Equality California to Honor Four Community Leaders for Their Work to Advance LGBT Equality at Palm Springs Equality Awards

Equality California is pleased to announce the four honorees for its Palm Springs Equality Awards Dinner on Saturday, October 18, 2014. These honorees have worked tirelessly to improve the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the Desert communities. EQCA will present Andy Linsky with the Vanguard Leadership Award, Barbara Keller with the Humanitarian Award, U.S. Representative Raul Ruiz with the Ally Leadership Award and Kenny Cassady with the State Farm Good Neighbor Award at the Palm Springs Equality Awards in October.

A full-time Desert resident since 1989, Andy Linsky has served and been a key leader of the local LGBT community for more than 20 years. A realtor with a specialty in architectural properties, Linsky served on the board of directors of Desert AIDS Project for 14 years, including four years as its president, and has served on the national board of directors of the Human Rights Campaign since 2002. He will receive the Vanguard Leadership Award.

“Andy is one of the California LGBT community’s most respected and dedicated leaders. His effective and strong advocacy for full equality for LGBT people spans decades, and he is a cherished role model in the Palm Springs LGBT community,” said Rick Zbur, EQCA executive director-elect. “Andy has played a key role in almost every state and local organization that improves the lives of LGBT people in the Desert, and at a national level through his work with the Human Rights Campaign. EQCA is pleased to recognize Andy with its Vanguard Leadership Award, one of many accolades he has received for his years of committed advocacy for LGBT equality and for the HIV/AIDS community.”

Receiving the Humanitarian Award, Barbara Keller is a local business owner, author, philanthropist and long-time advocate for equality and for people living with HIV/AIDS. Among her numerous philanthropic contributions, she serves as trustee of the Palm Springs Art Museum and Chairperson of the Board of the Desert AIDS Project, where she is co-chairing two of the organization’s key fundraisers. She also is the Honorary Chair of One Night Only, a signature benefit for the Jewish Family Service.

“Barbara works tirelessly in her support of the key organizations in the desert that have measurable impact on the lives of those most in need,” said Zbur. “She brings energy, enthusiasm and passion to all that she does – including her work for equality and people living with HIV/AIDS. She is a true friend and ally of the LGBT community and the Desert communities are enriched by her many contributions.”

U.S. Rep. Raul Ruiz serves California’s 36th District and will receive this year’s Ally Leadership Award. A strong supporter and ally of the LGBT community and a dedicated public health advocate, Dr. Ruiz worked to ensure that the needs of LGBT people were addressed in the Affordable Care Act.

“Dr. Ruiz is a leader and trailblazer,” said Zbur. “His hard work and dedication on behalf of all the diverse communities in his district – including the LGBT community – have earned him our admiration, respect and this year’s Leadership Award.”

State Farm Good Neighbor Award honoree Kenny Cassady is a development executive, architecture and design enthusiast and community volunteer. Currently director of business development for Palm Springs-based Oranj Palm Vacation Homes, Cassady’s involvement in community organizations spans more than 20 years. He has served in development and management roles at non-profits large and small, from Gay Associated Youth to the Los Angeles LGBT Center and Equality California.

“Kenny embodies the true meaning of a good neighbor,” said Zbur. “He is an example for all of us to follow. His selfless dedication and lifelong support of organizations that are important to him and that advance full equality for LGBT people has made the community a better place to live.”

Each year, EQCA recognizes individuals and organizations that have made an impact on the movement to secure full and lasting equality for LGBT people at its annual Equality Awards — a series of formal galas and cocktail events held in San Francisco, San Diego, Palm Springs, Los Angeles and Sacramento. Past honorees have included Adam Lambert, Dolores Huerta, Arianna Huffington, Attorney General Kamala Harris and California Governor Jerry Brown.

This year’s Palm Springs Equality Awards will take place on Saturday, October 18 at The Riviera Resort and Spa, 1600 North Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. Tickets are $175.

The 2014 Equality Awards are presented by AT&T and sponsored by State Farm Insurance and Southwest Airlines. For more information about the Equality Awards, visit www.eqcaawards.org/palm-springs. For tickets or sponsorship information, contact Jack Lorenz at jack@eqca.org or by calling 310.266.0502.


The Desert Rose Playhouse To Present
2 Boys In A Bed On A Cold Winter’s Night

The Desert Rose Playhouse, the Valley’s live stage company serving the LGBT community, will present the comedy 2 Boys In A Bed On A Cold Winter’s Night, by James Edwin Parker, opening Friday, August 22, 2014 for a three-week run.

Ryan Dominguez plays Daryl and Chris Horychata is Peter in 2 Boys In A Bed On A Cold Winter’s Night. Set in New York City in 1987, it explores the sexual etiquette of one-night stands and is peppered with poignant, humorous and sly observations. The two boys in question are thirty-something gay men who’ve met in Greenwich Village. Daryl and Peter have a quick and hot sexual encounter at Daryl’s apartment; now it’s 4:30 in the morning, and Daryl wants to talk.

The play has been critically hailed in New York City and London alike for its inherent truth of one-night stands regardless of gender:

“…a comic tale about how not to behave during a one night stand but is also an exploration of emotional intimacy.”  – New Yorker

“…it has the ring of honesty, some explosively funny incidents, and a lot of naked scrimmaging under the duvet.” The Times of London

2 Boys In A Bed On A Cold Winter’s Nightcontinues Desert Rose Productions’ mission to produce and present literate, relevant and entertaining plays and musicals to LGBT and Gay-Friendly theatregoers in the Coachella Valley.

For ticket information and complete schedule go to www.desertroseplayhouse.org or call 760-202-3000.