Patron of Pride – 2022
In the early morning hours on June 28, 1969, it is said that Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera symbolically launched the LGBTQ+ Pride movement when they, and their counterparts, fought back against continued police brutality—they were fed up. They were fed up with having their community’s humanity, livelihoods, and lives taken away in public sight.
One unexpected morning Johnson and Rivera became special guardians—patrons of Pride!
Our shared experiences as LGBTQ+ identities unite us in our story, and it should be our individual right for happiness that binds us in our fight for equity and equality. At our core each of us wants to be seen as valued individuals who are part of a larger community; a community that if not embraces at least respects our individuality.
Stonewall Columbus’ Patron of Pride is an individual who has fought to ensure the community is not only present but seen, simply by living their truth—out loud and proud.
As Stonewall lives into its 40th year what better moment than now to map a new course to a destination that works for all and each of us—a destination that embraces our commonalities, respects our differences, and champions our individual identities. In our fortieth year, we want to help reignite a passion in our community for fighting the hardest for those forced against the margins; for those whose voices have been systemically silenced by a system that sees otherness as a challenge to their systems of power.
As we continue to shift PRIDE from a moment to a movement, something we uplift all year long, and return it to the people in this second year Stonewall Columbus honored to recognize Carmen Carrera as the 2022 Patron of Pride.
Carrera was born in Elmwood Park, New Jersey. In 2011, she appeared in the third season of the reality television competition show, RuPaul’s Drag Race.
As a featured model, Carmen has walked shows at New York City Fashion Week and Miami Swim Week. In fact, she was the first transgender model to ever walk at Miami Swim Week.
Carrera has also been active in AIDS awareness and activism. After being featured in a Gilead Sciences ad titled “Red Ribbon Runway” with fellow Drag Race co-stars Manila Luzon, Delta Work, Shangela Laquifa Wadley, and Alexis Mateo, the dress she wore was auctioned by Logo in commemoration of World AIDS Day.
In 2014, Carrera was included as part of the Advocate’s annual “40 under 40” list; that same year Carrera was featured on the fifth anniversary cover of C?NDY magazine along with thirteen other transgender women: Janet Mock, Laverne Cox, Geena Rocero, Isis King, Gisele Alicea, Leyna Ramous, Dina Marie, Nina Poon, Juliana Huxtable, Niki M’nray, Pêche Di, Carmen Xtravaganza and Yasmine Petty.
Carrera had identified as a gay man, and continued to present as such during filming of the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, but began her gender transition when she concluded filming.
She is of Puerto Rican-Peruvian ancestry.