Pride St. Louis honored their 2016 community service award winners at its annual Pride Kick Off Party on June 5 at the Magnolia Café and The Stage at KDHX in Grand Center. In addition to the award, the honorees will be riding in this year's Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals Grand Pride Parade. St. Louis' LGBTQIA+ PrideFest will be held June 24-26 downtown at Soldier's Memorial.

Metro Trans Umbrella Group

The Jim Hoefer Award is presented to an organization that best exemplifies what it means to serve St. Louis’ LGBT Community.

Following St. Louis PrideFest 2013, it was very apparent to trans leaders and activists that there was a critical need for a larger trans presence and concomitant more empowered trans leader-ship. After much passionate discussion, in July of 2013, a small group of local trans and gender non-conforming (GNC) organizers pooled hopes and desires for a greater Metro Trans community, and The Metro Trans Umbrella Group or MTUG was formed.Originally a meet up group that did both advocacy and visibility, MTUG quickly grew to greater capabilities and capacity, partner-ing with the Locker Room trans masculine support group and the Powder Room trans feminine support group from the old LGBT Center of St. Louis (now known as FemSpec), adding its own Facebook page, website, and later Twitter and Instagram. A corner-stone of the work MTUG does is its cultural competency regarding supporting GNC and trans people. In 2014, MTUG added an additional support group. The Expression Spectrum is a support group for trans identified, non-binary people, QT Ability for queer trans folks who identify as having a disability . MTUG is its own 501c3 status nonprofit and the only non-profit in the Metro Area specifically run by trans folks dedicated to serving and building power for transgender individuals. MTUG also gives back to the community by sponsoring the Missouri GSA Net-work, Queer & Trans People of Color St. Louis, and maintaining the first-in-the-nation Transgender Memorial Garden in the Grove.

Lauren Rapp

The Chuck Charleston Award is presented to a former member of Pride St. Louis who has dedicated themselves and extraordinary amount of energy to ensuring that the Pride movement is further strengthened through their work both in the community and certainly on behalf of Pride St. Louis.

Lauren Rapp served on the board of Pride St. Louis from 2008-2012, but her involvement in the organization began well before that time. According to Lauren, it started on a fateful Sunday in 2007 when she met CJ Saenz, then president of the organization. Lauren was drawn to his enthusiasm and (sometimes super) big ideas. She assisted in producing a regional Pride conference and was hooked. In 2008, Lauren won the title of Ms. Pride. This new opportunity to engage with the board spurred her interest to join. Once on the board, Lauren found her niche in Community Engagement. She saw PSL as an organization that could serve to connect people from around the community, the state, and the region. One of her first efforts was to revitalize the lapsed children’s area. After this initial success, she set her sights on bringing together all sectors of the community with the Unity Plaza. These efforts have been expanded and continue to thrive at PrideFest. Outside of the festival, Lauren looked to develop year-round opportunities to engage with the community. She planned several trivia nights in conjunction with community nonprofit partners and established the popular Pride Idol event. Since leaving the board, Lauren has earned her Masters in Nonprofit Management, which was influenced by her time as a PSL board member. She enjoys marching in the PrideFest Grand Parade with the Band Together Color Guard and relishes being one of the first faces vendors see when entering festival grounds.



The Lisa Wagaman Lifetime Community Service Award is presented to an individual who has spent much of their life to further the pride movement and LGBT causes.

St. Louis native Dennis Gorg had the unique opportunity to begin managing events early on. One of his first big breaks was being hired by Rev. Jesse Jackson to handle his personal logistics and com-munications as part of Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign.

After forming his own events management company, Integrated Marketing Solutions, Dennis quickly became known world-wide for producing complicated, large scale public events, national marketing, and sponsorship programs.

Some of his credits include growing AOL from 1 million members to over 12 million by creating their “Disk Bounty program”, The Pori Jazz Festival in Finland, USA Olympic Torch Relay, Bill Clinton’s Presidential Campaigns, The Phish New Year’s Eve Celebration, Earth Day on The Mall in Washington DC, Paul McCartney’s World Tour, handling crisis management for the past six Democratic National Conventions, and the past 30 years of Farm Aid concert events. Dennis is the proud owner of Coffee Cartel, West End Tan, and Tahaa’ Twisted Tiki and produces Halloween in the CWE and Midtown Taste Art Fair.

Dennis’ work within the LGBTQIA+ community includes serving on the Board of Directors for St. Louis Effort for AIDS, Pride St. Louis, and The Millennium March on Washington for Equality, in addition to serving on countless committees. Through his businesses and personally, Dennis continues to sponsor, fund, and support myriad LGBTQIA+ events and projects including PROMO, the AIDS Quilt, Doorways, Growing American Youth, The ACLU, GLSEN, Team St. Louis, PFLAG, PAWS, EFA, AIDS Walk, North American Gay Volleyball Association, QFest, Black Pride, MEPSI, Pride St. Charles, MTUG, Southern Poverty Law Center, It Gets Better, and The Trevor Project.

Andrew Shaughnessy

The Felton T. Day Community Service Award is presented to a person – not associated with Pride St. Louis – whose service to the LGBTQIA+ community has gone above and beyond, exemplifying the spirit of leadership and service in one’s community.

Andrew Shaughnessy is a campaigner, human rights activist, community organizer, and public policy advocate who has worked both here and abroad to further the equality movement. The Ste. Genevieve, MO native holds his B.A. in Philosophy from Missouri State University and his Masters in Human Rights from the School of Public Policy at University College London.

Andrew started at PROMO in 2010 as St. Louis and Southeast Missouri Regional Field Organizer. Having successfully gained LGBT non-discrimination protections in 9 Missouri municipalities he moved positions to Senior Field Organizer for the statewide LGBT equality organization, and later served as Manager of Public Policy for PROMO Fund.

During his tenure as Manager, Andrew worked alongside many LGBT and ally Missourians to include 125 LGBT welcoming policies in 53 Missouri hospitals, guidance from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services in recognizing same-sex married lesbians on their children’s birth certificates, helping to put an end to transgender exclusions in health insurance for Missourians, recognition of same-sex Missouri marriage licenses for spouse benefits with the United States Social Security Administration, and much more.

Andrew accepted a position with the Missouri Foundation for Health in February 2016 as a Health Policy Officer for their expanding coverage mission. He is thrilled to continue to work on improving the health of Missourians, especially in gaining access to health care insurance.

When Andrew isn’t working, he enjoys reading, writing, and traveling. He loves anything that involves the outdoors and tries to get himself to the theatre and symphony as often as possible.


Pride St. Louis is pleased to honor the members of the Democratic caucus of the Missouri Senate as this year’s Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals Grand Pride Parade Grand Marshals. State Senators Maria Chapelle-Nadal, Shalonn “Kiki” Curls, Jason Holsman, Joseph Keaveny, Jamilah Nasheed, Jill Schupp, Scott Sifton and Gina Walsh wielded the national media’s attention with their herculean and record-breaking 39 hour filibuster of Senate Joint Resolution 39. The “religious freedom” legislation would have asked voters to amend Missouri’s constitution to protect certain individuals and businesses who cite religious beliefs to deny service to same-sex couples. While the legislation ultimately passed the Senate by a vote of 21-11, the “Mighty Eight’s” efforts prepared the ground for the House Emerging Issues Committee to kill the legislation with a 6-6 bipartisan vote on April 27. Please join us in honoring these true Missouri heroes and equality advocates!

Click here to learn about the namesakes of the Pride St. Louis Community Service Awards.



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