Nominate A SHIN(ING) Star Today

The Constellation Awards celebrate our brightest stars. For the last 16 years Q Center has been a place for the LGBTQ2SIA+ community to call home in Portland. Through initiating community-based support, enabling connections, and providing resources Q Center exists as a beacon to those in need. In recognition of our history and to honor those who serve,  nominate an individual.

Each year Q Center recognizes those that contribute and support the LGBTQ2SIA+ community:

THE NEBULA AWARD: A nebula can be formed by remnants of different interstellar medium joining together, creating regions of greater density. The Nebula award recognizes an individual or organization working between identities and communities for the advancement of LGBTQ2SIA+ causes. James Baldwin wrote that identity is the garment which one covers the nakedness of the self. It is a garment best worn loose, a little like the robes of the desert. “This trust in one's nakedness is all that gives one the power to change one's robes.” This intersectionality sets a strong, stable foundation as we work towards justice for our community.

THE NORTH STAR AWARD:In 1978, Harvey Milk beckoned members of our community to “come out,” in order to “break down the myths, destroy the lies and distortions” about what it means to be LGBTQ2SIA+. Similarly so, the North Star stands almost motionless in the sky as the other stars seem to rotate around it. The North Star award recognizes an individual or organization who leads through transformative vision, paving a path for others and serving as a beacon to those in need.

THE QUASAR AWARD: As the brightest objects in the Universe, Quasars often eclipse the objects around them. In 1997, Ellen Degeneres changed the face of television and shifted the conversation about LGBTQ2SIA+ people in society. According to Degeneres, “I had everything I'd hoped for, but I wasn't being myself. So I decided to be honest about who I was.” The Quasar award recognizes an individual or organization who excels at self expression or serves as a pinnacle of creativity, beauty, or intellectual inspiration.

THE RISING SUN AWARD: A rising sun brings light to a new day, and with it comes the hope and potential for a better society. The Rising Sun award recognizes an emerging leader or organization making advances for the LGBTQ2SIA+ community. We often look towards youth for new energy and optimism, like activist Jazz Jennings, who said, “I want to show people they don’t have to be scared of being different.”

THE SUPERNOVA AWARD: The supernova is a major event in the life of a star. Each supernova creates a great burst of energy that enriches the space around it, and can lead to the formation of new stars. In a similar fashion, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera launched a political and social revolution that would last beyond their lifetimes. Rivera noted that she had faced violence, jail, lost her job and lost her apartment “for gay liberation.” The Supernova award recognizes an individual or organization for a lifetime of service to the LGBTQ2SIA+ community. In what can sometimes be exhausting and lonely work, we lift up these sacrifices with respect and admiration.

We invite the community to help us select the recipients of our five Constellation Awards. Do you know a leader who deserves recognition for their work with the local LGBTQ2SIA+ community?

*Nominations are not award specific. The awards committee will evaluate nominations and place awards as appropriate. Here is a preview of the nomination form so that you can prepare your responses. All nominations should be completed online.

 In 2015, Q Center board members, Avishai Micaiah and Trystan Reese, envisioned the Constellation Awards and the first awards were presented that year.

Past Award Winners


The Nebula Award

Babatunde Azibuike

The North Star Award

Nancy Haque

The Quasar Award 

Shaley Howard

The Rising Sun Award

Katie Carter

The Supernova Award

Bob Speltz


The North Star Award

Oregon Queer Youth Summit

United Territories of Pacific Islanders Alliance Portland

The Northern Lights Award 

Portland Queer Monthly

The Shining Star Award

Marc Kochanski

Q Center Award

Lesbians of a Certain Age


The Love Light Award

Natalia Kay O'Brien

The North Star Award

API Pride

Black Pride

Latinx Pride

Portland Two Spirit Society

The Northern Lights Award 


The Shining Star Award

Margaret Ann Jones

Q Center Award

Friday Night Transgender Women's Group

FTM Peer Support Group

Gender Queery

Northwest Gender Alliance

Northwest Intersex Action League

Trans-Fem* and Tranz Guys PDX


The North Star Award

PFLAG Portland Black Chapter

The Northern Lights Award 

The Standard Foundation

The Shining Star Award

Stacey Rice

The Star Light Award

Q Center Interim Board and Advisory Committee

Interim board: Leora Coleman-Fire, Devon Rose Davis, Antoinette Edwards, Zan Gibbs, Robert Goman, Richard Hay, Stephanie Hooper, Alexis Paige, Gee Lewis, LeAnn Locher, Avishai Micaiah, Athen O'Shea, Jose Rivas, Lisa Watson

Interim advisory committee: Sam Adams, Kendall Clawson, Jim Clay, Jeana Frazzini, CM Hall, John Halseth, RK/Robert Kennedy, Bob Speltz, Jackie Yerby