labladeDawn Ennis | A change occurred in 2017 that went largely unnoticed: attitudes toward transgender people shifted from controversies over bathroom issues to the majority of Americans agreeing that trans service members should be allowed to serve in the military. Marking the moment, the Los Angeles Blade created a Transgender Advocate category for the upcoming “Best of” issue. However, nominee Maria Roman suggested that instead of the nominees competing against each other, we should highlight their accomplishments. We agreed. Here are five extraordinary trans activists making a difference in LA.

LA Times LogoAfter purchasing a majority stake in Grindr last year, ​​​​​​a Chinese gaming company has acquired the rest of the dating app for gay men from its founder Joel Simkhai, the West Hollywood company announced Friday.

Kunlun Group Limited said in May that it planned to purchase the remaining stake and Simkhai said he would stay on as CEO. But now that the deal is closed, Simkhai has left the company.

gaylifelaMatt Palazzolo, an actor and writer who was a longtime member of West Hollywood’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board, a member of the Christopher Street West Board and very well known in the city’s gay community, died Tuesday while hiking in Australia.

Palazzolo, 33, apparently died of a heat stroke while climbing Mount Sonder, a 4,265-foot mountain in Central Australia. Palazzolo, an avid hiker and a friend were hiking in 108 degree heat.

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The City of West Hollywood has begun gathering nominations for its 2018 Rainbow Key Awards, which recognizes people who have made outstanding contributions to the lesbian and gay community. The awards event is anticipated to take place in June 2018.

Since 1993, the City of West Hollywood has presented Rainbow Key Awards to individuals and groups that have gone above and beyond in their service to the LGBT community.

laglcMarlene Bronte showed up at the Los Angeles LGBT Center on a recent Tuesday afternoon ready to begin perusing over tables covered with fresh kale, lettuce, spinach, celery, onions, carrots, herbs, grapes, pears, and other organic offerings.

“I have a lot of expenses and I have to keep myself healthy,” Bronte said as she took her place at the front of the line in the courtyard of The Village at Ed Gould Plaza.

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