At Equality Texas, we have a goal of engaging, educating, and mobilizing our Texas community to support LGBTQ equality. When we come together for our virtual gala this year, it will be a night of celebration, inspiration, and generosity…and recognition of some of the people who have engaged, mobilized, and provided inspiration through their efforts.
We are excited to introduce you to this year’s Honorees. This is just a glimpse into who they are and why they are deserving of recognition. Join us on October 17th to learn more about them.
Profile in Courage Award — Lori Olson
We live in a state where taking a public stance in support of LGBTQ people is courageous. Our first honoree, Lori Olson, acted in accordance with the values of empathy, compassion and inclusion when she posted a pic of herself on Facebook supporting Wimberley’s first ever PRIDE parade with a caption that read, “This is a historic event and I stand in solidarity with everyone involved.”
The criticism and backlash Lori faced as a result of her post and support of LGBTQ youth in the district included a formal grievance filed by a community member, online harassment, threats, and sitting through a few charged special Board of Trustee meetings. We are recognizing Lori, because her actions created necessary dialogue in a small town and made public the urgent need for school-wide protections for LGBTQ youth.
Transgender Activist Award — Emmett Schelling
True leaders lead with heart, turn their passion into action, practice empathy as a tool to connect and represent our communities. Emmett Schelling, Executive Director of Transgender Education Network of Texas, is a leader.
Emmett, lives his life authentically and works tirelessly to uplift the voice of the most marginalized members of our community in a respectful and honest way. Working to halt discrimination through medical, legislative, and corporate education is not easy to do in a state that has led the nation in transgender violence. Despite the reality of the Texas landscape and the anti-trans rhetoric we experience on a national level, Emmett shows up every day to give 150% of himself to our movement.
Business Champion Award — Dell Technologies
Equality Texas is proud to work with a coalition of businesses through our program, Texas Competes. These are businesses who have stood up and spoken out for LGBTQ Equality in Texas and have helped move the center of gravity in Texas politics in the direction of equality.
This year, we are proud to honor Dell and the many strong leaders at this Fortune 500 Corporation headquartered right here in Austin who have been fighting on the frontlines with us for LGBTQ equality for years. From the C-Suite to the customer support employees, we consistently see the emotion and dedication the folks at Dell pour into the work for equality.
Get your tickets now to help us celebrate these local LGBTQ community leaders. We promise an evening when your passion will be reignited to help Equality Texas make positive changes in 2021 and beyond.