Community Spirit Awards
Brandon Packer Spirit Award
Roman Holiday has been performing in the valley for over 10 years. He remembers going to the Phoenix Pride Festival in his early years of performing and telling himself he will be on the main stage one day. That dream was able to become a reality in 2015 when bio males were now allowed to compete for the title of Mister Phoenix Pride. He lost that year and continued to qualify and compete for the title for the next four years without success. Roman finally achieved his dream and became Mister Phoenix Pride 2021. The year changed his life. Reigning with his queen Desiree DeMornay was one of the best times of his life. Currently, he is very happy performing when he can, but he is also very excited to be starting the next chapter of his life with his partner Jason.
John Bircumshaw Spirit Award
Gabe Hagen, a seasoned professional with roots in regulatory compliance within the financial services industry, is the founder of Brick Road Coffee. This queer-inclusive, community centric coffee shop in Tempe, Arizona, reflects Gabe's dedication to inclusivity and community service. Before embarking on his entrepreneurial journey with his husband. Gabe spent over a decade navigating the complex world of regulatory compliance. Gabe is an accomplished academic with bachelor's degrees in Philosophy and Political Science from Arizona State university and a masters in the Studies of aw from the University of Southern California's Gould School of Law. His rigorous academic background has informed his professional and community work A proud lowan by birth, Gabe has made a significant impact since moving to the West Coast and finally settling in Tempe. As a testament to his active community involvement, he currently serves on the Tempe Tourism Board of Directors. He holds the position of Vice Chair of the City of Tempe Neighborhood Advisory Commission. He is also a respected graduate of Tempe Leadership Class XXXVIII. Beyond his coffee business, Gabe has expanded his ventures into the LGBTQ+ sphere. He co- founded EquaLee Queer, an LGBTQ+ merchandise and design company. Further amplifying marginalized voices and creatives, he is a founding director of My Galvanized Friend, a non- profit organization. Gabe's personal and professional life beautifully intertwines, creating a rich tapestry of community service, entrepreneurship, and advocacy. He resides in Tempe with his husband and their two dogs.
Howard and Patricia Fleischman Spirit Award
Brick Road Coffee
Located in the heart of Tempe, on Rural Road and the U.S. 60, it’s safe to say Brick Road Coffee has become the heart and soul of the community they serve. Community is the foundation they are built on, and they have already proven that in several ways. They curated Coffee with the Candidates events where customers and neighbors can speak with local representatives and become more informed and empowered to use their voices to vote. They’ve continually raised money for Aunt Rita’s Organization, one-n-ten, and provided space for free testing and education events for the LGBTQ+ community. They host a monthly LGBTQ+ book club, Friend of Dorothy’s Book Club, in partnership with the Tempe Public Library. They regularly host several weekly events with local LGBTQ+ organizations, which has turned them into more of a community center that just happens to serve great coffee.
Linda Hoffman Spirit Award
Phil Werschky, originally from New Britain, Connecticut, has called Phoenix home for four and a half years. By day he is a Catastrophic Claims Property Adjuster for The Hartford Insurance Company, by night you will usually find him out on the town enjoying and supporting local drag entertainers. He is the current co-promoter of Miss Gay Scottsdale America which is a direct preliminary to Miss Gay Arizona America. In his free time, he enjoys volunteering at local events and non-profits, including the Southwest Center, Homeward Bound, The Andre House, Saving Paws Animal Rescue, and Phoenix Pride where he is proudly the Accessibility Mobility Manager for Phoenix Pride Festival and Parade. He looks forward to many more years of volunteering and working closely with the community for a better tomorrow and thanks Phoenix Pride for this distinguished honor.
John Bircumshaw Spirit Award
Eddie Broadway aka Elijah Palles is a transmasculine drag entertainer in Phoenix for 12 years. During his time he has held numerous titles, namely Mister Phoenix Pride 2014, Mister USofA MI 2017, Emperor to Reign XIII of the Imperial Court of Arizona, King Father to Reign XV of the Imperial Court of Arizona and Mr. Trans USA 2020/2021. Through his performing career, he has been an activist for transgender visibility and awareness. He was the first elected transgender emperor of the Imperial court of Arizona and enacted the Broadway Gatlyn Spectrum Grant that awards up to $5,000 annually towards an Arizona resident to assist with gender affirmation surgery. This grant has awarded $20,000 since its inception. He devotes the majority of his time fundraising, raising awareness, and being vocal for many disenfranchised communities. Eddie wears many hats in the community. He was the co-chair of Aunt Rita's AIDS Walk 2022 and currently sits on the board of the Jim Collins Foundation. He has been a Phoenix Pride volunteer since 2015 working primarily with the entertainment committee. He is a Positively You! ambassador and a storyteller for Valleywise Health Voices of Hope where he speaks about stigma, health disparities, and issues of transgender individuals living with HIV. He is a trauma informed, sex positive mental health therapist and works primarily with the LGBTQ community.
