Actress Mary-Louise Parker and the investment bank BNY Mellon were honored for their long-time dedication to LGBT advocacy.
Parker receved the 'Ally Award' from New York's LGBT Center during its 10th annual fundraising dinner, held on Thursday at Cipriani, in Manhattan. All proceeds from the evening went towards the Center's first outpatient substance-use treatment program for LGBT youth.
Parker received the Center Ally Award. She was joined by close friend Whoopi Goldberg, and fellow advocates Stacy London and Cynthia Nixon.
Photo: Carl Timpone/BFA.com
Parker spoke about the challenges LGBT youth continue to face, and how those issues have informed her acting career:
"The stigma has really lifted, but there's still struggles especially among LGBT youth of racial minorities," Parker said, "I remember when filming the movie Longtime Companion people had to be shocked before they could be comfortable with it, and I think that's one of the first steps."
Goldberg had similar feelings when discussing LGBT youth who may still be struggling with acceptance. "Just know that it won't always be like this," she said. "It will get better. People are just stupid sometimes."
The LGBT Community Center of New York currently holds youth programs that include discussion groups, creative art workshops, and peer leadership training. Every year, more than 300,000 visitors come to receive support on family issues, youth counselling, arts and culture, and rehabilitation.
"We're incredibly grateful for the growing support of our new programs," said Glennda Testone, executive director of the Center. "It's so inspiring to see hundreds of people come together every year to send a clear message that we will not rest until we achieve equality and justice for all."