DENVER, Colorado — While Denver celebrates PrideFest this weekend, Bishop Karen Oliveto is in Billings, Montana where the Mountain Sky Conference of the United Methodist Church is holding its annual conference. Oliveto is the first openly Lesbian Bishop for the church.

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In her role within the church, Oliveto advocates for an inclusive faith community. "God made you. God loves you and we need you," Oliveto said when asked of her sermon. 9NEWS spoke with Oliveto in March after church delegates at the General Conference voted for a plan opposed to ordaining LGBTQ clergy and performing same-sex marriage 

NBC recently named Oliveto to its #PRIDE50 list of "change-makers, innovators and rising stars." "It blew me out of the water...It humbled me very, very much," Oliveto told 9NEWS.

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Oliveto isn't the only Coloradan on NBC's list. Captain Alivia Stehlik, U.S. Army Officer, was recognized for speaking up for transgender rights. 

Oliveto told 9NEWS that she wants to use the recognition she's received to empower the next generation. "I am where I am because of those who went before me. They made a path when there didn’t seem to be one. I hope I leave a path for those who come after me who will do even more than me. That’s the responsibility I feel," Oliveto told 9NEWS.

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