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Transgender Style Icon Candis Cayne Honored by Stonewall Democrats

Thursday Jul 21, 2011
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Los Angeles, California - The Stonewall Young Democrats (SYD), whose mission is to represent and mobilize Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning and Allied (LGBTQA) youth within the Democratic Party, today officially announced the 2011 HERO Award Honorees. The 5th Annual HERO Awards are sponsored by The Honorable Betty Yee and are hosted by Actress and MadTV’s Debra Wilson.

This year’s recipients of the 2011 HERO Awards are (You can read the full biographies of honorees at: www.stonewallyoungdems.org/heroes/honorees ):

· Visionary Award: Candis Cayne. Candis Cayne is an American Actress & Performance Artist. Cayne came to national attention in 2007 for portraying transgender mistress Carmelita on ABC’s prime time drama Dirty Sexy Money. The role makes Candis Cayne the first transgender actress to play a recurring transgender character in prime time.

· Trailblazer Award: Senator Mark Leno. Senator Leno serves as the California State Senator representing the 3rd District including San Francisco. He was elected in 2008 and is the first openly gay man to serve in the Senate. Leno was previously one of the first two openly gay men to serve in the Assembly. Most recently, he was successful in passing legislation known as SB 48 FAIR Education Act to add Gay History to the school curriculum and was signed by Governor Jerry Brown on July 14, 2011.

The Annual HERO Awards, now in its fifth year, recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of the rights of the LGBT Community.

· Youth Advocacy Award: Judge Donna Groman. Judge Groman has served as an openly lesbian judicial officer since 1997. She is presently the Supervising Judge of Kenyon Juvenile Justice Center, a juvenile delinquency court in South Los Angeles. Prior assignments include criminal and juvenile dependency.

· Mentorship Award: Assemblyman: Anthony Portantino. Assemblyman Portantino has represented the 44th Assembly District since his election to the Assembly in November 2006. Assemblyman Portantino has worked with the HIV/AIDS community on bills that help make it easier to diagnose and support HIV positive patients.

In addition to many Elected Officials, the Hollywood Community will also be showing their support for the 5th Annual HERO Awards. Actresses Nia Long, Phoebe Price, Sara Rue and Carolyn Hennesy along with Keith Mitchell (NFL), Amy Grover (TV Host), Louis Van Amstel (ABC’s Dancing with the Stars), Nick Frank (VH1’s Saddle Ranch) and many others will be joining us at the HERO Awards.

The Annual HERO Awards, now in its fifth year, recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of the rights of the LGBT Community. Past recipients include: Congresswoman Judy Chu, Maria Elena Durazo, Karina Samala, Fmr. Congresswoman/US Ambassador Diane E. Watson, West Hollywood City Council Member Jeffrey Prang and Jorge Valencia.

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