By: Shannon Ralph
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network has announced the honorees for its seventh annual Respect Awards. Held annually in Los Angeles and New York, The Respect Awards honor the work of corporations, individuals, students, and educators who have made a significant impact in the areas of diversity, inclusion, and safe schools. Among this year’s honorees are Chaz Bono, Michele and Rob Reiner, and Phoenix Suns President and CEO Rick Welts.
Bono—an LGBT rights activist, speaker, and author—will receive the “Hero Award.” After transitioning from female to male, he shared his life experiences in the three-time Emmy nominated documentary “Becoming Chaz.”
Michele and Rob Reiner—founding board members of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the sole sponsor of the federal court challenge of California’s Proposition 8—will receive the “Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Welts, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Phoenix Suns, will receive the “Inspiration Award.” In May 2011, Welts became the first professional sports executive to come out publicly, and has since dedicated himself to becoming a mentor to LGBT people who harbor doubts about a sports career.
This year’s Respect Awards will be presented on October 21, the last day of GLSEN’s Ally Week, held in schools across the country to identify, support and celebrate allies.