May marked the birthday of slain LGBT leader Harvey Milk and the annual tradition of honoring Long Beach leaders and supporters of the LGBT community at Harvey Milk Promenade Park (HMPP) continues. Four leaders—some still with us, one that has sadly passed on—have been given small plaques with their names on it in the small section of the park known as Equality Plaza.
Now in its fourth year, the annual honoring is overseen by the HMPP committee with honorees chosen for their LGBTQ advocacy work, historic preservation efforts, and other issues. The ceremony will take place at HMP, located where the Promenade meets 3rd.
“I’m so proud the Committee is honoring these individuals who have been long-time activists for equality,” stated Raul A. Añorve, Chair of the HMPP Committee. “This celebration is always special as it embodies Harvey’s legacy by honoring our local LGBTQ community during Pride Month.”
Joining the many plaques of past honorees, this year’s inductees include:
- Jim Deaton: Board, Lambda Democratic Club; Board & President, Teacher’s Association of LB; PFLAG Chapter of LB
- Lee Glaze (Posthumous): Pre-Stonewall pioneer; Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
- Audrey Stephanie Loftin: President, Lambda Democratic Club; LBPD Chief’s Gay & Lesbian Advisory Group; Founding Member, Gay & Lesbian Business Network; Board, LGBTQ Center of LB; LA County Commission on Alcohol; First openly gay President, Women’s Lawyers of LB
- Marsha Naify: President, Lambda Democratic Club; LB Human Relations Commission; Co-chair, LB LGBT History Project; Board, AIDS Walk LB; President, LB Community Business Network
“The LGBTQ history in Long Beach is so rich and inspiring,” stated 1st Councilmember Lena Gonzalez. “Thank you to the Harvey Milk Promenade Park Committee for honoring these leaders, through their efforts the City is able to recognize these leaders’ contributions for many generations.”
Other members of the HMPP Committee include Cory Allen, Kaye Briegel, Keith “Nick” Compton, Pat Crosby, Deb Kahookele, Stephanie Loftin, Vanessa Romain, Ron Sylvester, and Ernie Villa.