PFLAG to Honor Tom Daley with the George Takei Advocate Award
February 23, 2023
“I admire Tom’s athletic prowess and his courage as an open and outspoken gay man.” —George Takei
NEW YORK (February 23, 2023) — On Friday, March 3 PFLAG will honor Olympic gold medalist and LGBTQ+ activist Tom Daley with the 2023 George Takei Advocate Award during the iconic LGBTQ+ organization’s 50th Anniversary Gala event. That evening, PFLAG will also bestow honors on Big Freedia (Breaking Barriers Award) and Mondelēz (Straight for Equality in Business Award) at a spectacular event hosted by Amber Ruffin, featuring Tati Gabrielle (YOU, Uncharted), Eureka (WE’RE HERE), Rose Abdoo (HACKS), and more, with performances by Robin S., Evann McIntosh, Johnny Manuel, and VINCINT.
“From a very young age, I’ve felt a responsibility to use my platform to make a difference and over time, I’ve become more and more confident in myself as an LGBTQ+ athlete to do so. When I’ve been competing in countries where it’s illegal to be me, I’ve been so proud to stand on the podium and win medals knowing that I’m visible to the LGBTQ+ community watching in that area, showing that they’re not alone. I would not have had this resilience and determination if it wasn’t for the visibility of other LGBTQ+ people like George Takei who shine light on the issues important to our LGBTQ+ community. I am so honored to receive this recognition from PFLAG. We’ve come so far, but in a time when people are trying to take away our rights, I’ll continue to help make a difference to everyone in the LGBTQ+ community where I can,” said Tom Daley, recipient of PFLAG’s 2023 George Takei Advocate Award.
The George Takei Advocate Award honors a person who uses their visibility to help advance PFLAG’s work to create a caring, just, and affirming world for LGBTQ+ people and those who love them. The award is named in honor of actor, social justice activist, social media mega-power, and New York Times bestselling author George Takei.
“I first met Tom in 2019 in New York. This was before he competed for and won his Olympic Gold Medal, before he was named to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, and before his powerful BBC documentary ‘Illegal to Be Me,’ but after he had become a parent. It was clear then that Tom knew his role would forever be to make this world a better, more affirming place for LGBTQ+ people and families,” said George Takei, a longtime supporter and friend of PFLAG. “I am honored to lend my name to an award from PFLAG National that recognizes the courage to advocate for LGBTQ+ people, and I am proud that Tom Daley will be the first to receive it,” continued Takei, who is currently in London performing in his show Allegiance.”
“Through his work to both raise awareness about disparities facing LGBTQ+ people and also to use his platform to reduce barriers to LGBTQ+ affirmation and safety, Tom Daley is making a difference around the world and in sport. PFLAG National is honored to recognize George Takei’s legacy, and we are proud to present Tom Daley with the first George Takei Advocate Award,” said Brian K. Bond, Executive Director of PFLAG National.
Olympic gold medalist and double World Champion Tom Daley is the most decorated British diver of all time and a global LGBTQ+ advocate. Shortly after the London 2012 Olympic Games, Tom Daley came out in a YouTube video that garnered global attention, adding his name to the very short list of openly-gay athletes. A multi-Commonwealth Games champion, Tom campaigned for LGBTQ+ equality at the games, ensuring all athletes feel welcome and safe, visiting Commonwealth countries with anti-LGBTQ+ laws for a BBC documentary Tom Daley: Illegal To Be Me. In A Commonwealth Games first, Tom walked in the flag ceremony carrying a Progress Pride flag alongside LGBTQ+ heroes in the Commonwealth, a sign to those in homophobic countries that they are seen.
PFLAG’s 50th Anniversary Gala celebrates a history of leading with love, and will bring together LGBTQ+ people, parents, families, advocates, allies, celebrities and business leaders at an incredible in-person event at New York’s Marriott Marquis on the evening of March 3. Serving on PFLAG’s 50th Anniversary Gala Honorary Host Committee are celebrated LGBTQ+ people and allies: Andrew Rannells, Audra McDonald, Chef Melissa King, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Justin Mikita, Kristin Chenoweth, Martha Plimpton, Matt Doyle, Nate Berkus, Patrick Stewart, Sunny Ozell, Will Swenson, and Wilson Cruz. For more information about PFLAG’s 50th Anniversary Gala, visit pflag.org/gala50.
PFLAG is an organization of LGBTQ+ people, parents, families, and allies who work together to create an equitable and inclusive world. We are hundreds of thousands of people and hundreds of chapters from coast to coast who are leading with love to support families, educate allies, and advocate for just, equitable, and inclusive legislation and policies. Since our founding in 1973, PFLAG works every day to ensure LGBTQ+ people everywhere are safe, celebrated, empowered and loved. Learn more, find support, donate, and take action at PFLAG.org.
Laura McGinnis (she/her),
Sr. Manager, Press and Public Relations
[email protected] | (202) 864-2247