2011 Grand Marshals
Celebrity Grand Marshals
Chaz Bono is an LGBT rights advocate, author, speaker, and the only child of famed entertainers Sonny and Cher. Although Chaz came out as a lesbian to his parents at 18-years-old in 1987, he did not publicly come out until April 1995 in an interview with The Advocate, a national gay and lesbian news magazine.
Chaz’s decision to come out prompted his public work in support of LGBT rights and social justice. Chaz has contributed as a writer-at-large to The Advocate and became spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, promoting National Coming Out Day.
An acclaimed author, Chaz has written two books, with his third due out this May. Transition is his groundbreaking and candid account of a forty-year struggle to match his gender identity with his physical body and his transformation from female to male.
He has most recently shared his life and experiences in Becoming Chaz. "Intimate and nakedly honest, the documentary reveals the humanity and courage it takes for Chaz to ultimately embrace his true self." The film received a standing ovation at its Sundance debut and was predicted to be a breakthrough in molding the American conversation about transgender issues by Rosie O'Donnell. The world television premiere of this highly anticipated documentary will air this year on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Chaz continues to create visibility, cause awareness and impact change for transgender issues.
“I am extremely pleased to have been selected grand marshal of one of the nation’s largest community pride events.”
Olympia Dukakis — an actress, director, producer, teacher, activist, and most recently, author with her best-selling memoir Ask Me Again Tomorrow. She received an Academy Award in the Best Supporting Actress category, the New York Film Critics Award, the Los Angeles Film Critics Award and the Golden Globe Award for her work in the Norman Jewison film Moonstruck.
Dukakis most recently starred off-Broadway in The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore at the Roundabout Theatre. She has received two OBIE Awards, for Bertolt Brecht's A Man's a Man, and Christopher Durang's The Marriage of Bette and Boo at Joseph Papp's Public Theatre. Other notable appearances at the Public include Sam Shepard's Curse of the Starving Class, Titus Andronicus, Electra, and Peer Gynt.
Dukakis made her London debut in 1999 on stage at the Royal National Theatre in Martin Sherman’s one-woman play, Rose, to rave reviews, followed by the world premiere of Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Credible Witness at London’s Royal Court Theatre. She appeared on British television (BBC) in a made-for-TV movie A Life For a Life (BAFTA nomination) and on BBC Radio starring in Hecuba.
On Broadway, Dukakis opened Rose in the Spring of 2000. In 2004, Dukakis starred as Clytemnestra in Agamemnon. She also performed at A.C.T. in The Mother (World Premiere) by Gorky adapted by Constance Congdon.
As a founding member and Producing Artistic Director of the Whole Theatre in Montclair, New Jersey for 19 years (1971-1990), she directed and appeared in many productions, winning accolades time and again. In 1992, Olympia Dukakis became the recipient of the New Jersey Governor's Walt Whitman Creative Arts Award. She is also a founding member of the Actor’s Company and the Charles Playhouse, both in Boston.
Dukakis has appeared in over 130 productions Off-Broadway and regionally, at venues including A.C.T., Shakespeare in the Park, Studio Arena in Albany, American Place Theatre, APA Phoenix, Circle Rep, and the Williamstown Summer Theatre Festival where she also served as Associate Director. Dukakis taught Acting in the graduate school at New York University for fifteen years and currently teaches master classes at various universities and colleges throughout the country.
Recent feature films include Away From Her with Julie Christie, Three Needles (shot in S. Africa) and The Librarian. Recent films include the highly acclaimed The Event, The Intended (shot in Malaysia and directed by Kristian Levring), The Great New Wonderful and The Thing About My Folks with Paul Reiser.
Other feature films include Mr. Holland’s Opus with Richard Dreyfus, Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite and I Love Trouble with Nick Nolte and Julia Roberts. Audiences continue to seek out videos of The Cemetary Club, Steel Magnolias directed by Herbert Ross, Dad co-starring Jack Lemmon, and Look Who's Talking I, II, & III with John Travolta and Kirstie Alley.
