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JEAN M. BAKER

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Birth Date: 1927
Birth Place: Phoenix, Arizona

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Date submitted: October 24, 2006
Gift: Arch with Seating
Location on plaza map: A2
Areas of Achievement: Activism, Health/Medicine, Youth, LGBT Issues
 
Jean M. Baker was nominated for the Amazon Foundation's Women Activists Arch in the Women's Plaza of Honor by Wingspan.

"There are few individuals in our community - gay or straight - who have made such a sustained commitment to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) issues over the past two decades as has Jean Baker. Jean Baker has been a staunch defender of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and a tireless advocate for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Jean has been a licensed psychologist in private clinical practice in Tucson since 1970. In 1998, Jean published Family Secrets: A Motherís Story, a first person account of the personal loss she experienced through the protracted illness and eventual death of her son, Gary, due to AIDS.

After her sonís death, Jean focused considerable energy upon the development of quality support services for those living with HIV disease. She served two 3-year terms on the Board of Directors of the Tucson AIDS Project (TAP), which later merged with other AIDS service organizations to form the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF). Since then, she has been a strong supporter of SAAFís programs and services.

At the state level, Jean has been an active member of the Arizona Psychological Association for over 30 years. A past president of this organization, she is now the Chair of the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Issues Committee. In this role, she has presented numerous papers at professional conferences and at the national conference of the APA on facts and fallacies about sexual orientation and on the impact of antigay prejudice upon civil rights, which has resulted in minimal legal protection.

Jean has also been actively involved in the local LGBT community. She served for six years on the Wingspan Board of Directors, focusing her energies on the advancement and support of young LGBT people. She has also served on the City of Tucsonís Commission of LGBT Issues." --Wingspan