June 6, 2005
The Stars Also Rise.
Celebrity Grand Marshals Named

 
The SF LGBT Pride Celebration Committee is pleased to announce the 2005 Pride Celebrity Grand Marshals. This year, joining San Francisco by marching in the Pride Parade and attending the Civic Center Celebration are Ilene Chaiken, Alec Mapa, and Esera Tuaolo.

Ilene Chaiken is the creator and executive director of Showtime's hit lesbian drama "The L Word." Three years in the making, "The L Word" is about the lives of lesbian women living in Los Angeles. The show follows a group of friends, both gay and straight, through stories of career, family, inner struggle, friendship and romantic relationships and stars an impressive cast, including Jennifer Beals and Pam Grier. By drawing on her own life and experiences, Chaiken tells the stories of her characters within mainstream culture and the everyday incidences we all confront. Prior to "L Word," Chaiken wrote screenplays for both television and film ("Damaged Care" (2002) (Television), "Dirty Pictures" (2000) (Television), Barb Wire (1996) (Featured Film)), and was a coordinating producer on the 1990's television series, "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Chaiken lives in Los Angeles with her partner of 20 years and their nine-year old twin daughters.

Alec Mapa is an openly gay actor, playwright, journalist, comic, and performer currently appearing as a cast regular on the popular UPN series Half & Half. The San Francisco born star launched his career in 1989 with his award winning role in the Broadway run of M. Butterfly; then became television's first gay Asian series regular during his sting on the show Some of My Best Friends. He volunteers his time and resources to organizations such as the Los Angeles charity Project Angel Food, AIDS Project Los Angeles and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Mapa was among Out magazine's "Top Out 100" people for 2004, and he writes a regular column for the Advocate called Minority Report.

Esera Tuaolo was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 1990 as a second round draft pick. During his career, the native Hawaiian played in the 1999 Super Bowl XXXIII with the Atlanta Falcons. After 10 years in the NFL, playing for the Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons, and Carolina Panthers, Tuaolo retired from football and began to pursue a career in acting and singing. Notably, Tuaolo came out as a gay man shortly after leaving the NFL. An avid supporter of the LGBT community, Tuaolo is the father of twins.

Joey Cain, SF Pride Board President said, "This year's Celebrity Grand
Marshals reflects Pride's commitment to diversity and inclusion. All are fabulously talented individuals in their respective fields and each brings a wonderful element that adds to the excitement of this year's event."

Lindsey Jones, SF Pride Interim Executive Director said, "Each has done so much for the cause of diversity -- Ilene Chaiken, producing a drama featuring lesbians of color, Esera Tuaolo, furthering human rights as an openly gay former NFL player and Alec Mapa as a performing artist from the Asian and Pacific Islander community. We are so honored to have these LGBT leaders with us to celebrate the 35th annual San Francisco Pride."

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the San Francisco Pride Parade and Celebration. The event theme is, "Stand Up, Stand Out, Stand Proud," and will be held the June 25/26 weekend. For more information about San Francisco LGBT Pride please visit our website at: www.sfpride.org.

For further information please contact Jonathan Fishleder at: (415)
864-0831.