Honorary Committee

U.S. Representative John Lewis

Often called"one of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement ever produced," John Lewis has dedicated his life to protecting human rights, securing civil liberties, and building what he calls "The Beloved Community” in America.   His dedication to the highest ethical standards and moral principles has won him the admiration of many of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the United States Congress.

Lance Bass + Michael Turchin

Lance Bass is an American pop singer, dancer, actor, film and television producer, and author. He grew up in Mississippi and rose to fame as the bass singer for the American pop boy band NSYNC. 

Laura Benanti

Tony Award-winner LAURA BENANTI just completed her 2016 Tony nominated role as Amalia Balash in the hit Broadway Musical, She Loves Me. Laura also received Outer Critics Circle, Drama League and Drama Desk Award nominations for this role. 

Dustin Lance Black

Academy Award Winner Dustin Lance Black is a screenwriter, filmmaker and social activist, best known for writing the screenplay of Harvey Milk’s biopic MILK and for aiding in overturning California’s discriminatory Proposition 8

Brian Boitano

Brian Anthony Boitano is an American figure skater from Sunnyvale, California. He is the 1988 Olympic champion, the 1986 and 1988 World Champion, and the 1985–1988 U.S. National Champion.

Bruce Cohen

Bruce Cohen was born in Falls Church, Virginia, USA. He is a producer and assistant director, known for American Beauty (1999), Silver Linings Playbook (2012) and Big Fish (2003).

Wilson Cruz

Wilson Cruz, whose heritage is Puerto Rican, was born in New York City, the eldest of three brothers. Early on, his parents encouraged his interest in the theater. At age seven, Wilson began appearing in plays, among them "Cradle of Fire," "Supporting Cast," "Becoming Memories," and "The Roar of the Greasepaint...," as well as in a number of Shakespearean productions on both coasts.

US Senator Diane Feinstein

As California's senior Senator, Dianne Feinstein has built a reputation as an independent voice, working with both Democrats and Republicans to find common-sense solutions to the problems facing California and the Nation.

US Senator Kamala Harris

A lifelong public safety and civil rights leader, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris was the first African-American and first woman to serve as Attorney General of California and the second African-American woman to be elected to the United States Senate in history.

Jake Heggie

Jake Heggie is the American composer of the operas Dead Man Walking (libretto by Terrence McNally), Moby-Dick (libretto by Gene Scheer), It’s A Wonderful Life (Scheer), Great Scott (McNally), Three Decembers (Scheer), To Hell and Back (Scheer), Out of Darkness: Two Remain (Scheer), At the Statue of Venus (McNally) and The Radio Hour: A Choral Opera (Scheer).

Ty Herndon

Ty Herndon is a master of the ties that bind. The Grammy-nominated and Dove award-winning recording artist has the ability to connect with an audience far beyond his onstage performance.

Ambassador james c. Hormel + Micheal Nguyen

James C. Hormel has devoted his life to the advocacy of basic human rights and social justice. His political and philanthropic interests are in supporting individuals and organizations advancing equality and fairness, and in promoting public service. He is recognized nationally for his ability to unite people of different backgrounds and perspectives around shared values and mutual interests.

Thomas Horn

Thomas E. Horn, the director of The Bob Ross Foundation, became the Bay Area Reporter's publisher after Ross died of complications from diabetes in December 2003 at the age of 69. This month marks the paper's 42nd anniversary.

Cleve Jones

Cleve Jones is an American human rights activist, author and lecturer. Jones joined the gay liberation movement in the early 1970s. He was mentored by pioneer LGBT activist Harvey Milk and worked in Milk’s City Hall office as a student intern until Milk’s assassination in 1978.

Anne Kronenburg

Anne Kronenberg is an American political administrator and LGBT rights activist. She is best known for being Harvey Milk's campaign manager during his historic San Francisco Board of Supervisors campaign in 1977 and his aide as he held that office until he and mayor George Moscone were assassinated


Since her time in the California legislature, Congresswoman Lee has been a fierce advocate for ending HIV and ensuring an AIDS-free generation, and has been a longtime champion of LGBT rights. Since entering Congress, she has authored or co-authored every major piece of HIV/AIDS legislation including the legislative frameworks for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Congresswoman Lee’s legislation establishing a USAID special advisor for orphans and vulnerable children was enacted into law in 2009. In 2011, Congresswoman Lee formed the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus, which she co-chairs.

