Awards recognize those who have made an impact on the lives of LGBTQ youth

By Oliver Gettell
August 23, 2016 at 03:26 AM EDT
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

YouTube star Connor Franta will be honored at this year’s GLSEN Respect Awards, which recognize those who have made a positive impact on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth.

The 23-year-old vlogger, who publicly came out in an emotional 2014 video that’s been viewed more than 11 million times, will be commended Oct. 21 at the Los Angeles edition of the Respect Awards (which are held annually in New York and L.A.), organizers announced Tuesday.

“Connor Franta has carried the message of respect to millions of young people online, and his authentic self-expression is the type that we envision for all of the youth we serve,” GLSEN executive director Eliza Byard said in a statement.

Franta presented the student advocate award at last year’s GLSEN Awards, and he took the occasion to share some advice for LGBTQ youth.

“Just hang in there,” he said. “It’s going to get better, it really will. Don’t be afraid. Make sure you’re in a safe space to be who you are. You’ll get through it.”

In addition to naming Franta as an honoree, GLSEN announced that past honorees Matt Bomer and Simon Halls, Bob Greenblatt, Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg, Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak, and Julia Roberts and Danny Moder will return as honorary co-chairs for the event.

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