Rosie Perez, Charlaine Harris And Hudson Taylor Honored At PFLAG National's Third Annual Straight For Equality Awards

Mar 16, 2011, 15:04 ET from PFLAG National

NEW YORK, March 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- PFLAG National held its third annual Straight for Equality Awards Gala on Monday, March 14, at the Marriott Marquis Times Square. Straight for Equality – a nationwide outreach and education project created by PFLAG National – educates and empowers straight allies to advocate for and support gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people.

Honored this year were Academy Award® nominated actress Rosie Perez (DO THE RIGHT THING, FEARLESS), who received the Straight For Equality in Entertainment award, champion college wrestler-turned-coach Hudson Taylor, who received the Straight for Equality in Sports award, and best-selling author Charlaine Harris (The SOOKIE STACKHOUSE series, basis for the HBO series TRUE BLOOD), who received the first-ever Straight for Equality in Literature award. Financial services leader MetLife received the Straight for Equality in Business award.

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," said PFLAG National Executive Director Jody M. Huckaby. "It was 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. This is truly unique – there's no other event that celebrates such a diverse array of straight allies.  They are remarkable women and allies."

"I am deeply humbled to receive this Straight for Equality in Sports award," stated honoree Hudson Taylor. "When I began wrestling nineteen years ago, I could never have imagined that my involvement in athletics would bring me to this incredible moment." First to win the award for Literature, novelist Charlaine Harris echoed the sentiment, "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."

Images from PFLAG National's 2011 Straight for Equality gala can be found at WireImage.

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is the nation's foremost family-based organization committed to the civil rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. Founded in 1973 by mothers and fathers, PFLAG has 200,000 members and supporters in more than 300 chapters throughout the United States. To learn more, please visit

Straight for Equality is a project of PFLAG National. It was launched in 2007 to invite, educate, and engage straight individuals to have the discussions necessary to move equality forward for their gay, lesbian, bi, and transgender friends in simple, nonpolitical ways. Learn more at today.