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Golden State Equality Awards To Honor Pete & Chasten Buttigieg and Netflix Documentary DISCLOSURE

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U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will honor the late U.S. Representative John Lewis during the celebration.

Golden State Equality Awards To Honor Pete & Chasten Buttigieg and Netflix Documentary DISCLOSURE

Equality California, the nation's largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, announced today that it will host its first-ever statewide "Golden State Equality Awards" virtual celebration on Sunday, September 13. The historic event, which will celebrate the LGBTQ+ community achievements, will be hosted by "Pose" star, actress and advocate, Angelica Ross and honor Netflix's groundbreaking documentary, "Disclosure." Equality California will also honor Pete & Chasten Buttigieg with the Equality Trailblazer Award, following Pete's groundbreaking run for president. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will honor the late U.S. Representative John Lewis, a civil rights legend and longtime ally to the LGBTQ+ community, with a moving tribute to his life and career. Those tuning in to the broadcast will be treated to musical performances from the legendary Melissa Etheridge, Betty Who, Alex Newell, Shea Diamond and Robin S, as well. Additional honorees and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks. The event will stream live at 6pm PT on a private website for ticketed attendees and sponsors. To purchase tickets to the Golden State Equality Awards, visit eqca.org/equality-awards.

"2020 has challenged the LGBTQ+ community in ways we could never have imagined, but challenging times create heroes, and we cannot wait to come together virtually and celebrate some of this year's heroes," said Equality California Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur. "The Equality Awards are a critical opportunity for members of our community to honor the leaders and organizations whose selfless work helps to advance LGBTQ+ civil rights and social justice. Over the past year, Pete and Chasten Buttigieg have transformed American politics forever. Netflix's groundbreaking documentary 'Disclosure' shed much-needed light on the power of transgender representation in film and television. And we lost a true giant - and an unwavering ally - in Congressman John Lewis, whose life and legacy we are proud to honor with a tribute from Speaker Pelosi."

The "Golden State Equality Awards" will start with regional pre-show cocktail hours celebrating the LGBTQ+ and allied communities in Sacramento, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and Palm Springs. During this time, the organization will recognize additional honorees including California State Treasurer Fiona Ma, California Legislative Black Caucus Chair Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber, former California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus Chair Assemblymember Evan Low, former California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California CEO & President Jodi Hicks, TransLatin@ Coalition President Bamby Salcedo, Founding Director of the Williams Institute at UCLA Law Brad Sears, trans advocate Evan Minton, trans advocate Connor Maddocks and frontline healthcare and grocery store workers from Desert Regional Medical Center, Eisenhower Health and UFCW Local 1167.

Pete Buttigieg has served as two-term mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and was a Democratic candidate for president of the United States in 2020. A graduate of Harvard University and an Oxford Rhodes Scholar, Buttigieg enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserve and became a lieutenant when he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2014. In April 2019, he announced his candidacy for president, and in February 2020, he won the Iowa Caucuses, becoming the first openly gay person to ever win a presidential primary or caucus.

Chasten Glezman Buttigieg was born and raised in Traverse City, Michigan. A thespian, two-time 4-H blue-ribboner and decorated member of the high school bowling team, he received his bachelor's degree in theater and global studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and his master's in education from DePaul University. He has worked as a busboy, dog walker, nursing assistant, waiter, cashier, bartender, and most recently a middle school drama and humanities teacher. Throughout the past year, Chasten has emerged on the national stage, having left his classroom in South Bend, Indiana, to travel cross-country in support of his husband Pete's groundbreaking presidential campaign.


Pete and Chasten Buttigieg live in South Bend, Indiana, with their two rescue dogs.

Disclosure is an unprecedented, eye-opening look at transgender depictions in film and television, revealing how Hollywood simultaneously reflects and manufactures our deepest anxieties about gender. Leading trans thinkers and creatives, including Laverne Cox, Lilly Wachowski, Yance Ford, Mj Rodriguez, Jamie Clayton and Chaz Bono, share their reactions and resistance to some of Hollywood's most beloved moments. Grappling with films like A Florida Enchantment (1914), Dog Day Afternoon, The Crying Game and Boys DON'T Cry and with shows like The Jeffersons, The L-Word and Pose, they trace a history that is at once dehumanizing, yet also evolving, complex and sometimes humorous. What emerges is a fascinating story of dynamic interplay between trans representation on screen, society's beliefs and the reality of trans lives. Reframing familiar scenes and iconic characters in a new light, director Sam Feder invites viewers to confront unexamined assumptions and shows how what once captured the American imagination now elicit new feelings. Disclosure provokes a startling revolution in how we see and understand trans people.

