Fourteen men and six women of the LGBT community were honored Tuesday with bronze plaques in San Francisco’s Castro district.
The project, known as the Rainbow Honor Walk, began as an idea two decades ago.
“Twenty years ago this idea came to me,” a gay local public relations professional, David Perry, said. “It is incredibly moving to me to see the hundreds of people who came together over the years to make it happen.”
Those honored will be laid out in alphabetical order, starting with Jane Addams, the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.
Perry first came up with the idea in 1994, but it received little attention. In 2009, a longtime Castro resident and business owner Isak Lindenauer wanted to create the same thing, so the two began working together.
The original list of inductees were announced in 2011 from more than 150 suggestions by the public.
“These 20 people represent the very best of the LGBT community,” Perry said. “It’s a very diverse list: Men and women, openly lesbian, openly gay, openly bisexual, openly transgender. They’re black. They’re white. They’re Asian Pacific Islander.”
The unveiling of the plaques happened at the Harvey Milk Plaza.
“The folks who moved here in the 70s were really another generation of pioneers who took this neighborhood to a new place,” Castro Village Wine Company’s Geoff Dryvynsyde said. “Celebrating them and their achievement in a physical way is truly special.”
Each plaque cost $5,000. Over $100,000 was donated by private donors. According to organizers, the Rainbow Honor Walk is already raising money for 20 more plaques to install next year.