Omar Sharif Jr. is an Egyptian-Canadian actor, public-figure, and grandson to international icons. He faced a barrage of condemnation, criticism and threats of violence in the Arab world after he wrote a commentary in which he came out in 2012. Most of this negativity was spurred on by the Arabic media’s demonization of his gay identity. Passionate about equal and human rights, Omar feels a responsibility to advocate on behalf of – and provide a voice for - those still silenced by fear or repression internationally.
Art Rodriguez and Stephen Chavez are in a domestic partnership where they not only share the love they have for each other but their love for food. They live in Los Angeles where together they co-founded LatinoFoodie; a popular website that highlights trends in food and beverage.
The Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer is Executive of the Office for Health and Wholeness Advocacy of Wider Church Ministries in the national offices of the United Church of Christ (UCC), as well as, Executive Director of UCAN Inc, the United Church of Christ HIV & AIDS Network. Rev. Schuenemeyer provides leadership in U.S. and globally on HIV & AIDS and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender concerns. Mike was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 1984.
Ross Murray is the Director of News and Faith Initiatives at GLAAD, where he amplifies the voices of LGBT-affirming communities of faith and LGBT people of faith. He speaks and writes frequently about the relationship between religion and LGBT people. He has written and appeared on numerous media outlets, such as CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post, Huffington Post, and Religion News Service. Ross holds a BA and an MA in religion, as well as an MBA.
Nanette Lee Miller is West Coast Partner-in-Charge of Assurance Services at Marcum LLP and head of the national accounting and advisory firm's LGBT & Non-Traditional Family Practice Group, which she founded in 2011. Based in Marcum's San Francisco office, in May 2013 Miller was named one of the Most Influential Women in Business by the San Francisco Business Times and also was the 2010 recipient of the AICPA/CalCPA Women to Watch - Experienced Leader Award.Millerhas more than 30 years experience in public accounting.
Monica Trasandes is the Director of Spanish-Language Media at GLAAD. She was born in Montevideo, Uruguay and grew up in San Diego. She has a very accepting family and lives with her partner of 11 years, Valda. As a spokesperson, she has done dozens of interviews on local, national and international news programs on CNN en Español, Telemundo, Univision and for many radio and print outlets. She is based in Los Angeles.
Wilson Cruz currently serves as a full-time GLAAD staff member and national spokesperson, having spoken about LGBT issues on MSNBC, Huffington Post Live, NBC Latino and in USA Today, among many others. He will soon be guest hosting 'Raising McCain,' the new talk show on Pivot TV hosted by Meghan McCain.
Rev. Elder Darlene Garner and Rev. Candy Holmes met in church – Darlene, at the time a local pastor for Metropolitan Community Church of Northern Virginia, and Rev. Candy, a gospel choir director at Metropolitan Community Church of Washington DC. “Our paths crossed often until one day our hearts met. We say of our life together that our hearts have journeyed together for a long time -- from 1996 to being happily married now.
Eric A. Manríquez and Juan Rivera were married in California in 2008 with a reception at the home of Christine Chávez, granddaughter of Cesar Chavez. Juan Rivera is undocumented and because of DOMA and federal immigration laws, Eric cannot sponsor him for U.S. permanent legal residency like straight couples can. Though they would love to adopt a child, the uncertainty around Juan's legal status caused by lack of federal protections as a gay couple and because of an unjust immigration system prevents the couple from doing that.