Emmy-nominated actress Kerry Washington and soccer player Robbie Rogers have been named honorary co-chairs of this year's GLSEN Respect Awards to take place at The Beverly Hills Hotel on Friday, October 18.

GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, works to create a safe space in schools for children who are or may be perceived to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

“GLSEN is on the front lines of keeping kids safe from bullying in our schools,” said Washington, star of the ABC series Scandal. “That's absolutely a cause that I support and believe in.”

Rogers, who came out gay earlier this year before joining the LA Galaxy, added: “GLSEN levels the playing field for kids who are bullied simply for being themselves. Any help I can lend to that effort … any way I can make these kids' lives a little bit easier, that's what I'm going to do.”

(Related: Robbie Rogers receives ovation as he makes Galaxy debut.)