Oregon LGBTQ Related Awards Presented in 2017

By George T. Nicola
January 18, 2018

I am writing this article to preserve information on Oregon LGBTQ associated awards presented in 2017. There is no central place to find all this, so I really had to hunt it down. People in this article may be either openly LGBTQ or strong allies.


 Trillium Family Services’ Mental Health Heroes Awards

  1. Brave SpaceBrave Space, LLC provides social services, including mental health counselling, for transgender people. For details on the award, see

  2. Brad Larsen-SamchezBrad Larsen-Sanchez, PsyD is a clinical psychologist. He is an openly gay male who serves a diverse clientele, but he says a majority of them are queer. For details on his award, see

  3. Tina KotekTina Kotek is Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives. The award narrative credits her to numerous social justice advances such as her campaign against hunger. She is also the first openly lesbian head of any legislative chamber in the country. For details on her award, see

Portland Monthly magazine’s Light a Fire Awards

  1. Antoinette and Keith EdwardsAntoinette Edwards received the award in category Lifetime Achievement. She is the founder of PFLAG Portland Black Chapter, the first African American PFLAG group in the nation. It has since been renamed Sankofa Collective Northwest. Her article on this award is How Antoinette Edwards Takes Care of Portland’s At-Risk Youth  This GLAPN video helped Antoinette get the award:
    Antoinette Edwards with her husband Keith Edwards

  2. April SlabosheskiApril Slabosheski received the award in category Emerging Leader. Her article on this recognition is The Oregon Jewish Museum’s April Slabosheski Teaches Living History. April identifies as gay or queer. At the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education (OJMCHE), April has developed curriculum, organized school visits, booked speakers, trained docents, and arranged tours of the Oregon Holocaust Memorial. April manages the museum and its Holocaust education program. She curates one of the museum’s three permanent exhibits, a look at Holocaust survivors who came to Oregon. Schools sometimes request help addressing anti-Semitism, such as students self-identifying as Nazis. In response, Slabosheski dispatches speakers—including local Holocaust survivors—and conducts workshops.

City of Portland’s Sprit of Portland Award:

  1. Spirit of Portland CAPCascade AIDS Project (CAP) received the award in category Access and Disability Justice. The award narrative reads “Cascade AIDS Project works to prevent the spread of HIV, reduce stigma, and provide services to those living with HIV so that they can lead productive lives. While recognizing that HIV can affect anyone, CAP is dedicated to reaching people those hardest hit by the epidemic such as gay and bi men, trans individuals, and communities of color within their unique cultural context. In addition to working to end the epidemic, CAP is committed to increasing health equity across our community. This spring, CAP expanded its mission to provide compassionate healthcare to the full spectrum of Portland’s LGBTQ+ community with the opening of Prism Health. For 32 years, CAP has played a vital role in the health of our community.” For more details on CAP, see their web site

  2. Kathleen SaadatKathleen Saadat was selected for the award by of Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. The award narrative reads “In Portland, Kathleen Saadat has been fighting for the rights of LGBTQI & African American communities for almost 50 years. Arriving in 1972 to Portland, her words and actions gave voice to Portland’s Black community, women, and LGBTQUI people. These communities who then, as they do now, work with the weight of deeply help systemic, institutional racism and sexism that prevent many from even participating in community. Saadat serves not just as activist but as a local conduit for community activists to express their views to local government. She’s been a persistent presence attending Portland City Council and even giving her insights to those willing to hear her at the state level. Although she has retired from her position as Manager of Diversity and Affirmative Action with city of Portland, her continued presence as an activist, consultant, and public speaker is recognized by Commissioner Eudaly in recognizing her with the Spirit of Portland Award.

  3. SMYRCSexual & Gender Minority Youth Resource Center (SMYRC) was selected for the award by Commissioner Nick Fish. The award narrative states that SMYRC “is a drop-in resource center that provides a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQ+ youth. Access to healthcare and freedom from discrimination are basic human rights. Everyone needs and deserves a safe space and a supportive community.”


Oregon Chief Justice’s 2017 Juvenile Court Champion Award

Beth Allenwas given to Multnomah Circuit Court Judge Beth Allen. This is because “there are disproportionate numbers of LGBTQ children in care, so she has been educating her colleagues on how to ensure they receive procedural fairness in court. She has also labored in Oregon courts to advance procedural justice for LGBTQ court participants.” (






Heroes of HIV Award. The recognitions are presented by Cascade AIDS Project (CAP) Details on each of these honorees are at

  1. Tina Kotek is Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives. The award narrative credits her for numerous social justice advances such as her campaign against hunger. She is also the first openly lesbian head of any legislative chamber in the country.
  2. Portland Gay Men’s Chorus For 37 seasons, the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus has delighted audiences in Portland and across the Pacific Northwest with eclectic performances that honor and uplift the gay community and affirm the worth of all people. Founded in 1980, the Chorus is the fourth oldest gay-identified chorus in the country. While it is the “Portland Gay Men’s Chorus”, PGMC proudly welcomes singers of all genders and sexual orientations to join. And with a roster of over 150 performing members, it is one of Oregon’s largest choruses.
  3. Vibrant Table: Equally versed in food, design and fine arts, Creative Director Kurt Beadell has an uncanny ability to imagine spectacular concepts and translate them into dramatic realities. He is a founding member of Wedding Network USA and a member of American Bridal Consultants and Leading Caterers of America. In addition to serving on the Cascade AIDS Project Board of Directors, he is also a Former Honorary Chair of Our House. President Art Fortuna has more than 30 years of experience in business management, catering and restaurants. He has held several senior management positions with one of the largest food service companies in the world, and was the general manager of Atwater’s Restaurant and Founders Club for more than a decade. He serves as the President of the Metropolitan Business Association and is a member of both the Leading Caterers of America and the National Association of Catering Executives.


