LA PRIDE ANNOUNCES 2012 COMMUNITY HONOREES
CHAZ BONO NAMED PERSON OF THE YEAR,
DEES REES AND KATY BUTLER ALSO HONORED
Christopher Street West, proud producers of LA PRIDE--the world renowned LGBT celebration set for June 8-10, 2012 in the City of West Hollywood--is thrilled to announce that amongst the slate of Community Honorees are Chaz Bono - Person of the Year, Katy Butler - Outstanding Youth Leader and Dee Rees - Osborn/Michaels Media Award.
Dee Rees, a relatively new writer/director, and Spike Lee protégé, is at the dawn of what will assuredly be a heralded career, if her arresting film "Pariah" is an indication. "Pariah" is about a 17-year old African-American teenager embracing her identity as a lesbian. Premiering at Sundance in 2011, it received the Excellence in Cinematography Award, and went on to become a film festival and crowd favorite. Additionally Dee was honored with the John Cassavetes Award, at the 2012 Spirit Awards.
For 17-year-old high school junior Katy Butler, enough was enough. After coming out as a lesbian in middle school, and being bullied as a result, she was outraged that the new documentary "Bully" was to be released with an "R" rating. This meant that those under 17, the youth directly affected by bullying would not be able to see the film. Current data suggests that 13-million students in the US are victims of bullying. Katy started an online petition via Change.org to urge the MPAA to change Bully's rating from "R" to "PG-13." 500,000 signatures later, and with the support of stars like Ellen Degeneres, who welcomed her on her show; the Washington Post named Katy "a new voice against bullying." For demonstrating to us all that one is never too young to inspire change, we are honored that Katy will be our 2012 Outstanding Youth Leader.
Chaz Bono's 2011 memoir and Sundance-premiering, Emmy-nominated documentary were media sensations, however it was his courage on Dancing with the Stars that gave transgender issues unprecedented visibility to millions of fans of this hit show. Even with pressure put on ABC to disqualify Chaz, he showed up, danced, charming us all, and upon his most graceful exit said proudly, "I wanted to show America a different kind of man," dedicating everything he did to people like him, especially the kids and teens who are struggling. The massive impact Chaz has had on our society as a respectable, generous and very public transgender man is untold. For this, we are thrilled to present him as 2012 Person of the Year, and are extra pleased to celebrate him here in his hometown.
Additional honorees and event information will be announced in the weeks to come. For more information, visit LAPRIDE.org and sign up to receive email. You can also stay connected by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter @LAPRIDE.