OUTstanding Virginians are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and allied individuals or organizations taking the lead in moving equality forward across the Commonwealth. In light of the importance of being out to the LGBT movement, each year Equality Virginia recognizes leaders who have represented the community with distinction.

Statistics show that knowing someone within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community increases support for LGBT rights. This positive correlation makes coming out a critical component of the LGBT movement’s future progress.

The EV Board of Directors has selected the 2020 honorees from dozens of nominees. These seven individuals and organizations were honored at our 17th Annual Commonwealth Dinner on March 28!

Crystal Suber owns Crystal Clear Financial Solutions, an insurance and financial services firm in Richmond. She is a highly-active leader in the Greater Richmond community and can often be found volunteering at a variety of LGBT events. She previously served as Vice Chair on the Diversity Richmond Board, and currently serves on the boards of LGBT Democrats of Virginia, Black Pride RVA, Richmond LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce, and Baby Buns for Life Network.
Elizabeth Fogarty is a proud ally and tireless volunteer well-known for her commitment to building relationships among faith and LGBT communities across the state. She was a longtime organizer for People of Faith for Equality in Virginia – Northern Virginia Network, and continues to serve as a facilitator for Metro DC PFLAG’s Arlington community group and to co-chair Equality UUCA, the LGBTQ+ ally group at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington. Fogarty also served on Equality Virginia’s Board of Directors
Michael Sutphin is Vice Mayor of Blacksburg and a member of the Blacksburg Town Council. While attending Virginia Tech, he served as news editor and reporter for the Collegiate Times and as president of the university’s LGBT Alliance. He has served on numerous boards and committees, including the Blacksburg Planning Commission, the Metropolitan Planning Organization Board, and Equality Virginia’s Board of Directors.
Bianca Rey was born and raised in the Philippines before moving to the United States in 1998. She is currently the Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Specialist at Kaiser Permanente in the Mid-Atlantic. She is a vocal and visible advocate for the transgender community, which includes the leadership role she has held with Capital Trans Pride for three years and volunteering with the Capital Pride Alliance. She is also a member of Equality Virginia’s Transgender Advocacy Speaker’s Bureau and has served as a speaker for four years.
Afton Bradley spent three years as the Transgender Services Program Manager at Health Brigade, formerly the Fan Free Clinic, before implementing the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood’s first Transgender Health Care Program in late 2016. As a Registered Nurse, Bradley travels the state to educate trans community members about how to access affirming healthcare and train healthcare providers about best practices for serving trans patients.

John Osterhout is the former vice president and president of Hampton Roads Pride where he skillfully navigated the organization into a new era of success. He previously served as secretary and treasurer for the Virginia Education Association’s Sexual Minority committee, now the LGBT Caucus. He also works with the Virginia Education Association’s LGBTQ+ Work Group to develop and provide trainings on how to create local school systems that are  inclusive of LGBTQ students, teachers, and faculty. He remains an active volunteer in the Hampton Roads community.

The Virginia Equality Bar Association (VEBA) is a statewide organization of legal professionals working to secure equality for the LGBTQ community. While the group provides a variety of trainings and resources to the legal community and general public, VEBA is best known for hosting free Name and Gender Marker Change Legal Clinics for members of the transgender community. Originally a collaboration between VEBA and Equality Virginia, the legal clinics are hosted multiple times a year throughout the state and are an important resource offered at Equality Virginia’s ongoing Transgender Information and Empowerment Summit (TIES) events




Click here to learn more last year’s OUTstanding Virginians



Meet other from honorees from previous years:



Meet 2016's OUTstanding Virginians ►
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Meet 2015's OUTstanding Virginians ►



Meet 2014's OUTstanding Virginians ►


Meet 2013's OUTstanding Virginians ►


Meet 2012's OUTstanding Virginians ►


Meet 2011's OUTstanding Virginians ►


Meet 2010's OUTstanding Virginians ►


Meet 2009's OUTstanding Virginians ►
  • Rita Mae Brown – Crozet-based screenwriter and author, most notably of “Rubyfruit Jungle”.
  • Clarence Cain – UVA Law School graduate whose life and death from HIV/AIDS inspired the 1993 film “Philadelphia”.
  • Meg Christian – Women’s music icon and founder of Olivia Records.
  • Marge Connelly – Financial industry executive.
  • Adam Ebbin – First openly gay member of Virginia’s General Assembly and founder of Virginia Partisans Gay and Lesbian Democratic Club.
  • Jay Fisette – First openly gay elected official in Virginia and Arlington County Board member.
  • Billy Haines – First openly gay Hollywood actor, during the silent movie era.
  • Claus Ihlemann – Norfolk activist and owner of Decorum Furniture.
  • Jon Klein – Founder of Diversity Thrift and Richmond Organization for Sexual Minority Youth (ROSMY).
  • Beth Marschak – Richmond activist, author, and historian.
  • Lucy Randolph Mason – Labor organizer who helped pass 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Diane Schroer – Winner of landmark transgender workplace discrimination case.
  • Tony Segura and Marsh Harris Segura – Tony was the founder of the Mattachine Society and Marsh was a prolific author of gay pulp fiction.
  • L.A. “Shep” Shepherd and Norma Hofheimer – Mid-century lesbian activist couple from Richmond.
  • Wanda Sykes – Emmy-award winning writer and comedian/actress.
  • Tracy Thorne-Begland – Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell activist and Deputy Commonwealth Attorney of Richmond.
  • Lawrence Webb – First openly gay black elected official in Virginia and Falls Church City Council member.
  • Charles Whitebread – Former UVA law professor and LGBT philanthropist.
  • Mel White and Gary Nixon – Founders of Lynchburg-based Soulforce.
  • Bob Witeck – Northern Virginia business owner and LGBT media consultant.