The Oct. 13 event will include a new award, the OutProud Transgender Award, which will be presented to LGBT advocate Jaci Adams.
Adams, 55, will be the first person to receive the award, and it will be named the Jaci Adams OutProud Award in the future, said Philly Pride Presents executive director Franny Price.
“The award will go to a transgender person who has been open and out with being a trans person and activist for the community,” Price said. “The truth is there is a lot of trans people out there that are our allies and sometimes some of the activism they do gets overlooked. We thought that one of the special awards should go towards what Jaci has done. There is so much that this woman does beyond just being Jaci.”
Adams was instrumental in founding The Morris Home, and has long advocated for health issues impacting the trans community. She is also an active and longtime member of the LGBT Police Liaison Committee.
The Gilbert Baker National OutProud Award will go to out Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims, while the OutProud Friend Award will be presented to Montgomery County Register of Wills Bruce Hanes, Esq.
Hanes, 66, earlier this summer began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. He was sued by the state for his actions and was ordered by a judge last week to stop.
“This guy has taken lot of slack for us,” Price said. “I think it is important for us to support our allies. We know what we experience from homophobia and not having rights, but they go through it too for us.”
Hanes, who will be present at this year’s event, said he was pleased when he found out about the award.
“They wouldn’t even have to give me an award,” he said. “All they’d have to do is point at me and say, ‘That’s our out, proud friend.’”
The OutProud Group Award will go to the City of Brotherly Love Softball League, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, and to LGBT Catholic organization Dignity Philadelphia, celebrating its 40th year.
“They are two groups who have always been out and proud in our community,” Price said. “With CBLSL being 30 and Dignity being 40, that is a lot of time to be in existence in this community.”
CBLSL commissioner Bob Lenahan said the league was “extremely honored” for the recognition.
The league tables at OutFest and Pride and its members volunteer at both events, and Lenahan said Philly Pride Presents has long been supportive of the league.
“To receive this award from such an amazing organization that we deeply respect is not only an honor but a privilege,” he said. “The league wants to thank Franny and her staff not only for the award but for all of the hours of hard work they put in throughout the year to organize these great events for our community.”
Dignity Philadelphia president Mike Viola said the award will make the organization’s anniversary year even more special.
“So many people during the past 40 years have found a spiritual home and a faith community in Dignity Philadelphia,” Viola said. “We are touched and honored to be recognized for our 40 years of service to the community.”
The Outstanding Youth Award will be presented to The Attic Youth Center member Daniel Callahan, a senior at Northeast High School. The 17-year-old has been a key figure in the center’s Safe Schools Tool Kit.
“He was really instrumental in putting that together within his own school and being a true educator on LGBTQ issues,” said Carrie Jacobs, executive director of The Attic. “He has been a leader at The Attic and in his own school community. He is incredibly motivated and motivates other youth.”
Philadelphia Family Pride community coordinator Stephanie Haynes, 43, along with her partner, Vicky Kresge, 44, who works at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, and their 7-year-old twins, Jove and Griffin, are the recipients of this year’s OutProud Family Award.
Haynes said she’s eager to have her kids experience OutFest in this new way this year.
“We love the diversity and visibility of the LGBT community in Philly, and especially West Philly where we live,” she said. “All of the various L, G, B and T communities come together at OutFest. Taking over the streets of the Gayborhood is a powerful feeling that never gets old, and is a great place to bring kids.”
Price said she is inspired by all of this year’s awardees.
“I always admire people that go beyond their job. It is so important in our community. I always want to acknowledge people who, after work, continue to work for the community. They are the ones that are genuine.”
Outfest will be held from noon-6 p.m. Oct. 13 in the Gayborhood. For more information, visit www.phillypride.org.