LGBTQ Democratic Clubs Celebrate Pride

Lambda Independent Democrats honoree Kay Mackey, who died just one month after this honor, with her wife Jess Huckemeyer and LID board member Karen Merbaum on May 17. | DONNA ACETO

In May and June, the city’s queer Democratic clubs held award galas to honor individuals who have made contributions to the LGBTQ community and to kick off the Pride Season.

Brooklyn’s Lambda Independent Democrats went first on May 17, marking their 40th anniversary at Berg’n in Crown Heights.

GMHC’s Lynn Faria, an LID honoree, with Matthew McMorrow, a senior aide to Mayor Bill de Blasio. | DONNA ACETO

The group honored City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, First Lady Chirlane McCray, immigration rights attorney Luis Mancheno, Lynn Faria, the chief external affairs officer at SAGE, and Kay Mackey, the club’s vice president.

Luis Mancheno and LID board member Jared Arader. | DONNA ACETO

Sadly, just one month later, on June 16, Mackey, an attorney and longtime lesbian activist, lost her battle with ovarian cancer. Her wife, Jess Huckemeyer, the day after Mackey’s death, said, A special light in the world was extinguished last night. Kay was an amazing friend and my wife. She loved her family and her friends with a heart too big to be contained in this world. Look around you to your family and friends and remember how much they mean to you and how you are blessed to have them in your life. You are a better person for being loved. Go out and do a good deed. Make the world a better place because you are here. Look at shapes in the clouds and smile. And live your life to the fullest. It’s what Kay did.”

Brooklyn City Councilmember Jumaane Williams, a Democratic contender for lieutenant governor, at LID. | DONNA ACETO

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, honored by the Stonewall Democrats, seen here with Upper West Side Councilmember Mark Levine, Bronx State Senator Gustavo Rivera, and former Bronx Councilmember Jimmy Vacca. | DONNA ACETO

On May 31, the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City gathered at Raise New York in Kips Bay to honor Speaker Johnson, Earl Fowlkes, who chairs the Washington DC, Commission on Human Rights and is CEO of the Center For Black Equity, Cecilia Gentili, GMHC’s director of policy and public affairs, Kris Kohler, assistant director of the Mason Tenders’ District Council PAC, and former Stonewall president Rose Christ.

Earl Fowlkes with Stonewall president Rod Townsend. | DONNA ACETO

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul at the Stonewall event. | DONNA ACETO

Allen Roskoff, president of the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, with Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Cynthia Nixon and the Reverend Al Sharpton. | COURTESY OF ZELLA JONES/ MARKETXMARKET.COM

A week later, on June 4, the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club gathered at Butter in Midtown and honored Camille Joseph-Goldman, regional vice president at Charter Communications, actor Neve Campbell (“Scream,” “Party of Five”), and James Duff, the creator of “The Closer” and “Major Crimes,” and Phillip Keene, an actor on both series. The Reverend Al Sharpton keynoted the Jim Owles event.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli with former Mayor David Dinkins at the Jim Owles event. | COURTESY OF ZELLA JONES/ MARKETXMARKET.COM