Leadership sponsors of the 2020 Golden State Equality Awards include AT&T, The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, Southwest Airlines, Uber and Weedmaps. Statewide sponsors include Edison International, Farmers Insurance, Kaiser Permanente, La Crema Wine, PG&E, Reed & Davidson, LLP, Sempra Energy, Sutter Health, Tito's Handmade Vodka and Walmart. Amazon, Facebook, Gilead, Sara Jacobs, Lyft, Molina Healthcare and United Airlines are Presenting Sponsors of the Golden State Equality Awards.

From the board room, to film and TV sets to Capitol Hill, Angelica Ross is a leading figure of success and strength, in the movement for Transgender and racial equality. A series regular on the ninth season of Ryan Murphy's FX hit American Horror Story: 1984, and confirmed to return for the currently untitled season ten, Angelica is blazing a trail, kicking open doors, and building her own table with ample open seats. In 2020, Angelica became the face of Nicolas GhesquieÌre' s recent pre-Fall campaign for Louis Vuitton - a campy homage to vintage sci-fi book covers.

Angelica's acting breakthrough came in the form of Ryan Murphy's other Award Winning FX hit, Pose - which follows NYC's Black and Latino LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming ballroom culture scene, in the 80's and early 90's. Making TV history, the show features the largest transgender cast EVER for a scripted series. Vanity Fair raved that "Angelica Ross steals many of her scenes as 'Candy'" the brashest member of the 'House of Abundance.' Since studying acting at Florida Atlantic University, Angelica has appeared across numerous mediums, including film, television, and theatre. One project, the Emmy-nominated (Outstanding Short Form Comedy or Drama) web series Her Story, received special recognition at the GLAAD Media Awards. A segment Angelica appeared in on THE DAILY SHOW with Trevor Noah, was also honored with a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Talk Show Episode. She's also appeared in episodes of Transparent (Amazon), Claws (TNT), Doubt (CBS), and Danger & Eggs (Amazon).

Miss Ross is also working behind the camera! She executive produced and appeared in the Daytime Emmy-nominated web series King Ester ( 2019), and in the short film Missed Connections (2017), which went on to be an official selection at the Outfest LGBTQ Film Festival, the La Femme International Film Festival, and the Baltimore International Black Film Festival. Angelica Ross is the President of Miss Ross, Inc. and founder of TransTech Social Enterprises, a program that helps people lift themselves out of poverty, through technical training, digital work creating a social impact, and bringing economic empowerment to marginalized communities.

Melissa Etheridge stormed onto the American rock scene in 1988 with the release of her critically acclaimed self-titled debut album, which led to an appearance on the 1989 GRAMMY AWARDS show. For several years, her popularity grew around such memorable originals as "Bring Me Some Water," "No Souvenirs" and "Ain't It Heavy," for which she won a Grammy® in 1992. Etheridge hit her commercial and artistic stride with her fourth album, Yes I Am (1993). The collection featured the massive hits, "I'm the Only One" and "Come to My Window," a searing song of longing that brought Etheridge her second Grammy® Award for Best Female Rock Performance. In 1995, Etheridge issued her highest charting album, Your Little Secret, which was distinguished by the hit single, "I Want to Come Over." Her astounding success that year led to Etheridge receiving the Songwriter of the Year honor at the ASCAP Pop Awards in 1996.

Known for her confessional lyrics and raspy, smoky vocals, Etheridge has remained one of America's favorite female singer-songwriters for more than two decades. In February 2007, Melissa Etheridge celebrated a career milestone with a victory in the "Best Song" category at the Academy® Awards for "I Need to Wake Up," written for the Al Gore documentary on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth. As a performer and songwriter, Etheridge has shown herself to be an artist who has never allowed "inconvenient truths" to keep her down. Earlier in her recording career, Etheridge acknowledged her sexual orientation when it was considered less than prudent to do so. In October 2004, Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer, a health battle that, with her typical tenacity, she won. Despite losing her hair from chemotherapy, Etheridge appeared on the 2005 Grammy® telecast to sing "Piece of My Heart" in tribute to Janis Joplin. By doing so she gave hope to many women afflicted with the disease.

On October 7, 2016 Melissa Etheridge released Memphis Rock & Soul, her first album since 2014's critically lauded This Is M.E. Recorded at Royal Studios in Memphis, the album received stellar reviews from the likes of Entertainment Weekly, Parade, Rolling Stone, American Songwriter and more. She followed that up with the release of The Medicine Show in April, 2019. For The Medicine Show, Melissa reunited with celebrated producer John Shanks and sounds as rousing as ever, bringing a new level of artistry to her 15th studio recording. The Medicine Show deals with universal themes of renewal, reconciliation, reckoning, compassion and, most profoundly, healing.


