Recent Comments

    Horizons Honors Community Icons

    At Horizons’ Annual Gala on October 6, two individuals will be honored who have made incredible contributions to our community.

    Gavin Grimm

    Receiving the Courage Award is transgender student rights activist Gavin Grimm. As part of his medical treatment for severe gender dysphoria, Gavin and his mother notified administrators of his male gender identity at the beginning of his sophomore year so that he could socially transition in all aspects of his life. With permission from school administrators, Gavin used the boys’ restroom for almost two months without any incident. But after receiving complaints from some parents and residents of Gloucester County, the school board adopted a new policy banning Gavin from using the boys’ restrooms.

    The ACLU filed a federal lawsuit on Gavin’s behalf. The lawsuit argued the bathroom policy as unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment and violated Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972, a federal law prohibiting sex discrimination by schools.

    The court denied the injunction, but was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in 2016. The Supreme Court announced it would review the decision from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the case was set to be heard in March 2017. But on March 5, the Supreme Court announced that it was sending Gavin’s case back to the lower courts to be reconsidered in light of the Departments of Justice and Education rescinding of a Title IX guidance clarifying protections for transgender students.

    Gavin graduated in June 2017—still unable to use the same restroom as other boys. On May 22, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia denied the school district’s request to dismiss the case, agreed with the ACLU that the school violated the rights of transgender students under Title IX and ordered a settlement conference. Gavin is now waiting to find out whether the school will try to appeal or settle the case.

    Gavin is now a student at Berkeley College.

    Jewelle Gomez

    Horizons’ Visionary Award recipient is Jewelle Gomez. A longtime San Francisco resident, Jewelle is the author of eight books including the double Lambda Literary Award-winning vampire novel, The Gilda Stories. She’s written for numerous publications including The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Ms. Magazine, Black Scholar, The Advocate and the San Francisco Bay Times. She was the recipient of a National Endowment on the Arts Fellowship and two California Arts Council Artist in Residence grants. In 2017, she received the Barbary Coast Trailblazer Award from LitQuake and was a 2018 Community Grand Marshal for San Francisco Pride.

    Jewelle was on the founding boards of Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the Astraea Lesbian Foundation and the Open Meadows Foundation. She was previously the Director of Grants at the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Director of Grants and Community Initiatives at Horizons Foundation, and she served as the Director of the Literature Program at the New York State Council on the Arts. She also served as Director of the Poetry Center and American Poetry Archives (SFSU), and was President of the San Francisco Public Library Commission.

    She is currently Playwright in Residence at New Conservatory Theatre Center in San Francisco, which in 2011 premiered her play, Waiting for Giovanni, about James Baldwin. The play then had its New York City premier in 2018. Leaving the Blues, her play about singer/songwriter Alberta Hunter, premiered at NCTC in 2017. Her new play, Unpacking in Ptown, will open New Conservatory’s 40th anniversary season in 2021.