for artists-in-residence.

The Swish Bronx Ally Award recipient has been determined and that individual is proud to accept the award. Based on many  issues and concerns the name of this great person who is a very strong ally of the LGBT Ally Award cannot be divulged until the dinner on July 14th. For now refer to this person as LGBT ALLY X 

IMG_3671Lewis H. Goldstein is receiving The Storme DeLarverie Memorial Award. Lewis is a proud gay Bronxite born and raised in the Bronx. He is a strong advocate for the LGBT community and other groups which are often objects of hate and discrimination. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Stonewall Democratic Club of NYC, Vice Chair of the Bronx Democratic County Committee and is its liaison to the LGBT Community.


At the brunch, Mr. Frank said, “Pride is such an important time for our LGBTQ communities as it reminds us of our struggles, victories, and history while giving us an opportunity to come together in solidarity as one, despite the myriad differences we all have. It’s a celebration of both our differences and our commonalities.”

For more information and to RSVP for the Bronx LGBTQ Pride Awards Dinner, click the link here. For more information about the Bronx LGBTQ Pride & Health Fair, click the link here.

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