State Senator Mark Leno

Mark Leno is an American politician who served in the California State Senate until November 2016. A Democrat, he represented the 11th Senate District, which includes San Francisco and portions of San Mateo County.

Andrew Lippa

ANDREW LIPPA wrote the music and lyrics for Big Fish, book by John August, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, which recently played the Neil Simon Theater on Broadway. His oratorio, I Am Harvey Milk (words and music), was premiered by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and the recording, released in October, 2013, reached number 2 on the iTunes Classical Chart.

Armistead Maupin + Christopher Turner

Maupin is the author of nine novels, including the six-volume Tales of the City series, Maybe the MoonThe Night Listener and, most recently, Michael Tolliver Lives. Three miniseries starring Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney were made from the first three Tales novels. The Night Listener became a feature film starring Robin Williams and Toni Collette.

Scott Nevins & Philip Hodges

Scott Nevins is an Award winning TV/Radio Host & Personality, Comedian and Celebrity Interviewer. Scott Nevins can currently be seen every Thursday night on TruTV’s hit show “The Smoking Gun Presents” and hosting the red carpet at A-list Hollywood events for TV Land.

Philip Hodges, PhD, Managing Director, is Head of Research for BlackRock’s Factor-Based Strategies Group. He leads research for the team’s flagship factor strategies: Market Advantage and Style Advantage.

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi is the Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives for the 114th Congress.  From 2007 to 2011, Pelosi served as Speaker of the House, the first woman to do so in American history.  As the Democratic Leader, Pelosi is fighting for bigger paychecks and better infrastructure for America’s middle class families.

Stephen Schwartz

Stephen Schwartz wrote the music and lyrics for the current Broadway hit WICKED, and has also contributed music and/or lyrics to GODSPELL, PIPPIN, THE MAGIC SHOW, THE BAKER’S WIFE, WORKING (which he also adapted and directed), RAGS, and CHILDREN OF EDEN.

Michael Stipe

Michael Stipe, American, born 1960, is an artist, producer and singer/songwriter.  He fronted the band R.E.M. for 31 years, selling over 100 million records and touring the world.  As film producer he made over 25 feature films, including Spike Jonze's Being John Malkovich and Todd Haynes' Velvet Goldmine.  As music producer, the new album Sir by Fischerspooner releases this Fall.  For the past decade his personal focus is cross-medium work, incorporating video, soundscape, bronze, and photographic and digital imagery.  His new book of this work debuts in October.  He lives in New York City.

Mikkel Svane

CEO, founder, chairman and published author Mikkel Svane got together with two friends in Copenhagen, Denmark and created Zendesk, a now public software company (NYSE:ZEN) built on the notion that customer service needed to be easier and business software simpler. Mikkel loves San Francisco in general and The Tenderloin in particular. He's a father of three girls and appreciates a hand crafted cocktail and—to his daughters' great dismay—David Bowie and 1930’s blues singers.

George + Brad Takei

Many of you know me best for my portrayal of Mr. Sulu in the groundbreaking television and film series Star Trek. I've also been in 40+ feature films and what must be hundreds of television guest-starring appearances.

Frederica Von Stade

Described by the New York Times as “one of America’s finest artists and singers,” Frederica von Stade continues to be extolled as one of the music world’s most beloved figures. Known to family, friends, and fans by her nickname “Flicka,” the mezzo-soprano has enriched the world of classical music for three decades.

State Senator Scott Wiener

Elected in November 2016, Senator Scott Wiener represents District 11 in the State Senate, which includes San Francisco. Broadmoor, Colma, Daly City, and portions of South San Francisco. Senator Wiener serves on the Human Services Committee (Chair), Transportation and Housing Committee, Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee, Appropriations Committee, and Public Safety Committee.

Chely Wright

The opening chords of the first track, “Inside,” on award-winning, singer-songwriter, author, and activist Chely Wright’s new record, I AM THE RAIN, are direct, purposeful, and intense – a sound that defines the brilliant album. After more than five years away from the spotlight, and through a heroic personal and creative journey, Wright has returned with the release of a long anticipated new CD. And as she begins to sing the lyrics of “Inside,” her confidence, intelligence, and poetic ambition quickly come into focus.