LGBT Caucus Celebrates June 2015 as LGBT Pride Month And Honors Outstanding LGBT Californians

June 22, 2015

June 22, 2015

LGBT Caucus Celebrates June 2015 as LGBT Pride Month
And Honors Outstanding LGBT Californians 

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Caucus celebrates June 2015 as LGBT Pride Month with the adoption of House Resolution 24 in the Assembly and Senate Resolution 33.

“Today, we recognize 10 outstanding people who are making a difference in our communities,” said Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman (Stockton), chair of the LGBT Caucus. “They are the strength of our movement, and they also show the growing breadth of support and variety of experience behind the struggle for LGBT equality. Our honorees are leaders in business, politics and civil rights, health and social enterprise and represent the rich diversity that makes up the LGBT community. They prove that inclusive, welcoming movements are also strong and effective ones, necessary to help all Californians be the best they can and want to be."

California has a long history of LGBT activism. In 1950, the Mattachine Society was founded in Los Angeles, becoming the first national gay rights organization. Five years later, the Daughters of Bilitis, the first lesbian rights organization, was formed in San Francisco. Starting in the 1960s, these burgeoning communities began to combat the rampant homophobia of the time and ushered in the modern LGBT rights movement. The 1966 Compton’s Cafeteria Riots in San Francisco marked one of the first transgender protests of police harassment and on June 28, 1969, bar patrons at the Stonewall Inn in New York City protested against the constant police raids of their gay bar.

A year after the Stonewall Riots, members of the LGBT community began to celebrate the anniversary of that momentous event, which brought widespread attention to discriminatory laws and policies and gave birth to the modern LGBT civil rights movement. Already heavy with significance for the LGBT community, June may also become the month the Supreme Court decides the constitutionality of marriage equality, once and for all.

This year’s honorees include:

·         Dr. Donald Abrams

·         Sue Conley & Peggy Smith

·         Hon. Robert Garcia

·         Hon. Virginia Gurrola

·         Kris Hayashi

·         Dr. Delores Jacobs

·         JoAnne Keatley

·         Mattheus E. Stephens

·         Hon. Ken Yeager

The individual biographies of today’s honorees are found below:

Cancer and Integrative Medicine Specialist, UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine Chief of Hematology-Oncology, San Francisco General Hospital

He is a member of the California Medical Association, American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, and the International AIDS Society. He has held leadership positions in the American Board of Integrative Medicine, Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. His service on national and inter- national editorial boards includes the Medical Editor of the AmFAR AIDS/ HIV Treatment Directory, Associate Editor of the Journal of the Society of Integrative Oncology, and Atualizacao em AIDS (Brazil).

Dr. Abrams’ participation on local, state, national and international advisory committees on HIV/AIDS and cancer has resulted in awards of more than $38 million for research in these areas. He graduated from Brown University in 1972 and from the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1977. He received his California medical license in 1978.

Founders, Cowgirl Creamery

This is the story of two friends, a baby blue Chevy van and a lifelong love affair with food. Sue Conley and Peggy Smith took a hippie trip to San Francisco in 1976 after finishing degrees at the University of Tennessee. Both established careers in some of San Francisco’s most famous kitchens: Peggy spending 17 years at Chez Panisse, and Sue co-owning Bette’s Oceanview Diner in Berkeley. By the early 1990s, Peggy and Sue were ready for a new challenge. They found it in Pt. Reyes Station, a picturesque postage-stamp-of-a-town on the coast about an hour north of San Francisco. With their first-hand knowledge of the restaurant business, they launched Tomales Bay Foods, a marketing vehicle to help West Marin’s farms and dairies get their delicious products into the hands of the Bay Area’s finest chefs. Their first location, a renovated hay barn in downtown Point Reyes, featured a small cheese-making room at the entrance to the building. It gave them ideas. Using milk from neighboring Straus Family Creamery, they began making delicious fresh cheeses.

Mayor, City of Long Beach

Dr. Robert Garcia, 36, is an accomplished educator and Mayor of the City of Long Beach. Robert Garcia was elected the 28th Mayor of Long Beach on June 3rd, 2014. He is also a member of the public policy and communications faculty at the University of Southern California, and has taught Communication Studies at both Cal State Long Beach and Long Beach City College. Robert was born in Lima, Peru, and immigrated to the United States at age 5 with his family. He grew up in Covina, California and was raised by three strong women in his life - his mother, grandmother and aunt. Robert was the first person in his family to attend and graduate college. While at CSULB, Robert was elected student body president. Robert’s passion for education led him to pursue a Doctorate in Higher Education, which he was awarded in 2010 after publishing his dissertation on California’s Master Plan for Education. Robert also holds a Masters Degree in Communication Management from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies from California State University, Long Beach.

