2019 Spirit of Stonewall Awardees

Every year, San Diego Pride accepts nominations from the community for the annual presentation of the Spirit of Stonewall Awards. The awards recognize individuals or groups who contribute significantly to the LGBT community through their leadership, activism, and fundraising efforts.

San Diego Pride is honored to recognize the following individuals and organizations as our 2019 awardees:

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Community Grand Marshal

Stonewall Generation

This year, we honor and reflect on the Stonewall generation, on their activism, and on all that our community has gained through their efforts. The Stonewall Generation carries on the legacy of the Stonewall Riots and has paved the way for our contemporary movement. These are the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirit shoulders that we all stand on today, and we are honored to name them our Community Grand Marshals.

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Champion of Pride

LaRue Fields

LaRue Fields is the Senior Program Coordinator & Services Navigator for the San Diego LGBT Community Center. LaRue is a tireless worker and advocate who has dedicated her life to helping others especially LGBT seniors and low income people of color.

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Community Service

Abrahán Monzón

Abrahán Monzón is a first-generation, bi-national, queer, fat, non-binary, femme community leader based with roots El Centro, CA and Mexicali, BC. Abrahán is currently a resident of North County and the Associate Director and department lead for the Gender Equity Center at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM). Abrahán organizes the annual CSUSM contingent in the San Diego Pride parade, and this year they will serve as President of the LGBTQ Faculty Staff Association.

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Friend of Pride

Penny Bridges

The Very Reverend Penny Bridges has served as Dean, or senior pastor, of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral since 2014. During her seminary years at Yale Divinity School she worked at a transitional residential program for individuals living with HIV/AIDS, and the first funeral she conducted was for a man who died of AIDS and was disowned by his family.

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Stonewall Philanthropy

Blue Shield of California

As a mission-driven, nonprofit health plan celebrating its 80th year anniversary, Blue Shield of California is committed to diversity and equality for all. We couldn’t be prouder to recognize, celebrate and invest in our LGBTQ+ employees, members and community at large.

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Stonewall Service

San Diego History Center

The History Center is committed to telling the histories of everyone in our community, including those who have been excluded from textbooks, or those traditionally left out of the historical narrative. In July 2018 we debuted the exhibition LGBTQ+ San Diego: Stories of Struggles and Triumphs, in partnership with Lambda Archives of San Diego. LGBTQ+ San Diego: Stories of Struggles and Triumphs examines how this community has faced, fought, and continues to fight against persecution and intolerance with the goal of equality for all LGBTQ+ people.

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Inspirational Couple

Ricardo Gallego and Orlando Espín

Ricardo Gallego and Orlando Espín have been together 26 years, and were civilly married in California in 2008. They are very proud of their affirming, supportive families and friends. Ricardo has been very much involved in the San Diego LGBTQ community since 1999. More recently, he led the Center’s efforts to serve the many LGBTQ refugees arriving at our local border, and continues to work with several local immigrant-rights organizations. Orlando has been professor at the University of San Diego since 1991, after serving on the faculty of the University of Florida and he was among the first in his field to write and speak on LGBTQ rights and realities, and has encouraged others to do so.

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