LONG BEACH — The names of six local LGBTQ champions will be memorialized this week at Long Beach’s Harvey Milk Promenade Park, the first park in the nation named after California’s first openly gay elected official.
The six people will be added to Equality Plaza Memorial Wall during a public ceremony at the park on Thursday at 11 a.m.
The park has been under construction for several weeks as it’s transformed into an “outdoor office,” retail space, and gathering space.
Harvey Milk Park, which opened in 2013 in downtown at Third Street and The Promenade, honors and recognizes leaders in the local LGBTQ people who have used their time, talents, and passion to help advance the LGBTQ community in the same spirit as Milk.
Along with plaques commemorating these leaders and activists, the plaza includes a concrete replica of the soapbox Milk stood on and spoke from to inspire crowds, and a 20-foot flagpole flying the LGBTQ pride flag.
LGBTQ activists listed on the wall include activist Lee Glaze, attorney Stephanie Loftin, historian David Hensley, Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride co-founders Judi Doyle, Bob Crow, and Marilyn Barlow, former Signal Hill Councilwoman and activist Ellen Ward, among others.
Here are this year’s inductees:
Raul A. Añorve, chair of the Harvey Milk Park Equality Plaza Selection Committee
Reba Birmingham, an attorney and long-time LGBTQ activist. Birmingham is married to Loftin, who was added to the wall in 2016.
Jewels, local drag queen royalty has been a staunch advocate for HIV prevention and treatment, the Long Beach AIDS Food Store, and the CARE Program at St. Mary Medical Center
John Newell, president and board chair of the AIDS Food Store
Mina Kay Meyer and Sharon Raphael, a powerhouse couple who were together 45 years, they were fierce lesbian activists who also advocated for gay and lesbian seniors. Meyer died in 2016. She was 74.