Locals + Culture

HRC Gala, 2017 | We Rose

6/29/2017 | Amy Tibbals
Kerri Fukui

a fabulous party. a fantastic cause.

We offered ample warning, folks. Our hopes were that you'd heed our good word, grab your tickets, and show up in your black-tie best to the 2017 HRC Gala. Themed "RISE," this year's fundraiser for the Human Rights Campaign was among the very best, and a few of us were lucky enough to be a part of the gay ol' times and good vibrations.

 hearts as open as the spirits were high

As usual, there was plenty to celebrate in the way of forward movement on the LGBTQ front. Still, the rounds of jubilant applause were balanced by the reminder that there remains much work to do in the effort to secure equal rights for everyone. In our favorite surprise moment of the night, Co-Chair Dustin Williams introduced Savannah, the ______________ (insert: brave, inspiring, honest, bold, etc.) 12-year old girl who recently came out to her church congregation. On the gala stage, she was happily received by a wildly-supportive crowd of 600+ (we're talking every last person on their feet, thunderous applause, and not a dry eye to be found). The Visibility Award was presented to Gus Kenworthy--Olympic Silver medalist and 6-time World Champion Freeskier--who came out on the cover of ESPN in 2015, and the Allies for Equality Award went to Pat and Boyer Jarvis.

 but after the party, there's the after-party

And this is where the HRC Gala soars, so to speak. Once all the auction items have been scooped up and table wine has been poured, replaced, and poured again, the high-spirited herd marches down the halls of the Grand America to find the after party. Because in the end, the HRC Gala is all about folks supporting other folks just being their own, wonderful selves. Year after year, this sensational organization puts together one hell of a party to ensure that the fight for equal rights forges on, and year after year we're honored to be a part of that crowd that raises a ruckus in the name of love. Missed it? We missed you. And we hope to catch you all next year.

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