Pillar of Pride awarded in 2013
Laura Whitbeck has been selected as a Pillar of Pride due to her commitment to the gay band movement since the very early days of LGBA. Laura participated at the first Gay Games in San Francisco and many more LGBA conferences in the years to follow. Having served on the LGBA Board, as well as the board of D.C.’s Different Drummers and Flower City Pride Band, Laura has been a constant presence in LGBA.
Laura played trombone with DCDD for many years, participating in concert, marching, and jazz bands. Laura helped create and environment at DCDD that welcomed all musicians, and was always willing to help a fellow band member. In recognition of her generosity, DCDD created the “Ames-Whitbeck Fairy Fund”, named for Laura and her partner. This fund provides funds for dues, uniforms, etc. for band members in need. During her time on the LGBA Board, Laura created and managed a scholarship program to help musicians attend LGBA conferences.
Laura has played a critical role, often behind the scenes, in the organization of LGBA events. She was on the ground in DC, helping with registration for both inaugural performances for President Bill Clinton – long before e-mail or the internet. Laura partnered with Judy Ames to organize the LGBA performance at the Millennial March on Washington, and later helped with the 2009 Inaugural Parade performance for President Barack Obama. Her tireless effort to coordinate registration, rehearsal space, and other logistical challenges was a major factor in our success in that historic inaugural parade. Hers is the type of commitment that inspires others and makes LGBA live on into the future.