Central Alabama Pride

Libertee Belle
Libertee Belle Facebook

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A drag queen who was an early advocate of LGBTQ rights in Alabama has died.

The performer known as Libertee Belle was among the organizers of Central Alabama Pride in the 1980s and served as grand marshal of Birmingham's gay pride parade at least once.

She often performed at shows to benefit gay rights organizations and was among the highest-profile members of the state's LGBTQ community.

The activist was born Ronald Norman Simoneau Jr. His sister, Debi Simoneau, says he was 61.

Birmingham Hires First LGBTQ Liaison

Jun 11, 2018
Josh Coleman
via Facebook

The mayor of Alabama's largest city has hired its first LGBTQ liaison.

AL.com reports Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin announced yesterday at PrideFest that Josh Coleman will serve as both a city spokesman and a representative of LGBTQ interests. Coleman is currently the vice president of Central Alabama Pride, and will start his new city job on June 25.

Woodfin says Coleman's appointment upholds the legacy of "the city that taught the world the importance of inclusion."