Saturday, March 19, 2011

PFLAG National Straight for Equality Gala

On Monday night, a photographer captured what may just be my favorite photo of my entire year as Miss NY - a picture is worth a thousand words is right.

This was at the Third Annual PFLAG National Straight for Equality Gala in NYC. I presented the Straight for Equality in Business Award to the Chief Diversity Officer of MetLife, a corporation who has been a longtime supporter of PFLAG NYC and National, but also committed to equality in the workplace, recognizing that a diverse blend of people creates the most affective team.

Executive Director of PFLAG National Jody Huckaby and PFLAG President Rabbi David Horowitz
Although I agree with the emcee comedian Carol Leifer that he should have come out in his wrestling singlet, Hudson Taylor was the SfE in Sports honoree for his courageous voice in wrestling as a straight ally. He wrestled through college as a 3 NCAA All-American at the University of Maryland with the HRC equality symbol on his headgear and is now the Columbia University coach. I have a direct connection to someone who is gay because my sister, but what is so cool about Hudson is that he doesn't. It's just the right thing to do for him -- and should be for us all. Hudson just started his own non-profit Athlete Ally. Join him.


This year PFLAG gave out the first SfE in Literature Award to Charlaine Harris. Perhaps you don't know her name, but I know you know True Blood. She wrote the books on which the tv show was based. Even with 7 gay characters on the show, it was so interesting to hear her speak of her intention, lacing a stronger message of acceptance and differences through a story of vampires. "To find that other people have been listening to the subtext of my books, and have been taking it seriously, is an unexpected delight. I'm grateful for this recognition of my small attempt to correct a great wrong, and to be the recipient of this very meaningful award." - CH

 And then we were ready for Rosie Perez to accept her award for SfE in Entertainment...or were we? With a fantasic and heartfelt introduction from Wilson Cruz (RENT), Rosie took the stage and stole our attention, hearts and laughter.  Rosie is a loud, proud, Puerto Rican activist for a number of causes, especially those related to AIDS and inner-city youth.  She has been an advocate for the gay community who has not and will never let an ounce of injustice occur or be heard around her.  Although we will always continue to celebrate, award and recognize those who are making ground breaking steps towards equality, we both/all look forward to a time where there is not such an award because then it won't be one incredible person stepping up and embracing equality, it will be the world doing so.

The Broadway Boys were the entertainment of the night...and sooooo good!! And Jamie was my handsome date :)

Read the entire press release HERE.  Visit PFLAG National and Straight for Equality.

1 comment:

  1. "It's just the right thing to do."

    It SO is! I am delighted to see a Miss America contestant broadcasting this message. If one person is not afforded equality under the law, then, by definition, no person is.

    If my husband and I had tried to marry in our state 40 years before we did, we could have been thrown in jail. As long as anyone is denied a marriage license absent a compelling societal interest, I don't see what prevents the U.S. from ignoring or setting aside Loving v. Virginia, the decision that afforded me and my husband the right to marry.

    Thank you so much for this.