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2012 Outright Award Winners & Double the Awesome!

Submitted by on 11/21/2012 – 12:42 PMNo Comment

BFA-St. Albans, the QSA of the Year at the 2012 of the Year Outright Awards

What a show! From everyone at Outright VT, THANK YOU to everyone involved in this night – especially the 300+ guest, our 39 nominees & 12 award winners, and our production crew!

Simply put, this night was fabulous!  It was a great reminder of how Outright VT truly is a community organization that draws together the best of the best of people to not only make a difference in the lives of queer youth, but celebrate our success.
Did you miss the show? Then check out the 2012 Outright Awards video montage of some of the greatest hits of the evening – please feel free to pass it along!
And, Brian Drourr, our amazing volunteer photographer also snapped a bunch of photos and you can flip through!
In total, we essentially doubled the awesome of this event.
  • We brought in around 300 guests (twice as many as in past years),
  • raised almost $10,000 for our programming with queer youth,
  • and had a cast & crew of 65 people come together to put on a full scale & classy awards show!

And, we are overjoyed to announce the 2012 Outright Award winners from the night [The winners are in BOLD!].  For a full list of the award descriptions click here:

The nominees for Student Activist of the Year were:

  • Damian Sumner – of Moretown, VT and student at Harwood Union. Nominated for being a strong, smart and supportive friend
  • Patricia Bristow-Johnson – of Burlington, VT and a student at Burlington High School. Nominated for their commitment as a Friday Night Group member. [Patricia is a thoughtful leader, a loyal friend, an open-minded thinker, and an unforgettable youth. Their energy flows through the walls at Outright and their spirit will continue to support everyone, queer and cisgendered-straight alike].
  • Seven – of Williston, VT and a home school student. Nominated for their enthusiasm of and at all Outright events.
  • Cece Waterman – of Burlington, VT and a student at Burlington High School. Nominated for their strength as a first year high school student leader.
  • and Seth Blair – of Brattleboro, VT and a student at Brattlebor Union High School. Nominated for their leadership as the the Vice President of BUHS QSA.

The 2012 nominees for Outright Volunteer of the year were:

  • Liza David of Burlington, VT for being a cool and considerate camp cook.
  • Khristian Kemp-DeLisser of Burlington, VT for being an ideal volunteer for all types events and programs. [KKD is a person who is consistently working to ensure that there is social justice in all of the communities in which they operate].
  • Randy Morey of Burlington, VT, for being a technological systems savior.
  • Rebecca Majoya of Poultney, VT for being the strongest advocate for queer youth in the Rutland area.

The 2012 nominees for College Student Activist of the year were:

  • Brian Hamel from Milton, VT but currently of New York City, for being the phoenix of the Pride Alliance. [Brian is bringing visibility to the LGBTQ community at their small university ever since they first stepped foot on campus].
  • Oscar Hughes of Polutney, VT for advocating for the end gender based violence and the teaching of consent at Green Mountain College.
  • Eliza Kelsten of Burlington, VT for leadership of Free to Be and the 10th annual the Translating Identity Conference at the University of Vermont.

Jess Kell, the first 2012 Outright Award Lil Venner Award winner! [with Lil Venner (middle) and Melissa Murray (far right).

  • Jess Kell of Burlington, VT for being a fierce mama of three. [“Jess a role model for all parents of queer youth, and someone who knows how to love and honor their youths’ identities].” 
  • Eve Berinati of Burlington, VT for being a safe space holder and dedicated ally.
  • Cheryl Bodge of Epping, NH for being an empassioned and supportive parent.
  • Kim Hamel of Milton, VT for being a loved librarian by morning and a QSA advisor by afternoon.

 The 2012 nominees for Outstanding Educator of the year were:

  • Vali Stuntz of Woodstock High School for enlightening through education and visibility in Woodstock.
  • Eve Berinati of Burlington High School, for an empowering advocate at BHS.
  • Deb Kalkstein-Lamb of Essex High School, for her steadfast supporter of BFA-St. Albans G.L.O.W. (QSA).  Deb now is at Essex High School. [Deb has worked working hard with students for many, many years to advocate for queer youth and the need for safer schools].

The nominees for the 2012 Outright Camper of the year were:

  • Elissa Benoit of Sheldon, VT for being a courageous camper with an open heart. [Elissa who has has been very dedicated to helping individuals transform the way they think about their bodies and their identities].
  • Vivian Edney of Burlington, VT for being a valuable support for their peers
  • Damian Sumner of Moretown, VT for being a leader at every conference, summit and at camp
  • Cece Waterman of Burlington, VT for being a strong and proud camper

The 2012 nominees for Outstanding Youth Community Member were:

  • Patricia Bristow-Johnson of Burlington, VT for being an open minded thinker
  • Zee of Burlington, VT for being a self identified punk fighting sexualization and stereotypes. [Zee has shown awesome amount of maturity and leadership in the last year; confronting misconceptions in a non-aggressive way].
  • Seven of Williston, VT for being a friend when in need
  • Vivian Edney of Burlington, VT for being a positive presence at Outright
  • Wills Rakowski of Georgia, VT for being a  leader of non-judgemental support

Josh Fontanez, the 2012 Outright Award Bill Lippert Award winner!

