Author-activist Chaz Bono and Phoenix Suns CEO Rick Welts will be honored by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) for their gay advocacy.

GLSEN works to create a safe space in schools for children who are or may be perceived to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

The group's seventh annual Respect Awards will take place on Friday, October 21 at the Beverly Hills Hotel in California.

Bono will receive the group's Hero Award, while Welts will be honored with its Inspiration Award.

Bono's upcoming appearance on ABC's Dancing with the Stars has been criticized by social conservatives because the child of gay icon Cher and the late entertainer-politician Sonny Bono is a transgender man.

“It's a group that really fights bullying in school and so it means a lot to me actually to be honored by them,” Bono told Entertainment Tonight. “It makes me think a lot, for the most part, and I wonder what is the mentality of a person who spends their time saying mean things about people they don't even know. It's kind of crazy.”

Welts, who came out gay roughly four months ago and stepped down from his Phoenix Suns post last week, told the weeknight program that anti-gay bullying has no place in the classroom.

“How to deal with the use of anti-gay language in the locker room and on sports teams as well as bullying behavior,” Welts said. “That has no place in our schools. (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)

Actor-director Rob Reiner and his wife Michele will receive the group's Lifetime Achievement Award. The couple are founding board members of the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the group formed specifically to challenge California's gay marriage ban, Proposition 8.