NCLR Honors Heroes of Equality
More than 1,500 people honored seven heroes in the movement for LGBT equality at a reception hosted by the National Center for Lesbian Rights' 35th Anniversary Celebration recently in San Francisco, California. The sell-out event celebrated the strides made in the LGBT movement and recognized trailblazers who have stood up for equality, becoming role models for millions of people in the process.
Executive Director Kate Kendell, noting that this was the 35th anniversary of NCLR, pointed out that the march for equality is an ongoing struggle, emphasizing the importance of honoring those "who continue to speak out against injustice and are helping change the legal landscape for every member of our community."
Amongst those honored by the NCLR was famed Glee star Jane Lynch, who received the Vanguard Award for furthering LGBT equality. Lynch has lived an authentic life as an out lesbian while achieving great success and visibility in television and film. Grateful for the honor, Lynch said, "I feel like we all should be honoring NCLR for their achievements."
NCLR also presented the Courage Award to its six, young clients-Brittany Geldert, Damian McGee-Backes, Dylon Frei, Ebonie Richardson, Kyle Rooker, and Kyrstin Schuette-who last year filed a federal sexual-orientation and gender discrimination lawsuit against Minnesota's Anoka-Hennepin School District, challenging a policy that prevented staff from protecting them from anti-LGBT bullying.
"This is a very special day for us," said Frei. "It wasn't too long ago that I was extremely unhappy, and decided to be home schooled rather than face constant taunts from classmates." The young student then said the lawsuit enabled her to "find myself, and be proud to be out, and someone who is unafraid to speak up. I learned that one voice is enough to create change..."