New York, NY—During last year's 50th anniversary celebrations of the Stonewall Riots, the oldest LGBTQ organization in North America, The International Imperial Court System of the U.S.A, Canada and Mexico, established in 1965, and the oldest national LGBTQ advocacy organization, the National LGBTQ Task Force, established in 1973, dedicated the National LGBTQ Wall of Honor at the historic Stonewall Inn in New York, NY.
The National LGBTQ Wall of Honor celebrates LGBTQ leaders who have paved the road to liberation and contributed significantly to progress for LGBTQ people. The inaugural fifty artists, activists, and leaders were honored with their own space in the bar where the modern LGBTQ activist movement started in 1969.
The first 50 Names put on the Wall of Honor were selected by the Stonewall 50 Wall of Honor Board of Governors made up of 18 LGBTQ leaders including Wilson Cruz, Mandy Carter, Russell Roybal, Marsha Botzer, California Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins, Rev. Troy Perry, and Stuart Milk.
This year, and in subsequent years, five more names will be added to the Wall of Honor by the International Imperial Court System and the Task Force.
"Now more than ever it is important for us to remember whose shoulders we stand on. For a community, indeed a civil rights movement, that does not know where it came from doesn't really know where it is going," said National LGBTQ Wall of Honor founder and City Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez, Queen Mother I of the Americas.
"As we add these names to the Wall of Honor this year, we reflect on how these five people have helped to change the world and improve the lives of LGBTQ people and those with HIV. Each one of them represents the fierceness, the resiliency, and the determination to do what is right, to move us all towards freedom and liberation. Against the odds and the forces stacked against them, they provided a beacon for what our community, what our country, is capable of accomplishing," said Rea Carey, Executive Director, the National LGBTQ Task Force.
This year's honorees are:
Phyllis Lyon, founder of first lesbian organization, Daughters of Billitis in 1955.
Sean Sasser, AIDS activist, educator and reality television personality.
Lorena Borjas, trans and immigrant rights activist, Mother of trans Latinx community of Queens.
Aimee Stephens, her historic court case paved the way for LGBTQ non-discrimination protections in employment.
Larry Kramer, playwright, author, LGBT and AIDS activist, founder of Gay Men's Health Crisis.
About the Imperial Court and the National LGBTQ Task Force:
The International Imperial Court System has chapters in 70 cities across the United States, Canada and Mexico. The Court led the successful national letter writing campaigns that resulted in the issuing of a Harvey Milk postage stamp in 2014 and the announcement of the U.S. Navy Ship Harvey Milk, which began construction in July 2019.
The National LGBTQ Task Force is the oldest national LGBTQ advocacy group in the country. The National LGBTQ Task Force builds power, takes action and creates change to achieve freedom and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer ( LGBTQ ) people. As a progressive gender, racial, economic, and social justice organization, the Task Force works toward a society that values and respects the diversity of human expression and identity.
—From a press release