Dallas, TX — Chaz Bono will receive this year’s Elizabeth Birch Equality Award, co-chairs of the 2012 Black Tie Dinner announced today. The award will be presented as part of the 31st annual event benefiting North Texas gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender supportive organizations and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. This year’s dinner will be on Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel.
To honor national leaders, and in recognition of the inspirational leadership of former Human Rights Campaign Executive Director Elizabeth Birch, this award is given to an individual, organization or company that has made a significant contribution of national scope to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. Elizabeth Birch received the first such award, as well as the distinction of having this recognition renamed in her honor. Past recipients of the Birch Award include Showtime Networks/Robert Greenblatt, Alan Cumming, Sharon Stone, Bishop V. Gene Robinson, Judy Shepard, American Airlines and last year, decorated veteran Eric Alva.
Chaz Bono is a GLBT rights advocate, author and speaker. Most recently, Chaz received the GLAAD Media Award and was honored for his OWN documentary, Becoming Chaz, which chronicled the struggles of his gender reassignment journey. He also received the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, which is given by GLAAD to a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender entertainer for promoting equality. Chaz embarked on uncharted territory last fall when he appeared on Dancing With The Stars.
Born Chastity, to entertainers Sonny and Cher Bono, Chaz came out as a lesbian to his parents at 18 in 1987. He did not come out publicly until April 1995 in an interview with The Advocate, the national gay and lesbian news magazine. Chaz has contributed as a writer-at-large to The Advocate and became spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, promoting National Coming Out Day. Chaz also served as Entertainment Media Director for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).