This page is under construction.
Emelia De Souza, President
Emelia is a transgender woman of color. She came out in 2011 just before starting interferon treatment for Hepatitis C. The treatment did not work and by July of 2012 the cancer had returned. Emelia was then put on the liver transplant list October 28, 2012 and received her second lease on life Memorial Day 2013. Emelia became very aquatinted with the hospital staff having multiply procedures and blood tests.
It was because of a few ER incidents that Jefferson Health Care was motivated to finish certification on the HEI. A nurse urged her to talk to the patient advocate giving her confidence that her voice could be heard. It was because this incident and the two leases on life which is rare that inspired her to fight for human rights and equality and be her authentic self.
Emelia has worked for world peace in a different setting in her Buddhist organization as a senior leader. Responsibilities are administration, contacting members and giving guidance in faith. She is still working on rebuilding her strength after losing so much from all the treatments and cancer and wants to return to her main hobbies of bicycling and golf. Emelia has always wanted to sing. She has a beautiful alto and tenor voice with a range of four octaves.
Emelia’s main focus is education to the youth. Being bullied most of her public school career she definitely knows the importance of stopping bullying in the schools. Her strong desire is to help these children who are very beautiful but different to be able to express themselves in a caring, warm and excepting environment.
Dawn Darington, Vice President
My husband is Lee and our dog is Katie. We’ve lived on this side of Western Washington for 35 or so years, sixteen of them in Port Townsend. The first half of my 35 year work life involved medical and psychological research and working with disadvantaged youth in Seattle (10 years). The last half I worked for a major US Corporation as an analyst and Sales Manager. After retirement we moved to Port Townsend. I’m a member of the Tuf As Nails rowing team and love coxing races. I have volunteered for Centrum, the Marine Science Center, Cape George, the Women’s March, and Pride in the Park. I’m Miss Kiss Port Townsend. I’m deeply committed to the LBGQ+ community. Note: This is Penny’s second year on the board – she is a founding member and served as treasurer for 2018. Penny was instrumental in the creation of Jefferson County Pride.
Born and raised in the Oil Patch and Bible Belt of North Louisiana, thus seriously influenced by both. My Daddy worked for the same oil company his entire adult life and almost every job I held was for an oil company or a services company of the industry. In 1963, exchanged the oil patch of North Louisiana for one in Alaska. Arrived in Anchorage just in time for the Earthquake of 1964 (a very unforgettable experience). Another unforgettable experience was spending 9 months in Israel, where I learned how to get around the country on buses, learned a little Hebrew, and realized I really did not want to immigrate. Upon returning to Anchorage, was lucky to get a job with ARCO at Prudhoe Bay. First day on the job got to tour the field and met a guy named Ron Rivas. That was May 19, 1980 and we are still together. I became a stepmother to two beautiful boys, one of which is gay. In my quest to raise a gay son, I became very involved with the gay community of Anchorage, i.e., joined Metropolitan Community Church, marched in all the Gay Parades, staffed the MCC Pride Booth, etc. Ron and I wound up in Port Townsend because all of our children moved down the West Coast. We keep busy here in Port Townsend as members of Trinity United Methodist Church. Our Minister, Tony Brown is gay. Ron and I were honored by being asked to head up a committee to become a Reconciling Ministry (more information @ Reconciling Ministries Network) which we accomplished by a 100% congregational vote.
Tony Brown is the minister at Trinity United Methodist Church in Port Townsend. He has two school age children and is married to his wonderful husband, Eric Incoy. He enjoys hiking, yoga, running, and going to drag shows (he is addicted to RuPaul’s Drag Race). He is honored to serve on the Jefferson County Pride board and considers the work we do for love and acceptance for all people the same work that Jesus would be doing were he here today.