Council Honors Six LGBT Leaders at Pride

Krystal Portalin (fourth from l.) with Councilmembers Helen Rosenthal, Daniel Dromm, and Carlos Menchaca, Speaker Mark-Viverito, and Councilmembers Ritchie Torres, Jimmy Vacca, Mark Levine, and Corey Johnson.  | DONNA ACETO

Krystal Portalin (fourth from l.) with Councilmembers Helen Rosenthal, Daniel Dromm, and Carlos Menchaca, Speaker Mark-Viverito, and Councilmembers Ritchie Torres, Jimmy Vacca, Mark Levine, and Corey Johnson. | DONNA ACETO

PHOTO ESSAY BY DONNA ACETO | At a June 8 celebration at City Hall, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the seven-member LGBT caucus honored six leaders in New York’s LGBT community.

The honorees were Jennifer Flynn Walker, a co-founder and longtime leader at Voices of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL-NY), Charles Rice-Gonzalez, an author and the co-founder of BAAD!, the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, Krystal Portalatin, a co-founder of the youth empowerment group FIERCE, Ed Garcia Conde, a blogger who founded Welcome2TheBronx as well as that borough’s first HIV support center, longtime transgender and Democratic Party activist Melissa Sklarz, and the legendary diva Barbara Herr.

Melissa Sklarz with Bronx Councilmember Jimmy Vacca. | DONNA ACETO

Melissa Sklarz with Bronx Councilmember Jimmy Vacca. | DONNA ACETO

The Council’s LGBT Caucus includes Rosie Mendez (who was sidelined by a fall) and Corey Johnson from Manhattan, Daniel Dromm and Jimmy Van Bramer from Queens, Ritchie Torres and Jimmy Vacca from the Bronx, and Carlos Menchaca from Brooklyn. Other councilmembers also participated in the festivities.

Jennifer Flynn Walker with her spouse Bela August Walker. | DONNA ACETO

Jennifer Flynn Walker with her spouse Bela August Walker. | DONNA ACETO

Honoree Charles Rice-Gonzalez. | DONNA ACETO

Honoree Charles Rice-Gonzalez. | DONNA ACETO

Barbara Herr with Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. | DONNA ACETO

Barbara Herr with Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. | DONNA ACETO

Honoree Ed Garcia Conde. | DONNA ACETO

Honoree Ed Garcia Conde. | DONNA ACETO

The Lavender Light Black and People of All Colors Gospel Choir entertained. | DONNA ACETO

The Lavender Light Black and People of All Colors Gospel Choir entertained. | DONNA ACETO

Queens Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, the majority leader. | DONNA ACETO

Queens Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, the majority leader. | DONNA ACETO

Emcee Ron B. entertaining the crowd, while Queens Councilmember Daniel Dromm, Brooklyn Councilmember Carlos Menchaca, and youth from the Kids 4 LGBT Rights Now at the Earth School on the Upper East Side get in on the fun. | DONNA ACETO

Emcee Ron B. entertaining the crowd, while Queens Councilmember Daniel Dromm, Brooklyn Councilmember Carlos Menchaca, and youth from the Kids 4 LGBT Rights Now at the Earth School on the Upper East Side get in on the fun. | DONNA ACETO

Orlando Cruz, who in 2012 became the first professionally active boxer to come out as gay. | DONNA ACETO

Orlando Cruz, who in 2012 became the first professionally active boxer to come out as gay. | DONNA ACETO

Orlando Cruz, who in 2012 became the first professionally active boxer to come out as gay. | DONNA ACETO

Orlando Cruz, who in 2012 became the first professionally active boxer to come out as gay. | DONNA ACETO

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