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Milestones: a blog marking important moments in our lives

(Editor’s note: Milestones is a regular blog on San Diego Gay & Lesbian News that marks those special moments in our journey toward gaining equality. It will be updated as news warrants.)

San Diego journalist joins GLAAD staff

Rex Wockner, a veteran journalist based in San Diego, announced today via his Newsclips list, that he started working for GLAAD on Tuesday afternoon.

"I'll be doing writing, editing and brainstorming, and also will focus on engagement with the grassroots and netroots," Wockner told his Newsclips subscribers. "I remain in San Diego."

Gay man elected to L.A. City Council

Mike Bonin, an openly gay man, won election to the Los Angeles City Council with 61% of the vote on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. His seat was formerly held by his old boss, Bill Rosendahl, the first openly gay man on the City Council. Rosendahl retired after two terms on the council.

Bonin was Rosendah's chief of staff. He will represent District 11.

"Public service is an immense privilege, and representing our neighborhoods on the Los Angeles City Council is a tremendous honor. The grassroots power of our neighborhoods fueled this campaign, and it will keep me focused on improving quality of life, enhancing public safety, combating traffic, protecting the environment, creating jobs, and housing the homeless," Bonin said in a statement.

Reconciling Ministries Network hires executive director

Matt Berryman had been selected as executive director of Reconciling Ministries Network, a non-profit organization based in Chicago that works toward the full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the United Methodist Church.

Berryman is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and Chandler School of Theology at Emory University. He previously was a United Methodist pastor in Jacksonville, Fla., and in the U.K. He has led groups such as the Fund for Theological Education, Emory University, and the Fellowship of United Methodists for Music and Worship Arts.

“I‘m honored to join RMN and look forward to working with a network of faithful congregations and individuals who are passionately listening to the ways God calls us to be a church where all people are welcomed at the table,” Berryman said. “Whether in the Mississippi delta, the river valley of Portland, or a Central Conference congregation in Zimbabwe, I’m committed to sharing the Good News that Jesus welcomes, loves and calls all people to the ministry of reconciliation.”

He takes over RMN on April 2.

Tax specialist Jeremy Dutson named Entrepreneur of the Year by Mind Masters

Tax specialist Jeremy Dutson, a CPA with Abbas, Jenson & Cundari CPAs in the Banker's Hill neighborhood of San Diego, was chosen as the 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year award recently presented by the Mind Masters business development organization.

Dutson's articles about tax situations for same-sex couples have been published in SDGLN media partner Gay San Diego and the Community Connection News Magazine from the Greater San Diego Business Association, the gay and lesbian Chamber of Commerce. The articles include up-to-date information about strategies and tax-filing tips for same-sex couples.

Two join board of directors of GO! Athletes

Becca Lindquist and Jay Hayes have join the board of directors of GO! Athletes, whose mission is educating, engaging and empowering every generation of LGBTQ athletes and allies.

Lindquist joins the board after competing as a Division I NCAA rower. Originally walking on to the Women's Rowing team at the University of California Davis, she transferred to the University of California Berkeley after her sophomore year. At Cal, Becca earned PAC-10 and PAC-12 Championships (both boat and team) as well as an NCAA title in the Women's Varsity 4. she came out to her team during her senior year and co-founded the Cal Student Athlete Gay-Straight Alliance (SAGSA) with her teammate, Heather.

Through SAGSA and now GO!, Lindquist hopes to erase homophobia in athletics and to change the culture of sports. Becca currently resides in San Francisco, CA, where she works for an internet startup.

Hayes played volleyball at NYU and was four-year starter, three-time captain, and holds three team records (most sets played in a season at 117, most digs in a single match at 22, and most digs in a career at 786). He was on the United Volleyball Conference 2012 All-Conference Team, a member of the Intercollegiate Athletic Advisory Committee Spring Honor Roll and recipient of the 2012 Department of Athletics MLK Humanitarian Award.

During his senior season, Hayes produced the NYU Athletics "It Gets Better" Video with the intent of not only increasing the visibility of gay athletes/coaches, but to send a message of hope to young athletes struggling with their own sexuality. In November 2012, Jay was named to OUT Magazine's "OUT 100" for his work within the LGBT Athletic space. He is a consultant for Accenture based out of Chicago.

True Colors Fund names director of Forty to None Project

True Colors Fund co-founder Cyndi Lauper and executive director Gregory Lewis announced the appointment of Jama Shelton as the new director of the fund’s Forty to None Project. Launched in June 2012, the Forty to None Project is the first and only national organization focused solely on bringing an end to LGBT youth homelessness. The creation of the project director position is part of the True Colors Fund’s expanded commitment to giving a voice to the nearly 40% of the 1.6 million homeless youth who identify as gay or transgender — and marks the first position of its kind on the national level.

