San Francisco Pride Announces Nominee Slate for Grand Marshal, Pink Brick Vote

2012 Community Grand Marshal Edaj

2012 Community Grand Marshal Edaj. Photo Credit: Bill Weaver

Voting Begins March 19 with Diverse Slate of Community Notables and a Few Infamous Detractors

San Francisco, CA – March 19, 2013 – As it prepares for this year’s Pride celebration in June, the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Celebration Committee and its Board of Directors has released its 2013 slate of nominees for the public’s choice for Individual Community Grand Marshal, Organizational Community Grand Marshal and the Pink Brick award.

During the month of March, the San Francisco Pride Committee typically submits a nominee slate for public vote. This year’s plic vote – which opened on March 19 – will conclude on April 15, with live online voting at (online polling begins on March 20th). Community members may cast their ballots in-person at the following locations;

  • Castro & 18th on March 30th and April 13th from 2pm-5pm
  • Ram Plaza at City College San Francisco on April 4th from 2pm-5pm
  • Bench and Bar (Oakland) from on April 5th from 7pm-11pm

Additional Bay Area polling places will be announced in the coming week.

The winners in each of the two (2) Grand Marshal categories will be named 2013 Community Grand Marshal and honored at this year’s San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade on June 29-30.

“We are excited to release to the public our 2013 slate of Grand Marshall nominees, who’s work aligns with San Francisco Pride’s mission and our LGBT community’s values,” said San Francisco Pride Board President Lisa Williams.

The 43rd annual San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade will take place on June 29-30, 2013. This year’s event theme selected by Pride’s membership at their annual meeting, is “Embrace, Encourage, Empower.”

The public will be making their selection from among these nominees for the Individual, Organizational Community Grand Marshal and Pink Brink categories. CLICK HERE  to view San Francisco and East Bay polling locations.

Individual Community Grand Marshal Nominees

Mario Benton
East Bay community activist, fashion show producer, runway icon and stylist Mario Benton, created Mario B. Productions as a youth development model to help transform young lives. Over the years, Mario B. has brought young aspiring models together with the world of stylists, photographers, models and designers to produce high-end fashion shows throughout the Bay Area, for Macy’s, Bill Blass NY Fall Collection, Fashion on the Square, to his very own 2010 Chic Fashion Week.

Solange Darwish
Born in Cairo, Egypt, Darwish realized her passion was food at 15 years old. In 1988, Solange became part of the Castro community when she married Maurice Darwish, whose family had owned the Norse Cove since 1971 (present day Cove on Castro). Solange is a proud longtime ally of the LGBT community.

Veronika Fimbres
An award-winning activist recognized for her many firsts, Fimbres came to San Francisco in 1996 and became the first transgender officer in the history of the City and County of San Francisco a year later. She has served as Commissioner of Veteran’s Affairs for 14 years and was the first and only transgender woman to work at San Quentin Prison, as a “safety nurse.” Serving on the Ryan White Care Council, the 26-year HIV/AIDS survivor had $80,000 allocated for the first educational symposium to train providers to work with trans patients.

Jason Galisatus
Galisatus is the Executive Director of the Bay Area Youth Summit and serves as
a member of an array of boards to promote activism and political advocacy. Galisatus is a music lover and a former member of the Stanford Fleet Street Singers and the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Michelle Kim
At University of California, Berkeley, Korea-born Kim co-founded a Queer Straight Alliance with a focus on youth leadership development for low-income queer youth statewide. She now serves on a host of committees to lend her voice on policy, culture and academic issues impacting the queer community at Cal and beyond.

Dr. Nikolas P. Lemos

Lemos is a tireless ambassador of science, fairness and justice for all San Franciscans assisting in his official capacity and working on raising awareness on LGBT issues with the police, the medical examiner, immigration authorities, the district attorney, the city attorney and the public defender.

Amos Lim
Lim emigrated from Singapore to the United States in 1999 to be with his husband, Mickey, who was encountering numerous setbacks. The struggle to stay in America, and have his marriage recognized, led Amos to activism, first co-founding Out4Immigration and then becoming a proponent of marriage equality.

Bobbi Lopez
Mexican immigrant and a U.S. citizen, Lopez is a spirited social justice activist who daily fights for the rights of the LGBT community, youth and families in the Tenderloin and Mission at La Raza Centro Legal, Tenderloin Housing Clinic, and SEIU 1021.

Marlena of Marlena’s Bar: As we all know Gary McClain, aka Marlena of Marlena’s Bar is transferring ownership. Marlena of Marlena’s Bar has given many opportunities to many non-profit 501(c)3 organizations a place to hold functions, raise much needed funds to better our communities
Marlena has given so much financial support, a venue for holding much needed fundraisers for the last 22 years, and who has touched hundreds of thousands of people through her philanthropic life.

