San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, CA, USA
Heroes, Pioneers and Trailblazers 2010 Honoree: Sandra Usi Ramirez
Lambda Archives of San Diego gala to honor 10 members of local LGBT community
Esther Rubio-Sheffrey – Staff Writer | Wed, 02/24/2010 – 12:27pm
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.
Ten key players in the LGBT community will be honored Feb. 26 at a
Heroes, Pioneers and Trailblazers gala at The Center that is sponsored
by Lambda Archives of San Diego (LASD).
In the days leading up to the gala, SDGLN will profile each of these
individuals and provide our readers with an inside peak at what this
award means to each honoree.
2010 Honoree Sandra Usi Ramirez
Sandra Usi Ramirez is a native of Acapulco, Mexico. At age 16, Ramirez
made her transition.
“My family didn’t agree at first,” Ramirez dsof. “They knew that
people like me suffer a lot in many ways because too much
discrimination exists in our society. But they have always loved me
and have accepted me no matter what.”
Seeking a better life and freedom from many things, Ramirez moved to
the U.S. 14 years ago. As a male to female transgender, Ramirez has
spent her time in San Diego working tirelessly with the Latino
transgender community. She provides education, support and, most
importantly, a message to the transgender community that they do not
often hear: you are not alone.
Ramirez has gathered and shared information on many issues including:
transgender legal rights, immigration and naturalization issues,
safety, health care, HIV prevention and support, psychology and
self-esteem. For the past six years, she has also facilitated and been
instrumental in bringing education to the weekly transgender
discussion group that is now part of The Center’s Latino Services. She
has also worked closely the former Binational AIDS Advocacy in San
Diego, Bienestar and Christie’s Place.
Her motivation to work extensively with the Latino transgender
community comes from her sister Sandra, who through many difficult
times in Ramirez’s life has been very supportive. She has been awarded
the Champion of Pride Award for her work with the Latino transgender
community and has also been honored with the 2003 Angel Award from
Christie’s Place, and the 2005 Transgender Day of Empowerment Award.
“This award means for me is personally a special prize,” Ramirez said.
“I want to dedicate it to my family and friends who have always
supported me and the Transgender Group 2000. I am so proud to serve my
community and I also want to thank the agencies that support
transgender needs while also serving the greater LGBT community.”
Personally Ramirez would like to thank the following individuals for
their support in various group causes: Carolina Ramos Terry Albritton,
Robin Slade, Maricela Escobar, Amador Cerda, Lizbeth Pineda, Victor
About Lambda Archives of San Diego
LASD’s mission is to collect, preserve and teach the history of LGBT
people in the San Diego and Northern Baja California region. Although
most of the collections date to post-1970, there are original
materials dating back to the 1930s.
LASD believes that history is best served by the records and cultural
artifacts of those people who are directly involved in its events and
so its staff has dedicated itself to preserving and interpreting this
important historical record since its establishment in 1987. LASD is
an all-volunteer, nonprofit corporation governed by a volunteer board
of directors and also one of the largest collections of LGBT history
in the country.
LASD Honoree Selection Process
The fundraising gala — which debuted in 2007 — recognizes
individuals, both locally and nationally, who have made a difference
in the lives of LGBT persons through their dedication, commitment,
financial resources and/or political participation.
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. As is customary for the
board, nominees who had received other major honors this year or who
could not attend the event were held out for future consideration.
Although no public call for nominations currently exists, the board
considers any nomination from the community to be equal to those made
by its members.
Previous honorees include business professionals, activists and people
like state Sen. Christine Kehoe, Cleve Jones, Tom Reise, Fritz Klein
and SDGLN contributor Ben Cartwright.
For information about purchasing tickets to the 2010 gala, visit
SDGLN’s Events Calendar
© Copyright 2009-2010 San Diego Gay and Lesbian News