Zachary Quinto and Georgia High School Senior Mars Hallman to be Honored at

Zachary Quinto, Mars Hallman at Respect

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To apply for red carpet credentials, all press must fill out the online application by October 12. 

Zachary Quinto and Georgia High School Senior Mars Hallman to be Honored at 2015 GLSEN Respect Awards – Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (October 7, 2015) – GLSEN, the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students, will honor Zachary Quinto with the Champion Award and Georgia high school senior Mars Hallman with the Student Advocate of the Year Award at GLSEN’s Respect Awards – Los Angeles to be held Friday, October 23, at the Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills. They join previously announced honorees Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel and YouTube.

Quinto is being recognized for his long-time vocal advocacy on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Since his decision to come out publicly, Quinto has continuously made advancing LGBT equality a priority through his personal advocacy and professionally by appearing in plays like “Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays” and “The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later” with the proceeds benefitting charitable causes.

Hallman is a senior at Berrien High School in Nashville, Georgia, where they founded the region’s first Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA). As the only non-binary member, they made sure to create a safe space for students of all gender identities and orientations while also educating other members about transgender issues and history. Despite significant community opposition to the GSA, Hallman and the GSA persevered and created a crucial safe space. This year, Hallman and the GSA will campaign to add gender expression to the school’s anti-bullying policy and a gender-neutral restroom to ensure the safety of transgender and gender-nonconforming students. 

“GLSEN’s Respect Awards are a remarkable opportunity to bring together champions and role models from all sectors of society and all walks of life,” said GLSEN’s Executive Director, Dr. Eliza Byard. “As we round out the slate of this year’s honorees, we see this once again. We are proud to honor Zachary Quinto as a visible member of the LGBT community who uses his platform to bring attention to the struggles that many LGBT youth still face. I am thrilled that all of the other honorees will share the stage with Mars Hallman, who has been a force for change in a small corner of rural Georgia, facing down relentless opposition to found the first GSA in the area and defend their right to meet. We look forward to celebrating all of our honorees at this year’s event.”

GLSEN's Student Advocate of the Year honors an outstanding young person who has helped create a safe and affirming learning environment for all students and has served as a voice of change in their school and community. GLSEN also acknowledges the following students as part of this year’s Student Advocate of the Year Honor Roll: 

  • Kennedy Bertelson, senior at David Douglas High School, Portland, Ore.;
  • Tiernan Bertrand-Essington, senior at Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School, Bradley, Ill.;
  • Alyssa Irizarry, GLSEN Collier County member and senior at Gulf Coast High School, Naples, Fla.;
  • Katie Regittko, GLSEN National Student Council member and sophomore, Garner Magnet High School in Garner, N.C.; and
  • Spencer Washington, junior at Academy for Young Writers, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Past GLSEN Respect Awards honorees Bob Greenblatt, Simon Halls and Matt Bomer, Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg, Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak, and Julia Roberts and Danny Moder have returned as honorary co-chairs.

Co-chairs for this year’s event are Jim Fielding, Dave Karger and Chip Sullivan. The event is co-hosted by Greg Berlanti, Brad Bessey and Frank Sanchez, Edison Briones, Kevin Brockman and Dan Berendsen, Jess Cagle, Jessica Capshaw and Christopher Gavigan, Terry Clark, Donald De Line, Lauran Huff, Mike Irvin, Kathy Kloves, Richard Konigsberg and Craig Olsen, George Kotsiopoulos, Michael Lombardo and Sonny Ward, Corey Palent, Jonathan Rollo and Joey Gonzalez, Ben Roy, Mimi Slavin, and Ben Spector. 

Corporate Sponsors of the 2015 GLSEN Respect Awards – Los Angeles are Presenting Sponsor Wells Fargo, along with Target, The Walt Disney Company, Disney | ABC Television Group, ESPN, Delta, the Edward F. Limato Foundation, 20th Century Fox, FX Networks, Fox Audience Strategy, Fox Television Group, A&E Television Networks, Kevin Brockman and Dan Berendsen, Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, HBO, McDonald’s, and Warner Bros. Entertainment. The Media Sponsors are Variety, DiversityInc and The Advocate.


GLSEN has led the way on LGBT issues in K-12 education since 1990. Through ground-breaking original research, innovative program development, student leadership and educator training, community organizing, and targeted state and federal advocacy, GLSEN has seen the impact of its work with the development of educational resources, direct engagement of youth and educators, and national programs like GLSEN’s Day of Silence and GLSEN’s Ally Week.


For more information about the GLSEN Respect Awards – Los Angeles, please visit our event website. To apply for red carpet credentials, all press must fill out the online application by October 12. For any additional media inquiries, please contact Andy Gelb ( or Elyse Weissman ( of SLATE PR.



GLSEN is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students. Celebrating its 25th year, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit