We’ll start with ‘daaaaang‘…because that’s what we said upon arriving at this year’s Human Rights Campaign Gala at the Grand America. People, we love to gush, and this is just the sort of occasion that warrants it. Having attended in years past, we knew we could expect the place to be draped in some fabulousness…but daaaaang.
The HRC Gala is meant [as we mentioned here] to gather the masses in celebration of the successes that year has seen in the LGBT community [oh, we gots successes]. It also happens to be the largest fundraising event in Utah that specifically benefits the LGBT community, so it’s a function well worth fancying [speaking of fancy, feast your eyes on the evening's fantastic fashion in the shots below...the crowd was dressed in equal parts crisp, buttery, and downright delicious]. Festivities began with cocktails and meandering, so as to give attendees a moment to chit-chat with chums and peruse the myriad of incredible auction items up for bidding. Naturally, hugs and handshakes were abound. This was a crowd worth loving…if you’re gathering for human rights, we likely want to gather with you.
Once a few grand sets of doors flung open, the gang was invited to find our tables and settle in for the good part. The wine was open, the plates were full, and every last speaker dynamic as hell. Dustin Schrecengost and Sean MeHew [Dinner Committe Co-Chairs who deserve a thunderous round of applause for their efforts leading to the evening], Chad Griffin [HRC President], and Mr. Bruce Bastian [a most inspiring HRC supporter] kicked things off right properly. But in true HRC fashion, there was still loads more magic to be had. For one, American Idol finalist David Hernandez took to the stage and was flanked in no time by throngs of dancing grown-ups. To our sheer and utter COLLECTIVE joy, we got a touch of enlightenment for the cause from the likes of the magnanimous Donna Weinholtz, followed by a moving speech from Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo [adorable couple and plaintiffs in the Prop. 8 case]. How to follow-up all that? No big deal…just a presentation speech by Jesse Ferguson for the Ally for Equality Award…which went straight to the fantastic Ty Burrell. #reallythough #stellarlineup
As expected, things got a little loose in a good way.
No gala is complete without an after party, though–a fact not lost on our benevolent organizers–so it was off to a room down the hall with a wee DJ [spun a mean-ass mix], another bar, and a rainbow chandelier. As expected, things got a little loose in the good way. Our COLLECTIVE hats are way, way off to those behind this incredible event. Party aside, we think it best to keep in mind that some really spectacular people are doing some really spectacular things, and the annual HRC Gala is a strong testament to the fact. Generous efforts make for forward movement, and we’re pretty jazzed to rub shoulders with some of the good ones. Be sure to attend next year’s event, and in the mean time, wend your way to the HRC website [below] where you can get information on political progress, find local resources, and get in on supporting the cause.