The “Vicki” Sexual Freedom Award, established in 2010, recognizes those individuals whose life and work embody the mission and values of the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance and who have made landmark contributions to the sexual freedom movement through education, advocacy, research, sexual health and activism.
The award is named after Victoria Woodhull, the namesake of the Woodhull Freedom Foundation. Ms. Woodhull was an American suffragist born on September 23, 1838, who was described by Gilded Age newspapers as a leader of the American women’s suffrage movement in the 19th century. Ms. Woodhull was the first woman to run for President of the United States, to start a newspaper and to hold a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, She became a colorful and notorious symbol for women’s rights, free love, and spiritualism as she fought against corruption and for labor reforms.
Below is a list of each year’s winners since 2010. We commend their groundbreaking work, continued activism, and dedication to securing sexual and human rights.
- Deborah Taj Anapol was a pioneer of relationship diversity who advocated on behalf of polyamory as a healthy relationship option. She co-founded Loving More magazine (now a polyamory-education nonprofit and organizer of annual Poly Living conferences) and in 1992 published one of the first books on polyamory, Love Without Limits. Deborah passed away unexpectedly in 2015.
- Bina Aspen and Martine Rothblatt are transhumanism activists whose LGBTQ advocacy took off after Martine came out as transgender in 1994 at the age of 40. Founder of Sirius satellite radio, Martine was the highest paid female executive in America in 2013 with total earnings of $38 million. Together, Aspen and Rothblatt are outspoken about LGBTQ rights and strongly oppose North Carolina’s HB-2 “Bathroom Bill.”
- Kushaba “Moses” Mworenko, an LGBT activist and blogger, sought asylum in the United States from his native Uganda amidst persecution resulting from Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act (previously known as the Kill the Gays bill). Today, he works to raise awareness of international homophobia and related persecution, and calls for an end to laws throughout the world that target people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.
- Susan Wright, a sexual rights activist and author, led a small group of SM/leather/fetish activists in the 1997 formation of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. She continues to spearhead its media relations. Her research focuses on discrimination based on alternative sexuality and consent violations in a BDSM context.
- Ajamu Baraka is a founder of the US Human Rights Network, a coalition of more than 30 human rights organizations committed to applying international human rights standards to government processes and laws in the United States. Internationally recognized as a leader in America’s emerging human rights movement, Baraka was honored by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan in 1998 as one of 300 notable human rights defenders from around the world.
- First Amendment attorney Robert (Bob) Corn-Revere is an aggressive advocate for freedom of sexual speech and expression. Having challenged the FCC’s indecency rules, mandatory content filtering of public library Internet filters, and the Telecommunication Act’s restrictions of programming on sexually explicit cable networks, his experience in First Amendment media, communications, and information technology law are widespread and of note.
- Carmen Vazquez is a seasoned activist and incisive movement leader in causes ranging from immigrant rights to lesbian health. Vazquez has held significant positions in many of the most influential activist and advocacy organizations in California and New York, including Director of Public Policy for the New York City GLBT Center and Deputy Director of the Empire State Pride Agenda. She is currently Coordinator of the LGBT Health and Human Services Unit of the AIDS Institute, New York Department of Health.
- Amber Hollibaugh is a longtime human rights defender, civil rights activist, and social justice champion whose efforts span film, publishing, and politics. Co-founder of the San Francisco Lesbian and Gay History Project, Amber has spent decades defending desire and femme identity as an integral part of her political vision. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Queers for Economic Justice.
- Jeffrey Montgomery is recognized as one of the most heroic leaders in the movement for LGBT equality, having spoken out against discrimination, violence, and injustice for decades. Founder of The Triangle Foundation and a founding board member of the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, Jeffrey has helped steer our organization toward fulfillment of its mission and vision: A world where sexual freedom is recognized as a fundamental human right.
- Dr. Esther Perel is an internationally renowned psychotherapist, sexual freedom advocate, and author of books including Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence. The title won the 2009 Consumer Book Award from the Society for Sex Therapy and Research, going on to become a global phenomenon translated into 25 languages. Fluent in nine of them, Dr. Perel is a licensed marriage and family therapist and an acknowledged authority on cross-cultural relations, couples and sexuality, erotic intelligence, and ethnic and religious intermarriage.
- Nobel Peace Prize nominee Mandy Carter is one of the nation’s leading African American lesbian activists. Carter has a 45-year history of social, racial, and lesbigaytrans justice organizing. She helped co-found two groundbreaking organizations: Southerners On New Ground (SONG) and the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC).
- Heather Corinna is the founder of Scarleteen.com, the inclusive and progressive online resource for teen and young adult sexuality and information that launched in 1998. An author, educator, and activist, Heather is considered one of the pioneers of positive human sexuality on the internet.
- Matt Foreman has led efforts within the LGBT rights movement for more than 25 years. His advocacy includes work as Executive Director of the NYC Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, the Empire State Pride Agenda (the nation’s then-largest statewide LGBT political advocacy organization), and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (America’s oldest and second-largest national LGBT rights organization).
- Carol Queen is an American author, editor, sociologist, and sexologist with a doctorate in sexology. Founder of GAYYouth, one of the first gay youth groups in the country, Carol has been active for decades in the sex-positive feminism movement. She is the founding director of the Center for Sex & Culture in San Francisco. Since 1990, Queen has served as Staff Sexologist at Good Vibrations, the women-owned, worker-owned sex toy and book emporium.
