Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Orville Peck receives Champion Award from GLSEN

GLSEN, the leading education organization dedicated to creating safe and inclusive K-12 schools for LGBTQ+ youth, has announced they will honor celebrated country singer and songwriter Orville Peck with the Champion Award at its annual fundraising event, Rise Up LA.

As the first honoree announced, Peck sets the stage for the forthcoming honorees who are creating impactful change within the LGBTQ+ community and whose recognition will be revealed later on. The fundraiser features a star-studded lineup of presenters including Wayne Brady, Fortune Feimster, and Sherry Cola, with more to be announced. Event co-chairs of the evening include Wilson Cruz, Imara Jones, and Alan Pilest, who are longtime supporters of GLSEN and allies to LGBTQ+ youth.

Tickets for the benefit are available here

Taking place on Saturday, October 28, guests will be treated to live performances at the iconic NeueHouse Hollywood in Los Angeles. For over three decades, GLSEN has been working to end discrimination, harassment, and bullying based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression and to prompt LGBTQ+ cultural inclusion and awareness in K-12 schools. Rise Up LA not only celebrates GLSEN’s mission but serves as a powerful testament to the progress they’ve made and the journey ahead.

Photo: Julia Johnson

GLSEN presents Peck with the Champion Award for breaking barriers in country music and for serving as a beacon of hope for LGBTQ+ youth currently experiencing harmful discrimination and legislation across the country. Orville’s last album, “BRONCO,” received critical and commercial acclaim; prior to that, he released his “Show Pony” EP, which featured a duet with global country icon Shania Twain. He currently is starring in Reese Witherspoon’s “My Kind of Country” on AppleTV. 

Rise Up LA symbolizes GLSEN’s dedication to uplifting those who use their platform to amplify LGBTQ+ voices and advocate for inclusivity. Orville Peck’s authentic advocacy and commitment to championing a world where LGBTQ+ youth can feel safe and embraced reflects GLSEN’s mission,” notes GLSEN Executive Director Melanie Willingham-Jaggers. “We’re also welcoming our presenters—Sherry Cola, Wayne Brady, and Fortune Feimster— to the stage for using their voices, talents, and platforms to create positive change in the world.”

The Chinese-born American comedian and actress Sherry Cola will be one of the evening’s presenters. She is known for her role as Alice Kwan in Freeform’s Good Trouble and as one of the four leads, Lolo Chen, of the 2023 comedy Joy Ride. Television host, comedian, actor, and singer Wayne Brady will also be presenting. The five-time Emmy Award winner was a regular on the American hit comedy television series Whose Line Is It Anyway? and starred in the hit broadway musical Kinky Boots. American writer, comedian, and actress Fortune Feimster is best known for her television debut on NBC’s Last Comic Standing and for starring as Colette on The Mindy Project. 

In addition to the event’s honorees, Rise Up LA is bolstered by a star-studded events committee including: Joel Kim Booster, LeVar & Stephanie Burton, Tig Notaro, Nico Santos, Wanda Sykes, and more. 

This benefit is a vibrant reflection of GLSEN’s ongoing mission to create safe and inclusive K-12 schools for LGBTQ+ youth, celebrating the strides they’ve made and to inspire positive change and empower the next generation to embrace their true selves. By recognizing Orville Peck’s unyielding commitment to the LGBTQ+ community, and the voices of our presenters echoing through the night, we stand united in our mission to create safe, inclusive spaces for LGBTQ+ youth in K-12 schools. Together, we rise up, empowering the next generation to embrace their true selves and fostering a world of love and acceptance.  

Rise Up LA is made possible by Graduate Sponsors Wells Fargo and Hollister and Sophomore Sponsors Target, Amazon Music, and Amazon MGM Studios. 

For more information about Rise Up LA and to purchase tickets to the fundraiser please visit the link here


GLSEN is the nation’s largest organization championing LGBTQ+ issues in K-12 education and for over 33 years, GLSEN has fought to create safe and supportive LGBTQ+-inclusive schools for all students. With LGBTQ+ youth under attack across the country, GLSEN works to combat harassment and discrimination by training visible and supportive educators and enacting policy reform, fighting book bans through our Rainbow Library Program that provides LGBTQ+ affirming literature to over 3 million students in 30 states, supporting LGBTQ+ athletes in the face of anti-trans legislation through our Changing the Game program, and by supporting student-led programs like GSAs nationwide. GLSEN believes every student has the right to a safe and affirming education regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression because no young person should have to choose between their wellbeing and an education.

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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One thought on “Orville Peck receives Champion Award from GLSEN

  • Wow! Congrats to Orville Peck on receiving the Champion Award from GLSEN!


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