Pillars of Pride

Seattle Pride

GenPride’s Pillars of Pride awards honor the vibrant and resilient LGBTQIA+ seniors who have paved the way for future generations. 2024’s theme is Honoring the Silver in the Rainbow, focusing on the importance of rainbow elders and the paths they have created for others.

This year’s recipients were announced at GenPride’s recent Pillars of Pride awards ceremony:

Bridging Legacies

Dean Sargent, one of Washington state's first openly gay attorneys, remains a beacon of positive change well into his 80s, demonstrating unwavering commitment to justice and equality. As a founding member of the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA) and a leader on its Scholarship Committee, he has long championed LGBTQIA+ rights, particularly advocating for gay youth empowerment and support. Sargent's illustrious legal career, spanning decades of service, has left an indelible mark on the legal landscape, embodying courage, integrity, and a steadfast dedication to equality.

Building Belonging

Paul Green's extensive network spans more than four decades of tireless advocacy for LGBTQIA+ persons of color and those affected by HIV/AIDS. His efforts led to the establishment of Sojourner Truth Unity Fellowship Church, pioneering ministry for Blacks/African Americans living with HIV/AIDS, and later, the Unity Fellowship Senior Outreach Ministry. Passionate about intergenerational connections, he facilitates courageous conversations and workshops to strengthen community bonds and share wisdom. As a local business owner and community organizer, Green continues to build networks and provide gathering spaces like the Jackson Street Collective, embodying a legacy of impactful, behind-the-scenes work.

Building Belonging

Isaac Payne's impactful presence in Seattle's Black LGBTQIA+ community is marked by years of dedicated organizing, board leadership, and mentorship. Through spearheading community events and fostering inclusivity, he has provided spaces for dialogue, celebration, and empowerment. Payne's legacy of resilience and progress continues through his mentorship of younger leaders, leaving an indelible mark on the fabric of Seattle's Black LGBTQIA+ community and fostering a stronger, more cohesive, and empowered collective identity.

Community Catalyst

Alma Goddard, a 73-year-old Chicana and two-spirit elder of O’Dami, Tepehuan ancestry, retired officially in 2016 but remains a vital force in the community. With more than 50 years of advocacy against gender-based violence, particularly within Native communities, Goddard's impact is profound. Her leadership extends to empowering queer and trans youth, fostering healthy relationships, and promoting cultural healing practices, exemplifying her enduring commitment to activism and community care as a community catalyst.

Iconic Artistry

Christine Wheeler-Sinclair, an LGBTQIA+ elder and tireless activist, has dedicated their life to challenging conventions and advocating for revolutionary change. From organizing community dinners in the ‘70s to founding Moondance Productions and pioneering initiatives for LGBTQIA+ youth, Wheeler-Sinclair's impact spans decades. They acted at the Front Room Theater (a lesbian theater), wrote the play “Kind of Heart” performed by the Portland Women’s Theater Company, and is the recipient of numerous arts awards.

Volunteer Virtuoso

Rita Smith, an 80-year-old lesbian activist in Seattle for more than 40 years, is the recipient of the Volunteer Virtuoso award. As a board member and group facilitator at the Lesbian Resource Center, she provided a vital hub for countless lesbians, fostering empowerment and community. Rita's dedication extends to mentoring scholarship applicants, advocating for LGBTQIA+ rights, and facilitating intergenerational connections, exemplifying her outstanding and powerful impact.

Congratulations to all of these amazing Pillars of Pride! Click here to read more about GenPride's Pillars of Pride.