Galperin, O'Farrell, Bonin campaigns
On July 1, Los Angeles will have three openly gay elected officials, (L-R) Controller-elect Ron Galperin and councilmen-elect Mitch O'Farrell and Mike Bonin.
When the city's new elected officials are sworn in on July 1, Los Angeles will reach a milestone by having three who are openly gay.
That point was driven home Friday with the Los Angeles City Council's celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Heritage Month. L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, the first openly gay man elected to the city council, led the celebration. He was joined by Councilmen-elect Mike Bonin and Mitch O'Farrell and Controller-elect Ron Galperin. (Rosendahl's final day in office is June 30.)
Bonin, currently Rosendahl's chief of staff, will succeed his boss in the District 11 Westside seat. O'Farrell, a former aide to Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti, was elected to his forme boss' District 13 seat, which stretches from Echo Park to Hollywood. And Galperin is believed to be the first openly gay person elected to citywide office in L.A.
During the City Hall ceremony, Rosendahl and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presented the Hope, Dream and Spirit awards to singer Adam Lambert, attorney Mia Yamamoto and Rodney Scott, president of Christopher Street West/LA PRIDE.
Speaking to the Chamber, Lambert, a former "American Idol" contestant, said he feels a sense of duty to reach out to gay and lesbian youths who may feel ostracized from their families or communities.
"What I realized was I could use my celebrity, I could use my platform for good and I could use it to help people feel safe and to feel included and to feel like they had a voice," Lambert said.
Councilman Richard Alarcon noted how far Los Angeles has come in its acceptance of the LGBT community.
"The first day I took office 20 years ago, it was the day that (former Councilwoman) Jackie Goldberg kissed her partner right there and it made the front page of the LA Times and it was a shocking moment for the city," he said.
During the month of June, City Hall be lit up in lavender, a color associated with the LGBT community. The pylons at LAX will also be lavender through June 6.