PFLAG Queens Chapter 2018
Awardees Bio's
Awards luncheon to be held 2/3/2019

26th Annual Morty Manford Awardees

photo of MMA Recipient LYNN SCHULMAN

An attorney by training, Lynn has devoted her career to public service and held a broad range of managerial positions in government, private industry and the non-profit arena. Lynn has dedicated her personal life and professional career to progressive causes and LGBTQ issues.

Professionally, Lynn currently serves as a Senior Community Liaison to the NYC Council Speaker, Corey Johnson. In this role, Lynn is assigned to Council Committees dealing with health and human services issues, many of which affect the LGBTQ community.

Prior to her work in the Council, Lynn served as Senior Associate Executive Director of Business Affairs for NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull, a hospital within the city’s public hospital system. While there, she was appointed to a special NYC public hospital task force to enhance healthcare accessibility for the LGBT community, and helped the hospital secure the Human Rights Campaign Health Equality Index designation for promoting equitable and inclusive care for LGBT patients and their families.

Previously, Lynn was a member of the executive management team at Gay Men’s Health Crisis, where she helped to shape local, national and international public discourse around the issues of HIV and AIDS.

In her local community of Forest Hills, Lynn served for more than 20 years on Community Board 6, and is a past member of the 112th Precinct Community Council. Additionally, Lynn served as an appointed member of the Community Education Council for District 28, where she focused on combating school bullying (particularly with respect to LGBTQ students), increasing student access to music and art programs, and enhancing education opportunities for the youth in our city’s public school system.

Lynn is an advisor to the LGBT Victory Fund, and is a former member of the organization’s Campaign Board, which supports LGBT individuals running for elected office nationally and globally. In recognition of her achievements at the Victory Fund, in 2015, Lynn was awarded a David Bohnett Fellowship to attend the prestigious Senior Executives in State and Local Government leadership program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

21st Annual Carmel Tavadia Memorial Awardees

photo of CTMA Recipient GLORIA VALENTIN

Gloria Valentin was born in Aguada, Puerto Rico in 1929. She immigrated to New York City together with her husband and two daughters in the 1950s. They struggled in New York City, eventually having four more children, in Bushwick, Brooklyn and making sure that they were protected from the things, that a bad neighborhood had to offer, while at the same time, making sure their children stayed in school. Their greatest dream was for their children, to receive a college education.

In 1984, two of Gloria‘s children, her youngest daughter and her youngest son, came out of the closet. It was very difficult for her and her husband to accept, as they didn’t understand much about the gay lifestyle, and what they did know, was not great, due to the derogatory statements they had always heard growing up. Sadly enough, in the old days of Puerto Rico, having a gay child was a taboo and associated at the same level of being a prostitute or a drug addict.

Not knowing which way to turn, they turned to the Priest at their Catholic church, and they were fortunate enough to find a priest who told them that they had to embrace there children and accept them the way they, are as they are all children of God. At the same time, there was a Latina, talk show host called Laura, she she had several programs about how parents had to embrace their gay children and accept them, so they didn’t end up homeless and in the street.

Soon after this, Gloria, and her husband, developed an even closer relationship with their children. Her youngest son, Eduardo was running a youth program at his church, St Bridgets, and had close ties with two nearby churches. As time went by, many of the youth from the three churches began questioning their sexuality and Gloria became a mentor and second mother to many of them. She helped them see, that unlike what they were told, they were not going to hell, for being gay. She welcomed them to our home and showed them motherly love, which is so desparately need in your teens.

In 1991 her son Eduardo Valentin, met Casimiro Villa, the owner of a bar called Friend‘s Tavern. Gloria Valentin, became very involved with the bar, and for the 10 years that she lived near the bar, she once again became an advocate for the employees and customers, many who left their countries, due to the abandonment from their families and persecution. Mom embraced them and helped them see how beautiful they truly are. During Thanksgiving, and Christmas time, Gloria made sure that she cooked and sent a home cooked meal to the bar, for those who wanted to feel a sense of belonging. She would also visit the bars, speak to everyone and was quick to give an embrace, a motherly kiss and advice to those in need.

Gloria Valentin also became an advocate and fighter for everyone in the family, who was coming out of the closet, by using her relationship with her children as an example. She spread the word of acceptance to family members, and friends, and taught them to seek the similarities and not the differences amongst their children. She showed them that the important thing is to be able to see your children by who they are and not by what they are. Many cousins have come out of the closet, ever since her two children came out and there have been times, that Gloria has even flown to Puerto Rico, in order to educate our family members there, on how to love their children unconditionally.

In recent years, Gloria has been active at her local senior citizen center. Here she speaks to many grandparents who are confused when it comes to a person’s sexuality. Mom does not allow anyone at the center to make derogatory remarks about anyone who is gay and is quick to remind them of of how proud she is of her gay children. One granddaughters recently came out and one of her great granddaughter‘s came out at the age of 15. Because Gloria taught us all, how to love each other without prejudice, her grandchildren have come out of the closet, without ever noticing that this was once, one of the greatest taboos that existed for a Puerto Rican family.

14th Annual Brenda Howard Memorial Awardee

photo of BHMA Recipients LYNNETTE MCFADZEN

Lynnette McFadzen is President, Board of Directors for BiNet USA, the national non-profit advocacy organization for the bisexual+ community since 1990. In that volunteer position, Lynnette is instrumental in making sure projects like Bisexual Awareness Week and the recent trip to Washington DC for the Bisexual Community Briefing at the White House, come to fruition. She participated in that event and contributed to the mental health paper presented to attendees.

Lynnette also attends LGBTQ conferences throughout the year educating on bisexual issues and reporting for The BiCast, a podcast for the bisexual community. Recent conference appearances included Creating Change 2016, Netroots Nation, the BECAUSE conference, the Transcending Boundaries conference, and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Time to THRIVE.

Working closely with other bisexual organizations, Lynnette assists with media coverage at events and conferences. She is a frequent contributor to the BiNet USA blog with some posts reaching thousands. She often handles social media duties. During the 2015 Bisexual Awareness Week, Lynnette was instrumental in achieving a record 300 million impressions with from over 60,000 contributors related to bisexuality during the week.

Lynnette also advocates for bisexual, pansexual, fluid, queer (bi+) and the gender diverse community daily through social media while working as a bisexual disabled elder to eradicate biphobia, transphobia, ableism, racism, sexism, and ageism throughout the LGBTQ community.

Lynnette conceived the podcast four years ago. With over 200 podcasts in her time, covering every aspect of the bi+ community, and through the tireless work of all bisexual organizations, great strides in improving bisexual community concerns have been made. Collaboration with Human Rights Campaign (HRC), GLAAD, and the National LGBTQ Task Force in the last two years has improved remarkably.

In June 2017 Lynnette co-chaired the Equality March in Washington DC

Lynnette believes that it is possible for the entire LGBTQIA community to learn to be more inclusive and to dismiss bisexual stereotypes.

Other Information

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Last updated 12/20/18 by LDN