The Human Rights Campaign’s Los Angeles Dinner in downtown Los Angeles’ JW Marriott Hotel was filled with hoots and hollers from the ballroom full of those who identify as LGBTQ and allies. The civil rights org also hosted its fair share of politicians Saturday evening at the benefit, which had U.S. senator Tim Kaine, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, and former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (who recently made his bid for 2018 California Governor) take the stage at the ceremony, which honored Katy Perry and America Ferrera.
“Everywhere we went, we saw the HRC standing up for equality,” Kaine said of his travels on the campaign trail with Hillary Clinton. He continued, “This chapter [that the country is in] will have a good end because of people like you.”
But the politics didn’t stop there. HRC president Chad Griffin spoke of one of the org’s top priorities in the election seasons to come: to take out any remaining anti-LGBT politicians.
“If you come for us, we will come for you on election day,” Griffin promised, citing former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory who lost his re-election after the state passed its bathroom bill that banned those in the transgender community from using bathrooms of their gender preference.
The show, however, was stolen by comedienne and auctioneer Dana Goldberg, who performed line after line of gut-busting jabs directed at the current president — who issued his own rollback on the rights of trans college students to use their preferred restrooms.
“Trump is always talking about ‘the gays love me.’ If the gays loved you, your hair and makeup wouldn’t look like s—,” she cracked.
Goldberg’s instant likability was later shown when she was able to push the original $15,000 goal of donations to the org’s Super PAC to more than $100,000 in the matter of minutes.
Lena Dunham was also in attendance to present the ally for equality award to her friend, Ferrera. The “Superstore” star went on to personally thank NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt — who looked on from Table 9 — and the network for green-lighting the comedy that showcases multiculturalism with its diverse talent and characters.
“I didn’t grow up seeing a lot of examples of short, brown, chubby, poor daughters of immigrant parents grow up to be successful actresses and loud activists,” she recalled. “I had to use my imagination.”
Perry, who took the national equality award, also expressed what a privilege it is to use her platform to promote inclusion and acceptance.
“I sing my truths,” said the “I Kissed A Girl And I Liked It” singer. Upon mention of her 2008 breakout hit, she noted, “Truth be told, I did more than that.”
After detailing how her religious upbringing shamed those in the LGBTQ community, Perry ended her speech stating, “These days, I get an incomparable high from knowing myself and I think a lot of that’s the magic that’s rubbed on me from all of you.”