Dukakis co-starred in Last Of The Blond Bombshells with Judy Dench for HBO and in Ladies and The Champ with Marion Ross for ABC. One of her favorite projects, Tales of the City, a 6-hour mini-series based on the novel by Armistead Maupin, was a controversial blockbuster for PBS. She went on to star in the sequels More Tales of the City and Further Tales of the City (Showtime) for which she earned Emmy, Screen Actors Guild, and BAFTA nominations.
She starred with Frank Sinatra in Young at Heart on CBS (Emmy nomination). Other TV movie projects include Strange Relations; Scattering Dad; A Century of Women, a 6-hour mini-series for TBS; Fire in the Dark for CBS; Lucky Day co-starring Amy Madigan for ABC for which she received an Emmy nomination; The Last Act is a Solo for which she received an ACE Award; and Sinatra, a mini-series for CBS in which Dukakis portrayed Frank Sinatra's mother and was nominated for an Emmy.
Community & Personal
Dukakis actively participated in first cousin Michael Dukakis' presidential campaign in 1988. She is a founding member of Voices of Earth, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, and a member of several outstanding organizations including Survivors of Torture, Broadway Cares, NOW, Women in Film, Congress of Racial Equality, and Amnesty International. She continues to be a popular speaker at women’s expos and conferences throughout the United States and has participated in nationwide awareness campaigns on the issues of domestic abuse, osteoporosis, senior services, and cholesterol.
Dukakis lives in New York City with her husband, actor Louis Zorich. They have three children, Christina, Peter, and Stefan and four grandchildren Isabella, Sofia, Luka, and Erlinda.
LaKisha Hoffman is a former division one athlete and winner of The Amazing Race. She has lived a life dedicated to helping children succeed in the classroom, on the court, and in their communities. LaKisha has a Bachelors in psychology and is currently pursuing her Masters in social work at Hunter College. She has had the opportunity to have role models impact her, and she wishes to plant a seed in all the lives of children and families she works with. LaKisha has been out for about 8 years. "My coming out story was not an easy one," LaKisha has noted, "but I feel more comfortable in my skin every day." LaKisha hopes to be a role model for teens coming out and especially for the African American LGBTQ community given their lack of exposure.
Yigit (pronounced Yeet) was crowned the winner and fan favorite on the premiere season of BRAVO’s Top Chef: Just Desserts — a spin-off of the popular Emmy-nominated and James Beard Award-winning Top Chef. 2011 is already heating up for him, with a feature in the April issue of Food & Wine, a showcase at the annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival, and as a Gala Chef at the 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards in New York. Yigit joined Taste Catering and Event Planning as Executive Pastry Chef in the Spring of 2007. Pura plans to team up with Taste to open Tout Sweet, a high-end pastry shop in San Francisco in the Fall of 2011.
He began his culinary training in the pastry arts at the age of four in Ankara, Turkey. One of his fondest memories is of his mother making him a big spoon-full of dark caramel. His first job in the United States was in the pastry kitchen at The Meetinghouse, a three-star San Francisco restaurant, where he worked for two years under chef and mentor Joanna Karlinsky. From The Meetinghouse, he went on to work in several other pastry kitchens in San Francisco, including Postrio and Gary Danko. Yigit moved to New York City in the Fall of 2003, where he held increasingly responsible positions at the famed Le Cirque 2000 and the Five-Star, Five-Diamond Four Seasons Hotel, both under Executive Pastry Chef Luis Robledo-Richards. He also did stints at the world famous Restaurant Daniel, as Pastry Sous Chef, and at Daniel Boulud in Las Vegas, as Executive Pastry Chef, both under chef/owner Daniel Boulud.
Dustin Lance Black
Dustin Lance Black will be appearing in the Parade with National Organizational Community Grand Marshal the Trevor Project.
Dustin Lance Black is a screenwriter, producer and director, having won the Academy Award® and Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay for MILK, the biopic of the late gay civil rights activist Harvey Milk starring Sean Penn.
An honors graduate of UCLA’s School of Film and Television, Black began his professional career as an art director and quickly transitioned to directing documentaries, television series, commercials and music videos. Black’s documentaries ON THE BUS (2001) and MY LIFE WITH COUNT DRACULA (2003) debuted to acclaim and lead to a successful stint producing and directing TLC and BBC’s s hit program FAKING IT, which received notices for its unflinching sociological commentaries.