Easley’s Spirit Award
Tempe Public Library
Tempe Public Library has a mission to inspire exploration, discover, enrichment, and engagement for anyone who wants to use the library services. The library works to be inclusive of all members of the community and encourage a sense of belonging for everyone. When library director Jessica Jupitus joined Tempe Public Library at the end of 2021, she connected with Brick Road Coffee to co-host a new LGBTQ+ book club, Friends of Dorothy. They began hosting queer local author events. The library partnered with Equality AZ to provide space their programming in the library including Civic Advocacy Jam and Ask Smart People Smart Questions. To find out more about Tempe Public Library, check out tempepubliclibrary.org.
Kirk Baxter Spirit Award
Since 1998, Spectrum Medical has been a leading medical provider in the Phoenix region. We strive to be a leader in medicine through clinical excellence and personal care. As medicine continues to evolve, our mission remains the same: to provide expert care to all while doing our part to help end the local HIV Epidemic. As a practice dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community, Spectrum Medical is proud to be a safe space for every “body!” We recognize everybody is unique, and we are dedicated to ensuring our patients know they have options to achieve their optimum health. Our supportive and compassionate staff is committed to our patient’s safety and success through trust, respect, and empowerment. We are incredibly honored to be receiving this award from the community we serve.
BJ Bud Spirit Award
Drag Story Hour
Drag Story Hour- Arizona was founded in 2019 with the aim of supporting diversity and inclusivity in early literacy. What began as a single-story hour has grown into an organization that has presented over 30 story hour events both in person across Arizona, from Bisbee to Flagstaff, and online. It is the official Arizona chapter of Drag Story Hour, which began in 2015 and has now grown to more than 50 chapters around the world. Drag Story Hour captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where everyone can be their authentic selves!
Kirk Baxter Spirit Award
Identity Hormones & Healthcare
Identity Hormones & Healthcare is the LGBTQ+ Primary Care clinic for all your healthcare needs. Our Clinic Director, Michael Jaorasdr, Certified Family Nurse Practitioner started Identity Hormones & Healthcare in July 2021 after a long career with Mayo clinic, Ohio State University Medical Center and a lifetime of trying to find an LGBTQ+ provider who understands first-hand the needs of the community. He wanted to create a safe, dedicated, and welcoming space for LGBTQ+ patients and our allies to meet any of their healthcare concerns including sexual health counseling and STI testing, HIV Management, PrEP management, condition management, hormone replacement, gender affirming care, weight loss and general health maintenance. Identity hormones built on the foundation that healthcare should be accessible and customized to you, that is why Identity Hormones & Healthcare accepts same day appointments and the ability for patients to walk in any time they need something. No more waiting weeks to get in to see your provider, stop by Phoenix's premier LGBTQ+ Clinic today!
Mayor Phil Gordon Spirit Award
Equality Arizona is a non-profit organization dedicated to making sure LGBTQ+ people in Arizona have the opportunity, capacity, and confidence to make change as advocates, voters, and civic leaders.
Tish Tanner Spirit Award
Desiree A. DeMornay
Dana Randolph is From New Orleans, LA and creates the illusion of Desiree DeMornay for the last 30 plus years. She is 50 years old and an 8-time National Title holder. Winning pageants like Miss USofA At Large 2011, Continental Plus 2006, Renaissance Plus 2005 and Most recently Miss Black Universe 2019. On March 12, 2022, she had the Pleasure of being Miss Phoenix Pride along with Roman Holiday for Mister. She got to travel state meeting new and interesting people. Gaining New Allies for our LGBTQIA while Raising Monies for Education and Homelessness. Working with different Charities like Aunt Rita's and Joshua Tree. One of her most Fulling Reign in her 30 years as an entertainer. She is Thankful to the Community for stepping in with Love and Kindness while she fights Cancer. For Raising Monies for her to live. She is Forever Grateful to this Community and the Phoenix Pride Organization and its staff for their Tireless Efforts to Insure a Better Community for All.
