On Saturday, March 28, Equality Virginia will recognize the 2020 class of OUTstanding Virginians – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and allied individuals and organizations taking the lead on moving equality forward in the Commonwealth – at the 17th Annual Commonwealth Dinner at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.
More than 1,000 people attend the Commonwealth Dinner every year, which features a silent auction and raffle to support Equality Virginia, the state’s leading LGBTQ advocacy organization.
“OUTstanding Virginians are chosen based on their dedication to increasing equality in our state,” said Vee Lamneck, executive director of Equality Virginia. “We’re proud to work alongside so many committed individuals and organizations and look forward to celebrating the honorees at the Commonwealth Dinner.”
The 2020 OUTstanding Virginians include:
Michael Sutphin is Vice Mayor of Blacksburg and a member of the Blacksburg Town Council. While attending Virginia Tech, he served as news editor and reporter for the Collegiate Times and as president of the university’s LGBT Alliance. He has served on numerous boards and committees, including the Blacksburg Planning Commission, the Metropolitan Planning Organization Board, and Equality Virginia’s Board of Directors.
Crystal Suber owns Crystal Clear Financial Solutions, an insurance and financial services firm in Richmond. She is a highly-active leader in the Greater Richmond community and can often be found volunteering at a variety of LGBT events. She previously served as Vice Chair on the Diversity Richmond Board, and currently serves on the boards of LGBT Democrats of Virginia, Black Pride RVA, Richmond LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce, and Baby Buns for Life Network.
Afton Bradley spent three years as the Transgender Services Program Manager at Health Brigade, formerly the Fan Free Clinic, before implementing the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood’s first Transgender Health Care Program in late 2016. As a Registered Nurse, Bradley travels the state to educate trans community members about how to access affirming healthcare and train healthcare providers about best practices for serving trans patients.
John Osterhout is the former vice president and president of Hampton Roads Pride where he skillfully navigated the organization into a new era of success. He previously served as secretary and treasurer for the Virginia Education Association’s Sexual Minority committee, now the LGBT Caucus. He also works with the Virginia Education Association’s LGBTQ+ Work Group to develop and provide trainings on how to create local school systems that are more inclusive of LGBTQ students, teachers, and faculty. He remains an active volunteer in the Hampton Roads community.
Bianca Rey was born and raised in the Philippines before moving to the United States in 1998. She is currently the Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Specialist at Kaiser Permanente in the Mid-Atlantic. She is a vocal and visible advocate for the transgender community, which includes the leadership role she has held with Capital Trans Pride for three years and volunteering with the Capital Pride Alliance. She is also a member of Equality Virginia’s Transgender Advocacy Speaker’s Bureau and has served as a speaker for four years.
Elizabeth Fogarty is a proud ally and tireless volunteer well-known for her commitment to building relationships among faith and LGBT communities across the state. She was a longtime organizer for People of Faith for Equality in Virginia – Northern Virginia Network, and continues to serve as a facilitator for Metro DC PFLAG’s Arlington community group and to co-chair Equality UUCA, the LGBTQ+ ally group at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington. Fogarty also served on Equality Virginia’s Board of Directors.
The Virginia Equality Bar Association (VEBA) is a statewide organization of legal professionals working to secure equality for the LGBTQ community. While the group provides a variety of trainings and resources to the legal community and general public, VEBA is best known for hosting free Name and Gender Marker Change Legal Clinics for members of the transgender community. Originally a collaboration between VEBA and Equality Virginia, the legal clinics are hosted multiple times a year throughout the state and are an important resource offered at Equality Virginia’s ongoing Transgender Information and Empowerment Summit (TIES) events.
Equality Virginia has recognized OUTstanding Virginians at its Commonwealth Dinner since 2009.
For more information and tickets to the Commonwealth Dinner, visit equalityvirginia.org.