When the history of our national LGBTQ+ civil rights movement and the long fight for equality is remembered, it will speak highly and well of a true LGBTQ+ champion and social justice warrior named Rea Carey, who for nearly two decades has led the oldest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization in the United States — the National LGBTQ Task Force.
Rea is one of the most dedicated, hard-working, compassionate, and loving social justice advocates that I have had the honor to have worked with. She brought the task force into the 21st century and made it a true national LGBTQA+ grassroots organization…and she fought to bring everyone to the LGBTQ+ community table — traveling across our nation with the true rainbow flag of diversity, acceptance and equality.
This week, she steps down as executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force and while she will be sorely missed, she indeed has left a historic legacy that every LGBTQ+ American has benefited from.
It has been an honor to serve as a member of the board of directors for the National LGBTQ Task Force and I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with Rea during and after my term on the board. In that time, we worked together on many historic events including the LGBT marches on Washington, the Harvey Milk U.S. postage stamp campaign, several Creating Change national conferences, the National LGBTQ Wall of Honor in New York’s historic Stonewall Inn, and most recently on the Bayard Rustin, Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera and Jose Julia Soria U.S. postage stamp campaigns, where together we served as national co-chairs.
Indeed, San Diego has had a long history within the task force…not only were City Commissioner Bruce Abrams and I the first San Diegans elected to the national board of directors, but San Diego’s own Russell Roybal also served as the organization’s national deputy director. I have also been invited as a keynote speaker to two Creating Change conferences, where I called upon the task force to be more inclusive by adding “transgender” to its name. Under her administration, Rea Carey made that happen.
Through it all, Rea has always been a respectful friend and strong supporter of the mission of the International Imperial Court System of the United States, Canada and Mexico — going as far as establishing an award in honor of our beloved founder’s memory, Jose Julio Sarria. For that I am extremely grateful.
There are many reasons I will miss working with Rea, and I will always remember her for always being so down to earth and outgoing with everyone regardless of whether we were at the White House, at an LGBTQ+ bar, a national rally, or at one of our many meetings.
We all wish her and her beautiful family the very best, and we thank Rea for her dedication and leadership in our community…God bless you, my beloved Crown Princess!
Congratulations, Commissioner LeSar!
Last week, longtime LGBTQ+ community activist, civic leader, and respected businesswoman Jennifer LeSar made history as the third LGBTQ+ person and first Lesbian to be appointed to the prestigious Port of San Diego Board of Commissioners. The San Diego City Council voted to appoint Jennifer to this highly coveted position and will serve for four years. Jennifer received wide support from San Diego’s diverse communities and their respective activists and leaders.
Jennifer LeSar is best known for her decades of hard work, dedication, and helping San Diego’s efforts on ending homelessness, as well as for her leadership as chair of the San Diego LGBT Center, during which her administration established the Latino Services and provided funding to open and establish the Sunburst Apartments — a housing program for LGBTQ+ youth.
Congratulations, Commissioner LeSar — your community and city are indeed proud of you!