Pride Northwest

  1. Virginia LinderCommunity Spotlight Award: Virginia Linder. Virginia was elected to the Oregon Supreme Court, the first openly lesbian justice to serve on any supreme court in the nation. She was re-elected in 2012, and retired four years later: 

  2. GLAPNParade Grand Marshal: The Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN): GLAPN is a major LGBTQ Northwest history organization and the publisher of this article. GLAPN’s website states “Its purpose is to serve the greater public interest in advancing the visibility of sexual minority cultural history within the Pacific Northwest.” For a brief history of some of GLAPN’s accomplishments, see


Awards presented by Pride Foundation

Equity Foundation was a non-profit that served the Oregon LGBTQ community for many years. In 2016, the organization disbanded and merged its services into Pride Foundation which serves Oregon as well as several other Northwest states. As of December 13, 2017, Pride Foundation’s web site states “The Equity Awards is a celebration of the impact Equity Foundation has had in Oregon and Southwest Washington. We will be recognizing and honoring the leaders, groups, and organizations that have made the incredible progress of our community possible.”

The award categories and their recipients, which were formally presented on September 30, 2017, were as follows:

  1. Sankofa NWEquity Award for Building Community: Sankofa Collective Northwest. Sankofa was originally founded in 2009 as PFLAG Portland Black Chapter. It was the first PFLAG group in the nation founded by and for the African American community. Although the name changed to Sankofa in 2016 and it is no longer part of the PFLAG structure, its purpose remains the same: It “promotes the health and well-being of specifically Black gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people, their families and friends through support, education, organizing and advocacy.” (

  2. Jenn BurletonEquity Award for Advocates for Justice: TransActive Gender Center “provides a holistic range of services and expertise to empower transgender and gender diverse children, youth and their families in living healthy lives, free of discrimination.” (

    Jenn Burleton, founder and Executive Director of TransActive


  1. HIV AllianceEquity Award for Compassionate Care: HIV Alliance. “HIV Alliance was founded in 1994 to support people living with HIV/AIDS and prevent new HIV infections.” (

  2. Pride of the RoseEquity Award for Community Philanthropy: Pride of the Rose Scholarship Fund. “Scholarships are available to members of the LGBT communities and their children who reside in the Portland Quad-County area, Columbia and Yamhill counties and Clark County Washington. (


Q Center’s Shine Constellation Awards

  1. Oregon Queer Youth SummitNorth Star Award for Oregon Queer Youth Summit: “Oregon Queer Youth Summit is a yearly conference held by and for queer and trans-identified youth and their allies. The summit has been held for 15 years, along the way providing our community many experiences of youth creating leadership opportunities for one another.”

  2. UTOPIANorth Star Award for United Territories of Pacific Territories of Pacific Islanders Alliance (U.T.O.P.I.A. PDX): U.T.O.P.I.A PDX has created new opportunities for LGBTA+ Pacific Islanders and contributed to a longstanding tradition of uplifting the contributions of PI leadership and efforts in the Pacific NW.

  3. PQ MonthlyNorthern Lights Award for PQ Monthly: PQ Monthly has been a beacon for our community with an intersectional approach to their business model via Brilliance Media and the voices of their writers. They facilitate community building like Gay Skate and ensure our community’s interests and wellbeing are front and center.

  4. Marc KochanskiShining Star Award for Marc Kochanski: Marc is a long-tenured, former employee of Cascade AIDS Project. Working for many years as their volunteer manager, building community and providing outreach, Marc uses his time and personal connections to enrich and add to the life health of our community.

  5. LOCAQ Center Awards for Lesbians of a Certain Age (LOCA): LOCA is a group of more than 800 lesbians age 55 and over who stay connected through potlucks, service projects and leadership subgroups. Last year, LOCA members raised over $4,000 to replace the audio-visual system for Q Center and their group Women of All Colors meets at Q Center weekly and hosts a well-attended potluck where their members regularly meet.


Awards presented by OGALLA: The LGBT Bar Association of Oregon

  1. Beth AllenOGALLA presented its Community Service Award to Judge Beth Allen. Kamron Graham is co-chair of the OGALLA board, which determines the recipient of the Community Service Award. She said the board assesses a candidate’s contribution to the legal community and dedicated efforts for the LGBT community, social justice and equity. “Judge Allen embodies what we look for in leaders in our community. She is dedicated and tireless in her contributions to the LGBT and legal communities,” Graham said. “She is an advocate for change, she is a role model, and she is humble.”

  2. OGALLA presented its Award of Merit to Mat dos Santos: .


GLAPN’s Queer Heroes NW Awards

QHNWEach June as part of Pride month, GLAPN presents its Queer Heroes Northwest Awards. GLAPN honors a Queer Hero for every day in June, as part of its celebration of Pride, on our website and social media. GLAPN looks for some combination of risk, sacrifice, service, example and inspiration from individuals, living or dead, who had somehow helped make the world an easier place to be queer. Friends in the community share and amplify each day's post.” Queer Heroes for 2017 can be found at The presentation ceremony was videotaped by community member Beverly Standish and can be viewed at [You could probably use the Queer Heroes NW logo from]



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