From baseball players to beauty queens: LGBTQ firsts in Sonoma County

The "Follow This Story" feature will notify you when any articles related to this story are posted.

When you follow a story, the next time a related article is published — it could be days, weeks or months — you'll receive an email informing you of the update.

If you no longer want to follow a story, click the "Unfollow" link on that story. There's also an "Unfollow" link in every email notification we send you.

This tool is available only to subscribers; please make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.

Please note: This feature is available only to subscribers; make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.


Rhiannon Jones this month was crowned Miss Sonoma County. The 21-year-old Sonoma State student was the first openly gay woman to win the competition in its 73-year history.

She’s among the many members of Sonoma County’s LGBTQ community to break barriers in recent years. Janet Orchard, John Sawyer and Gabe Kearney are some of the county’s first openly LGBTQ city council members.

Katie Morrison, a Sonoma Valley teacher and minister, made national news in 2001 as the first openly gay seminary graduate to be ordained by the Presbyterian Church. Sonoma Stompers pitcher Sean Conroy became professional baseball’s first openly gay player in 2015.

Click through our gallery above to explore some of the other LGBTQ members who broke barriers.

Our Network

Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Emerald Report
Spirited Magazine