Grand Marshal: MOLLY RINGWALD
Christopher Street West, proud producers of LA PRIDE, have chosen 80's teen-queen, and current star of ABC Family's The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Molly Ringwald, as the 2012 LA PRIDE Parade Grand Marshal. She has been selected for her long and unwavering support of the LGBT community. The 42nd annual LA PRIDE Parade takes place at 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 10, 2012, on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood.
Molly shot to fame in the 1980's in an iconic series of beloved John Hughes' films, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink shortly after appearing as an original cast member on The Facts of Life. A native Californian, she went on to appear in numerous television shows, films and on Broadway.
In 2008, Molly and her family filmed a light-hearted yet poignant public service announcement for the No on Prop 8 Campaign. In the PSA, Molly, holding her husband's hand says, "Same sex marriage has been legal here for months and nothing's happened. I would feel really horrible if two people who loved each other as much as we do couldn't get married."
Also that year, ABC Family launched The Secret Life of the American Teenager with Molly as the title character's mother. Recently picked up for a fifth season, "Secret Life" has been a hit, telling real stories of issues facing teens today such as coming out, relationships, sex and teen-parenting. When asked in this month's issue of OUT Magazine if her character will be the rumored next to come out, Molly said, "I would love it. It would give me an opportunity to explain why I don't think I am ruining America's youth."
Molly's upcoming second book, When It Happens to You: A Novel in Stories, includes one about a six-year-old transgender boy.
"Molly and crew told our stories in the 80's, helping so many of us dealing with all of the challenges of being a teen," said Sam Borelli, LA PRIDE Communications Consultant. "That she continues reaching young people, letting them know that their stories matter, that they are real, is why we chose her during this year of youth empowerment."
Past Parade Grand Marshals include Johnny Weir, Sharon & Kelly Osbourne and Chelsea Handler.
Christopher Street West, proud producers of LA PRIDE, is incredibly excited to announce that The Trevor Project has been selected as the 2012 Community Grand Marshal for the LA PRIDE Parade, taking place Sunday, June 10, in the City of West Hollywood. The Trevor Project, headquartered along the parade route, has participated in LA PRIDE since its early years, utilizing the exposure to build awareness of its life-saving and life-affirming services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.
"42 years ago, when Christopher Street West held the world's first Pride parade along Hollywood Boulevard, an organization with the sole mission of saving the lives of young LGBTQ people--such as Trevor--wasn't even in the realm of possibility. Today, throughout our country, many parents, teachers, counselors, legislators, advocates and even the White House know that Trevor is the default when it comes to supporting kids struggling with their sexual orientation, gender identity, family acceptance and bullying," said Owen Ward, Christopher Street West Board of Directors. "LA PRIDE has always served as a beacon of hope and inspiration and that is why we are so pleased to bestow the honor of Community Grand Marshal to The Trevor Project."
With an army of volunteers across the country, The Trevor Project's life-saving services, like the Trevor Lifeline are always there when a young person needs to talk live because they are facing a crisis or considering suicide. The organization also manages TrevorChat, a secure instant message service allowing young people to connect with a counselor online, and TrevorSpace, a social network specifically for LGBTQ teens and young adults with 32,000 members from 128 countries around the world.
"On behalf of the teens and young adults who need The Trevor Project, as well as the many volunteers and supporters who make our work possible, we are honored to be recognized as this year's Community Grand Marshal. We are grateful to Christopher Street West and the community of West Hollywood for supporting a culture that encourages young people to reach out for help. You help make sure The Trevor Project is there for young people whenever they need to talk live," said Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project.
Each year the very special title of LA PRIDE Parade Community Grand Marshal is reserved for one group that has been particularly effective in forwarding the mission of Christopher Street West--advancing equality and fostering better understanding of LGBTQ-issues. In 2011, this honor was awarded to the courageous service members of the United States Military, at the time, still forced to serve in silence before Don't Ask Don't Tell was finally and appropriately repealed.