FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2020


MEDIA CONTACT
Mark Sawchuk
(415) 777-5455 ext. 8
mark@glbthistory.org
GLBT Historical Society Recognizes Miss Major, Pamela Peniston, Maggi Rubenstein, Gerard Koskovich and Juanita MORE! at Virtual Gala
San FranciscoThe GLBT Historical Society’s annual Gala will take place in a virtual format this year, bringing together enthusiasts of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer history and culture on Friday, October 16, at 6:00 p.m. The online soirée will support the public history initiatives of the society, including its renowned museum and archives.

“Reunion: Making History” will be hosted by filmmaker and performer Peaches Christ and comedian Marga Gomez. Transgender opera singer Breanna Sinclairé and musician and activist Freddie Seipoldt will provide the evening’s entertainment.

The GLBT Historical Society will bestow five awards at the Gala. This year’s recipients of the History Makers Award, given “for significant artistry and contributions to LGBTQ history and culture,” are Miss Major, a Black, transgender elder and activist for the trans and gender-nonconforming community; Pamela Peniston, an artist and founding member of the Queer Cultural Center; and Dr. Maggi Rubenstein, a bisexual activist, educator, sex therapist and sexologist.

The Clio Award, given “for advancing understanding of LGBTQ history,” will be presented to Gerard Koskovich, a historian, rare book dealer and GLBT Historical Society founding member. Finally, the Willie Walker Founders Award, given “for steadfast support, philanthropy and leadership,” will be presented to San Francisco philanthropist, drag performer and activist Juanita MORE!

Sponsors for this year’s Gala include the Bob Ross Foundation, First Republic Bank, Randy Alfred, Tina Valentin Aguirre & Bill Jennings, Bob Dockendorff, Beth Feingold, William Levinger & Tracy Stiles, Peter Lundberg & James Mowdy, Kylie Minono, Maria Powers & Bobbi Marshall, Lito Sandoval, Cornelis van Aalst & Jeffrey Robinson, and Allyson Washburn, Ph.D.
 
Reunion: Making History
2020 GLBT Historical Society Gala
Friday, October 16, 6:00–7:30 p.m.
Suggested donation: $25
Tickets and more information: www.glbthistory.org/gala

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ABOUT THE GLBT HISTORICAL SOCIETY
   
The GLBT Historical Society is a public history center and archives that collects, preserves, exhibits and makes accessible to the public materials and knowledge to support and promote understanding of LGBTQ history, culture and arts in all their diversity. Founded in 1985, the society maintains one of the world’s largest collections of LGBTQ historical materials. The society’s operations are centered at two sites: the GLBT Historical Society Museum, located since 2011 in the heart of San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood; and the Dr. John P. De Cecco Archives and Research Center, open to researchers in the Mid-Market district. For more information, visit www.glbthistory.org.

ABOUT THE HOSTS

Peaches Christ (she/her) is a filmmaker and cult leader living in San Francisco. Her infamous movie events are self-produced at the Castro Theatre and regularly draw over 1,000 attendees to each new production before they tour. Events have featured special guest stars John Waters, Cloris Leachman, Bruce Campbell, Barry Bostwick, Pam Grier and others. Peaches is the alter-ego of Joshua Grannell, the writer and director of the feature film All About Evil. Peaches Christ has been featured in the films Milk, I Am Divine, Diary of a Teenage Girl, Mansfield 66/67, Scream Queen: My Nightmare on Elm Street, You Don’t Nomi and more.

Marga Gomez (she/her) is a GLAAD Award winner and one of the first out lesbians in stand-up comedy. Robin Williams called her “Amazing…a lesbian Lenny Bruce.” Armistead Maupin called her “astonishing.” Gomez’s comedy has been featured on HBO, LOGO, Showtime, Comedy Central and PBS. She has been a guest on leading comedy podcasts, including Marc Maron’s WTF and Kevin Allison’s Risk. Her comic style has been described as “deliciously cheeky and incendiary” by the New York Times and “salaciously surreal” by the San Francisco Chronicle. She is also the author/performer of 13 solo plays which have been presented off-Broadway, nationally and internationally. Gomez can be seen in season two of the Netflix series Sense8.

ABOUT THE PERFORMERS

Freddie Seipoldt (they/them) is an Oakland-based musician, drag performer and digital activist. They recently released their debut EP, MELANIN MONROE, which has amassed over 226,000 streams online and has been featured in Billboard, Grindr, them., and The Bay Bridged.
 
Breanna Sinclairé (she/her) is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and a graduate of CalArts, Breanna received her master’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and was the first trans woman of the opera program, under the pedagogy of Ms. Ruby Pleasure. Operatic performances include Carmen, La Calisto, The Old Maid and The Thief, The Magic Flute, L’enfant et les sortilèges, Platée, and West Side Story, as well as Meredith Monk’s Songs of Ascension at REDCAT, and Zachary Sharrin’s Time Bodies at MOCA.
 
