Former U.S. Congressman Barney Frank is headlining the annual A Celebration of Friends gathering, organization founder Tom Pence announced this month.

“No other person has done more to advance the rights of gays and lesbians in the United States than Barney Frank,” said Pence, aka Tomcat, in an exclusive interview with SFGN over coffee at Stork’s Bakery in Wilton Manors.

Frank is scheduled to attend the 15th annual A Celebration of Friends event, taking place July 14-17 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld. A Celebration of Friends bills itself as a 501(c)4 non-profit organization that caters to elder gay men and their admirers with a tag line “maturity matters.”

“Our mission is to provide warm, comfortable, safe and engaging gatherings recognizing and promoting self-worth, dignity, kindness and friendships of and within our senior population,” said Pence.

This is the second year Orlando has hosted the event. Last year, screen acting legend Ed Asner was the special guest, dining with members and participating in a question and answer segment with event attendees. Frank, Pence said, is contracted to do the same.

Frank, 75, served in Congress from 1981-2013, representing Massachusetts. He served openly as a gay man for much of his career and is perhaps best known for co-sponsoring the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, a sweeping reform of the U.S. financial system.

Registration for the event is underway with individual fees $130 through April 30. For more information or to register, visit