PFLAG Queens Chapter
Parents, Families and Friends
of Lesbians and Gays

Awardees Bio's

24th Annual Morty Manford Awardees

photo of MMA Winner Alan Reiff
Alan Reiff was handed a Hefty garbage bag more than 30 years ago at a new event in NYC called “Dance on the Pier” and was told to help clean up the mess! He continues to volunteer for Heritage of Pride (NYCpride) today, but the tasks he has taken on have grown considerably! In 1995 he joined their Executive Board as their Secretary, and held that position for many years. He has also held the positions of Community Relations Director, Pridefest Director, and Co-Chair from 2001 -2003, and again from 2011 – 2013. In addition to his involvement in NYC, he has been very active in the international pride scene through his work with InterPride: The International Association of LGBT Pride Organizers for the past 20 years. He was on the first WorldPride committee in 2000 and worked in Rome on that event. He was also the first WorldPride committee chairperson for InterPride and has also held the position of Interpride’s Executive Board Secretary for 2 years ending in 2011, and the Solidarity Committee Co-Chair up to May 2014. He is currently the World Pride Committee Co-Chair, and is very active on the Human Rights Committee. He participated in Budapest Pride 2001 (where he was the keynote speaker and brought the first Rainbow Flag to that city), Warsaw EuroPride 2011, World Pride London 2012, and EuroPride 2013 in Marseille, France, and World Pride Toronto 2014.

He was honored to be a speaker at CSD Konstanz in Germany in 2013. This was especially moving since his grandparents were forced to leave Europe before WW I, and he returned as an honored guest. His recent international missions brought him to Vilnus, Lithuania for Baltic Pride 2014, Riga, Latvia for EuroPride 2015, and this summer to Amsterdam Europride 2016. In April of 2016, he co-lead the first ever LGBT youth activists workshop in Bucharest, Romania. His current venture is World Pride Madrid 2017: representing InterPride’s interests, as well as helping the organizers with their Human Rights Conference and logistics. In October of 2013, Alan was elected onto the Executive Board of Queens Pride: the borough in which he lives. He held the positions of Festival Director, Co-Chair, NERP 2015 Programming Director, and currently as Secretary.

On a professional academic level, Alan works for the NYC Department of Education as both an ESL college adjunct professor at LaGuardia College C.U.N.Y. and as the ESL Coordinator at a middle school in the South Bronx. He is multi-lingual which he credits for his ability to be able to function in any situation. He has taught High School in Suzhow, China, as well as creating a language protocol for new U.S. immigrants with the International Rescue Center at their Arizona office. Prior to teaching full time, he worked for EL AL Israel Airlines based in NYC where he was fortunate enough to experience the world first hand. He has participated in and led many workshops over the years on Pride organizing as well as on ESL education. This unique combination of his Pride experiences and history, and his professional academic credits, have made him a valuable member of the International Pride Activist movement.

“I am very moved to be able to accept his award from PFLAG while my 96 year old mother is still alive to see it. She and my late father were my inspirations to being a human rights activist. I accept this distinction in honor of my mother Estelle who is here with me today.”

20th Annual Carmel Tavadia Memorial Awardees

photo of CTMA Winner Out Rockaway

Out Rockaway is a community and social group open to all and is dedicated to building a sense of community for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning individuals who live in, work in and/or visit the Rockaways. Through cultural and social events and activities, Out Rockaway strives to enhance visibility and self-empowerment of the LGBTQ community while combating homophobia and isolation.

Back on December 5, 2014, a small group of individuals got together to form an organization that was a first for this long forgotten neighborhood of Queens County, New York City. They wanted to provide a safe way for gay and lesbian people to meet. Over the past two years, through a wide variety of outings and events, Out Rockaway has worked on building a community of friendship and unity among strangers and neighbors. Out Rockaway gives residents and visitors alike the opportunity to meet their neighbors, make new friends and get to know other GLBT people who live and/or work in the Rockaways; all while helping the local economy thrive.

Whether attended by a handful of people or a big group, the Out Rockaway events are a relaxed and informal gathering in a fun, cool setting. Out Rockaway has increased gay and lesbian visibility by participating in various parades under their own Out Rockaway banner, including pride parades around the city and Rockaway’s very own Poseidon’s Parade. Members of the steering committee come from all ends of the peninsula, from Breezy Point to Far Rockaway and our neighbors from Long Beach, Howard Beach and Broad Channel often join for social outings.

As Out Rockaway moves forward, we plan on holding more social events and outings to dispel misconceptions and lessen homophobia in the community. Eventually Out Rockaway hopes to hold programs to educate people about social issues affecting the gay community, to help seniors deal with the aging process, and others come out of the closet.

From days at the beach to nights out, Out Rockaway is busting stereotypes and closet doors. For more information about Out Rockaway, email or check out

12th Annual Brenda Howard Memorial Awardee

photo of .... Alexandra Bolles

Alexandra Bolles - GLAAD Senior Strategist, Global and US South: Ms. Bolles first came to GLAAD in the summer of 2012 as the National News and Field Media intern. She graduated from Connecticut College with degrees in Sociology and Religious Studies and a certificate in Public Policy and Community Action in May, 2013.

The latter was the culmination of a three-year independent research project that explored the impact of religious communities on the well-being of LGBTQ youth and young adults. Alexandra returned to GLAAD as the Programs & Communications Fellow after finishing school and now spearheads GLAAD's bisexual-related advocacy and serves as Senior Programs Strategist - Global and U.S. South.

While with GLAAD, Alexandra has enjoyed co-founding the viral digital campaign, #BiWeek; managing projects like Spirit Day and the Southern Stories Summer tours; attending and participating in White House policy briefings for bisexual advocacy leaders; amplifying diverse voices of LGBT people like Kristene Chapa, Jason Hannah, Joe Riggs and others; creating sustainable resource guides for national and Southern media experts (including, notably, “In Focus: Reporting on the Bisexual Community”); collaborating with national and regional leaders in media and advocacy; and more.

Her interest in advocacy results from an extensive background with the Episcopal Church, mentoring kids and teenagers, and being raised by historians who love to talk about democracy. .

Editor update: Effective 1/24/17 Ms. Bolles title at GLAAD changed from Senior Strategist – Global & US South to Senior Strategist – Campaigns & External Engagement.

Other Information

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Last updated 1/6/16 by LDN