Shelton, who will assume her new responsibilities on March 1, is a nationally recognized expert and leader on the issue of gay and transgender youth homelessness. During her nine-year tenure at the Ali Forney Center in New York City, she played an integral role in the building of the most expansive housing program in the nation for gay and transgender youth. She is a professor at both Hunter College and the NYU School of Social Work, and has developed and conducted extensive training for service providers around the country. Shelton is a leading authority on the unique needs of transgender and gender non-conforming youth experiencing homelessness, which is the topic of her dissertation research. She is currently finishing her PhD in Social Welfare at the CUNY Graduate Center and is expecting to graduate in May.

“I’m honored by the confidence that Cyndi and Gregory have shown in my ability to lead the Forty to None Project. In my years doing this work, I have learned that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender homeless youth have very specific needs. As the first director for the Forty to None Project, my work will focus on making sure that those young people’s needs are met, and that they have a voice that is sorely missing in society today,” Shelton said.

Sergio Lopez joins Freedom to Marry as director of Latino programming

Sergio Lopez, a seasoned campaign organizer and Latino media strategist, has been named the director of Latino programming for Freedodm to Marry. Lopez will focus on expanding Familia es Familia, a national campaign sponsored by Freedom to Marry that aims to grow support for LGBT members of the Latino community through partnership with nationally-recognized Latino-based organizations.

“With majorities for marriage growing in communities of color, Freedom to Marry is thrilled to welcome Sergio Lopez as our director of Latino programming to help us elevate the visibility of gay family members in Latino homes and the discussion of why marriage matters to Latino communities,” said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry. “With more Latinos than ever supporting marriage for same-sex couples, and the rapid expansion of Freedom to Marry's Familia es Familia partnership with leading Latino civil rights groups, we are committed to making sure that Latino voices are heard making the case for the freedom to marry.”

Lopez previously served as political coordinator at People For the American Way, spearheading the Young Elected Progressives program which endorsed 79 candidates on the local level and had a 79% win rate in the 2012 elections. Additionally, Lopez worked closely on marriage campaigns in South Dakota and Wisconsin in 2006 alongside state coalitions. He authored a weekly blog column, called El Chanclaso, for Voto Latino that was regularly featured in the Huffington Post through the November 2012 elections. He currently serves on the boards for the Latino GLBT History Project and Pac+.

“Winning marriage for same-sex couples is a cause that is close to my heart in both a personal and professional capacity, and I’m eager to take that dedication to the next level in my new role with Freedom to Marry,” Lopez said. “Momentum is on our side, and now more than ever we must do everything we can as Latinos to reach out to our families, friends, and communities. Familia es Familia helps us stand together and do the right thing. No member of anyone’s family should face discrimination, and every person should be able to marry the person that they love.”

Lopez will be based in Washington, DC and officially begins in his new role on February 19.

Gregory T. Angelo named LCR executive director

The board of directors of Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) has named Gregory T. Angelo the group's executive director. Angelo has been interim executive director since the start of the year.

"I am honored to receive the confidence of the board of directors to lead Log Cabin Republicans. Our organization has experienced tremendous growth in recent months and I am excited to forge ahead as we continue to advance the rights of all Americans," Angelo said. "We still have many hurdles ahead of us, but history and momentum are on our side. As executive director, I look forward to leading Log Cabin Republicans to assist our advocates, support our allies and work for a Republican Party that advocates our core values of individual liberty and freedom for all Americans."

Jerry Katlin, LCR board chairman, said: "The Log Cabin Republicans Board of Directors recognizes that our current momentum in pursuing equality for all LGBT Americans requires that we continue to bolster our chapters at the state and local levels in addition to continuing our work on federal issues. Log Cabin Republicans has a track record of active chapters across the nation achieving success through grassroots efforts. As a chapter leader, including former Chairman of the Log Cabin Republicans of New York State, Gregory has first-hand experience and understands the importance of organizing local members to influence, educate, and encourage decision-makers to stand up for equality. We are fortunate to have Gregory’s leadership, media savvy, and political acumen to continue the vital work of this historic organization at a critical time for our nation and the Republican Party."

Darrell L. Tucci joins Desert AIDS Project as Chief Development Officer

Desert AIDS Project in Palm Springs has hired Darrell L. Tucci as Chief Development Officer.

Tucci was formerly Chief Development Officer and Director of Donor Services at Liberty Hill Foundation in Los Angeles, a nonprofit that seeks to forge a common agenda for equality and opportunity by investing in community leaders who are on the frontlines of change.

Before moving to L.A. in 2007, Tucci held a variety of nonprofit development positions in New York City, including the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from Montclair State University in New Jersey.

Elle Peji joins Susan G. Komen for the Cure, San Diego board of directors

Openly gay San Diego native Elle Peji, principal of Intellus Training, has been selected to join the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, San Diego board of directors for 2013-14.

Komen is the largest funder of free breast cancer treatment, services, and support for uninsured and underinsured women of any organization in San Diego County. Komen San Diego has served San Diego County’s low-income, uninsured women since 1995. Next to the U.S. government, Komen is the largest funder of breast cancer research in the world.

