The Matthew Shepard Foundation will honour actress, author and humanitarian Jennifer Beals on October 15, 2011 with the "Making a Difference" Award at their 10th Annual Bear to Make a Difference Gala Dinner.
This fantastic news comes as no surprise. Beals has been a constant supporter of the Foundation since playing Bette Porter for six years in the critically acclaimed lesbian TV show The L Word. She is also known for earning a Golden Globe nomination for her iconic role in the 1983 movie Flashdance and most recently for playing the first female chief of Chicago Police in The Chicago Code.
According to a press release published on L-Word.com, Judy Shepard, Co-Founder and President of the Board of Directors of the Matthew Shepard Foundation says, "Jennifer has distinguished herself as a tremendous ally to the LGBT community with her highly visible support for equality."
Always willing to lend a helping hand where her presence can be helpful, Beals was the supporting voice of the LGBT rights at the 2006 San Francisco Pride Parade.
After working on The L Word, she also self-published The L Word Book which is a behind-the-scenes photographic journal of the groundbreaking TV show. On the book's website Beals says, "It was an era of my life I was eager to preserve: I wanted to remember the cast, the readthrus, the dinners, the rehearsals Â— everything." All proceeds go to Mia Kirshner's project I Live Here, the Pablove Foundation and the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
The Matthew Shepard Foundation was created by Dennis and Judy Shepard in memory of Matthew, their 21-year old son, who was killed in an anti-gay hate crime in Wyoming in October 1998.
Details about the event are available on the Foundation website.