These 4 LGBTQ champions to be inducted into Harvey Milk Park

Long Beach’s Harvey Milk Promenade Park is the first park in the United States named for the slain civil rights leader. Photo: Trang Le/Q Voice News

LONG BEACH — Four LGBTQ champions will be the latest inductees to Harvey Milk Promenade Park.

Pat Crosby, Denise Penn, Paul Self and Ron Sylvester will have their names memorialized on the park’s Equality Plaza Memorial Wall, Cory Allen, chief of staff with First District Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez, announced on Facebook Wednesday. Gonzalez’s district includes Harvey Milk Park.

The induction ceremony will take place May 19 at 11 a.m.

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Equality Plaza and Harvey Milk Park opened in 2013 to honor and recognize leaders in the local LGBTQ community who have used their time, talents and passion to help advance the LGBTQ community in the same spirit of Milk himself.

Along with plaques commemorating LGBTQ leaders and activists, the plaza includes a concrete replica of the soapbox Milk stood to inspire crowds when he spoke, and a 20-foot flagpole flying the LGBTQ pride flag.

Milk was the first out LGBTQ person to win office in California when he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. Milk was assassinated along with Mayor George Moscone on Nov. 27, 1978.


Meet the four honorees:

  • Pat Crosby is a former president of Long Beach Pride.
  • Denise Penn is a former journalist who covered the LGBTQ community for several publications, including Lesbian News.
  • Paul Self is a former president with the Long Beach Lambda Democratic Club
  • Ron Sylvester is a former board chair with the Long Beach LGBTQ Center.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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