Illinois native Lea DeLaria, a groundbreaking performer who was the first out comedian to appear on a late-night talk show and whose numerous stage and screen appearances include her standout role of prison inmate Big Boo in the hit Netflix series “Orange is the New Black,” will be honored with the Equality Illinois Freedom Award.
“Lea DeLaria is a cutting-edge performer who has used her talent to entertain and enlighten millions of Americans,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois.
DeLaria, born and raised in Belleville, Illinois, will accept the award at the 2015 Equality Illinois Gala, whose theme is “love is love is love,” on Saturday, February 14, in the Hilton Chicago.
“As an out performer for over 33 years who has made it her life’s work to change peoples perception of butch, queer and LGBT, it is an honor for me to receive such recognition from my home state,” DeLaria said. “I feel I’m doing Belleville proud. Go Maroons!”