Barbara Gittings Award: Ellen Ratner

It is common knowledge that long-time Philadelphia native Barbara Gittings played a major role in laying the groundwork for LGBT activists today. She has diligently marched in picket lines for equality, attended hearings to change policies and above all touched thousands of LGBT lives. It is once again our honor to present the Barbara Gittings Award at the 2012 Philadelphia QFest. When selecting this year’s recipient, it was unbeknownst to us that this person worked side by side with Gittings back in the early 1970s! This serendipitous fact certainly makes our choice even more special. With her electric smile, poignant prose and tireless determination, Ellen Ratner embodies everything that Barbara Gittings stood for. She is a passionate philanthropist, LGBT activist, Network Bureau Chief for Talk Radio News Service and contributor to Fox News. Yes, that Fox News–the demonstratively conservative, right-winged news organization. She is on the front lines every day vigorously working to make sure the voice of the underdog is heard on over 400 radio stations across the country. Being an award-winning journalist is only half of what Ms. Ratner tackles on a daily basis. With a few key people including her long-time partner Cholene Espinoza, she has founded three non-profit organizations: Pride Institute–a drug and alcohol treatment center for the LGBT community in Minneapolis; the Marsha Barbour Community Center–a post-Katrina community center in Pass Christian, MS; and Goats for the Old Goats–a nonprofit that helps fight hunger and provides a safe haven for enslaved people of South Sudan. It is Philadelphia QFest’s privilege to announce this year’s Barbara Gittings Award to Ellen Ratner. This out lesbian is undoubtedly an unwavering force dedicated to doing good throughout the world and an inspiration to mankind. -- Kelly Burkhardt



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Sunday, July 22, 4:30 PM
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