- The Magazine
The Human Rights Campaign has announced it will honor critically-acclaimed, award-winning actress Meryl Streep with the organization’s Ally for Equality Award at the 2017 HRC Greater New York Gala on Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The award recognizes those straight allies who have used the power of their position and their voice to fight for LGBT equality.
“Throughout her phenomenal career, Meryl Streep has used her voice to stand up for the LGBTQ community,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “Whether through her iconic roles that raised the visibility of LGBTQ people, or by boldly speaking out for equality, Meryl Streep embodies the very nature of what it means to be an ally to our community. We are thrilled to welcome Meryl Streep to the 2017 HRC Greater New York Gala and look forward to honoring her with the HRC Ally for Equality Award.”
An outspoken advocate for LGBT equality, Streep credits childhood music teachers — one gay, and one transgender — as the root of her acceptance of the LGBT community, telling Pride Source in an interview: “I just can’t remember when LGBT people were not in my life.”
Several of Streep’s roles in film have been dubbed “iconic” and have helped raise the profile of the LGBT community and the challenges they face. Streep’s role as Hannah Pitt/Ethel Rosenberg in HBO’s 2003 miniseries Angels in America — one she called one of the most important roles of her career — highlighted the devastation of the HIV/AIDS crisis and won her one of her eight Golden Globe Awards. Upon winning, Streep used her acceptance speech to speak out in favor of marriage equality, even though such a stance was not popular among the wider American public in 2004.
Streep was most recently nominated for her 30th Golden Globe Award for her role in Florence Foster Jenkins and will be honored with the prestigious Cecil B. deMille Award at the 74th Golden Globes on Jan. 8, 2017. Streep has won three Academy Award and has been nominated 19 times for various roles. Her resume includes several other honors, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, a 2008 honor from the Film Society of Lincoln Center, a National Medal of the Arts, a Kennedy Center Honor, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
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