Citing her outstanding contributions as an artist to advancing equality for all, PFLAG National announced that Academy Award®-winning actress and iconic straight ally Liza Minnelli will be honored with the 2010 Straight for Equality in Entertainment award for her lifelong support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. The award will be presented at PFLAG’s second annual Straight for Equality Awards Gala on May 1 at the New York Marriott Marquis.
“Liza Minnelli is the quintessential straight ally – she has been an outspoken supporter of equality for LGBT for her whole life, and her tremendous and ongoing philanthropy in the fight against AIDS has made her a very public advocate of the many individuals and their families who have been affected by the disease,” said Jody M. Huckaby, PFLAG National’s executive director. “Her enormous talent makes her iconic, and her steadfast support for the LGBT community makes her an ally. We are so honored to be able to present her with the 2010 Straight for Equality in Entertainment Award.”
Minnelli, whose first professional performance was at age 17, is one of only 12 individuals in the world to achieve the much sought-after designation of being an EGOT – someone who has won an Emmy (Liza with a 'Z'. A Concert for Television), Grammy (the 1990 Grammy Legend Award), Oscar (Cabaret), and Tony Award (Flora the Red Menace, Live at the Winter Garden, The Act and Liza's at the Palace....). In addition to these honors, she has also won Drama Desk Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and a BAFTA. Minnelli was also presented with an Honorary Doctorate by Mercy College in New York for “for her charitable activities and a career that has spanned five decades and multiple genres.”
“As someone who has been supported and touched by the LGBT community for my entire life, I can’t imagine being anything but an out and proud straight ally who doesn’t fear speaking up to anyone,” said Minnelli. “The Straight for Equality award means so much to me – it helps me know that what I’ve done and said has changed things for people.”
Straight for Equality is a project of PFLAG National that was launched in 2007 to invite, educate, and empower straight allies to demonstrate their support for their LGBT friends and family. Since its inception, the program has trained more than 3,500 people nationwide through its educational workshops in corporations, healthcare environments, and communities. The Straight for Equality in Entertainment Award was designed to honor a performer and/or artist who has a history of advocating for equality for LGBT people. The first award was presented in 2009 to actress Sigourney Weaver.