Broadway and screen star Cheyenne Jackson, RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Nina West, The Voice alum Rayshunn Lamar, TikTok sensation Kelechi, international singer/songwriter Debby Holiday, history-making entrepreneurs Jason Bolden and Adair Curtis, and more garnered support for Family Equality.
LOS ANGELES — On Saturday, Oct. 15, more than 400 guests gathered to celebrate Family Equality’s LA Impact: A Night of Heroes and raised more than $400,000 for Family Equality’s critical work on behalf of LGBTQ+ families. As anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric rises with 300+ anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced across the U.S. and attacks on the rights of LGBTQ+ families increases, the funds raised are essential to continue the battle ahead.
LA Impact: A Night of Heroes was a colorful night of superhero inspired glam, impactful stories, and powerful performances at the Paramount Studios New York Backlot.
Nina West got the party started with her song “Drag is Magic” accompanied by Los Angeles area youth from Upstage Theatre Schools. Hilarious event co hosts Alec Mapa and Melissa Peterman kept the laughs coming and the guests engaged while “accidentally” appearing on stage in matching outfits multiple times. Debby Holiday brought down the house with her powerful performance of “Help.” TikTok sensation Kelechi had the crowd singing along to his song “Love Me.” The presenters and performers persevered through a light rain towards the end of the evening including Cheyenne Jackson’s show-stopping a cappella rendition of “A Song for You.” Rayshun Lamarr wrapped up the show by leading a group sing-along of “We Are Family.”
In addition to the incredible performances, the Visibility Award was presented to history-making entrepreneurs Jason Bolden and Adair Curtis. They are two of the most sought-after talents in the fashion, interior design, and entertainment industries and their visibility and representation as gay Black parents matter.
Author, podcaster, and musician Violet Augustine was honored with the Murray/Reese Family Award for Bravery.
When the state of Texas began passing dangerous laws and policies attacking the health, safety, and well-being of trans youth, Violet Augustine made the near-impossible decision to leave her home-state in search of a more affirming community for her gender-nonconforming child, Isa. In her journey, she reached out to Family Equality for support and became the catalyst behind Path2FamilyEquality, the organization’s new digital resource, created by Minneapolis-based digital solutions business Clockwork.
Family Equality also honored Clockwork and its CEO, Nancy Lyons, with the inaugural Digital Impact Award to recognize the development of the first iteration of the Path2FamilyEquality online resource–developed in just two short months.
“Equity, access, and opportunity for all HUMANS – that’s what’s on the line,” said Nancy Lyons, co founder & CEO of Clockwork, during her acceptance of the Family Equality Digital Impact Award.
“LGBTQ+ families across the country are angry and afraid and they have every right to be,” said Family Equality CEO, Stacey Stevenson, in their remarks on Saturday. “We are often treated like fractional citizens. We shoulder all the responsibilities as other American citizens. We adhere to legal requirements, report to jury duty, pay our share of taxes and for that we enjoy half the rights, a quarter of the dignity, and respect and oftentimes zero safety.”
Stevenson said, “We are in a dark moment, but this seemingly dark moment in this country is calling us to step up in a bigger and bolder way than ever before.”
- GETTY IMAGES COURTESY OF FAMILY EQUALITY
CREDIT: Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Family Equality
- ADDITIONAL GETTY IMAGES
CREDIT: Photo by Steven Simione/Getty Images
- Additional, embeddable content is available from @FamilyEquality on Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #LAImpact.
ABOUT THE EVENT
The 2022 LA Impact: A Night of Heroes event chairs are Dan Bucatinsky, Taylor Emerson, Alec Mapa, Alvin McCray, Caitlin Penny, and Joseph Rivas. The event was produced by Amy Shomer.
Family Equality gratefully acknowledges the support of the following LA Impact sponsors: (Guardian Level) Johnson & Johnson, Ferring Pharmaceuticals; (Defender Level) GreenbergTraurig, The Murray/Reese Family Foundation, Paramount Pictures; (Preserver Level) AT&T, Cigna, Fox; (Event Sponsors) American Airlines, Amy Shomer & Associates, Bright Event Rentals, CAA, Chateau Gonzollo, DJ Asha, The Grand LA, Greenleaf Kitchen & Cocktails, Growing generations, Nosotros Tequila & Mezcal, Samuel Adams, Stacey and Cheralyn Stevenson, Truly Hard Seltzer, Rainbow Kids, Upstage Theatre Schools; (National Corporate Sponsors) Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, Broadway Cares, California Cryobank, CCCS Fundraising, Charles Schwab, Clockwork, Fidelity Investments, Care with Pride Johnson & Johnson, Nederlander, LEGO, Organon, Playbill, Target, Warner Bros. Discovery.
About Family Equality
Family Equality is creating a world where everyone can experience the love, safety, and belonging of family. As the leading national organization for current and future LGBTQ+ families, we work to ensure that everyone has the freedom to find, form, and sustain their families by advancing LGBTQ+ equality through advocacy, support, storytelling, and education.
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