ABOUT THE HONOREES
 
Gerard Koskovich (he/him) is a public historian and rare book dealer. A founding member of the GLBT Historical Society and the Collectif Archives LGBTQI in Paris, he has been active in the movement to create LGBTQ archives and museums for nearly four decades. He has curated numerous exhibitions; has presented widely, including talks at the École du Louvre, Kyoto University and Oxford University; and has published extensively in English and French. In 2014, Koskovich was one of 15 historians whom the United States National Park Service invited to advise on LGBTQ historic sites. He contributed a chapter to the resulting report, LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer History (2016). He also has acted as archival researcher and historical consultant on several documentary films, including We Were Here (2012) and L’Etincelle: Une Histoire des Luttes LGBT+ (2019). Most recently Koskovich has focused on the life of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld (1868–1935); queer history as a cultural practice in the United States from the 1880s to the 1990s; and LGBTQ place-based history. He also has researched, presented and written about the work of the GLBT Historical Society itself; his co-authored article on that subject is forthcoming in Museum International.
 
Miss Major (she/her) is a Black, transgender elder and activist who has fought for nearly 50 years to create a better world for her trans and gender-nonconforming community. Major is a veteran of the infamous Stonewall Riots, a former sex worker and a survivor of Dannemora Prison and Bellevue Hospital’s “queen tank.” Her global legacy of activism is rooted in her own experiences, and she continues her work to uplift transgender women of color, particularly those who have survived incarceration and police brutality. Miss Major’s fierce commitment and intersectional approach to justice have brought her to the forefront of many causes, including caring for people with HIV/AIDS, working with trans prisoners and currently, mentoring her “gurls” from Little Rock, Arkansas, where she runs the House of GG, a retreat center for Black trans and gender-nonconforming leaders from the South. Upcoming creative projects include executive producing the film Trans in Trumpland (streaming in fall 2020), and a book on her life’s activism written collaboratively with her longtime assistant, Toshio Meronek (scheduled for release in 2021). She has spoken publicly at thousands of events, including at universities, community spaces and even the United Nations in Geneva.
 
Juanita MORE! (she/her) is a denizen of the limelight. For almost three decades, the tireless hostess has blitzed San Francisco with high glamour, drag irreverence, danceable beats, culinary delectables, political activism and a philanthropic heart that has illuminated the entire city. Juanita remains a creation of fashion and glamour, generosity and nerve, inspiring those around her to make a positive difference in their lives and in their communities, and doing it all with a timeless elegance and an innovative spirit. To date, Juanita has helped to raise over $600,000 through her annual Pride party supporting some of San Francisco’s most impactful organizations.
 
Pamela Peniston (she/her) is a founding member and artistic director of the Queer Cultural Center. In 1989 she was an initial member of Mayor Art Agnos’s Cultural Affairs Task Force of San Francisco, which helped to establish the guidelines for the Cultural Equity Grants Program at the San Francisco Arts Commission. Prior to Qcc, Pamela designed sets for national and Bay Area theater and dance companies. She was nominated for an OBIE award for her design of Eden for the Negro Ensemble Company in New York and received Critic’s Circle Awards for her designs of Poppies and Coconut for Theatre Rhinoceros in San Francisco. On a side trip into television in Chicago and Atlanta, she received gold medals from the Broadcast Design Association for her Art Direction at the Weather Channel. Since 1998, Pamela has provided visionary leadership for Queer Cultural Center’s iconic program, the National Queer Arts Festival, and has commissioned works from generations of LGBTQ artists and artists of color, providing opportunities for them to discover their voices and connect with their communities. Pamela and Qcc have mentored and inspired queer artists who have become leaders and changed the cultural landscape of queer arts across the nation.
 
Dr. Maggi Rubenstein (she/her) is a bisexual activist, educator, sex therapist and sexologist who has dedicated her life to social and sexual justice, sex-positive education and health, and community organizing. She cofounded three major sex-education institutions: Glide Memorial Church’s National Sex Forum (1968), the San Francisco Sex Information Hotline (1973–present) and the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (1974–2018]). She also cofounded three bisexual-support organizations: the Bisexual Center on Hayes Street (1976); BiPOL the first feminist bisexual political-action group; and the Bay Area Bisexual Network (1987). She was actively involved in community efforts during the AIDS crisis. During the heated bathhouse-closure debates in 1984, Rubenstein joined the Committee to Preserve Our Sexual and Civil Liberties. She was a founding member of Mobilization Against AIDS and served as its first co-chair (1985–1986). She pioneered positive safer sex education working with the Women’s AIDS Network, the AIDS Health Project, and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Maggi was an active member of the Harvey Milk Democratic Club for many decades and has appeared on local and national television speaking out on bisexual, transgender, lesbian, gay and queer issues and for sex-worker rights.

GRAPHICS

The following illustrations of this year's honorees are all by Andy Chiang. Please link to the following Dropbox for high-resolution copies: https://bit.ly/2ZK6iK2.
The GLBT Historical Society | (415) 777-5455 | info@glbthistory.org | www.glbthistory.org