A crowd of over 1,200 members and allies of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community celebrated the 33rd anniversary of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) on Saturday night. In addition to celebrating the achievements of the past year, NCLR honored Vicki Randle and Will Phillips for their commitment to advancing the rights of the LGBT community, as well as Wolfe Video and Curve Magazine for their tremendous contributions to the community.
- Voice and Visibility Award: Vicki Randle, was the first (and only) female member of the Tonight Show Band, starting with host Jay Leno in 1992.
- Fierce Ally Award: Will Phillips, the ten-year-old fifth grader from Arkansas who gained international attention for his refusal to say the United States Pledge of Allegiance at West Fork Elementary School because of its false promise of “liberty and justice for all.”
- Outstanding Community Partner Award: Wolfe Video and Curve Magazine
Curve Magazine and Wolfe Video were honored during NCLR’s anniversary reception with NCLR’s Outstanding Community Partner Award, which recognizes organizations and companies for their unwavering support of the LGBT community and their long-standing relationship with NCLR. Curve Magazine, from its humble beginnings as a ’90s zine, has grown into the nation’s best-selling lesbian magazine, read by more women than any other national gay or lesbian publication. Wolfe video, now in its 25th year, is the oldest and largest exclusive distributor of gay and lesbian films in the world.
In addition to the awards recipients, special guests included Constance McMillen and Ceara Sturgis. McMillen was unable to attend her prom after her school canceled it rather than let her attend in a tuxedo with her girlfriend. Sturgis was told she could not wear a tuxedo in her senior picture and was omitted from her school’s yearbook.
“In addition to honoring the remarkable achievements of Vicki Randle and Will Phillips, the night was made even more special by having Constance, Ceara, and their attorneys from the ACLU. The night was about celebrating the courage of our community, our history, and our future,” said Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
One of the highlights of the evening was the celebration of Jane Lynch and Lara Embry’s engagement. Lynch and Embry, who had met at the previous year’s gala, were surprised with a custom cake by Elizabeth Falkner of Citizen Cake.
For more information on NCLR’s 33rd Anniversary Gala, visit http://www.nclrights.org/2010ann.
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