Paul Olsen
Olsen has supported thousands of volunteers in raising funds and awareness for the HIV/AIDS and the LGBT communities. As former Executive Director of Under One Roof and board member of San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, San Francisco Pool Association and his neighborhood association, he helped those groups raise more than $4 million.

Randall Schiller
A native San Franciscan and an original member of Beach Blanket Babylon, Schiller has been serving the needs of the LGBT Community for the past 40 years as owner of Randall Schiller Productions – an esoteric sound, lighting and video production company. He is an avid supporter and activist who got involved with benefits to raise money to help fight Anita Bryant, The Briggs Initiative and “No on 6” Campaign, to name a few.

William Walker
A native San Franciscan, youth organizer African-American queer man, Walker helped to spearhead numerous organizations and initiatives to support the livelihoods of youth and their civic engagement. He also co-produced the first annual Pacifica Radio Pride broadcast: A celebration of the LGBT Community heard nationally that is now in its fifth year.

Organizational Community Grand Marshal Nominees

Bay Area Youth Summit
BAYS is an organization that seeks to empower LGBT and allied youth to decide to make the difference in their communities by taking a leading role in the fight against bullying. BAYS is the only completely youth-led LGBT organization in the world.

The Black Coalition on AIDS (BCA)
BCA has been a pioneer since 1986 in providing health education, advocacy and services to San Francisco’s Black community and is dedicated to reducing health disparities in the Black community, particularly the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Horizons Foundation
Horizons Foundation fuels the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement by increasing support for diverse San Francisco Bay Area nonprofits that help thousands of people each day. Its work strengthens organizations and their
leaders, mobilizes donors and funders to inspire giving and actively secures the LGBT community’s future for generations to come.

Positive Resource Center
For more than 25 years, PRC has been responding to the community’s economic and healthcare needs by providing services that address the current needs of individuals disabled by HIV/AIDS or mental health conditions.

Pink Brick Nominees 2013

Boy Scouts of America: Justice and equality delayed! …..On January 28, 2013, the BSA said it is considering whether to remove its ban on gay leaders and members. On February 6, the 70 member executive Board announced that it needed “more time for a deliberate review” of its policy banning gays and have delayed their final decision until the much larger National Annual Meeting in May 2013

Pope Francis: Pope Francis, a conservative, is anti-gay marriage and anti-gay adoption, who describes same-sex marriage as the work of the devil and a “destructive attack on God’s plan.” He also believes gay adoption is a form of discrimination against children.

Results from public polling will be reviewed and certified by Pride’s board of directors in during the week of April 15th and winners in each of the three categories will be announced by the end of April. In addition to the Individual and Organizational Community Grand Marshals selected by the public, the Pride Committee’s electoral college, which includes all past Community Grand Marshals, as well as Pride’s membership and board of directors will also make their own selections for Individual Community Grand Marshals for a total of up to five additional individual honorees.

About San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee
The San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee ( is a non-profit membership organization founded to produce the annual San Francisco Pride Celebration & Parade. San Francisco Pride is dedicated to education, commemoration of LGBT heritage, and celebration of LGBT culture and liberation. A world leader in the Pride movement, San Francisco Pride is also a grant-giving organization through its Community Partners Program. Since 1997, SF Pride has granted over $2.1 million dollars in proceeds to LGBT, HIV/AIDS, cancer, and animal welfare nonprofit organizations in the Bay Area.

About the 2013 San Francisco Pride Celebration & Parade
2013 marks the 43rd anniversary of the San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade. The Pride Celebration & Parade will be held over the weekend of June 29 and 30, 2013. With over 200 parade contingents, 300 exhibitors, and more than twenty community-run stages and venues, the San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade is the largest annual gathering of LGBT people and allies in the nation. The two-day celebration is free and open to all. For more information, visit


This entry was posted in Announcements, Grand Marshals. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to San Francisco Pride Announces Nominee Slate for Grand Marshal, Pink Brick Vote

  1. maggi rubenstein says:

    I nominate bobbi lopez and william walker as grand marshals. pope francis for the pink brick award

    • LuckyG says:

      Thank you so much! However, in order to register your vote, please click on the voting link on this blog – – thanks!

  2. Pingback: Bradley Manning, Bayard Rustin, and the perversion of Pride | a paper bird

  3. Charlie Primero says:

    Will we be allowed to know the number of votes for Bradley Manning?

  4. Paul says:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>