Longtime Kitsap County resident Natalie Bryson will be honored by the Pride Foundation, in partnership with the Kitsap County HIV/AIDS Foundation, for her dedicated effort in advocating equality.
The public is invited to attend “An Evening Honoring Natalie Bryson,” an ice cream social recognizing Bryson’s work in and around Kitsap County.
“In my short time knowing Natalie it is so clear to me how important she is to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and allied community in Kitsap County — and beyond,” Pride Community Organizer Dean Jackson said. “Her advocacy, compassion, dedication and all around class are inspiring to all that she touches.”
Bryson, who lost two children to HIV/AIDS, is a long-time member of both the Pride Foundation and the Kitsap County HIV/AIDS Foundation. She wants to help others fight HIV/AIDS.
“I feel dedicated to honor their lives by assisting others,” she said. “For many years I’ve been interested in HIV/AIDS.”
A Kitsap County resident since 1966, Bryson believes in equality, regardless of sex, gender, age or race, and is proactive in fighting discrimination.
“My cry is that everything should be equal,” she said. “Human rights is the most important thing we have.”
Despite her efforts to connect, inspire and strengthen the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, Bryson was surprised to learn of the ice cream social in her honor.
“This is about the biggest surprise to me,” she said. “It’s certainly an honor.”
And while grateful for the recognition, Bryson prefers to recognize her colleagues and other advocates.
“It’s really a tribute, not to me, but the people who have supported the causes I’m interested in,” she said. “Nobody does this alone.”
The Pride Foundation offers grants to organizations supporting the LGBT community, with chapters in Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Oregon.
It has contributed more than $7.2 million in grants and scholarships since 1987.
“An Evening Honoring Natalie Bryson” is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 17 at Kitsap Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4418 Perry Ave. N.E. in Bremerton.