Macon Pride Courage 2 B Fabulous AwardsLarry Pellegrini, 1998
When I made the commitment to write an article about Larry Pellegrini, I thought I was over my head and just did not know where to begin. After reading Larry's impressive resume, however, I found the challenge exciting and went to work with enthusiasm. It seems that Larry has been a very, very busy man. From the onset of the gay rights movement, Larry has been a pioneer in the field. In addition to this involvement, other progressive causes have received his attention. To his credit, he has been involved in many organizations both nationally and statewide.
Larry Pellegrini has held leadership roles in the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, the Atlanta Lambda Center, the Georgia Equality Project, and the Georgia Rural Action Committee, among others. He is also a member/advisor to AID Atlanta, the AIDS Survival Project, Atlanta Executive Network, the National Organization for Women (NOW), Newt Watch, and the Stonewall Bar Association.
You might ask yourself why we are honoring Larry Pellegrini. The reason is simple. The volunteers of Macon Pride '98 recognize Larry for the work he has accomplished for the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender, (l/g/b/t), community both locally and statewide. He tirelessly works with both community and state leaders, lobbying under the Gold Dome, (the State Capitol), doing his best to see that we are treated fairly when new laws are brought up for vote before the Legislature.
In the past, Larry has received recognition for his efforts from the ACLU (Georgia Civil Liberties Annual Award), the Southern Voice (Annual Volunteer Award), and the Human Rights Campaign (Annual Community Leadership Award). He has also served as Co-Grand Marshal of Atlanta's Lesbian/Gay Pride. To this impressive list, Macon Pride adds our Courage 2 B Fabulous! Award with sincere gratitude for the great work he is doing for our communities throughout Georgia.
When I interviewed Larry Pellegrini, I wanted to find out his plans for the future and this is what he had to say:
M.A. Leon: Are you a native of Georgia?
L. Pellegrini: I was born in Pennsylvania, grew up there, went to college in Florida, and moved to Georgia after graduation. I never thought I would stay in one place so long.
M.A. Leon: What motivates you to advocate for the l/g/b/t community?
L. Pellegrini: The main reason is because I know there are many people who, for good reason, cannot be 'out' or active. I advocate on the front lines for all of us.
M.A. Leon: Do you ever get discouraged, and if so, what keeps you going?
L. Pellegrini: There is certainly a great deal of frustration, but I have a great passion for creating social change. If we do not stand up for ourselves, who will?
M.A. Leon: What are your plans for the future?
L. Pellegrini: Knowing that the struggle is far from over, I will continue my work on all of the issues that affect us. I do this with the hope that each day we might be able to change the hearts and minds of our elected officials. My ultimate goal is to see change that will make it safe for all of us to be 'out' and just be who we are.
M.A. Leon: Is there anything else you would like to share?
L. Pellegrini: Actually, I was surprised and delighted to hear of Macon Pride '98 and extremely honored and humbled when I heard I will be receiving the Courage 2 B Fabulous! Award.