Mr. Black also penned the screenplay for PEDRO, the first scripted project from Bunim-Murray Productions about the life and legacy of famed openly gay, HIV positive REAL WORLD cast member Pedro Zamora. The film premiered at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival and earned Mr. Black his second WGA Award nomination when it premiered on MTV and VH1 in 2009.
Recently, Black completed his feature directorial debut VIRGINIA starring Jennifer Connelly and Ed Harris and has teamed up with director Clint Eastwood, actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Imagine Entertainment to scribe J.EDGAR, the story of famed FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. Both films will be released in the fall of 2011.
Beyond his film work, Black is also a civil rights activist. He is one of the founding board members the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), which is leading the Federal Case against Prop 8 in CA with lawyers David Boise and Ted Olson, and is on the Board of the Trevor Project, an LGBTQ teen suicide hotline.
Since winning the Oscar in 2009, Black has been on a equal rights speaking tour across the country, and was one of a handful of organizers of the LGBT March on Washington in October 2009 where he spoke to an audience of over 150,000 demonstrators in front of the Nation’s Capitol.
Black has had two books published, has written for every major screenwriting magazine, contributes to The Daily Beast, the Huffington Post, topped the list of OUT Magazine’s 40 under 40, and has repeatedly been named one of the 50 most powerful LGBT people in America today by that same publication.
Jeremy Ray Valdez
Jeremy Ray Valdez is an actor that recently gained notoriety for his role as Jesse Rivera, a young gay man struggling to come out to his macho father in the hit film, “La Mission”. Jeremy won the 2010 Imagen Award for best supporting actor for his work. He is currently working on his newest film titled, “Dreamer”, a feature narrative drama about an undocumented young man whose life falls apart after his employer discovers his immigration status. If you would like to become a part of this film or find out more information, please visit www.DreamerFilm.com.
Lifetime Achievement Grand Marshal
The Lifetime Achievement Grand Marshal is an award that is given to an individual who has made a substantial contribution to the LGBT community over the course of a number of decades.
Bishop Yvette Flunder
Bishop Yvette Flunder is an ordained Minister of the United Church of Christ and Senior Pastor of City of Refuge UCC. She is a graduate of the Master of Arts programs at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. She received a Doctor of Ministry degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, California.
Bishop Flunder was consecrated Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship, a multi-denominational fellowship of 110 primarily African American Christian leaders and laity, representing 56 churches and faith-based organizations from all parts of the United States, Mexico, and Africa.
Responding to the needs of the AIDS epidemic, Bishop Flunder and her staff developed Ark of Refuge, Inc., a nonprofit agency which provides housing, direct services, education, and training for persons affected by HIV/AIDS in the Bay Area, throughout the USA, and in three countries in Africa.
Bishop Flunder is a Trustee and Adjunct Professor at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. She is a board member of the National Sexuality Resource Center, an active voice for the Religion Council of the Human Rights Campaign, and Co-Chair of the Religious Advisory Committee of the National Black Justice Coalition.
She has been a lecturer, Adjunct Professor, and speaker at numerous seminaries that include Lancaster, Duke, Drew, Eden, Yale, and New York Theological Seminaries. She is the author of Where the Edge Gathers, published by Pilgrim Press. Bishop Flunder is also a Grammy-nominated gospel music artist and is a featured soloist with Walter Hawkins and the Grammy award-winning Chanticleer.
“As a native San Franciscan and an out leader in the faith community, I am honored and humbled to be recognized as the Lifetime Achievement Grand Marshal by my own community.”
National Organizational Grand Marshal
The Trevor Project
“The Trevor Project is very proud to be selected as the National Organizational Grand Marshal for the San Francisco Pride celebration. Congratulations to all the San Francisco Pride Grand Marshals, Pride participants, and the winners of the Pride Parade Awards.”
- David McFarland, Interim Executive Director of The Trevor Project.
