On Saturday, March 25th, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, hosted its Los Angeles dinner at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE. The event honored Golden Globe®-winning and Emmy®-nominated actress, singer, and activist Michaela Jaé Rodriguez with HRC’s Equality Award.
Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson, the first Black, Queer woman to lead the organization, was greeted with a standing ovation. Robinson welcomed the evening’s guests and said, “Tonight is going to be that night that we recommit to this fight for freedom without exception. Tonight is going to be that night where we commit to liberation without exception. Tonight is going to be that night where we commit to joy without exception.” She spoke on the importance of acting as full participants of democracy and speaking up for those who cannot speak up for themselves. Robinson continued, “This chapter of HRC, we are going to be centering equality and liberation for all… We are going to have the audacity to build a world where every LGBTQ+ person can be safe, celebrated, and joyful in all areas of our lives.” Before exiting the stage, Robinson added, “The question isn’t whether or not we can win. The question is what are we willing to do to win? Is anybody ready to fight?”
(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)
Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi took to the stage to thank guests for joining the fight for freedom. On a personal note, Pelosi stated, “We are so proud of my niece… who transitioned with pride, dignity, and courage.” Pelosi continued in her speech to encourage guests and said, “Working together, we will continue to fight to ensure that in America freedom rings true for everyone, no matter who you are or who you love… God bless you all and God bless America.”
Michaela Jaé Rodriguez was honored with the 2023 Equality Award, presented by Brian Michael Smith and Joel Kim Booster, for the contributions she has made for the LGBTQ+ community as she strives to create a more inclusive and humane world for all. In accepting the award, Rodriguez said, “I want to say thank you to the HRC for considering me for this award. It is an incredible privilege to speak on human rights in general and I am truly honored to be speaking to each and every last one of you here today.” In concluding her remarks, Rodriguez added, “Love with conditions could possibly be the fall of a nation or humanity, but love without condition… harbors tremendous and groundbreaking power.”
Pop-sensation singer-songwriter Ava Max excited the Dinner’s guests and closed out the evening with performances of her hit songs “Weapons,” “Million Dollar Baby,” and “Kings & Queen.”
Additional guests in attendance included Alimi Ballard, Angelica Ross, Ashlyn Harris, Brianna Baker, Jackson, Christen Press, Dana Goldberg, Gigi Gorgeous, Godoy, Gottmik, Gus Kenworthy, Isis King, Jake Choi, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, Jillian Mercado, Karlee Perez, Leo Sheng, Luis Sandoval, Michael D. Cohen, Miki Ishikawa, Natacha Karam, Pauley Perrette, Peter Paige, Renato López, Ronen Rubinstein, Shea Diamond, Sierra McClain, Scott Evans, Symone, Thomas Dekkfer, Tim Bagley, Tobin Heath, Yeardley Smith and many more!