Johnny is originally from New York and moved to Phoenix in 2005. Through working at a local bar in Phoenix, Johnny formed a friendship that allowed him the opportunity to volunteer with Phoenix Pride. He first started volunteering in 2016 by assisting with managing the Community Stage. In 2018, he became the Community Stage Manager. Since 2019, Johnny has been the Assistant Entertainment Manager for Phoenix Pride and Rainbows Festival. Johnny has always been passionate about Phoenix Pride and its Scholarship Program.
Johnny has formed many friendships through Phoenix Pride. Still, because of friendships made during COVID and the lockdown, his appreciation and commitment to Phoenix Pride have significantly increased thanks to those individuals. He is looking forward to forming more friendships by continuing to volunteer with Phoenix Pride.
Tito’s Handmade Vodka
Brayden Haberman is a second-year medical student at Creighton University School of Medicine in Phoenix. He plans on pursuing a residency in emergency medicine following graduation, and he plans on volunteering with various organizations to provide queer-competent care following his training. Brayden is originally from rural Nebraska, and he fell in love with Phoenix when he moved here for medical school. In his free time, Brayden enjoys going to drag shows and meeting other members of the queer community here in Phoenix.
Pamela L. Kirby
I am currently a 3rd year medical student at the University of Arizona College of Medicine- Phoenix. I am a Phoenix native and have thoroughly enjoyed growing up in the desert! Ever since a young age, I knew I wanted to become a doctor. It wasn’t until I attended the University of Arizona in Tucson for undergrad when I realized that I had a passion for queer health. I have been heavily involved in clinical volunteering with LGBTQ+ patients and am currently conducting a couple of research projects geared towards improving LGBTQ+ cultural and clinical competencies of our future healthcare providers. I also enjoy practicing medicine globally and would like to step into LGBTQ+ advocacy in the future. With whatever specialty I choose to pursue, I would love to incorporate aspects of gender-affirming care into my clinical practice. In my free time, I love to go to the gym, hike, do yoga, meditate, and care for my houseplants!
Shay Morrow (they/them) is a Master of Science graduate student at Capella University. Their field of study is Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and they currently hold a 4.0 GPA. They have undergraduate degrees in Psychology (BofS) and Electronics (AAS). Shay will become a licensed associate counselor (LAC) upon graduating and plans to work with LGBTQ+ individuals once practicing. Shay has done volunteer work with Equality Arizona, The Trevor Project, and OnenTen, and has a deep motivation to make a difference for the LGBTQ+ community. They are so very thankful to be honored with the Phoenix Pride Scholarship and will continue to work to pay this honor forward!
In May 2023, Jordan Davis-Wiley completed her freshman year at the University of Southern California. She performed soundly in her Business of Cinematic Arts major having obtained a 3.66 GPA and being named to the undergraduate Dean’s List for the Marshall School of Business. Jordan prioritized her extra time, albeit limited, to positively impact others. She was elected to the Marshall Women’s Leadership Board, attended regular meetings with the Black Student Assembly advocating for universal programming, and volunteered with the Film and Television Writers of USC to promote all forms of diversity in front of and behind the camera. Recently, Jordan discovered Troy Camp, USC’s student-run philanthropic mentorship program for south Los Angeles youth and is investigating ways to support it as a natural complement to her years with, and current work as a counselor for, Friendly Pines Camp.
Jordan is an avid reader of fantasy and adventure novels, co-founder of Nickel Berry Works, a publishing company, and is the author of its first publication, Dreamcatcher. If asked, Jordan would tell you that “as a student, I am pushing the academic boundaries and challenging what used to be the status quo. As a leader, I am engaged. I take every opportunity to participate in discussions about education, economics, and social justice to confront the inequities of access for marginalized communities and its impact on our society’s socio-economic fabric.
McKenzie Productions Foundation
I have been working as a special education teacher for the past 8 years and will continue to while working on my Masters of Business Administration at ASU. I have worked to educate myself on LGBTQ+ issues by being in community with the LGBTQ+ community. During my teaching career, despite the political climate I have worked with the students that need the most behavior support and I have created inclusive spaces in my classrooms where we can examine our prejudices and educate ourselves about our peers and community. With this scholarship I want to continue to advocate for marginalized groups through pursuing a higher education to serve those which have been "othered
Kai Graham they/them pronouns is currently pursuing a Master’s in Social Work and a Master’s in Public Administration at ASU, and plan to graduate with both in the upcoming Spring 2024 semester. Long term, I hope to combine a diverse knowledge of the many influences across a person’s life, from the individual to their systemic context, to empower and strengthen community well-being. I am passionate about issues of social justice and have a strong desire to continue to learn and grow in this area in addition to connecting with other like-minded individuals and communities. On top of this, I also love spending time with and learning more about the people around me, exploring and being physically active, and coming up with and creating new ideas. I am extremely grateful to have been selected as a recipient of this scholarship, which I view as an excellent display of the connection and support that so often thrives within the LGBTQ+ community. Despite all the challenges we face, our community remains strong, with each of us holding immense value and showcasing remarkable resilience.
