by Jessica Carreras
This Saturday, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force will hold their 2008 D.C. Leadership Awards at the Marriot Wardman Park hotel, honoring several people and organizations in the LGBT community. The event will be emceed by comedian and writer Bob Smith.
The most prestigious honor of the night will go to AARP, whose work with the LGBT community and the Task Force has been tremendous. The Task Force helped with the planning and development of AARP’s June 2007 conference on Diversity and Aging, ensuring that the aging LGBT community would be included. In addition to that, the NGLTF joined with AARP for a presentation of LGBT aging issues to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Also, over 2000 pledge cards from AARP’s “Divided We Fail” campaign were handed out at February’s Creating Change conference in Detroit.
Actress and world-traveler Daniela Sea will be honored for her work as Max Sweeney on the lesbian drama “The L Word.” Throughout the show’s run, Sea has brought to light the issues of someone going through gender transition, as her character began the series as a woman – Moira – and has become a man through hormone treatment. Sea has also appeared in several music videos, as well as the film “Shortbus.”
United States Representative Rush Holt, Jr. will be honored for his tireless work for his constituents in his New Jersey district, as well as his work in energy conservation and sustainable development. Among others, Holt’os most significant victories in Washington have included securing more funding for science and technology research, as well as passing an amendment for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Holt has advocated for human rights and a Woman’s Right to Choose.
Lastly, the organization Us Helping Us, People Into Living will be awarded at the D.C. Leadership Awards. Founded in 1985 at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, UHU is a support group for gay or bisexual black men who are HIV positive. They have worked to reduce HIV infection in the African American community, as well as educate black gay men on HIV prevention. UHU provides counseling, testing and referral services, as well as outreach in the community through social networks.