• Iowa's 2018 Matthew Shepard Scholarship Awards Dinner
  • Keynote Speaker
  • Keynote Speaker

    Kim Coco Iwamoto was a licensed therapeutic foster mom to gay and trans teenagers when she realized the Hawaii Board of Education would not take responsibility for the rampant bullying and harassment LGBTQ students were having to endure in the public schools.

    Kim Coco decided to run for election to a seat on the BOE so she could hold them accountable from the inside. Kim Coco won that election in 2006, and unexpectedly became touted as “the highest ranking, openly-transgender elected official in the United States”. She won reelection in 2010 with 25% more votes.

    In 2011, the Governor of Hawaii appointed Kim Coco to the State Civil Rights Commission and her appointment was confirmed unanimously by the State Senate. In 2013, President Barack Obama honored Kim Coco as a Harvey Milk Champion of Change for her work to reduce bullying and harassment in Hawaii’s schools. Today, she is actively campaigning to be the next Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii.