Emmy-Winner Billy Porter Added To The Roster Of Honorees For Diversity Honors

Rock icon Belinda Carlisle, singer/songwriter Spencer Battiest, Mark Hunter Seymour, Tatiana Williams and the Gay Men's Chorus of South Florida to be recognized.

By: Feb. 13, 2024
Emmy-Winner Billy Porter Added To The Roster Of Honorees For Diversity Honors
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Diversity Honors, the globally renowned celebration that benefits Harvey Milk Foundation and The Pride Center at Equality Park, exclusively hosted by Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, is thrilled to announce the fabulous, out and proud Emmy, Tony and Grammy Award-winning, and Golden Globe-nominated, actor, singer, director, composer, playwright and activist Billy Porter will be receiving a Harvey Milk Champion Medal.  

The foundation will also bestow Harvey Milk Medals to honor music pioneer, multiple Grammy Award-winner and LGBTQ+ activist Belinda Carlisle and Native American (Seminole/Choctaw) award-winning singer/songwriter, producer and actor Spencer Battiest. Entrepreneur Mark Hunter Seymour will receive The Pride Center at Equality Park Alan Schubert Award. Tatiana Williams and the Gay Men's Chorus of South Florida will receive Diversity Honors awards on Saturday, March 9, at 7 p.m.

“Diversity Honors celebrates the vision of Harvey Milk and the dream for a better tomorrow filled with the hope for equality and a world without hate,” said Susan Renneisen, vice president of community affairs and special events for Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. “We are honored to produce this event, in support of the Harvey Milk Foundation and The Pride Center at Equality Park, which recognizes those who are transforming lives by living authentically and advancing inclusiveness. Billy Porter, Belinda Carlisle and Spencer Battiest along with a host of local honorees are well-deserving of this salute for all they do to make the world a more united place for everyone.”

About Billy Porter

Billy Porter is an award-winning actor, singer, director, producer, composer, and playwright. He won an Emmy Award for Lead Actor for his appearance in FX's Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated drama Pose and earned three Emmy nominations total for his role in the series. A Hollywood Walk of Fame inductee, Porter has numerous theatre credits including the role of ‘Lola' in the Broadway musical Kinky Boots, which he originated in 2013 and for which he won the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle awards, as well as the Grammy for best musical-theatre album. He won his second Tony Award in 2022 for “Best Musical” as a producer on A Strange Loop. Currently, he is performing in an off-Broadway musical, Jelly's Last Jam as Chimney Man, a musical portrait of legendary jazz pianist Jelly Roll Morton. Recently, he starred in the film Our Son alongside Luke Evans, the Paramount comedy 80 For Brady alongside Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno, Lily Tomlin and Sally Field, and Prime Video's Cinderella re-make. His feature directorial debut Anything's Possible, a coming-of age film written by Ximena García Lecuona, was released in July 2022 on Prime Video. In 2023, he directed an episode of Fox's anthology series Accused. Upcoming, he will co-write and star in a James Baldwin biopic. Porter released his first literary project, Unprotected, in October 2021, which was published by Abrams Press. As a recording artist, Porter most recently released his album Black Mona Lisa, under his record deal with Island Records (UK) and Republic Records (US).

The cocktail chic event will be a night to remember beginning with an elaborate cocktail reception featuring entertainment by Miss Bouvee. A seated dining experience in the Grand Ballroom will immediately follow with musical entertainment by international singer/songwriter Debby Holiday presented by STOLI and the awards presentation. The celebration continues with the STOLI “Spirit of Change” after-party poolside at The Guitar Hotel where guests can look forward to STOLI espresso martinis, mermaids, magicians and more.

The night also signifies the unveiling of a bold new face and global rebrand for STOLI, a world-renowned premium vodka brand and a longtime sponsor of Diversity Honors. The vodka leader will launch its “Spirit of Change” campaign in celebration of transformative people such as this year's award recipients. This repositioning of the brand is accompanied by a fresh packaging redesign and a worldwide campaign that captures the essence of STOLI as the transformative spirit championing positive societal change. The new bottle design proudly displays an iconic city skyline of 10 great capital buildings of the world on the front label, paying homage to the cities that have inspired the brand throughout its history, and where liberal minds have always come together to make the world a better place. What's more, at the base of each bottle are the exact coordinates of each of these most forward-thinking metropolises. Campaign visuals are vibrant and liberating, embracing the new brand spirit. 

Diversity Honors

Diversity Honors is a collaborative effort that will continue to keep South Florida on the international stage of LGBTQ+ rights and activism in honor of Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States who was assassinated shortly after winning a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and has since gone on to become an icon and beacon of light for the global LGBTQ+ community. This year marks the 46th anniversary of Harvey Milk's historic election.