Min Gao recently graduated from Idyllwild Arts Academy in California, earning both a high school diploma and a Certificate in the Arts. Min enjoys the visual arts: creating sculptures, storytelling with animations, and drawing illustrations. Min aspires to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree from Arizona State University and hopes to help various communities someday.
Frida Noyola Gomez
Being selected as a 2023 Phoenix Pride Scholarship Recipient is an incredible honor, I am extremely thankful for the recognition and the chance to be a part of a welcoming and supportive community. I'm now a sophomore at my community college, where I'm excited to further my education and professional goals in the business and healthcare sectors with the aim of one day holding a position of leadership in the field. By being awarded this scholarship, I would have the tools and assistance I need to accomplish my goals and encourage the growth of a more just and equal society.
Sean Dolan (He/Him) originates from Fargo, North Dakota, where he learned to thoughtfully explore the thriving ecosystems along the Red River Valley. Access to Midwest clay gave him a means of self-expression and ceramics remains a meaningful outlet for him. He intends to apply these values at ASU Tempe in the Masters of Urban and Environmental Planning program to inform his utopian mindset. He anticipates exploring into the future with his partner, Tyler.
Kelsey Newbold (she/her) is a proud Arizonian and member of the LGBTQ+ community. She was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona and currently lives in Tempe with her partner, Sabrina, stepdaughters, Reagan and Charlie, and dogs, Bruno, and Sasha. Kelsey is currently a 4th year medical student at Midwestern University in Glendale and is pursuing a career as an Emergency Medicine Physician. Kelsey served as the Co-President of Midwestern University’s Gender Sexuality Alliance organization where she organized many educational events on LGBTQ+ healthcare and community service events including fundraisers benefitting One n Ten, Phoenix Pride and Trans Spectrum of Arizona. In addition, Kelsey serves as a committee member on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Curriculum Task Force where she works with her school’s administration to promote LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum changes. Kelsey is currently working on a research project focusing on the impacts of LGBTQ+ inclusive healthcare in medical school curriculum. She is honored to be selected as a recipient of the 2023 Phoenix Pride Scholarship and looks forward to continuing her advocacy work and representing our community as one of the 3% of doctors that identify as LGBTQ+.
Veteran Scholarship Fascinations
John M. Kubrock is a former US Navy Torpedomans Mate 3 rd Class (TM3) who is currently enrolled at Yavapai Community College and pursuing an Associate of Applied Science degree in Paralegal Studies (AAS). John is involved in various volunteer organizations and service projects to include organizing food drives and volunteering at local shelters. He shows a genuine commitment to giving back to the community, with a strong sense of civic responsibility. John has a deep interest in the law and wants to make a positive impact on the legal system and help those in need - especially in marginalized and underrepresented populations. As he progresses in his studies, John plans to volunteer his time at local legal aid clinics and support pro bono programs to ensure that everyone has equal access to justice. In the long term, John is interested in attending law school and becoming an attorney.
Athletic Scholarship PGFFL
My name is Lucia Pease-Wingenter. I am graduating from Millennium High School in the West Valley. I have earned the Fine Arts Seal due to my involvement in choir all four years. I also have been a West-Mec student and am now a certified dental assistant. This summer will be my third as a lifeguard at my city pool. I am passionate about the environment and am a vegetarian. My plan is to attend the University of Arizona, where I will major in Elementary Education and minor in ASL. I am a proud ally and want my classroom to be affirming of all children. Thank you for your faith in me!
Athletic Scholarship Swire Coca-Cola
I am a first generation Latinx student at ASU. I am majoring in psychology, and I am a proud student athlete as a member of the ASU Stunt Devils. I will be entering my junior year of college, and as I progress through my degree, I know that I plan to focus on better mental health awareness for the underrepresented and disadvantaged communities including Latin, LGBTQ+, Religious Diversity, other First Gen Students, and students with disabilities.