Wednesday, May 31, 2017

BiNet USA Board Member Denise Penn is first openly bisexual inducted at Harvey Milk Plaza

BiNet USA Board Member Denise Penn is first openly bisexual inducted at Harvey Milk Plaza.

We have always known BiNet USA board member Denise Penn was an amazing bisexual+/LGBTQIA activist. We join the Selection Committee in celebrating her tireless volunteerism and work.

Mayor Robert Garcia, Denise Penn and City Councilmember Lena Gonzalez

On Friday, May 19th, City officials and community members celebrated four new inductees to Equality Plaza at Harvey Milk Promenade Park in downtown Long Beach, California. Speaking on behalf of the Selection Committee were Raul Anorve, Chair as well as Mayor Robert Garcia and City Councilmember Lena Gonzalez.
Five years ago, the park opened, becoming the first park in the country named after the late Harvey Milk,the first openly gay person to hold elected office in California.

Every year, an official Harvey Milk Park Committee selects honorees whose names will be placed on a brick in the wall of the Plaza.
Those nominated can be either living or deceased and who identify as LGBTQ community members, and have made exceptional / outstanding contributions serving the Long Beach-area LGBTQ community.

Denise Penn, Ron Sylvester, Pat Crosby eating rainbow cake in celebration

This year’s inductees:

Pat Crosby of Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride, Inc.
Denise Penn, LGBT Journalist
Ron Sylvester, Chair Emeritus of The Long Beach LGBT Center
Paul Self, past president of the Long Beach Lambda Democratic Club (posthumously)

Mayor Robert Garcia presides at Harvey Milk Park Induction ceremony

Denise’s Long Beach Activism:

Denise Penn has been working as an advocacy journalist covering issues for the LGBT and HIV affected community for nearly three decades and has promoted civil rights for all.
From 1992 to 2007,  she gave a voice to the Long Beach LGBT community as a reporter, a columnist and contributing editor for the Orange County and Long Beach BLADE from the time of the publication’s inception in 1992.  Prior to this time, there were gay publications published in Los Angeles, there was nothing that addressed the issues facing LGBT  readers in Long Beach.  Her coverage of discrimination cases and hate crimes have received national attention.
From 1996 to 2008, she Produced and hosted The Gay & Lesbian News Magazine, an award-winning weekly live cable television program serving the Long Beach LGBT community, presenting news and entertainment many artists, actors, musicians, directors and political figures as well as ordinary people with stories to tell.  (Denise stepped up following hate crime against the show’s founder, Bob LaFont.)

She coordinated and moderated the discussion panels for the Long Beach International Film Festival and Cinema Out  film festival in Long Beach in the late nineties and from 1997 to 2001, participated as a cast member, along with other community leaders,  in Santa Maria House's annual HIV/AIDS fundraising murder mystery "Mystery Night on the Amtrak" every year.
In 2007, She became one of the original columnists for The Long Beach Post, founded by Dr. Robert Garcia and Shaun Lumachi February 13, 2007.
From 2006 to 2008, She was PAC Chair of  Long Beach Lambda Democratic Club, and Co-Chair of the Annual Human Rights Award Dinner in 2008.
In  2010, she was a Founding Board Member of  Artful Thinking Organization: Artful Thinking Organization (ATO) is a nonprofit formed in 2010 to engage in artful activities related to educating the public about HIV/AIDS and Breast Cancer. ATO sponsors the Long Beach Dyke March that occurs on the Friday preceding Pride every year.
Served also on the Steering Committee of the Long Beach Hisotrical Society’s LGBT History Project, donating some artifacts and articles to the exhibit, “Coming Out in Long Beach.”

Thank you Denise for all you do!!!

Photo Credits:OC Weekly


Denise Penn and children with concrete soapbox replica Harvey Milk stood on