Equality Virginia announced last week their roster of 2017 OUTstanding Virginians, and three Hampton Roads residents are on the list. Equality Virginia honors leaders who represent Virginia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community with distinction and who are committed to moving the LGBT community forward.
Gavin Grimm is a senior at Gloucester High School in Virginia and is nationally known as the plaintiff in GG v Gloucester County, a leading case on the civil rights of transgender students in public schools that will soon be heard at the United States Supreme Court. Gavin never sought the spotlight for an act as simple as using the restroom, but through his persistence Gavin has shone a light on the needs of transgender students in our schools.
Norfolk attorney Michael Hamar is an ardent advocate for LGBT rights locally and throughout the state. He writes an internationally read blog on political and LGBT issues, and articles for Veer and Unity magazines, and supports many LGBT and progressive political organizations and leaders. In 2005 after Hurricane Katrina devastated the gulf coast, he worked to find safe housing and support in Virginia for LGBT residents who lost their homes. He also created an endowment in his late parent’s names to help LGBT students attend college.
Virginia Beach resident De Sube has been a trans activist in the Hampton Roads area for over 20 years. In addition to her former role as the LGBT Center Coordinator at ACCESS AIDS Care, she co-founded two groups: Gender Expression Movement, a support group for trans adults in the southeast area, and the Transgender Assistance Project, whose mission is to offer safe emergency and temporary housing for transgender community members throughout Virginia.
Other honorees are
Dr. Lisa Griffin, Richmond
Victoria Kidd, Winchester
Rep. Donald McEachin, Richmond
Robert Rigby, Arlington
Equality Virginia has recognized OUTstanding Virginians since 2009 at its Commonwealth Dinner, Virginia’s largest black-tie gathering for the LGBT community and supporters. The honorees will be formally recognized at the 14th Annual Commonwealth Dinner on April 1.