To understand where Betty Who currently stands in her career, it's best to imagine her as she often stood as a kid: solo, in front of the bedroom mirror, belting out hits, dancing like everyone's watching. Because as the Australian Pop queen walked away from her record deal and into her first independent album, she had a single mandate: "I am going to be the most me I can be." That is, in part, why her third full-length statement is simply called Betty. It's pure her: a brilliant swirl of pop-'80s, Y2K and hyper-modern strains-that encompasses everything from intimate artful fare to darkly sexy bangers to full-on wedding reception shout-alongs.

There's a reason Betty was tapped to remake the QUEER EYE theme song for the uplifting series' second season. It's the same reason she's soundtracked Pitch Perfect and made the Glee cast swoon and that a certain legendary flash mob proposal video went viral to the tune of her 2012 debut single "Somebody Loves You." Joy has always been in the music, but for Betty herself the feeling had faded. "I didn't understand how damaging it was to feel like I was never living up to expectation," she says of her time on a major label. "When you're in the middle of it, you think it's driving you. When I came out the other side I realized, no, I was devastated." She wanted to handpick her team, sink or swim by her own choices and share music while it's fresh. With Betty, she did all of that and made an album that, as she puts it, "I'm more proud of than I could possibly say."

Like a rush of energy or a jolt of adrenaline, certain voices sweep us off our feet. Alex Newell wields such a voice. With traffic-stopping delivery, sweeping range and wild charisma, the GRAMMY® Award-nominated singer, songwriter, actor, activist and performer evokes a physical reaction every time he steps up to a microphone. Millions fell in love with Newell's voice as he brought Wade "Unique" Adams to life on Glee over the course of four seasons, offering a groundbreaking and influential depiction of one of network television's very first transgender characters. Generating over 200 million career streams thus far, he introduced a simmering and slick style on his POWER EP in 2016-which hit #4 on the Billboard Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart and yielded the fan favorites "This Ain't Over," "Basically Over You (B.O.Y.) & "Nobody To Love." 2018 saw him switch gears and succeed yet again. Fulfilling a formative dream to be on Broadway, he joined the Tony Award-winning revival of Once on This Island in the role of Asaka. After a stellar run, he received a GRAMMY® Award nomination in the category of Best Musical Theater Album. Alex is currently starring in NBC's new musical drama Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, which has been picked up for its second season, and recently released two new singles, "Mama Told Me" and "Boy You Can Keep It."

Discovered by artist Justin Tranter in 2016, Shea Diamond (pronounced She-uh Diamond) stormed the music scene with a dose of soul. She is known for writing powerful ballads and LGBTQ+ anthems like "Don't Shoot," "American Pie," "I am Her," and "I Am America," the theme song for "We're Here," an Emmy-nominated unscripted series on HBO. She is a powerhouse that needs no introduction - her music touches your heart and renews your spirit. Shea Diamond is also the host of Billboard Pridecast.

Born and raised in Queens, New York on January 27, 1962. Robin S began singing at the age of five in a church choir. Blessed with a genuine talent to entertain, she took up vocal training at the age of eight under the direction of the legendary Brook Alexander. "Show Me Love", Robin's first gold single (Platinum in Europe), introduced her as one of the premier vocalists of the early 90's. Her first release was in 1990 under Robin Stone (that's what the "S" stands for). The chart-topping single, punctuated with energetic remixes from Stonebridge Productions of Sweden, originally gained popularity in Europe on Champion Records only in 1993. The success of the record caught the eyes of executives at Big Beat Records and Robin S was on her way to fulfilling her dreams. Robin's debut album on Big Beat/Atlantic Records, "Show Me Love" immediately broadened her fan base. The diverse sounds of the record, which changes between beautiful lush ballads like "What I Do Best", Who's Goina' Raise The Child" and bold toe-tapping rhythms, were created by a variety of producers, including Junior Vasquez, Nick Martinelli and David Morales. Robin's efforts paid off in 1993, and she was named BEST DANCE ARTIST at the Billboard Awards and Show Me Love received 2 awards for BEST DANCE SINGLE and BEST DANCE ARTIST. Robin also earned 2 awards at the industry Annual Winter Dance Music Conference for BEST DANCE ARTIST SOLO and BEST NEW DANCE SINGLE. Currently still touring and performing internationally, Robin's new music debuted in January 2019 with such notable producers as Carl Cox, Eric Mobley, James Worthy, David Anthony, Freeze, Paris Toon and Mothers Favorite Child.


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