State Rep. Vanessa Guerra – House District 95, D-Bridgeport Township receives the Political Award for supporting and co-sponsoring legislation that would expand the Elliott-Larson Civil Rights Act to protect Michigan’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender residents from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. She has supported House Resolutions declaring June LGBT Pride Month each year she has been in office, State Rep. Guerra has attended Perceptions events and publicly supports LGBT equality issues.
Ellen Keeler is a Bay City mother and grandmother that was concerned when her transgender grandson (female to male) tried to commit suicide. She was surprised to learn that most trans people had no or little support from their families, were evicted from their homes, and have lost jobs due to being transgender. She is the coordinator for the local Perceptions Transgender Support Group, Perceptions Trans, Family, Friends, and Allies, that includes high school students through senior citizens who are transgender, intersex, gender non-conforming, their partners and allies. Ellen is also a Perceptions Board member and updates the Perceptions website. She wants everybody to feel safe being themselves.
Dr. Trevor Ewers is an associate research scientist and the Global Culture Change leader with GLAD (LGBT & Ally Employment Resource Group) for The Dow Chemical Company. Ewers, along with a small group, created and continues to lead the annual Great Lakes Bay Pride LGBT Workplace Summit that promotes workplace equality through inclusive education, training, and regional support along with Perceptions and other collaborating businesses/sponsors. He has volunteered with LGBT group events.
Amy McDonald is a licensed professional counselor at Family and Children’s Services in Midland. She offers services to a wide range of clientele and specializes in LGBT, gender and sexuality issues. Amy has served the area LGBT community as an advocate, educator, therapist, clinician, and friend. She created a curriculum for teens an adults that focus on the coming-out process, self-esteem, healthy relationships among other related topics. Additionally, she is a Perceptions Board member.
J. Steel-Louchart has been involved with the Saginaw Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Youth (SOGI YAC) and served as a volunteer with LGBT youth, he has been an active part of the MAX System of Care initiative at the Saginaw County Community Mental Health Authority to increase access to services and improve outcomes for LGBTQ youth with emotional and behavioral needs. Recently, Steel-Louchart coordinated activities for Saginaw’s first Pride Week with educational and family-friendly activities for the LGBT community, especially youth.
Dr. Elizabeth “Libby” Pionk is an “out” lesbian physician and has dedicated herself to family medicine with a special interest in LGBT health and associated medical cases, situations and policies where healthcare is not tailored to the LGBT patient. As a Perceptions Board member, she is a liaison between the professional healthcare community and the LGBT/Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGIE).
Angela Williams is the Special Projects Director at GLB Health Centers and has worked on LGBT issues with staff, students. parents, and the community–vital role for LGBT youth in Saginaw. GLB Health Centers is recognized for its contributions to the awareness of LGBT issues. They provide health care in the Mid-Thumb region, especially those who are under-served, uninsured, or under-insured. Nobody will be turned away based on ability to pay.