REV. JUDITH BOLI is a priest and pastor at Saginaw’s St. Paul Episcopal Church. In 1987, Rev. Boli and her late husband helped to organize “Citizens United Against Violence” to combat the anti-gay violence against Whisper’s, a short-lived Saginaw gay bar. Her church offers: free meal each Sunday and other food services; counseling; monthly HIV/AIDS education and free HIV testing through Hearth Home and welcomes everybody. Rev. Boli adds, “At St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, the ground is level at the foot of the cross.”
DAVID M. TERRASI is a school and clinical psychologist who advocates for people with disabilities as well as sexual orientation or gender identity. David Terrasi and Victor Pafford were the first gay couple legally married in Bay County in 2015. Terrasi was elected as a Bay City Commissioner in November 2015 and he was instrumental in the passing of the Bay City’s non-discrimination ordinance.
DIGNITY TRI-CITIES was a chapter of Dignity, a national organization of gay and lesbian Catholics, though all were welcome. Dignity Tri-Cities sponsored meetings and activities in Bay City, Saginaw and Mid-land: support and informative sessions, speakers, dances, and social activities. They assisted in the founding of local LGBT and ally groups and in organizing other activities in the community. Michael Brancheau, the first president at Dignity Tri-Cities, accepts the award.
DR. LUCY MERCIER is a professor and depart-ment chair of Social Work and Youth Services at Saginaw Valley State University. Dr. Mercier is also director at SVSU’s Pride Center, which strives to better the lives of individuals who iden-tify as gender/sexual/romantic minorities through education, awareness, advocacy and re-sources. Thru Dr. Mercier, Perceptions partnered with the PRIDE Center at SVSU to hold the first SOGI (Sexual Orientation Gender Identity) LGBT Youth Action Summit in April 2016.
MORGAN WHITMAN, a 23-year old Bay City trans-gender man, is an organizer, advocate and a spokesperson for local transgender community. He is the new co-leader of Perceptions’ transgender discussion group, where he leads and determines discussion topics and speakers. He spoke at public meetings regarding Bay City’s nondiscrimination ordinance.
RACHEL PRENZLER is an outpatient therapist at M.P.A. Group, a behavioral health treatment facility in Bay City. Prenzler has been involved in the LGBT community since 2007, helped to set up the Perceptions transgender sup-port group and worked with University of Michigan’s comprehensive gender center. The M.P.A. Group works with local transgender people who are transitioning – the process of changing one’s gender presentation permanently to accord one’s internal sense of one’s gender.