Each one of us deserves a chance to dream big and achieve big, regardless of our sexual orientation or gender identity. The Trevor Project is here for young lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning people to help whenever you or a friend might need to talk to someone, or if you are considering suicide. With lifesaving programs and information, The Trevor Project works every day to make the future better for all LGBTQ youth. Learn more at www.TheTrevorProject.org.
Local Organizational Grand Marshal
The Organizational Community Grand Marshal is a title bestowed upon one local organization that has made a notable contribution to the LGBT community in the previous year.
GLBT Historical Society and History Museum
Often referred to as San Francisco's "queer Smithsonian," the GLBT Historical Society houses one of the world’s largest collections of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender historical materials. Since its founding in 1985, the society has gathered archives, periodicals, photographs, graphic arts, artifacts, ephemera, film and video, and oral histories. These irreplaceable holdings have sustained the work of hundreds of authors, filmmakers, curators, students, activists and other researchers. The institution also has long hosted programs and exhibitions designed to bring queer history alive. This year, the society took its next step in reaching out to a wider public by opening The GLBT History Museum in the Castro District—the first full-scale, stand-alone museum of its kind in the United States.
“As a grand marshal for San Francisco Pride 2011, the GLBT Historical Society is thrilled to invite everyone who joins the celebration to pay a visit to the museum. They’ll discover treasures from our archives that reflect fascinating stories spanning a century of San Francisco GLBT life. We have gone all out to create a museum as diverse and surprising as the community that proudly puts our dreams, struggles and triumphs on parade every year at the end of June.”
—Paul Boneberg, Executive Director, GLBT Historical Society
Individual Community Grand Marshals
Individual Community Grand Marshals are individuals who have made a significant contribution to the LGBT community in the previous year.
Dr. Aaron Belkin
Aaron Belkin is the director of the Palm Center at UCLA and associate professor of political science at San Francisco State. For the past 12 years, he has helped dismantle the rationale for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” by publishing studies and breaking media stories that show that discrimination hurts the military and has financial and human costs. He delivered the first-ever gay-affirmative lectures at West Point, the Army War College, and the Air Force Academy. His research has been cited widely by the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, PBS, CNN, and, most importantly, Rachel Maddow.
“This year’s Pride parade will coincide with the end of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ I can’t think of any greater honor than marching in Pride at the same moment that equality and justice are taking a giant leap forward.”
Victoria was elected in Alameda County in November 2010 as the first openly transgender trial court judge in the nation. She has a long history of civic involvement in the LGBT community. She co-authored Berkeley's domestic partner registry ordinance (1991), and promoted transgender rights through her work as co-chair of the Bay Area Transgender Law Association (1996-1999) and as co-chair of the board of the Transgender Law Center (2010). She is a vocal advocate for greater inclusion of LGBT people and other often-marginalized people. Among many achievements she has been honored as East Bay Stonewall Democrats’ Woman of the Year (1994), the Dignity Award from the Santa Clara County Council of Churches (2006), the Minority Bar Coalition's Unity Award (2010), and the Equality & Justice Award from Equality California (2011). She was nominated for grand marshal in 2007 for her work on marriage equality and religious inclusion of LGBT people.
"I am deeply humbled to be selected as grand marshal by the membership of the San Francisco Pride Celebration Committee. I accept this honor on my own behalf, and on behalf of the people of Alameda County who elected me as the first transgender trial court judge in the nation based upon my experience and qualifications. I hope to use this as an opportunity to help educate the public about the justice system."
Christina Remington founded Butterfly Productions in 2002, as a space for lesbian women of all shapes, sizes, and colors to come together in an atmosphere where they could feel comfortable and beautiful. She worked as a doula and parent educator for at-risk youth and low-income women for several years. Currently an At-Risk Family Specialist and Birth Educator for First 5 Contra Costa, Christiana has tirelessly volunteered her time for a variety of organizations such as Covenant House & Acorn Youth Project. A community activist for 16 years, she has devoted 10 of them to building events in the LGBTQ community. Christiana has made possible great events like Sistah Sundays, Mo’ Butta and Soul of Pride stage. She is affectionately known as “Ms. Buttafly,” named after her biggest monthly event, Butta, a second home where you can fill up on delicious food, play dominos, and dance the night away.
