The LGBT+ Center to honor community leaders at Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The LGBT+ Center of Orlando (The Center) will honor local LGBTQ leaders and businesses during the 2019 Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast at Dubsdread in Orlando May 22.

The seventh annual event—named for the first openly gay elected official in California and LGBTQ icon Harvey Milk—will be hosted by the Orlando Sentinel’s Scott Maxwell, and will take place on what would have been the slain civil rights leader’s 89th birthday. The day is designated as “Harvey Milk Day” in the U.S.

The Center will recognize five individuals and one business in five categories at this year’s breakfast.

The LGBT Ally Award, an honor given to an individual or business that has gone above and beyond in their support of the LGBT+ community in Central Florida, will go to Lynn Dictor—better known as Moira from RealRadio.

“She was given a platform on the radio for so many years and the entire time was always pro-LGBTQ,” says The Center Executive Director George Wallace. “She walks the walk … She has immersed herself in the LGBTQ community and to me she is always someone that people trust. She is a great ally.”

The Harvey Milk Diversity in Business Award, a newly-added award which recognizes a local business that celebrates and promotes diversity and inclusion in their business team, will go to Addition Financial.

“They were formerly CFE Credit Union,” says Wallace, “and they are our neighbor, but they are also a business member, a sponsor and a partner to The Center. They give back to the community in a lot of ways.”

Addition Financial is headquartered in Lake Mary and employs 500 Central Floridians. The company has supported many LGBTQ events throughout Orlando including Come Out With Pride. “They are very friendly, supportive and work really well with us,” Wallace says.

The LGBT Trailblazer Award is a recognition that has been given out in years past but this is the first year that it will be given to two community members.

“We opened the LGBT+ Center Kissimmee last year so since we now have two locations, one in Orlando and one in Kissimmee, we wanted to honor a trailblazer in each area,” Wallace says.

The LGBT Trailblazer for Orlando will be Watermark owner and publisher Rick Claggett.

“Rick is someone that has been synonymous with the LGBTQ community in Orlando and does so much,” Wallace says. “I think he is absolutely a trailblazer. A part of why his name came up this year is because of the documentary he is doing.”

Claggett is working on “Greeting From Queertown: Orlando,” a documentary film about the history of the LGBTQ community in Central Florida.

Osceola County Commissioner Cheryl Grieb will receive the LGBT Trailblazer for Kissimmee.

“She is the first openly gay elected official in Osceola County,” Wallace says. “She was a city commissioner and now she is a county commissioner. She is also a realtor and helped us find our office space in Kissimmee. She is very visible in the community and has been wonderful to work with.”

The Champion of Equality this year will go to last year’s keynote speaker, WRTV’s Jorge Estevez.

“Last year he moved the entire room to tears with his story,” Wallace recalls. “He is also extremely impactful. Someone in Jorge’s position, where he has a large audience and is on the news every day, it’s easy to just hide. Local newscasters are celebrities in their markets, with audiences in the hundreds of thousands, and Jorge is out. He isn’t afraid to say that.”

The Harvey Milk Lifetime Achievement Award will go to former U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.

“He was very outspoken and an early supporter of gay rights in general,” Wallace says.”He was pro-marriage equality and it was important to have that voice in Florida, going back, for all those years when he was a senator. This is our way of honoring him for his years of service.”

The 2019 Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast will be at Dubsdread in Orlando on May 22. Doors open at 7:30 a.m., breakfast served at 8 a.m. Tickets are $50 and available at TheCenterOrlando.org.

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