City of West Hollywood Hosts 2017 Rainbow Key Awards


It’s that time of year again. The City of West Hollywood recognized people and groups that have made outstanding contributions to the LGBTQ community with the Rainbow Key Awards on Wednesday, June 14, at the City Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room.

The Rainbow Key Awards date back to 1993. Nominations are received by the City of West Hollywood’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board (LGAB). They make recommendations to the West Hollywood City Council. The City Council then choose award recipients.

Photos by Joshua Barash, courtesy of the City of West Hollywood

This year’s Rainbow Key Awards honorees are as follows:

  • Cleve Jones, who conceived the NAMES Project National AIDS Quilt;
  • JQ International, an organization dedicated to promoting a healthy integration of LGBTQ and Jewish identities;
  • Eric Paul Leue, HIV awareness and prevention advocate;
  • Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, dedicated to advocating on behalf of LGBT businesses;
  • Michaela Ivri Mendelsohn, transgender activist, public speaker and CEO of Pollo West Corporation;
  • Jewel Thais-Williams, founder of the legendary Jewel’s Catch One, who currently operates the Village Health Foundation; and
  • Ruth Tittle, organizer of Gay and Lesbian Elder Housing, board member of the AIDS Monument Foundation, CEO of Capitol Drugs and 16-year member of the City of West Hollywood’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board.
Photos by Joshua Barash, courtesy of the City of West Hollywood
Photos by Joshua Barash, courtesy of the City of West Hollywood

Past honorees have included activists, artists, civic leaders, educators, community organizations, and more. Contributions, whether by an individual or a group, may be in many forms, including the arts, community action, humanitarian action, sports, medicine, armed services, leadership, benefit to the global gay and lesbian community, or in other ways. More than 150 Rainbow Key Awards have been presented during the past 25 years.

For more information on the West Hollywood Rainbow Key Awards, visit:
To view images of this year’s ceremony, visit the the city’s flickr page at

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Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist. Murillo began his professional writing career as the author of “Love Ya, Mean It,” an irreverent and sometimes controversial West Hollywood lifestyle column for FAB! newspaper. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, which include the “Hot Topic” column in Frontiers magazine, where he covered breaking news and local events in West Hollywood. He can be reached at
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