- Cory Silverberg is a Canadian sex educator, author, public speaker, blogger and founding member of Come As You Are. A certified sex educator and former chair of sexuality educator certification for the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists, Cory teaches on topics including sex and disability, sex and technology, and pleasure, inclusion, and access across North America. He is the co-author of the “Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability” and since 2005 he has been the Sexuality Guide for About.com.
- Pam Spaulding considers herself an accidental activist. The founder, editor, and publisher of Pam’s House Blend, a startlingly honest and astute blog focused on the LGBT community, Pam has guest posted and contributed to Americablog, Pandagon, Firedoglake, The Rude Pundit, OurChart.com, The Bilerico Project, and Glenn Greenwald’s Unclaimed Territory on Salon, and has written for The Independent Weekly.
- Author of more than a half dozen titles, John D’Emilio is a pioneer in the field of gay and lesbian studies and the history of sexuality. Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America, co-authored with Estelle Freedman, was quoted by Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case, the historic decision that declared state sodomy statutes unconstitutional. D’Emilio served as Director of the Policy Institute at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force from 1995 to 1997.
- Diego Miguel Sanchez is the Director of Policy for PFLAG National, sharing PFLAG’s vision of a world where diversity is celebrated, and where all people are respected, valued, and affirmed inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. As Senior Policy Advisor to Congressman Barney Frank, Diego made history as the first openly transgender person to work as a senior legislative staff member on Capitol Hill, and also the first openly trans person ever appointed to the DNC Platform Committee.
- Monica Raye Simpson was named a new civil rights leader by Essence magazine, and has organized extensively against human rights violations, the prison industrial complex, racism and intolerance, and the systematic physical and emotional violence inflicted upon African American women and the African American LBGT community – particularly in the American South. Simpson currently serves as the Executive Director of SisterSong, the Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective.
- Megan Andelloux, is the founder and executive director of The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health (CSPH). Her innovative education programs, writing, social media presence, and ambitious speaking schedule helped make her one of America’s most recognized and sought-after experts in the growing field of sexual pleasure, health, and politics.
- Kenyon Farrow is an award-winning writer and activist. Whether serving on a board, staff member, or rank-and-file organizer, Kenyon has spent the last 15 years working in social movements on campaigns and projects large and small, community-based, national and global in scope. Issues of criminalization and mass imprisonment have been central to his work, and he is probably best known for his work organizing for racial and economic justice issues in the LGBT community.
- Carol Leigh AKA Scarlot Harlot has been working as a sex worker/prostitute activist and artist in the Bay Area for more than thirty years. Since the late seventies, she has written and performed political satire as “Scarlot Harlot,” and produced work in a variety of genres on women’s issues including work based on her experience in San Francisco massage parlors. Leigh is one of the “mothers” of the sex workers’ rights movement in the US and internationally- in fact, she coined the term “sex work” in the late seventies.
- Dr. Scout, has been a vocal LGBT advocate since the 1980s. He has won recognition for his work from the U.S. House of Representatives, two state governments and many city governments. In 2014 he was named one of the Out100 by The Advocate Magazine and received a Rockefeller Foundation writing fellowship on transgender health. Prior to that he was named the CDC Health Equity Champion and National Youth Pride Services Advocate of the Year.
- Willie J. Parker, MD, MPH, MSc has focused his work on violence against women, sexual assault, and reproductive rights and justice through advocacy and provision of contraception and abortion services. Most notably Dr. Parker is a recipient of the 2013 Physicians for Reproductive Health Dr. George Tiller Provider Award, the 2015 Helen Rodriguez-Trias Social Justice Award and the 2016 Dr. Felicia Stewart Advocacy Award from the American Public Health Association, and the 2016 Dr. David Gunn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Abortion Care Network. He also was recently honored by the United Nations Office of Human Rights as one of 12 Women’s Human Rights Defenders on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the United Nations’ Fourth World Conference on Women. He is also a recipient of Planned Parenthood’s 2015 Margaret Sanger Award. Dr. Parker is also the author of Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice.
- Loretta J. Ross is one of the creators of the term “Reproductive Justice.” Ms. Ross has a four-decade history in social justice activism. She has worked with SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, the National Center for Human Rights Education, the Center for Democratic Renewal/National Anti-Klan Network and the National Organization for Women (NOW). She was one of the first African American women to direct a rape crisis center in the 1970s. Ms. Ross was National Co-Director of the April 25, 2004 March for Women’s Lives in Washington D.C., the largest protest march in U.S. history with more than one million participants.
- Caroline Bettinger-López is a Professor of Clinical Legal Education and Director of the Human Rights Clinic at the University of Miami School of Law. She also serves as an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and is a recipient of a Roddenberry Fellowship for her COURAGE in Policing Project (COURAGE=Community Oriented and United Responses to Address Gender Violence and Equality). Professor Bettinger-López recently completed a two-year term in the Obama Administration, where she served as the White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, a senior advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, and a member of the White House Council on Women and Girls. Read more here.
- Mia Mingus is a writer, educator and community organizer for disability justice and transformative justice. She is a queer physically disabled korean woman transracial and transnational adoptee from the Caribbean. She works for community, interdependency and home for all of us, not just some of us, and longs for a world where disabled children can live free of violence, with dignity and love. As her work for liberation evolves and deepens, her roots remain firmly planted in ending sexual violence. Currently, Mia is a 2016 Just Beginnings Collaborative fellow funded for The Living Bridges Project, an anonymous story-collecting project documenting collective responses to child sexual abuse. Read more here.