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Social Issues
Celebrating Equality: PFLAG To Honour Outstanding Allies Of Gays & Lesbians
April 9, 2013
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If you're a fan of the show, you might have noticed George wearing a rainbow wristband on many a night. See it there on his right wrist.

That wristband is from an organization called PFLAG, which stands for parents, family, friends of lesbians and gays.

It's a volunteer group working to end discrimination and bullying based on sexual orientation or gender identity and it has a big event coming up.

Next Monday, April 15, Toronto PFLAG is holding its annual awards gala to celebrate diversity and honour people who've made outstanding contributions to the LGBTQ community.

PFLAG calls them "allies" - people who are heterosexual who stand up for gay rights and equality.

This year's Ally Award recipients include Emmy and Golden Globe winner Sharon Gless, who's a member of PFLAG and a vocal advocate of LGBTQ causes.

In recent years, Gless starred in an independent film called 'Hannah Free' playing the title role of "Hannah" - a lesbian who has kept her same sex relationship secret for 60 years.

Hannah is in love with "Rachel" with whom she has a lifelong relationship despite a marriage, a world war, infidelities, and family denial.

Here's the trailer.

Gless was also part of the cast of 'Queer As Folk' - the first hour-long drama on American TV to portray the lives of gay men and women.

She played "Debbie", a mother who is deeply proud and supportive of her son Michael's homosexuality.

The show was groundbreaking and highly rated - exploring themes such as coming out, same-sex marriage, gay adoption, gay-bashing, safe-sex and HIV. And much of it was shot in Toronto.

Three members of the Ontario legislature - Cheri DiNovo (NDP MPP), Christine Elliott (Conservative MPP), and Yasir Naqvi (Ontario's Minister of Labour & Liberal MPP) - are also being honoured.

Together, they secured support from each of their parties to pass a law amending Ontario's Human Rights Code, to prohibit discrimination based on gender expression and gender identity.

celebrating-equality-pflag-to-honour-outstanding-allies-of-gays-and-lesbians-feature3.jpgAs well, Gless' friend - Emmy Award winner Rosie O'Donnell - will be part of the event along with Canadian jazz singer John Alcorn and cast members from Mirvish's Wizard Of Oz.

The gala is Toronto PFLAG's biggest fundraiser of the year, with proceeds going toward programs including a 24/7 telephone support line; monthly support meetings for LGBTQ persons, their families and friends; and presentations in schools, universities and businesses to promote diversity.

The event is being held at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto from 6 to 8pm on Monday, April 15th.

You can find out more information at you can buy tickets for the gala at

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