Northwest Gender Alliance Recognizes Laughlin Family and Rev. David Weekley

Annual gala celebrates — and creates — local trans history


The Laughlin family (Rhonda, Sander, and Mike) received the Ellen Summers Award Dec. 9 at the Northwest Gender Alliance’s annual holiday gala. Photo by Julie Cortez.
By Erin Rook, PQ Monthly


The Northwest Gender Alliance  made a step toward increased inclusivity at its annual holiday gala Dec. 9 when it honored Rev. David Weekley with its inaugural Man of the Year Award.

The non-profit social, support, and educational group for trans individuals has been giving out a Woman of the Year Award since the 1990s. But the NWGA’s mission — like its name — is broad, and the group does have trans-masculine members.

According to the group’s website, “The NWGA is open and affirming of all gender, sex, and sexual identities, and we welcome MTF / transwomen, FTM / transmen, androgynous or gender-variant individuals, and intersex community members.”

Rev. Weekley (who sent an email in his stead while he studies in Boston) was recognized for his work with the Methodist Church, seeking inclusion for LGBTQ clergy. Also recognized at the gala were the Laughlin family (parents Rhonda and Mike and daughter Sander) who received the Ellen Summers Award. Rhonda, a Portland PFLAG board member, talked about her family’s journey with her daughter’s transition and the role she has played since in educating various communities about trans issues.

Other award winners include: Emily Newberry (Woman of the Year Award), Norma Ballhorn (Olivia Perala Debutante Award), Cheryl Hall and Sheryl Weiler (Ronni Lang Service Award), and Emily Pittman Newberry (Harriet Stites Award).

NWGA President Jackie Stone also discussed the ways in which the group is extending its reach into the larger trans and queer community. This year, the NWGA presented a workshop on local trans history at the Basic Rights Oregon Trans Justice Summit and hosted a Trans Day of Remembrance event in Vancouver with TransActive and the Triple Point youth group.

Learn more about NWGA here.