On April 15th, Toronto Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) will set the stage, joining with Emmy-award winner, Rosie O’Donnell, Dora award winner, John Alcorn and cast members from the Wizard of Oz to present the distinguished “Ally Award” to Emmy and Golden Globe-winner and PFLAG-waving TV Mom, Sharon Gless, along with three outstanding Ontario MPPs, Dr. Cheri DiNovo (NDP, Parkdale-High Park), Christine Elliott (Progressive Conservative, Whitby-Oshawa), and Hon. Yasir Naqvi (Liberal, Ottawa Centre).
Continuing its year-round efforts to fight for the equal treatment of all, Toronto PFLAG is proud to take pause for an evening, hosted by TV and Radio Personality Mike Chalut, to recognize this year’s recipients of the distinguished Ally Award, who have each made outstanding contributions towards ending the ongoing struggles associated with homophobia and transphobia. Sharon Gless, who will be joined by her good friend, Rosie O’Donnell, has been a vocal advocate for the LGBTQ community for many years. In addition to her groundbreaking role as a PFLAG mom on the hit Toronto-filmed TV series Queer as Folk, Ms. Gless has been consistent in her support both off screen and on, publicly sharing PFLAG’s message of LGBTQ equality on issues ranging from adoption to the growing concerns facing the elderly. “I learned so much on Queer as Folk… with as much fun as you all have, you are still fighting uphill battles,” said Gless.
Also being recognized are Ontario Members of Provincial Parliament, Dr. Cheri DiNovo, Christine Elliott, and Honourable Yasir Naqvi who collaborated in 2012 to ensure support from each of their three political parties on the historic passage of Toby’s Law, amending Ontario’s Human Rights Code to prohibit discrimination based on gender expression and gender identity. The law makes Ontario the first jurisdiction in North America to recognize both.
“Toronto PFLAG families and supporters are honouring Allies who have served our community by their caring and commitment to ensuring others’ rights, and by being inspirational and positive role models,” said Toronto PFLAG President, Irene Miller. “Each of this year’s four recipients are perfect examples, so we are thrilled to honour them with our Ally-award.”
Toronto PFLAG presents the awards at a cocktail reception April 15, 2013, 6-8pm at the Ed Mirvish Theatre (formerly Canon–263 Yonge St). Two horse-mounted police officers will welcome guests and attendees at the red carpeted Yonge Street entrance upon arrival. Tickets are available online now at torontopflag.org/gala