LOS ANGELES – The president of Christopher Street West/LA Pride, Estevan Montemayor has stepped down effective Tuesday, September 1 a spokesperson for the organization confirmed Tuesday evening in an email exchange with the Los Angeles Blade.
Montemayor’s successor is Sharon-Franklin Brown who is also currently serving as the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Director of Human Resources. Brown takes the reins as CSW/ LA Pride Board President Wednesday Sept 2. She is the first Black trans woman to be elected to the top leadership position at LA Pride and the first in the nation to lead a major Pride organization.
“It’s never been a more important moment for the LGBTQ+ community and its allies to continue fighting for all of us,” Brown, told the Blade in an emailed statement.”As a robust community across Los Angeles, we value inclusiveness and diversity. I’m so humbled to have been appointed by the board to this position as the first Black trans woman to lead CSW/Los Angeles Pride and our community efforts forward, beyond the pandemic and election, and into the future.”
According to CSW/LA PRIDE spokesperson, Chris Prouty, the organization’s Executive Director Madonna Cacciatore has not departed. “She brought Sharon to the board, and fully supports Sharon’s appointment,” Prouty said. He added that LA Pride has created an executive committee to lead the organization. This committee will be working together week to week vs on a monthly basis. It consists of the newly appointed President, the new VP, and sitting Secretary, Treasurer, and 3 adjunct Board members. Noah Gonzalez has been named as the group’s new Vice-President.
Board members Shayne Thomas and Gregory Alexander are still actively engaged although Julie Neumark has also departed for personal reasons Prouty confirmed.
Outgoing President Montemayor had previously planned to leave after the Pride 50th celebration in order to focus on his role in the upcoming 2020 election. As the outgoing president he helped champion Sharon into her newly elected position, Prouty told the Blade Tuesday.
“Sharon Brown is an exceptional leader and I could not be more proud to pass the baton to her. I have no doubt she will lead with inclusiveness and passion for our entire LGBTQ+ community,” Montemayor said in an emailed statement to the Blade.