Ricky Martin, Greg Berlanti & Robbie Rogers, and Ariadne Getty Honored at 49th Anniversary Gala Vanguard Awards
Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos hosted the Los Angeles LGBT Center's 49th Anniversary Vanguard Awards, honoring Emmy nominee, Grammy winner, philanthropist, and writer Ricky Martin, presented by The Assassination of Gianni Versace: AMERICAN CRIME Story co-star Max Greenfield, and philanthropist Ariadne Getty, who accepted their Vanguard Awards. Producer, writer, and director Greg Berlanti and his husband producer Robbie Rogers were also honored and received their awards from Love, Simon actor Nick Robinson.
Guests of the high-profile event enjoyed a cocktail reception and silent auction, followed by the awards presentation and dinner, while mingling with L.A.'s movers and shakers who support the LGBT community. Guests included: August and Nats Getty, Nicole Scherzinger, Tara Reid, Conrad Ricamora, Gigi Gorgeous, Clarke Moore, Jason Collins, Brigitte Nielsen, Mattia Dessí, Laith Ashley, James Lastovic, Jermaine Alvarado, Maor Luz, Anthony Pecoraro, Maxwell Poth, Sarah Jones, and more.
Highlights of the evening included:
- Lorri L. Jean, CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, welcomed the crowd, "For 49 years, your Center has achieved so much that so many thought was impossible, fulfilling our most spectacular and magnificent ambitions for our organization and our people. What is more spectacular than freedom? What is more magnificent than being there for each other? All of you are a vital part of our Center's courageous, resilient and visionary history. We and all who have preceded us ARE the Center. A Center that is more than buildings; more than a collection of social services; more than soldiers for equality and justice. We are the stuff that dreams are made of. We are the best that people can be: kind, passionate, generous, hopeful and hilarious--living our lives honestly and caring for our fellow human beings. We are exactly what the world needs more of right now."
- Host Kelly Ripa expressed her support to the full room of LGBT allies stating, "One of the reasons that the Vanguard Awards is so amazing is that it allows us to hold the past and the future in our hands all at once. I stand here and look out at this room full of proud LGBT friends and allies, and I see the future. I see a community and the leaders who will not stop until every kid feels safe in school - and the laws are on the books to punish the bullies who would make them feel otherwise; until every person who wants to serve our country in the military can do so without worrying that a tweet will change things. I look out at all of you, and I see a unifying force for good where love wins."
- "My mother is so much more than a philanthropist. I never came out, I never even thought about coming out. One day I just said, 'Mom I'm going on a date with THE ROOM service guy.' All she said was, 'Which one?' You see, my mom celebrates every aspect of my life and being gay is a big part of that for her," August Getty said while presenting to his mother. He continued, "This is the first time we have had the opportunity to publicly acknowledge her work and thank her. Tonight we get to celebrate all that she is...and all that she does."
- In a rare appearance, Ariadne Getty took to the stage saying, "To come out of the shadows of my donating and philanthropic work hasn't been easy, but I did it to encourage others to come forward and understand the impact of giving on a larger platform and have it resonate." Getty continued, "When I took my tour of the Center, talk about life changing...seeing what happens there is something that I immediately understood. This is a model that needs to be replicated in every major city; a city cannot afford to be without a Center."
- Greg Berlanti took the stage with husband, Robbie Rogers, "When the center started in 1969, there were still sodomy laws on the books in California for another five years. Being homosexual was still listed as a mental disorder for another four years. So at the time of its founding, much of the world saw the heroes that started the LGBT Center as sick and as criminal, but thankfully that didn't stop them." Berlanti continued, "Its founders believed in a better future that didn't look like THE ONE they lived in and through their vision, and their work and dedication and sacrifice, they built a refuge for their community that served as an example and helped changed their city, their country and ultimately the world."
- The evening concluded with Ricky Martin remarking, "The inspiration comes from my kids, because when I held them for the first time, I knew I could not lie. I always teach them to be honest. I've been fighting human trafficking for many years with my own foundation and every human rights issue is connected. My mission is to go to those little Latin American towns where the word 'gay' is a curse, and I am going to end this. Little by little, we're taking steps to keep forcing this issue." As he looked to his husband in the audience, he continued with excitement, "Let's continue to have babies!"
Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images for Los Angeles LGBT Center