In May and June, the city’s queer Democratic clubs held award galas to honor individuals who have made contributions to the LGBTQ community and to kick off the Pride Season.
Brooklyn’s Lambda Independent Democrats went first on May 17, marking their 40th anniversary at Berg’n in Crown Heights.
The group honored City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, First Lady Chirlane McCray, immigration rights attorney Luis Mancheno, Lynn Faria, the chief external affairs officer at SAGE, and Kay Mackey, the club’s vice president.
Sadly, just one month later, on June 16, Mackey, an attorney and longtime lesbian activist, lost her battle with ovarian cancer. Her wife, Jess Huckemeyer, the day after Mackey’s death, said, “A special light in the world was extinguished last night. Kay was an amazing friend and my wife. She loved her family and her friends with a heart too big to be contained in this world. Look around you to your family and friends and remember how much they mean to you and how you are blessed to have them in your life. You are a better person for being loved. Go out and do a good deed. Make the world a better place because you are here. Look at shapes in the clouds and smile. And live your life to the fullest. It’s what Kay did.”
On May 31, the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City gathered at Raise New York in Kips Bay to honor Speaker Johnson, Earl Fowlkes, who chairs the Washington DC, Commission on Human Rights and is CEO of the Center For Black Equity, Cecilia Gentili, GMHC’s director of policy and public affairs, Kris Kohler, assistant director of the Mason Tenders’ District Council PAC, and former Stonewall president Rose Christ.
A week later, on June 4, the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club gathered at Butter in Midtown and honored Camille Joseph-Goldman, regional vice president at Charter Communications, actor Neve Campbell (“Scream,” “Party of Five”), and James Duff, the creator of “The Closer” and “Major Crimes,” and Phillip Keene, an actor on both series. The Reverend Al Sharpton keynoted the Jim Owles event.