Molly Ringwald to Head Up L.A. Pride

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com May 24 2012 12:30 PM ET

Actress and '80s teen queen Molly Ringwald has been named grand marshal of Los Angeles' 42nd annual pride festival this June 10.

Molly shot to fame in the 1980’s in an iconic series of beloved John Hughes films, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty in Pink. Having played several roles on Broadway, Ringwald now stars in ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

Ringwald and her family filmed a public service announcement against California's Proposition 8, and her most recent collection of short stories, When It Happens to You: A Novel in Stories, includes the story of a 6-year-old transgender boy.

“Molly and crew told our stories in the ’80s, helping so many of us dealing with all of the challenges of being a teen,” said Sam Borelli, L.A. Pride communications consultant.  “That she continues to reach young people, letting them know that their stories matter, that they are real, is why we chose her during this year of youth empowerment.”

And Ringwald has embraced her gay fans, just as she has embraced the gay people in her life.

"Since most my friends are gay, it would be hard not to be aware of it now, but I don’t think I realized it early on in my career because I don’t know that I definitely had that fan base until later," she told The Advocate in 2010. "I became pretty aware of it in the ’90s, after some time had passed, and especially when I was living in New York and doing a lot of theater."

Past parade grand marshals include Johnny Weir, Sharon and Kelly Osbourne, and Chelsea Handler.