A great time was had by all when PFLAG National held its third annual Straight for Equality Awards Gala on Monday, March 14 at the Marriott Marquis Times Square in New York City.
PFLAG members from around the country were in attendance -- along with PFLAG National board members, attendees from national corporate sponsors and partners -- to honor four very special allies: Straight For Equality in Entertainment award winner actress Rosie Perez (DO THE RIGHT THING, FEARLESS), Straight for Equality in Sports award recipient, champion college wrestler-turned-coach Hudson Taylor, the first-ever Straight for Equality in Literature award winner best-selling author Charlaine Harris (The SOOKIE STACKHOUSE series, basis for the HBO series TRUE BLOOD), and the Straight for Equality in Business award recipient, Financial services leader MetLife, represented by Chief Diversity Officer Lynne DiStasio.
Comedian and comedy writer Carol Leifer (MODERN FAMILY, SEINFELD) hosted the evening and multi-platinum-selling, five-time Grammy-nominated artist Michael Feinstein kept the nearly 500 attendees entertained. Also appearing were The Broadway Boys, actor/activist Wilson Cruz (MY SO-CALLED LIFE, RENT) and Clare Buffie, reigning Miss New York, top 12 runner-up in the Miss America pageant, and the first to run on a GLBT equality platform.
This was our most exciting Straight for Equality gala to date, a stirring celebration of straight allies from different backgrounds, and with different experiences in moving the cause of GLBT equality forward. We had young athlete Hudson Taylor speaking out for inclusiveness in sports – having just started his own non-profit organization, Athlete Ally – standing alongside business giant MetLife, whose work for full inclusiveness and equality in the workplace has been a model for other corporations. And Charlaine Harris took on the cause for GLBT equality in her books years ago, long before the subject was headline news, while Rosie Perez is making news with her outspoken stance on marriage equality, and the support of the Latino community for GLBT rights. It was a truly unique evening – there’s no other event that celebrates such a diverse array of straight allies.
Check out images from the event below!