UPDATE: DUE TO COVID-19, our event was postponed. We are now hosting a virtual ceremony on December 15, 2020 at 7:30pm. You can find more information and RSVP on our event page.
Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington
For Immediate Release
Revised March 7, 2020
Contact: John Becker
GLAA Announces 2020 Distinguished Service Awards
GLAA of Washington, DC, is pleased to announce its 2020 Distinguished Service Award recipients. GLAA presents awards to local individuals and organizations that have served the LGBTQ community in the national capital area. The awards will be presented at GLAA’s 49th Anniversary Reception on Thursday, April 23 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Lost Society at 2001 14th Street, NW (14th and U). Tickets are $50 and may be purchased at www.glaa.org/anniversary or by calling John Becker at 920-265-6023. A range of donor levels is also available.
GLAA’s 2020 Distinguished Service Award recipients are:
▪D.C. Councilmember David Grosso
▪New Ways Ministry
▪Sex Worker Advocates Coalition
D.C. Councilmember David Grosso has been a strong ally of the LGBTQ community and of progressive policies in the District since his election in 2012 as an independent At-Large. Here is a partial list of his legislative contributions as introducer or co-sponsor: Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act. Anti-Shackling of Incarcerated Pregnant Women Act. Repeal of Prostitution Free Zones Amendment Act. JaParker Deoni Jones Birth Certificate Equality Amendment Act. LGBTQ Cultural Competency Continuing Education Amendment Act. LGBTQ Youth Homeless Reform Act. Youth Suicide Prevention and School Climate Survey Act. Collaborative Reproduction Amendment Act. Sexual Assault Victims Rights Amendment Act. Marriage License Issuance Amendment Act. Conversion Therapy for Minors Prohibition Amendment Act. Death Certificate Gender Identity Recognition Amendment Act. LGBTQ Health Disparities Documentation Act. Tony Hunter and Bella Evangelista Panic Defense Prohibition Act. His reform efforts as chair of the Committee on Education include prohibiting suspensions and expulsions for pre-kindergarten students in D.C. Public Schools and public charter schools. In 2014, he formed Arts Action DC, a coalition of D.C. residents in the creative economy sector, in an effort to advocate for funding, support, and growth of the arts. He is a recipient of the Trevor Project’s Ally Award.
New Ways Ministry was founded in 1977 by Sister Jeannine Gramick and Father Robert Nugent. It educates and advocates for justice and equality for LGBT Catholics, and reconciliation within the larger church and civil communities. Through research, publication and education about sexual orientation and gender identity, New Ways fosters dialogue among groups and individuals, identifies and combats personal and structural homophobia and transphobia, works for changes in attitudes and promotes the acceptance of LGBT people as full and equal members of church and society. Its Bondings 2.0 blog is a model of informed advocacy, whose recent headlines include: Protests Erupt After Catholic High School Forces Two LGBTQ Teachers to Resign. Former U.S. Ambassador to Vatican Emphasizes Church’s Role in LGBTQ Homelessness. Sr. Ilia Delio Says Church Only Survives If Doors Opened to LGBTQ People & Others. Students at St. Joseph’s University React to Alleged Forced Resignation of LGBTQ Employee. In New Memoir, Writer Joseph Caldwell Calls Being Gay and Catholic a “Form of Grace.” Bishops Refute Claims that Pope Francis Displeased with Fr. James Martin’s LGBT Ministry. Catholic Agency’s Challenge Before U.S. Supreme Court Could Upend Non-Discrimination Law. Unexpected Grace: How a Welcoming Parish Softened One LGBTQ Catholic’s Heart.
Paty Hernandez is a transgender woman from El Salvador. She start working with issues of our LGBTI community in El Salvador 28 years ago, and continue working in the Washington, DC area. She worked for a few years with Casa Ruby as a case manager helping transgenders clients with medical care, substance abuse, mental health and other needs. Paty has been advocating for human rights, immigration, HIV/AIDS, and LGBTQI. She is advocating for issues related to transgender Latinas including immigration, HIV/AIDS, medical care and public benefits. Currently, She is active helping many Latinx LGBTQI and transgender connecting and referring with health providers, immigration lawyers, CBOs and public services. Paty co-founded “Arcoiris” (Rainbow) a new Latinx LGBTQ group helping with many needs in the DC area.
Sex Worker Advocates Coalition (SWAC), formed in October 2016, is a group of individuals and organizations promoting the human rights, civil rights and liberties, health, safety, and well-being of sex workers in Washington D.C. GLAA is a member of the coalition. In October 2017, SWAC supported the introduction of the Reducing Criminalization to Promote Public Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2017, which died in committee. SWAC supported its reintroduction in June 2019 as the Community Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2019. This decriminalization bill leaves language in the code making it explicitly clear that coercion, exploitation, and human trafficking are not tolerated in D.C. As GLAA stated in its testimony on the bill in October 2019, “Data shows that the enforcement of sex work laws disproportionately impacts communities of color, gay and transgender people, people with disabilities, immigrants, and people with criminal convictions…. [C]ollateral problems … are only made worse by forcing the sex trade onto the black market.” SWAC recognizes that decriminalization is only one tool to promote the safety, health, and well-being of sex workers, who are subjected to employment discrimination, racial profiling and police harassment, poverty, and homelessness. GLAA believes that advocacy to alleviate the struggles of marginalized populations is most important when it is hard.
A list of previous award winners can be found on the GLAA website at
Founded in 1971, GLAA is an all-volunteer, non-partisan, non-profit political organization that defends the civil rights of LGBTQ people in the Nation’s Capital. GLAA lobbies the DC Council, monitors government agencies, educates and rates local candidates, and works in coalitions to defend the safety, health, and equal rights of LGBTQ families. GLAA remains the nation’s oldest continuously active lesbian and gay civil rights organization.