Councilmember, City of Porterville Inaugural Ally Award

Virginia Gurrola began her career at Porterville College, where she worked over 37 years, serving as the Director of Extended Opportunity Program and Services (EOPS), Financial Aid Department, Admissions and Records Office, as well as the Executive Director to the PC Foundation. Virginia was elected in 1995 to the Porterville City Council serving two terms until 2003, during which she served as Mayor for three years. Virginia was the first Latina to serve on Porterville’s city council, and she was the first Latina Mayor in the city’s history. During her terms on the council, one her crowning achievements was the Casa De Rio water project, where she worked with residents to use their voice to navigate the decision making process to obtain individual water meters at each home. When Mayor Gurrola issued a proclamation declared June as LGBT Pride Month in Porterville in 2013, members of the community turned out in massive numbers at a public hearing to object. In November the council removed her as the Mayor for the City of Porterville. Born in Lindsay, California, Virginia graduated from Lindsay High School June of. She is a mother to three sons and a grandmother to nine, ages 3 to 19 years old.

Executive Director, Transgender Law Center

Kris Hayashi is the Executive Director at the Transgender Law Center. The Transgender Law Center works to change law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression. Kris has been active in social, racial and economic justice organizing for over 20 years. Kris served as the Executive Director/Co-Director of the Audre Lorde Project, a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans and Gender Non Conforming People of Color organizing center based in New York City for ten years. Previously he served as a Trainer/Organizer at Western States Center in Portland, Oregon and as Executive Director of Youth United for Community Action a youth organizing group in California, led by young people of color organizing for social and environmental justice.

Chief Executive Officer, San Diego LGBT Community Center

Dr. Delores A. Jacobs is nationally recognized as a skilled leader, responsible for managing one of the oldest, largest and most dynamic LGBT community centers in the country. Since Delores took the executive position with The Center in 2001, the organization has grown into a vibrant $4 million dollar, community- based, non-profit agency with more than 40 staff and 800 volunteers. Today, The Center provides the San Diego LGBT community with more than 50,000 service visits per year through 40 programs, including programs specializing in providing service to those living with HIV, youth, seniors, families, Latino services, a cutting edge permanent supportive housing project for LGBT and HIV positive transition-aged youth and a large behavioral health department.

Director, Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, UCSF
JoAnne Keatley was born in Mexico City and received a Master of Social Welfare degree from the University of California, Berkeley. At UCSF since 1999, she is the Director of the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health. The CoE has worked diligently to enhance transgender care services in California, the nation and the world. Under her leadership and in partnership with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), JoAnne co-authored the PAHO document “Blueprint for the Provision of Comprehensive Care to Transgender and Transsexual persons and their communities in Latin America and the Caribbean” that has impacted the quality of transgender care throughout the region. JoAnne has received numerous awards and recognition including, in 2001, being the first staff recipient of the UCSF Chancellor’s Award for LGBT Leadership and, in 2009, the UCSF Martin Luther King Jr. Chancellor’s Award for advancing cultural diversity and social justice on campus. When relaxing, JoAnne likes to hike or camp outdoors with her beloved Boston Terrier, Rascal, or hang out with friends and family.

Lawyer and Lecturer, University of California, San Diego
Mattheus E. Stephens is an attorney and a lecturer at the University of California, San Diego, where he teaches four courses, including “Race and Law” and “The Law & Sex.” He has also lectured widely on diversity, reproductive rights, marriage equality and LGBT civil rights, including recent lectures at the San Diego County Bar Association on the marriage decisions and diversity in the workplace. In addition, he provides diversity training to such entities as the San Diego Volunteer Lawyers Program, Sony Electronics and Morrison & Foerster, among others, and provides guest commentary on KPBS (television and radio) on LGBT civil rights issues. After graduating from Rutgers School of Law, Stephens’ legal career began at Gray Cary Ames & Frye (now DLA Piper) as a litigation associate. Currently he owns his own firm. Important litigation matters have included the ground- breaking Title IX case against the San Diego Community College District resulting in constructive change for women athletes in the District and the case against the City of San Diego concerning public parkland leases with Boy Scouts of America. He recently successfully defended against an attempt to take advantage of anti-LGBT laws in Louisiana to nullify California custody agreements in a case involving same-sex parents.

Supervisor, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors
Ken Yeager has served on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors since 2006. He previously served six years on the San Jose City Council, first elected in November 2000 and re-elected to a second term in March 2004. Prior to that, he served two terms (1992-2000) as a Trustee of the San Jose Evergreen Community College District where he was the first openly gay elected official in Santa Clara County. He is a strong supporter of public health, with a particular interest in preventive health measures and strong safety net programs. A long-time pioneer for LGBT rights in the region, Supervisor Yeager has worked to expand HIV testing, outreach for homeless LGBT homeless youth, and health services for LGBT residents in Santa Clara County.

Originally formed in 2002, the LGBT Caucus serves as a forum for the California Legislature to discuss issues that affect LGBT Californians and to further the goal of equality and justice for all residents in the State. Comprised of both Senate and Assembly members, the LGBT Caucus members include: Speaker Toni G. Atkins, Assemblymembers Richard S. Gordon (Chair), Tom Ammiano, Susan Talamantes Eggman, Speaker Emeritus John A. Pérez; Senators Cathleen Galgiani, Ricardo Lara, and Mark Leno. The Caucus’ formation made California the first state in the country to recognize an official caucus of openly-LGBT state legislators. 


Media Contacts:
LGBT Caucus
William Kim


Office of Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman
Christian Burkin