Twice a year the LGBT community gathers alongside entertainment and corporate professionals at TrevorLIVE in order to raise both attention and funds for the Trevor Project, the leading national organization for LGBT youth (under 24) that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services, including free and confidential lifeline and instant messaging services and in-school workshops.
Last night, TrevorLIVE New York was held at the Chelsea Piers, and the evening’s Master of Ceremonies was none other than celesbian superstar (and newly single lady) Jane Lynch.
“I am so thrilled to be hosting TrevorLIVE New York and proud to be part of such a worthwhile cause!,” Lynch said in a press statement. “The Trevor Project is a beacon of hope for so many through their tireless advocacy and outreach — it’s an honor to help bring attention to all that they do.”
I met Lynch on the red carpet, and, while she didn’t have time to chat (she had yet to rehearse her lines for the night’s event), she did offer me some “cleave,” as she so graciously put it.
In addition to a fancy-pants silent auction intended to raise big bucks for the Project, a trio of honors was bestowed to individuals (and, remember, thanks to the Supreme Court, corporations are individuals!) who have become beacons of hope and change for and within the LGBT community. Cindy McCain was honored with the Trevor Hero Award for her unrelenting support of the LGBT community, and gay mountaineer and founder of the Rainbow Summits Project, Cason Crane, was awarded the Trevor Youth Innovator Award. Wells Fargo, the event’s co-sponsor (along with Audi of America), was also recognized for their support of the LGBT community with the Trevor 20/20 Visionary Award.
“As a parent you make your best efforts to teach your children everything but there’s always that moment of realization when your child has taught you something,” said McCain. “That’s how I became an advocate to the LGBT community – through my children who taught me that love is love. I’m thrilled to have been selected by The Trevor Project but I share this honor with my children.”
Other homolebrities and celesbians and allies in attendance included Gabourey Sidibe (Precious), Billy Porter (who just last week won a Tony for his performance in Kinky Boots), Tammy Blanchard (who just finished production on Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine and told me she loved working with legendary director), trans and feminist activist Janet Mock, GLAAD national spokesperson Wilson Cruz (My So Called Life), and even Jwoww and Snooki because everyone loves the homos especially the wee little homo-children.
Jane with JWoww and Snooki
While Lynch’s drive-by “cleaving” left much to be desired (my brother said it best: “You know, she’s single now — did you get her digits?”), I was able to spend a bit of time talking with Janet Mock and Wilson Cruz—Melissa Harris Perry has had both of them on her show for a reason, people. They are fantastic, erudite, advocates for our community. Every time I see Janet Mock I have heart palpitations, and I feel a bit sorry she has to deal with my crush on her. Mock is, without a question, one of the leading feminist voices of today. Her work founding #GirlsLikeUs, for transwomen of color, has been revolutionary.
She spoke poignantly about her support of this event was critical in terms of visibility, particularly from her own subject position as a POC transwoman: “It’s important that we see different types of people on these red carpets, and that’s very important to me. Visibility is using the access you have — to tell a different kind of story that won’t be here.”
I also spoke exclusively with Wilson Cruz about GLAAD’s agenda post DADT and post marriage; I wanted to know where the “fight,” the narrative, the agenda, rested for the organization in the future, considering that DADT is gone and DOMA close to it. As a queer woman who is highly critical of neoliberalist rhetoric about “acceptance” and “inclusion” and “assimilation,” I was absolutely delighted with the agenda Cruz mapped out for me.
For us … it’s making sure that the 300,000 LGBT undocumented immigrants are covered by this new immigration law, that’s one thing…. That the conditions for asylum are better, and incarceration for LGBT people are better. As far as transgender issues, we really want to highlight the fact that transgender people and the images of transgender people in [media] representation is exactly where the LGB images in representation were 20 years ago…. The networks have been failing on this issue…. We also want to talk about people of color issues…. On an even larger scale we want to talk about discrimination and, more prominently, discrimination in the workplace, and ENDA. So, marriage is an incredible thing, but let’s also be honest about the fact that it hasn’t allowed us to talk about a number of other issues that we need to talk about.
Preach, Wilson Cruz, just preach.
That, my AE community, was the red carpet at TrevorLIVE. Sure, there are ancillary anecdotes that I’ve foregone telling (but if any of you want to know about Jwoww’s gluten-free diet, just let me know), but, really, I’ve already given you Jane Lynch’s “cleave”—what more could you ask of me?