2017 Youth Award: Maya Steinhart
Maya is a student at McClatchy High School, where she is an active participant of the CKM Rainbow Coalition—a club dedicated to fostering a more inclusive and supportive environment at McClatchy. Maya has also had the opportunity to work on a GABY grant project with the Center, presenting on the state of LGBTQ+ youth homelessness in Sacramento, and assembling care packages.
2017 Community Award: Nic Caballero
As a Bilingual Counselor and LGBTQ Specialist at WEAVE, Nic supports survivors of Intimate Partner Violence, sexual assault, and sex trafficking by providing therapeutic counseling and facilitating support groups. Nic also served as a Social Work Field Supervisor at the Gender Health Center where he worked with trans-identified individuals, and is working to establish a support group to address Intimate Partner Violence. Outside of work, Nic spends countless hours volunteering to promote the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ community.’
2017 Lifetime Achievement Award: Wayne Panepento
Wayne is a true man of giving back. He feels blessed that his own parents and family have always accepted him. That doesn’t mean that discrimination hasn’t followed him all his life, unfortunately. “I’ve been fired from my job, I’ve been beaten, I’ve been robbed- only because I was in a monogamous relationship with a man for 36 years.” Yet still, Wayne is grateful man, and wants to turn what he’s been given into helping those who don’t get that support. It is this unfaltering spirit of giving and his 15 years of support that inspires all of us here at the Center. We can’t think of someone more worthy to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award than Wayne.
2017 Ally Award: Eleni Kounalakis
Eleni is a CA businesswoman, author, civic leader & former U.S. Ambassador. While serving as America’s Ambassador to Hungary, Eleni used her platform to champion equal rights throughout Eastern Europe. Under Eleni’s leadership, the U.S. Embassy helped provide financial support for Pride Week in Budapest—a first for the Embassy—and in 2012, Eleni herself proudly marched in the Pride Parade while many Hungarian officials refused to participate.
2017 Partner Award: Consulate General of Mexico, Sacramento
In 2014, for initiation of President Peña Nieto, the Embassy of Mexico in the United States urged the Mexican Consular Network in the US to sensitize with the LGBTQ+ community, promoting consular services and joining causes in favor of LGBTQ+ rights. In that sense, in 2015, the Consulate General of Mexico in Sacramento enrolled to participate in the “Sacramento Gay Pride” becoming the first Consulate of Mexico in the United States to participate in these festivities and bringing a message to the Mexican LGBTQ+ community of support and inclusion. After three years of participation, more Mexican Consulates across the country have joined PRIDE festivities. The Consulate General of Mexico, Sacramento takes a proactive approach to ensuring that LGBTQ+ immigrants feel safe, welcome, and affirmed in their multiple identities.