Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 3 / 18 January 2018

Beals tapped for celebrity marshal


Actress Jennifer Beals
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Actress Jennifer Beals, who currently stars in the Showtime series The L Word, has been named celebrity grand marshal for this year's LGBT Pride Parade.

Pride Executive Director Lindsey Jones made the announcement Wednesday, June 10. Ilene Chaiken, creator of The L Word , will attend the event with Beals.

At press time, additional information was not available.

In related news, the Pride board announced its final selections for community grand marshals of the 36th annual San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade and Celebration. The selections for the June 24-25 celebration are:

● Cecilia Chung, 40, an openly trans and HIV-positive woman, the current deputy director of the Transgender Law Center, and a San Francisco Human Rights commissioner. She was a member of the Transgender Discrimination Task Force in 1994 that led to a groundbreaking report by the Human Rights Commission; was elected as board president of SF Pride in 2001; was one of the producers of Trans March, one of San Francisco's largest transgender events; and in 2005 produced the first ever trans stage at San Francisco Pride.

● Kathleen McGuire, 40, who has served as artistic director and conductor of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus since 2000. McGuire also conducts the Community Women's Orchestra and co-founded the GLAM Youth Choir. She will direct the opening ceremonies music at Gay Games VII.

● Marion Abdullah, 69, longtime East Bay LGBT activist involved in organizing the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's recent Creating Change conference in Oakland. Abdullah is a member of the Asian Pacific Lesbian Network, has participated in women of color events, was involved in the inaugural meeting of Older Lesbians Organized for Change, helped organize the annual elder conference, volunteered with the Women's Building and PFLAG, and is active in AIDS and breast cancer organizations.

● Sal Rosselli, 56, the openly gay president of SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West, the largest healthcare union in the western United States. Rosselli cooked meals for the homeless in 1969, organized lower-income communities in India in 1971, served as president of the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club in 1984-85, and was one of the first directors of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Rosselli has also been a leader in the effort to defend affirmative action and civil rights and is a national director of Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH coalition.

● Cristy Chung and Lancy Woo, lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit against California's gay marriage ban. They have been together for 18 years, and have a 7-year- old daughter, Olivia. Chung, 42, and Woo, 39, counted as one nominee in the grand marshal process.

Cecilia Chung was selected by the Electoral College, comprised of past grand marshals. McGuire was selected by the SF Pride membership. The other marshals were selected by the Pride board of directors.

The Pride committee also announced the selection of retired San Francisco Police Sergeant Elliot Blackstone as the Lifetime Achievement Award grand marshal. Blackstone was seen as pivotal in the days following the 1966 riot at the Tenderloin's Compton Cafeteria in bridging the cultural gap between city cops and queer youth.

"My thanks today to San Francisco Pride for what is probably the highest honor of my life," Bridgestone said in a statement. "I am grateful to be alive today to see the positive changes in the community."

"At a time when most San Francisco cops would just as soon bust a queer's head open as look at them," Joey Cain, Pride board president said, "Sergeant Blackstone was a lone voice of compassion and understanding in the SFPD. To stand up as a heterosexual and a cop and challenge the entrenched homophobia in the police department took an unimaginable amount of bravery. I'm so glad we have the chance to recognize and honor this true unsung hero of our community's road to equality."

Previously announced grand marshals, elected through community voting, are Robert Bernardo as individual grand marshal and the Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center in San Jose as organizational grand marshal.

The "Pink Brick" award, for the individual or group deemed to have done the most ill to the LGBT community in the past year, goes to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"It is very moving to see this year's list of community grand marshals," Cain said. "They represent the intrinsic diversity of our community and have made such profound contributions to both our LGBT movement and the larger movement for human rights and dignity."

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