The 2012 nominees for the Bill Lippert Award were:

  • Craig Mitchell, Burlington’s humble celebrity DJ and proud activist
  • Joshua Fontanez & NULGBTQA – of Norwich University – for being the leader of the first QSA on a military campus in North America. [Josh has led the very first organization which in its own right is a first in this country].

The 2012 nominees for Outstanding Board Member were:

  • Sarah Judd of Burlington, VT for being a  sustainability guardian and fundraising champion
  • Don Eggert of Winooski, VT for being a fabulous planner, designer, and leader. [Don is always polite, gentle, firm and a sweetheart].

The 2012 nominees for the Lifetime Queer Youth Advocate were:

  • Jean-Denis Couillard of Winooski, VT for being an outspoken advocate for all queer identities
  • Christopher J Moran II of Morrisville, VT for being an educator and warrior for marriage-equality
  • Paji Wadley-Bailey of Montpelier, VT for being a long-time anti-racism and queer community organizer and activist
  • Dave Landers of Winooski, VT for his advocacy for queer students as a Professor at St. Michael’s College. [Dave has consistently made themselves an open ear and heart to students on their campus, struggling with the coming out process for the last 20 years (and counting!). 

The 2012 nominees for Outstanding Outright Alumni were:

  • Connor McFadden of Washington, D.C. for his work on behalf of Outright VT as a fundraiser and his day job at a D.C. anti-violence org.
  • Corey Mallon of Burlington, VT for being a queer & trans health care union leader. [Corey is an alumni who is taking a stand and leadership role to ensure that transpeople’s health care rights are equal to all others within the Fletcher Allen employee health plans and in the new Vermont Health Care Exchange].

The 2012 nominees for Queer Straight Alliance of the Year were:

  • G.L.O.W. – the QSA of BFA – St. Albans – GLOW stands for – Gay, Lesbian Or Whatever! GLOW is a group of young adults who created a space of safety, encouragement, advocacy, and connection, on a campus that was not always supportive of their programs. Through it all, they were able to provide each other with peer support and room for personal discovery and growth. 
  • NULGBTQA – the QSA of Norwich University – The first and leading military campus QSA in North America!


Darren Perron, hosting the 2012 Outright Awards!

We also want to give thanks to all our departing Outright VT family members: staff, volunteers & board members:


Faith Yacubian

Board Members:

  • Anthony Enzor-DeMeo,
  • Arshad Hasan,
  • Kelly Ulrich,
  • Seven,
  • Lily Sender,
  • Mercedes Mack,
  • Christy Pilsucki,
  • Samuel Lurie,
  • Sarah Judd,
  • Rachel de Simone 

Gregory Douglass & the Crowd 2012 Outright Awards


  • Nicholas Delaney
  • Jenni Toli Gintoli
  • Sarah Johnson
  • Rob Knight III
  • Brock Libby
  • Tony Moulton
  • Daisy Chamberlain
  • Jamie Chamberlain
  • Jess Clark
  • Amy Whitehorne
  • Meghan Giroux
  • Gil Moothart

You all help make our mission & vision possible & you have truly left your mark, thank you!

And last, but not least, our BIG thank yous to:

  • You, our outstanding supporters, donors, and event attendees for turning out every year and many times a year;
  • Our many stellar volunteers, facilitators, and youth of Outright Vermont who make this work mean something every single day.
  • Our phenomenal board.
  • And our exceptional staff, Adam Catanzarite (Youth Coordinator), Christina Latson (UVM MSW Intern), Faith Yacubian (Director of Youth Services), Llu Mulvaney-Stanak (Director of Development), Michel Dubois (Director of Operations), (Melissa Murray (Executive Director), and Saben Littlefield (Education & Statewide Field Coordinator).

And especially tonight, we give thanks to:

  • Our generous sponsors: National Life Group, PCC, Catering by Dale, and Seven Days.
  • The 2012 Outright Awards vendors: Tru Spirits, DJ Disco Phantom, MSR Sound, the City of Burlington, VT Trophy and Engraving, and Minuteman Press.
  • The 125 local and regional businesses who donated to the Not-So-Silent Auction and make it the best auction in all the land;
  • Our 2012 Outright Award nomination committee: Melissa Murray, Saben Littlefield, Llu-Mulvaney Stanak, Adam Gregory Catanzarite, Phin Totten, Alex Herida, Memy Martin, Dawn Graham, Christina Olstad, Annie Condon, Christina Latson, Nicole Stevens, Lily Sender, Sequoia Ponzio-Young, and Aaron Bergeron.
  • Our volunteer event staff, cast & crew: Darren Perron, Kim Jordan, Kirstin Fricke, Gregory Douglass, Cliff Hanger & Alex Hurslett, Quechee George & Jonathan Bitchman, the GoodWives, Shawn Lipenski, Claire Giroux-Williams, Don Eggert, and our many set up volunteers.
  • Our Outright Award presenters: Leigh Bukowski, Nicole Stevens, Kate Van Wagner, Patricia Bristow-Johnson, Bill Lippert, Mike Sheppard, Seven, Jace Sheppard, Trevor Bessette, Mercedes Mack, Kalob Gabree, Dot Brauer, Alana Cadence, and Lucas Oueltte.
  • Anyone we accidently omitted in these thanks – we will make it up to you, promise!;
  • And of course, to all our fabulous nominees and winners – you are the best of the best of Vermonters who are making it better!


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