“I am honored and thrilled to be chosen as Community Grand Marshal of San Francisco Pride. I share this honor with the LGBT family I serve, always with the hope of creating a more diverse and inclusive environment. My focus is to continually nurture multi-cultural events that help strengthen our community.”
Therese "Terry" Stewart
Therese M. Stewart is San Francisco's Chief Deputy City Attorney and one of California's best lawyers. She oversees all civil litigation brought by and against San Francisco. She has represented the City in cases involving same-sex couples' constitutional right to marry, defending the mayor in suits brought to stop San Francisco from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in 2004, winning a California Supreme Court ruling that excluding same-sex couples from marriage violated the State Constitution in 2008, challenging Proposition 8 as a constitutional revision in 2009, and representing the City in the ongoing federal constitutional challenge to Proposition 8.
“I am honored and excited to have been selected me as a 2011 SF Pride Community Grand Marshal. It has been my privilege to represent our community in the marriage equality litigation, and to be honored for it is the icing on a many-layered wedding cake.”
Rev. Roland Stringfellow
Rev. Roland Stringfellow is licensed with the Metropolitan Community Church and United Church of Christ. Currently he directs the Coalition of Welcoming Congregations, a program of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Sexuality on the campus of Pacific School of Religion and with California Faith for Equality. In both positions, he works with congregations on LGBTQI inclusion. Media outlets have consulted Rev. Stringfellow regarding his work on marriage equality, and the role people of color and communities of faith played in this local, state, and national debate.
“As an African-American Christian minister who is out and proud, I am honored to be selected this year’s Grand Marshal. I hope my presence in the SF Pride Parade will help to provide a broader vision of community and encourage open minds and hearts to what it means to be spiritual and gay.”
Graylin K. Thornton
Graylin K. Thornton is an original member of the South Bay Leather & Uniform Group and co-produced their first leather weekend, "South Bay in Gear.” A Pantheon of Leather Award recipient for Southern California, is the former chair of San Diego Leather Pride/Mr. San Diego Leather and also produced Southern California Leather Sir/Boy. In 1991, Graylin produced the first Ebony Leather Contest in San Francisco, which introduced the leather lifestyle to more people of color. He later became Editor of GBM Magazine. Graylin is happy to be home in S.F. where he won the 1993 Northern California Mr. Drummer and International Mr. Drummer Contests. Graylin is a past board member of San Francisco's New Leaf Services, a past volunteer with San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and is extremely supportive of the Tom of Finland Foundation in Los Angeles. He served as Vice-Chair for the Leather Leadership Conference for nine years.
"The experience of being selected as one of the Community Grand Marshals is one of the most honorable and humbling events of my life. I'd like to congratulate all of the nominees and recognize the work done throughout the years by all of the people who believe in pride and equality for all."
Honorary Grand Marshals
Susie Bright is the author of Big Sex Little Death: A Memoir, along with the national bestsellers Full Exposure, The Sexual State of the Union, and Herotica: A Collection of Women’s Erotic Fiction series, which ushered in a new era of contemporary, authentic-lives erotic publishing. She’s the host of Audible’s In Bed With Susie Bright: the longest-running sex-ed show in the history of broadcasting. She was co-founder and editor of On Our Backs magazine, the first women's erotic magazine by and for women — "entertainment for the adventurous lesbian." A progenitor of the sex-positive movement, Bright taught the first university course on pornography, and brought lasting sexual influence to her role in films like Bound and The Celluloid Closet, as well as playing herself: "the famous feminist sex writer," on Six Feet Under.
Ron Wong has served the LGBT community as board member, treasurer, and secretary of SF Pride under four presidents. He was a board member and treasurer of AIDS Project East Bay, as well as a former member of Gay Asian Pacific Alliance, and a founding contributor to the Charles M. Holmes Community Center.
His lifelong ambition is to serve the LGBT community and to advance issues of same sex marriage, gender diversity, and immigration rights for people of color. He currently serves as treasurer and founding member of SF LovEvolution, and is living in retirement with his married partner.