Celebrating its sixteenth year, The Trevor Project’s TrevorLIVE celebration at the Hollywood Palladium Sunday night welcomed a host of celebrities and performers to honor the org’s work.
Being involved with the event was a personal endeavor for many of the stars, including country musician Ty Herndon, who openly attended the event with his partner for the first time, comedian Billy Eichner and producer and director Paris Barclay.
“I was a kid who had to make a call 25 years ago, in an emergency that saved my life,” said Barclay, “so, I understand what [The Trevor Project] is about.”
Jennifer Coolidge hosted the star-studded event, which honored youth innovator Skylar Kergil, Yahoo, and NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt.
“I am so lucky that I grew up in a very safe community,” Greenblatt told Variety. “I wasn’t bullied, I wasn’t abused – I didn’t feel like suicide was my only answer, but I know that isn’t the case for so many kids,” he said, “so I think it’s important for all of us to just do what we can. I’m grateful that I was lucky, but I’m happy to help wherever I can to all of the kids who are not as lucky as I was.”
Composer Marc Shaiman, who penned songs for NBC’s “Smash,” took a seat at the piano to thank the exec with a personalized tune (“How gay are his networks? Not gayer than Bob!”) that expressed Greenblatt’s passion for equal representation on television while garnering laughs from the audience.
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“It always feels weird,” Greenblatt said of accepting the Trevor Project’s Hero Award. “I never feel completely comfortable standing on a stage and taking credit for anything, but if my position can help encourage people to give money and to be supportive then I feel it’s a great platform to have.”
“How to Get Away with Murder’s” Matt McGorry shared the sentiment, saying that “to help be responsible for social change and give back like this in any way feels really wonderful.”
Added “Transparent” actor Melora Hardin, “It’s incredible to be on a show that is opening people’s hearts with humor and honesty. It can give a little peek into a part of society that’s been so underrepresented,” she said.
“When I saw [“Transparent’] — not just being in it — I felt like I existed,” said Ian Harvie. “I thought about when I was younger and how we didn’t really have representation, so to support Trevor who supports youth and tells them that they matter is just fantastic.”
“We’ve made a lot of headway,” in LGBTQ representation on television, said Eichner. “It’s about showing as many representations of gay people as you can, and I do think that’s happening.”
“Modern Family” star Jesse Tyler Ferguson thrilled with a performance of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” with additional performances from Darren Criss, Mia Pfirrman (“The Voice”) Hardin and Herndon.
(Swift later tweeted her approval of Ferguson’s performance.)
Throughout the evening guests had the opportunity to participate in multiple auctions, as well as offer donations via text, as Eichner, Adam Scott and Alex Borstein upped the ante.
“If you don’t pledge I’m going to make Gwyneth Paltrow’s website your homepage,” joked Eichner.
“If you don’t donate we are going to download the U2 album back onto your phone,” added Scott.
The three held court on the stage while donations and messages popped up for the audience to read. “$50 for Billy to kiss Adam,” read one. The two went along with the request before Eichner exclaimed, “Why is that only good for $50?”
The evening was capped off with a powerful performance from “Glee’s” Alex Newell of “I Know Where I’ve Been.”
Founded in 1998 by the creators of Academy Award-winning short film “Trevor,” The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth.
“With everything that’s going on in the world, young people still need to reach out to us,” said the Trevor Project’s Abbe Land, stressing the importance of the work and the support from Hollywood, and no one says no to helping out, she added. “Everyone wants to be here to help The Trevor Project because they know that we’re really helping young people.”