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Out lesbian NBA referee Violet Palmer being honored with award

Palmer was the first female NBA referee and came out publicly.

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Violet Palmer was the first woman to officiate an NBA game in 2006.
Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Violet Palmer, the out lesbian who was the first woman to work as an official in an NBA game, will be honored for her contributions as an out LGBT woman of color at a ceremony in Los Angeles.

Palmer will receive a Truth Award from the Better Brothers Los Angeles and the DIVA Foundation on Feb. 24, 2018, for her trailblazing efforts. Palmer officiated 939 NBA games, including nine playoff games, in her career. She has since retired.

"Violet Palmer is a real game changer," said actress and DIVA Foundation founder Sheryl Lee Ralph said. "As a woman, she shattered the glass ceiling in the world of professional sports while living out her truth as a gay woman. By making historic gains in the NBA, Violet scored big wins for gender equality and LGBT rights for the next generation of women coming behind her."

In 2014 Palmer came out publicly as she was marrying her longtime partner.

Ticket prices to the awards range from $150 to $250. If you’ll be in Los Angeles, be sure to grab your tickets to honor this pioneer for the LGBTQ community, women, and people of color.