PFLAG Queens Chapter 2021
Awardees Bio's
Awards celebration done given via zoom to be held 3/27/2022

29th Annual Morty Manford Awardee

photo of Morty Manford Award Recipient Richard Wandel

Rich Wandel, has worked for gay and lesbian liberation for more than 50 years. As the second President of the Gay Activists Alliance of New York he led what was then one of the premier gay liberation organizations in the country. Noted for its militant and imaginative demonstrations and ďzapsĒ GAA was among the first post-Stonewall organizations. His photographs of GAA actions can be seen in numerous museums, publications and documentaries.

Beginning in the 1990s he devoted himself to the preservation and dissemination of the LGBT communitiesí histories. In 1990 he became the founding Archivist/Historian of the LGBT Community Centerís National History Archive, a position he held for more than twenty years., Known nationally as an advocate for community-based history, Rich continues to advocate for an inclusive view of sexuality and gender both informally and in more formal settings.

25th Annual Carmel Tavadia Memorial Awardee

photo of Carmel Tavadia Memorial Award Recipient Hernan Poza

HernŠn came out at age 17 and has a long history of service and activism in the LGBTQ+ community. He has been associated with Long Island Crisis Center/ Pride For Youth continuously since 1979, including serving as board president and helping establish Pride For Youth (now PFY) in 1993. HernŠn is a retired bilingual clinical social worker for the NYC Department of Educationís District 75 Program for Special Education, working with children in disenfranchised neighborhoods. Previously, he worked with programs targeting runaway/homeless youth, sexual abuse survivors, and domestic violence survivors. He was director of the HIV counseling & testing center in Chelsea for the NYC Department of Health AIDS Services during the peak of the AIDS epidemic and co-lead a PWA support group for Long Island AIDS Care.

HernŠn is also an author, with autobiographical short stories about his experience with HIV/AIDS and on September 11th, published in anthologies.

Since his retirement, HernŠn has been a consultant for the Queen Center for Gay Seniors, facilitating a support group.

He has been living in Rego Park for more than 35 years, where he shares a home with his husband.

17th Annual Brenda Howard Memorial Awardees

photo of Brenda Howard Memorial Award Recipient #1 Ellyn Ruthstrom

Newly out as bisexual, Ellyn moved from Boston to Northampton, Massachusetts in 1989 after separating from her husband. The upside of that move was that she fell in love with her first serious girlfriend. The downside was that she witnessed tremendous biphobia when Northamptonís Pride Committee removed the identity of bisexual from their Pride activities and allowed biphobic remarks to be spewed from the podium of the community celebration. That was Ellynís first indication that being an out and proud bi woman within the greater queer community was not going to be easy.

Moving to Columbus to complete a Masterís in Womenís Studies at Ohio State, she became involved with bi community on campus and in the local community. From there, she moved back east to become a part of the vibrant and longstanding Boston bi community. Ellyn co-facilitated the Bi Womenís Rap at the Cambridge Womenís Center for several years, was the Editor of Boston Bisexual Womenís Networkís Bi Women newsletter for nine years, and was the President of the Bisexual Resource Center (BRC) for ten years. During her tenure as BRCís President, Ellyn fostered connections with other bi organizations and leaders across the country through helping to organize the Bisexual Leadership Roundtable. She was the co-organizer of the first White House Bisexual Issues Roundtable in 2013 as part of Bi Week and assisted on the 2015 and 2016 White House gatherings. After the 2013 meeting highlighted the huge health disparities for bisexual community members, Ellyn helped the BRC launch the Bisexual Health Awareness Month in March of 2014 and it is now an annual national community-driven awareness campaign. Ellynís writing on bi+ issues has appeared in various publications and she continues to guest edit issues for Bi Women Quarterly for BBWN.

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Last updated 2/14/21 by LDN