We are in the presence of royalty, ladies and gentlemen of Dayton, for the Pride Court for this weekend’s festivities has been selected.
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The Greater Dayton LGBT Center started a new tradition for 2017 by selecting individuals from four different categories who contribute to the local LGBT community for the inaugural Faces of Pride Court. Those categories are Male and Female Drag Performers, Business or Government, Transgender Male or Female, and Allies.
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"There are so many people who contribute to the LGBT community, it's hard to pick just one person each year. Instead of naming one person this year, we decided to select one person from individual categories," said Greater Dayton LGBT Center Board President Randy Phillips.
Though all are excellent choices, we’re a little partial towards one in particular.
A longtime performer in the Dayton LGBT community as a female illusionist, Misty Knight volunteered her talent for related causes on many occasions. The holder of many area, state and national titles, the acclaimed entertainer has continued to perform while valiantly battling cancer. Noted not only for her talent, Miss Knight has shown support compassion and fighting spirit benefiting the community.
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The Director of the City Commission Office, Kery Gray was appointed by Mayor Nan Whaley as LGBTQ Liaison in 2015. Gray and his husband were also the first gay couple to be legally married in Dayton moments after the Supreme Court's landmark decision that year.
“Kery has educated numerous elected officials over the years, turning many into ardent allies of the movement,” wrote Whaley in her nomination of Gray.
Phillips called him, “One of our unsung heroes in local government.”
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Petey Peterson, who serves as the first ever Director for the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Queer & Ally (LGBTQA) Affairs at Wright State University, originally earned a bachelors degree in Communication Studies & Child Adult and Family services at WSU.
From there Peterson went on to earn a masters in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies from Iowa State, and is a member of the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals. Peterson is also a board member for the Greater Dayton LGBT Center.
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“Where would we be without our allies who help us from day to day?” Phillips asked.
There may be no greater ally than our own Dayton.com reporter Amelia Robinson, who has shown support in covering numerous events and causes benefiting the LGBT community. Whether through her stories or volunteering her radiant personality and time, Robinson's contributions have not gone unnoticed.
“Amelia has been out there in the community highlighting our events and causes. She has certainly been an ally to our community,” said Phillips.
“I get to wear a sash and that's great, but the true honor is being able to tell Dayton's stories,” Robinson said of the honor.