Intellus Training is a corporate training organization specializing in workplace sexual harassment prevention, anti-discrimination laws, diversity, performance management and leadership. Peji has been training in the corporate environment since 1995 and in the government sector since 2005. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business and a master’s degree in human resources management. She has participated in 16 Susan G. Komen 3-Day 60-mile walks as a Crew Coach/Captain in San Diego, San Francisco and Boston. Additionally, she is certificated by the National Conflict Resolution Center as a mediator. As a hobby, she is the emcee of a San Diego professional Polynesian dance troupe, Halau O’ Makani Kai. She is fluent in Spanish, Tagalog and Spanish Sign Language.

Nation's historic first lesbian magazine is on display at Smithsonian

A Smithsonian exhibit at the American History Museum in Washington, D.C. is featuring The Ladder, considered the first-ever lesbian magazine to be distributed nationally when it debuted in 1956. The publisher was the Daughters of Bilitis, hailed as the nation's first lesbian organization.

Trailblazing lesbian lawyer in Canada awarded Queen's Medal

Lesbian lawyer and human rights trailblazer Barbara Findlay says the Canadian legal landscape has changed in ways she never expected to see, much less shape, in her 36 years representing oppressed people.

Findlay was one of 30 people recognized with a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal by Vancouver Centre MP Hedy Fry at a ceremony Jan 17.

Jim Nabors marries partner of 38 years

Jim Nabors, the star of the ‘60s hit TV shows "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.," married his partner of 38 years this month in Seattle, Wash. Nabors, 82, met his husband Stan Cadwallader, 64, during Cadwallader’s time as a firefighter in 1975. He began to work for Nabors, and the two fell in love, GLAAD reports.

Lesbian Army wife wins Fort Bragg's Spouse of the Year award

Ashley Broadway, the wife of Army Lt. Col. Heather Mack, has been named Spouse of the Year at Fort Bragg. The award comes about a week after she refused to accept a "guest" membership to the Association of Bragg Officers' Spouses because she is fighting for full membership as the legal spouse of an Army officer. Her request was denied because the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prohibits equality for same-sex married couples.

Lambda Archives of San Diego names three to board of directors

Conor Foley, Mary Marchan and Thomas Negron Jr. have been elected to the board of directors of Lambda Archieves of San Diego.

Foley studies LGBT studies and English at San Diego State University and expects to graduate this spring. Foley chose to serve on Lambda Archives' board to supplement his pursuit of a master's in library and information science. He currently works in SDSU Library's Special Collections and University Archives Department, and volunteers at the Hillcrest Youth Center.

In Marchan's own words, “I am a queer woman of color in a local riot grrrl band, Mermaid. I have been involved in several events in and outside of San Diego to educate and mobilize people around issues of social justice, particularly women's issues.” Marchan recently completed her bachelor's in women's studies at SDSU this past winter.

Negron began working for the LGBT community in the Imperial Valley, where he helped to create the first conference with a focus on LGBTQ Youth in the region. With SDSU's recently established LGBT major, Negron took the opportunity to move to San Diego and learn more about the history of queer people. Negron currently studies liberal studies and LGBT studies at SDSU.

Maureen Steiner and Mel Merrill continue as president and treasurer, respectively.

Kathleen Wynne becomes first female and gay premier of Ontario

Former education minister Kathleen Wynne on Saturday, Jan. 12, made history after being elected as the first female and gay premier of Ontario, Canada’s most populous province.

Benetton ad campaign features transgender model

Brazilian transgender model Lea T is being featured in a global advertising campaign launched by United Colors of Benetton. She has also modeled for Givency.

Diane Abbitt and Jennifer Cast named to Freedom to Marry board

Freedom to Marry announced two additions to its two boards of directors: Jennifer Cast of Seattle, former Amazon.com vice president and community volunteer; and Diane Abbitt of Los Angeles, a political activist, lawyer and a founder of Equality California.

Both women have longstanding histories in LGBT and political activism, fundraising, and community work. Cast will join the Freedom to Marry board of directors, where she will work to maximize public education programs that increase knowledge about why marriage matters. Abbitt will join Freedom to Marry Action board of directors, where she will work directly on the states expected to defend or pass marriage for same-sex couples in their legislatures this year.

Log Cabin Republicans name six new board members, including Vicky Kerley

Log Cabin Republicans has named six new members to its board of directors. Jennifer Breitinger, Mitchell Cantor, Victoria "Vicky" Kerley, Jo-Anne Prokopowicz Sears and Rich Weissman’s nominations were all approved at a recent board meeting in Las Vegas, Nev. They accompany Bob Kabel, who joined the board in December. In addition, the board elected a new slate of officers: chairman Jerry Katlin, vice-chairman Jamie Ensley, treasurer Sarah Longwell and secretary Thomas Purdy.

Kerley, a sales professional from Dallas, Texas, previously served almost three years on the San Diego Log Cabin Republicans board of directors, including a year and a half as chapter president.