PFLAG National—the nation's first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people, their families, and allies—today announced it will honor TV host and political analyst Joy Reid at its 45th Anniversary Celebration in Washington, D.C. this May.
PFLAG was founded by Queens, NY schoolteacher Jeanne Manford. After her gay son, activist Morty Manford, was harassed and beaten in 1972, she marched by his side in an early precursor to NY Pride, and found herself surrounded by young LGBTQ people asking her to reach out to their parents. Within weeks, the phone in her home was ringing off the hook with requests from these young people and their families, and nine months later, in March 1973, PFLAG was born.
Straight for EqualityTM—a national outreach and education project created by PFLAG National— invites, educates, and engages the next generation of allies joining together with LGBTQ people in the effort to achieve equality for all. Straight for Equality awards are presented to individuals who are transforming the way that LGBTQ people are understood and treated, using their talents and platforms in their respective fields to empower others to become engaged and outspoken allies for fairness, diversity, and inclusion.
Joy Reid is a political analyst at MSNBC and host of “AM Joy.” She is the author of the book Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons and the Racial Divide, and her columns and articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, the Miami Herald, New York Magazine and other publications. She currently teaches a course in race, gender, and media at Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Communications’ New York City annex. Reid is the former managing editor of TheGrio.com, a site exploring issues of importance to African-Americans.
“Ms. Reid has been a leader speaking out for marginalized communities, long before this challenging—and sometimes devastating—sociopolitical moment,” said PFLAG National board president Jean Hodges. “She has been a loud voice for women, people of color, and immigrants, and when the New York Times recently referred to her as a ‘heroine of the resistance,’ we couldn’t have agreed more!”
Ms. Reid will receive her award from Pulse attack survivor Brandon Wolf, who is the co-founder and serves as the Vice President of The Dru Project, a nonprofit organization that establishes Gay Straight Alliances in public high schools and provides college funding to future leaders in the LGBTQ community.
Of his friend’s honor, Wolf said, “I can think of no one more fitting for the PFLAG National Straight for Equality in Media award than Joy Reid. She has perpetually been among the fiercest advocates of the LGBTQ community and has leveraged her role as a media figure to demand equality for all people and accountability for those in power. I am honored to be presenting this award to my friend and ally.”
"It's such an honor to receive this award from PFLAG, and I am mindful that it comes at a time when many of the battles for equality for LGBT people that in recent years felt all-but won are having to be re-fought, and old fears of injustice are returning,” said Ms. Reid. “All I can do, as an ally, is stand with you, lock arms with you, listen to you, and speak up. If I've done that reasonably well, I am humbled and grateful."
PFLAG’s 45th Anniversary Celebration will be held on Wednesday, May 9th in Washington, D.C. at the Mayflower Hotel. To purchase tickets or inquire about becoming a sponsor of the event, please visit pflag.org/anniversary or call (202) 467-8180 x218.