Advancing LGBT Civil Rights

2023 LGBT History Month Launch

Sunday, October 1, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Independence Visitor Center, Liberty Ballroom

599 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106


2023 Launch Tickets: $100

A VIP Reception immediately follows Launch

2023 Launch plus VIP Reception Tickets: $250

Donor’s name will be on file at the Registration Desk. Ticket(s) will not be mailed. For additional information or questions, contact Malcolm Lazin at or call (215) 850-8751.

Dr. Jake Kleinmahon (International Role Model Award Recipient)
Pediatric Cardiologist and Transplant Specialist

Jake Kleinmahon, MD, is a pediatric cardiologist and transplant specialist. A graduate of Tulane University School of Medicine, Dr. Kleinmahon returned to New Orleans with his family in 2018 to accept a position as Director of Pediatric Heart Transplant and Heart Failure at Ochsner Hospital for Children. They had planned to make Louisiana their forever home. In August 2023, Kleinmahon made national news when he announced that he and his husband were leaving the state with their children due to sweeping anti-LGBTQ legislation. One of Louisiana’s only pediatric cardiologists, he made the decision to move after lobbying unsuccessfully against the new laws, receiving hate mail, and fearing for the safety of his family. See latest article in the Washington Blade (September 27, 2023).

Rue Landau (Frank Kameny Award Recipient)
First Openly LGBTQ Philadelphia City Councilperson

Rue Landau is set to become the first openly LGBTQ member of the Philadelphia City Council. Activism and community engagement have guided her political journey. Her plans for City Council center on public safety, neighborhood reinvestment, and affordable housing. Landau began her activist career soon after graduating college, working with groups such as the Kensington Welfare Rights Union and ACT UP Philadelphia to provide housing and health care for low-income individuals throughout the city. After completing law school at Temple University, she continued to help Philadelphians secure housing at Community Legal Services, which provides free legal assistance to low-income clients. During this time, Landau discovered that her LGBTQ identity allowed her to form deeper connections with some residents and to understand their unique situations.

Ben Garcia (Special Guest)
Executive Director
The American LGBTQ+ Museum

Ben Garcia is the Executive Director of The American LGBTQ+ Museum in New York and serves on the board of Equality Ohio. For more than 20 years, he has worked to help museums become places of welcome and belonging for all people. He started out as a gallery guide and educator, moved into exhibition development, and then served in middle- and upper-management administrative roles, before joining The American LGBTQ+ Museum. He presents and publishes on creating structural equity in museums through transparency, accountability, fair labor practices, and by adding missing voices and perspectives.

Kevin Naff (Presenter of International Role Model Award)
Washington Blade

Kevin Naff is the Editor-in-Chief and co-owner of the Washington Blade, the nation’s oldest and most acclaimed LGBT news publication. He is the co-founder and owner of Brown Naff Pitts Omnimedia, which also publishes the Los Angeles Blade and owns ancillary businesses, including Azer Creative, a D.C.-based full-service marketing and advertising agency. An award-winning journalist honored for 10 consecutive years by the Society of Professional Journalists, Naff has contributed to the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, the Baltimore Sun, and other leading outlets. In March 2023, he published his first book, “How We Won the War for LGBTQ Equality — And How Our Enemies Could Take It All Away,” a behind-the-scenes look at how the queer movement achieved so much so fast.

Cherelle Parker (Presenter of Frank Kameny Award)
Democratic Nominee for Mayor of Philadelphia

Cherelle Parker is the Democratic nominee in the 2023 Philadelphia mayoral election. If elected, she will be the first woman to hold the office. The first person in her family to go to college, Parker earned her master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She served for 10 years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (2005 to 2015), representing the 200th District in Northwest Philadelphia. She was the youngest African-American woman elected to the State Legislature. In 2015 she was elected to Philadelphia City Council representing the 9th District. She was reelected in 2019 and served as majority leader from 2020 to 2022. During her tenure, she focused on public safety, school funding, stabilizing “middle neighborhoods,” economic opportunity and improving city government. In September 2022, Parker resigned from City Council and announced her candidacy for mayor of Philadelphia. She won the Democratic primary on May 16, 2023.

Lilli Vincenz (Special Memorial Tribute)
Gay Pioneer

Lilli Vincenz was the first lesbian member of the early gay rights activist organization the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C. and served as editor of its newsletter. In 1969 she co-created the independent newspaper the Gay Blade, which later became the Washington Blade. She was the only lesbian to participate in a seminal gay rights protest at the White House with Frank Kameny. Each Fourth of July from 1965 to 1969, she picketed alongside him and other Gay Pioneers in front of Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Known as the "Annual Reminders," these demonstrations launched the gay and lesbian civil rights movement. In 1971 Vincenz and six other out lesbians, including Barbara Gittings, appeared on PBS's "David Susskind Show," where they refuted long-held gay stereotypes. They were among the first out lesbians to appear on television in the U.S. In 2013 Vincenz's papers, films, and other memorabilia were donated to the Library of Congress. She died on June 27, 2023, at the age of 85.

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