Greater Palm Springs Pride announced today the recipients of its 2021 Palm Springs Pride Honors Awards. The prestigious awards honor individuals for their work advancing the causes of LGBTQ individuals and their allies.
Six awards celebrate extraordinary voices in the community, a leather icon, an internationally recognized artist, a celebrated musician, a compassionate business owner, a chef, and someone with forty years of service to LGBTQ organizations. The awards announcement marks the approach of Pride Week in the region under the worldwide theme of “You are Included.”
Entrepreneur and sought-after chef Betty C. Berrysmith is the Spirit of Stonewall Volunteer of the Year. A founding member of L-Fund and board member since 2013, Betty offers her culinary skill and talent to raise funds for lesbians in need. Betty has cooked and served her award-winning gumbo for thousands at the original L-fund gala fundraiser known as the Gumbo Gala.
Leather culture legend Race Bannon is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award. Race has elevated awareness of the leather community’s contributions toward LGBTQ liberation for nearly 50 years. As a writer and activist, he has ensured the broader progressive community discourse includes leather, kink, and BDSM.
An accomplished artist, a feminist, and a groundbreaker, Nancy Worthington receives a Lifetime Achievement Award. For forty-five years, Nancy’s art has been a social commentary of life. She has covered many different topics, including police brutality, the environment, feminism, human rights, and scathing politics. Her unique visual language has brought her international attention, and her work is in permanent collections around the world.
The 2021 Friend of Pride is Keisha D, a champion for the LGBTQ community, humanitarian, singer-activist, and advocate for performing arts in education. For decades Keisha has given her time to perform at charity events and community galas, and fundraising events, all in the name of love and passion for helping others. When not on stage, Keisha mentors high school students and directly supports under-served minority students to pursue an education in music and the arts.
Motivated by gay trailblazers to stand up and not be afraid to tell his own story, Jim Hollenbeck is the Spirit of Pride Award recipient. Jim’s first Pride experience in San Francisco, when he was 22 years old, opened the door to four decades of providing his public relations and communications services to many LGBTQ groups and nonprofit organizations. Jim has attended and supported events and fundraisers across the country that advance equality and celebrate the strength of the LGBTQ community.
The Spirit of Stonewall Community Service Award recipient is a faithful socially-minded business owner, Cliff Young. Driven by compassion and kindness, Cliff supports urban revitalization projects, mentoring, and work training programs for at-risk youth. Additionally, through his coffee company, he established the Warming Souls program, where he offers laundry services to local homeless and provides them with new socks and personal hygiene kits. Since 2017, in Desert Hot Springs, Cliff has done an average of fifteen weekly loads of laundry for people experiencing homelessness.
“Learning of the honorees and of the many ways they give back is inspiring. They each have lived their life helping others, and our community is better because of their leadership,” said Ron deHarte, president of Palm Springs Pride. “As in years past, the honorees are not people who seek attention or accolades for what they do. They quietly serve, and we are grateful for the profound impact they have had and continue to have in our community.”