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GLSEN Awards Honors Gay and Lesbian Allies

GLSEN Awards Honors Gay and Lesbian Allies

GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, presented its fifth annual GLSEN Respect Awards to producer and writer Shonda Rhimes, philanthropist and entrepreneur David C. Bohnett and HBO at a ceremony in Los Angeles Oct. 9.

GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, presented its fifth annual GLSEN Respect Awards to producer and writer Shonda Rhimes, philanthropist and entrepreneur David C. Bohnett andHBOat a ceremony in Los Angeles Oct. 9.

GLSEN is a national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. The Respect Awards, held annually in Los Angeles and New York, recognize individual and corporate leaders who have helped GLSEN ensure safe schools for students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

Rhimes received the GLSEN Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion Award. She was honored for the diversity, multiracial casting and inclusion of LGBT characters, storylines and actors on her shows, Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. Rhimes has received a Producers Guild of America Award, Golden Globe Award, Lucy Award, NAACP Image Award, Writers Guild Award, and Emmy nominations for Outstanding Drama Series and Writing for Grey’s Anatomy.

Bohnett, who was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award, has been a personal and professional supporter of GLSEN. He has funded more than 60 cyber centers at LGBT community centers across the country, providing Internet access for LGBT youth and seniors.

HBO, which received the Corporate Role Model Award, was honored for portraying positive images of the LGBT community through their series and movies. They also represent diversity both on camera and as a corporate leader.

Austin Laufersweiler, an 18-year-old student, received GLSEN's inaugural Student Advocate of the Year Award presented by AT&T. Since experiencing anti-gay bullying at school as a sophomore, Laufersweiler has worked as an advocate for equality and safety at Lassiter High School where he founded a Gay-Straight Alliance, organized last year’s Day of Silence and worked with the administration to implement an anti-bullying policy.

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Edie Stull