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2019 Award Recipients


Trailblazer Award:
Barbra C. Siperstein

For decades, Barbra "Babs" Siperstein fought tirelessly for the LGBTQ community. Most recently, she was the force behind the passage of a law allowing transgender individuals to change the gender marker on their birth certificate—a huge victory for our community. The Babs Siperstein Law, as it is now known, was signed by Gov. Murphy and went into effect Feb. 1. Just two days later, Babs passed away following a long, brave battle with cancer. Babs will be the first recipient of the brand new North Jersey Pride Trailblazer Award, which her daughter will accept on her behalf. Henceforth, the honor will be known as the "Barbra Siperstein Trailblazer Award," given each year to a champion of transgender equality. 

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Outstanding Ally Award:
Sara Cunningham

When Sara Cunningham's son came out to her, she struggled with acceptance, feeling as though she was forced to choose between her strong Christian faith and her child. In the end, she chose her son—but she went much further. Saddened to learn that there were same-sex couples whose parents refused to attend their weddings, she posted an offer on Facebook to "stand in" as a mother at LGBTQ ceremonies. In 2017, she founded Free Mom Hugs, a nonprofit that provides support and resources to LGBTQ people and their families. We are thrilled that Sara will be with us on June 9th to accept the Outstanding Ally Award in person! 

Vanguard Award:
Stonewall Veterans Association

If it were not for the Stonewall Veterans, there would be no Pride to celebrate. Fifty years ago, on a warm June night, a group of gays and lesbians refused to submit to arrest and humiliation simply because of who they loved. They stood up and resisted—giving birth to the modern LGBTQ equality movement. Every year since that night in 1969, cities and towns around the globe have taken to the streets to celebrate the anniversary of Pride. This year, we could think of no more deserving organization to recognize—and we are so excited to announce that the Stonewall Veterans will be with us on June 9th to accept the North Jersey Pride Vanguard Award in person! 

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