At a regular West Hollywood City Council meeting on Monday, April 19, 2021, the City Council received and approved recommendations from the Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board (LGAB) for the 2020 and 2021 Rainbow Key Awards honorees, and for the Etheridge Award. The awards will be presented at a virtual ceremony on a date/time to still be announced. The 2020 awardees were not determined so the 2021 award ceremony will include the 2020 awardees.
On Thursday, April 8, 2021, during its regularly scheduled meeting, LGAB voted to recommend awards to the following nominees: Nik Kacy; Dr. Adrian Ravarour; Troy Masters; Grace Baldridge; Sophie B. Hawkins; Jeff Consoletti; Dante Alencastre and WEHO TIMES editor and publisher Paulo Murillo.
During the same meeting, the LGAB’s Etheridge Award Subcommittee, comprised of three LGAB members, recommended to LGAB that Lorri L. Jean, Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles LGBT Center be recognized with the award for her dedicated service to The Center and the LGBTQIA+ community. Her tireless efforts to empower the community and build advocacy coalitions are second to none. Ms. Jean has committed her adult life to advance the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community. She has been instrumental in the development of The Center, elevating the organization from a community-based agency to a nationally recognized power player.
The Rainbow Key Awards honorees were confirmed unanimously by the council. The next step is to determine a date and format of the ceremony.
The City of West Hollywood’s Rainbow Key Awards, now in their 28th year, began in 1993 with awards given to actress Carole Cook and writer-actor Bruce Vilanch. The City has honored 161 people and groups who have made significant contributions to the lesbian and gay community over the last quarter century.
Under policies adopted by the City Council and the LGAB in 2013, the Advisory Board makes recommendations to the City Council for Rainbow Key Awards, after seeking nominations from the community. Nomination forms ask about each nominee’s impact on the West Hollywood gay and lesbian community specifically, as well as, if applicable, the global gay and lesbian community.
Nominations are requested for diverse attributes worthy of honor, including community action, arts, literature, humanitarian efforts, sports, medicine, armed services, potential for leadership, outstanding organizations, and other fields, with these examples serving as illustrations rather than limitations. Outreach includes social media and other means of communication. There is a goal of five awards per year, and a recipient need not be present to be honored.
Every year, the Rainbow Key Awards are presented at an “in person” ceremony, usually at the City Council chambers. This year, due to the ongoing pandemic, the Rainbow Key Awards ceremony will be held virtually. The ceremony is tentatively planned for the month of June to coincide with Pride Month in Los Angeles. The Etheridge Award has been traditionally presented at the beginning of the Dyke March, during Pride weekend in West Hollywood. This year, the Board recommended that both awards be presented at the same time, during the virtual ceremony. Staff will work with LGAB to identify a date/time for the virtual ceremony to present the Rainbow Key Awards and the Etheridge Award. The LGAB will meet for its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, May 13 and will discuss different options for the event, including when to hold the awards ceremony.
Congratulations to the all the 2020/21 Rainbow Key Awards honorees.