Ali Marrero-CalderonGilbert Baker Pride Founder’s Award
Gilbert Baker Pride Founder’s Award
For those who have made a significant and historical impact on the LGBTQ community and the movement for LGBTQ rights.Ali Marrero-Calderon was born in Puerto Rico in 1948. Her father was in the US military so she lived most of her life in the US. Ali was aware of her queerness at the age of 8. She came to the Oakland side of the Bay at 15 years old, went back to Puerto Rico after high school.
After the Stonewall riots of 1969, when she saw Puerto Rican drag queens, lesbians, and men beaten by the NYCPD on the news, she came back to the Bay Area. When Ali arrived, she was desperate to find women like her. After meeting Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, Ali became involved with the Gay Rights movement, attending gay rap groups with other lesbians and gay men, but she found no other ‘Rican “gays” around. She started going to the bars, cuz that was where we could go.
In 1974, Ali joined GENTE, the first Lesbian of Color Organization in California. GENTE met with a lot of resistance from the lesbian bar owners at the time, which began the work of fighting racism wherever GENTE went. From the mid-seventies onward, Ali has spoken out against any and all anti-gay initiatives.
Ali has belonged to Dykes on Bikes since 1976 and was their first Emeritus member. Today, as part of the the National Steering Committee of OLOC (Old Lesbians Organizing for Change), Ali fights for the rights of Old Lesbians, especially Old Lesbians of Color.
“My dream is to see a National Lesbian of Color Gathering — with our music, spoken word, workshops, and a safe space to grow.”