A group of prominent LGBTQ people in our community that we know the least about is Superior Court judges. Queer Silicon Valley is pleased to showcase 5 of the 9 judges in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties who identify as LGBTQ. I know you will be as impressed by their individual stories and how they came to be judges as I was.

Judges often lead lives of privacy, as they strive to guide others through the legal system’s stresses and hardships in their courtrooms. Perhaps that is one reason we hear little about them. But each in their own way is demonstrating that LGBTQ people belong and excel in all professions, including the legal one. As exemplary role models, they signal to young LGBTQ lawyers that becoming a judge is an option open to them.

— Ken Yeager

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Judge Charles Adams

Not much is known about the six LGBTQ+ judges that serve on the bench in Santa Clara County. In the first of a series, read about Charles Adams, an openly gay male judge who has served since 2018. Judges often ...
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Judge Julie Emede

In the second of a series, read about Julie Emede, an openly lesbian judge who has served on the bench since February 2010. Even when members of the LGBTQ community feel comfortable in their own identity, fears can still seep ...
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Judge Jessica Delgado

In the third of a series, read about Santa Clara County's newest LGBTQ member of the bench, Judge Jessica Delgado. One of six LGBTQ+ judges in Santa Clara County, Jessica Delgado draws from her experience of being on her own ...
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Judge Randy Rice

A reflection by Ann Ravel, I first met Randy Rice when I was a sophomore at Willow Glen High School and he was a junior. We met because he was friends with my brother, Paul, who was in the same ...

Judge Shawna Schwarz

In the fourth of a series, read about Santa Clara County's first out lesbian judge, Judge Shawna Schwarz. Although Judge Shawna Schwarz made history as the first out lesbian judge in Santa Clara County in 2006, her LGBTQ+ identity has ...
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Judge Jonathan Karesh

In January 2019, Jonathan Karesh became the second LGBTQ judge ever elected to be the presiding judge of the San Mateo County Superior Court. At the time, he was the only out LGBTQ presiding judge of a county Superior Court ...