Over the years, Diversity Honors has paid tribute to an impressive roster of honorees including TV personality and best-selling author Meghan McCain, civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, president and founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation and co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America with Cesar Chavez, Judy and Dennis Shepard, Bollywood star Celina Jaitly, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Gay-Straight Alliance,  transgender  YouTube  viral  inspiration  Ryland  Whittington, transgender  teen activist Jazz Jennings, singer/actress Deborah Cox, drag TV star and entrepreneur Latrice Royale, Judge Rand Hoch, Phill Wilson, founder of the Black AIDS Institute, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Congressman Ted Deutch, and Mayor Dean Trantalis, among others.

Diversity Honors is exclusively hosted by Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, with Platinum Sponsor DMK – Danne Montague-King, Diamond Sponsors Stoli Vodka and Seminole Coconut Creek Casino, supporting sponsors Davidoff of Geneva, GPR | Goodman Public Relations, Dex Imaging and Ludwig Framemakers and media sponsors HOTspots Happening Out, OutClique and OutSFL!

Tickets are $250 per person. To reserve tickets, please visit www.DiversityHonors.org.

About The Harvey Milk Foundation

The Harvey Milk Foundation has worked on the ground in over 60 nations with local LGBTQ organizations, community-based programs, diplomats, and government representatives to support emerging and struggling communities in some of the most challenging and difficult human rights environments in the globe. In a single decade, the Milk Foundation has become the premier global LGBTQ rights NGO working alongside local, regional, state, and national organizers to create a world that is free from discrimination and where equality and the celebration of diversity replaces the hate and violence that has been historically systemic for our LGBTQ community. Using the inspiring life story of Harvey Milk and his belief that broad public education and dialogue was paramount to civil rights advancement, the Milk Foundation inspires individuals, communities and organizations to carry on Harvey's values in a timeless vision for a better world. The Foundation's high visibility targeted programs support cross-cultural discussions that harmonize and share best advocacy practices on a global level which have been recognized with nearly every major global human rights award. HMF has built a reputation of producing historic "firsts" that have become a hallmark of our work, from the United Nations, the European Union, The Munich Security Conference, the White House, and even to the Pentagon. Harvey's unique but critical focus on building a base for societal change through face-to-face conversation with communities that have traditionally opposed LGBTQ equality, has enabled us to realize a dream that Harvey began and continues to inspire our leadership and create sustained societal change. For more information, please visit www.milkfoundation.org.

About The Pride Center at Equality Park

For more than 31 years, The Pride Center has provided a welcoming, safe space – an inclusive home - that celebrates, nurtures and empowers the LGBTQ communities and its friends and neighbors in South Florida. The Pride Center's programs and services meet the distinct socio-economic, health, spiritual and safety needs of the LGBTQ community. The Pride Center hosts more than 65 regularly-meeting groups each month. Support, social and educational groups focus on women, seniors, youth, men, transgender individuals, recovery, health, the arts, athletics, spirituality, games and more. More than 35,000 adults and youth attend activities at The Center each year. Outreach activities over the past year directly impacted 250,000 residents and visitors to South Florida. In October 2020, The Pride Center opened its doors to The Residences at Equality Park. The newly built Residences are located on the Pride Center's five-and-a-half-acre campus and is the first affordable and supportive housing community for seniors living with disabilities in Florida. Along with the residences on campus, Equality Park also houses 30,000 square feet of office space, a playground, and a newly renovated Mark Turner and Chuck Nicholls Garden Plaza in Wilton Manors. As a cornerstone in the advancement of LGBT communities locally and beyond, Equality Park provides a home for individuals, programs and services, as well as a synergy among organizations. Equality Park further establishes The Pride Center as a leader in LGBT unity, inclusiveness, and pride. For more information, visit www.pridecenterflorida.org.

About Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood is the flagship-integrated resort of Hard Rock International, owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The renowned entertainment, gaming and hospitality destination unveiled a $1.5 billion expansion in 2019, highlighting the debut of the world's first and only Guitar Hotel. Between three hotel towers, the resort boasts 1,271 luxury guestrooms. Amenities include a 42,000 square-foot Rock Spa & Salon; an 18-acre recreational water experience; private “Bora Bora” style cabanas; more than 20 food and beverage outlets; a 26,000 square-foot retail promenade; 120,000 square feet of premier meeting and convention space; and an expansive gaming floor with more than 2,500 slots, more than 200 table games and a 45-table poker room. In 2023, the casino launched live craps, roulette and retail sports betting, offering 10 craps tables, 20 roulette tables, and sports betting locations including both electronic kiosks and kiosks with live sports betting agents. Introducing the new games is a historic milestone that immediately puts Florida in the same league as the world's great gaming destinations. Hard Rock Live, ranked No. 3 and No. 5 worldwide in 2023 gross revenue for Pollstar Magazine and Billboard respectively, highlights A-list entertainers and performers, sporting events and live broadcast productions in an intimate 7,000-person capacity setting. Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood is located on 87 acres of the Hollywood Seminole Reservation along State Road 7 (U.S. Highway 441).

For more information, visit us online at www.seminolehardrockhollywood.com.