This story originally appeared in our sister publication, Out In SA.
San Antonio City Hall
Fifteen San Antonio citizens have been named to Mayor Ron Nirenberg’s LGBTQ Advisory Committee.
The finalists were chosen from almost 200 applicants who were required to fill out an application that was widely distributed throughout the community in March.
Applications were reviewed by the selection committee which was comprised of community members Gregory Casillas, Phillip Barcena, Lauryn Farris, Emmett Schelling and DeAnne Cuellar-Cintron.
On April 13, individual finalists were sent a letter from the mayor advising them of their selection. “As a member, you will have the opportunity to improve the quality of life for members of the LGBTQ+ community by acting as a conduit to the Mayor’s Office,” Nirenberg said in the letter. “Your voice will help highlight challenges and best practices that will be able to serve as foundations for policy recommendations.”
The complete list of finalists was sent via email on April 18 to those who had been chosen to be on the committee. The first meeting will take place in May and will be coordinated by Maria Luisa Cesar, the mayor’s LGBTQ liaison.
The selection of the committee makes good on Nirenberg’s promise to “be a mayor for all of San Antonio.” In his letter to finalists he says, “I am excited about the work that we will be able to get done together, and thank you for throwing your hat in the ring to help make it possible.”
LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee to Mayor Ron Nirenberg
Rev. Naomi Brown
Rev. Naomi Brown is a founding member and vice chair of The Center — Pride Center San Antonio.
Ginger is the parent of a transgender child who started a support group for transgender families.
Alexander is working on building reoccurring fundraisers that would support homeless LGBTQIA youth.
Anel is a lesbian author and international performer who cofounded LeZRideSA, an organization that raises money for LGBTQIA youth.
Daniel is former co-chair and member of Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio and helped mobilize support for the nondiscrimination ordinance in 2013.
Jamie is a management analyst for the United States Air Force and has worked with Lackland AFB officials to streamline the transition process for all transgender airmen.
Barbie is a community organizer who has worked with the Queer Corazones group at the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center to bring greater attention to issues of gender diversity and representation.
Rev. Dr. William H. Knight
Rev. Dr. William H. Knight is a national speaker and activist for the LGBTQ+ community, particularly relating to protecting students and employees from discrimination based on sexual and gender identity.
Erick LaRue Macias
Erick is an active member on many boards advocating for trans rights in the workforce and founded Men In Transition, a transgender supported group for men in San Antonio.
Chad is the chapter president of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and advocates through many diversity councils with his employer, Wells Fargo.
Luka is passionate about bridging the gap between policy and the Latinx trans women community, and she is the co-chair for Human Rights First San Antonio.
Maria applies her legal background to advocate for passage of non-discrimination bills, including San Antonio’s Non-Discrimination Ordinance, and has founded two LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations.
Melissa is pursuing her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision with a focus in mental health concerns among the LGBT population and serves in UTSA advocacy and lobbying groups for LGBTQ+ mental health resources.
Ashley is the president of San Antonio Gender Association (SAGA) and is passionate about advocating for trans youth and strengthening relationships with the media and public relations.
David is the president of the LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce and has worked to combat the bathroom bill and other discriminatory legislation.
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