Lambda Archives honoree Sara Beth Brooks is a true leader for the next generation of LGBT activists
SAN DIEGO -- They make a difference in our lives. Some are well-known activists in San Diego's LGBT community and others are working tirelessly outside the spotlight.caliphate definition
Thirteen key players in the LGBT community will be honored Friday Feb. 11 at the 2011 Heroes, Pioneers and Trailblazers gala. The event takes place at The Center and is sponsored by Lambda Archives of San Diego (LASD).
2011 Youth Award Honoree: Sara Beth Brooks
"I consider myself a California native," Brooks said. Ever since she opted to take the California high school proficiency exam in 2002, Brooks’ education has been a combination of campaign fieldwork, traveling, and community organizing, all in addition to the standard classroom environment.
Upon completing her degree, Brooks hopes to again work in the non-profit sector.
Education Through Activism
Brooks got her start in community organizing as an intern for the California Democratic Party and then for Howard Dean for America.
Brooks had moved to San Diego in October of 2008, and although she was not an active member of the community, she said. Brooks participated in San Diego’s first march on Nov. 8, and afterward turned to the internet for advocacy guidance.
"I signed up to organize San Diego’s march and one week later, on November 15, [here in San Diego] 25,000 people marched to downtown.”
More than 100 cities worldwide held simultaneous protests, and San Diego had the largest turnout.
The organizing team formed the ad-hoc group San Diego Equality Campaign (SDEC) and Brooks served as Executive Chair. She took leadership roles in the Manchester Grand Hyatt boycott campaign and Camp Courage trainings across the state, in addition to volunteer commitments outside of the LGBT community.
"Working as part of the San Diego community was wholly rewarding. "Through community meetings like the Community Leadership Council and the Marriage of the Minds, activists like me were able to organize several of the marches that happened in early 2009.
We complimented the existing, vibrant community."
"As I have traveled across California to work on LGBT issues, I have not yet run into an LGBT community that is as organized as the San Diego community," Brooks added. "The lessons I have learned from working with this community, will truly shape the rest of my life."
"Political protest is a vital part of American politics and serves many purposes," Brooks continued. "It is a chance to come together as a community and share our common values. In addition to her studies, Brooks teaches a three-hour workshop she developed on creating non-violent civil disobedience actions, including one that includes plans for arrest. "I help produce Asexual Awareness Week which is an annual visibility event," Brooks said. "I also coordinate a project that is building curriculum for teaching asexuality within the LGBT community.caliphate definition
The Asexual and Bisexual Community
At one point in her life, Brooks identified as a bisexual member of the LGBT community.
"That one word opened the doors to a whole community of people who said that they didn't feel any sexual attraction either," Brooks said. For the first time I acknowledged asexuality as part of my identity in an LGBT environment.
Brooks has written extensively about the asexual community in a series of posts for the The Bilerico Project. She encourages the LGBT community to learn more about it.
Youth, Politics, and the LGBT Movement
Most people would expect that somewhere along the way, a young person as active as Brooks was inspired by a particular person, but for Brooks, choosing an LGBT icon that has inspired her is a difficult task.
Brooks feels it is difficult to engage youth in political issues because society sends them mixed messages.
Brooks was awarded the Harvey Milk Leadership Award in 2009, and was entered into the prestigious line of saints of the San Diego Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. SDEC was also honored in 2009 by being named one of the Community Grand Marshals of San Diego Pride.
She considers Lambda Archives an important asset for the LGBT people because the community has a duty to preserve their own history.
"Lambda Archives offers the community an invaluable collection of San Diego's history and the very important role we have played in the LGBT movement," she said.
About Lambda Archives of San Diego (LASD)
LASD’s mission is to "collect, preserve and teach" the history of LGBT people in the San Diego and Northern Baja California region. LASD honoree selection process
The LASD board chooses honorees based on a criterion that focuses on diversity, by including individuals from diverse segments of the community, and from a broad spectrum of individual characteristics such as ethnicity, race, LGBT identification, etc.caliphate definition