Joel McHale, Tituss Burgess and Sarah Silverman performed on Sunday at TrevorLIVE Los Angeles, the annual comedy, music and awards show benefiting the Trevor Project at the Hollywood Palladium. The Trevor Project focuses on crisis intervention and suicide prevention efforts for LGBTQ youth.
HBO president of programming, Michael Lombardo, was honored as the Trevor Hero Honoree; transgender teen Jazz Jennings (“I Am Jazz”) received the Trevor Youth Innovator Award; and Walt Disney international chairman Andy Bird accepted the Trevor 20/20 Visionary Award on behalf of The Walt Disney Company.
Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) kicked off the nights’ performances with his ode to black men, suitably called “Peeno Noir.” Shirtless men danced alongside the singer, carrying Burgess offstage as the number ended.
McHale quickly followed Burgess. “I want to mark the time down and the place for the gayest thing that has ever happened,” McHale joked. The former host of E!’s “The Soup” sprinkled LGBTQ jokes throughout his stand-up routine. “The Trevor Project is also starting a brand new hotline for gay teens who have attended a party at Bryan Singer’s house,” McHale said, eliciting laughs from the crowd.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus introduced Lombardo, noting that early in his career, he was advised to keep the fact that he was gay a secret if he wanted to be successful. “Thankfully, he did not do that. He would later say, ‘the thought that I would need to live two separate lives, a personal one and professional one, felt like a death sentence,’” Louis-Dreyfus explained.
“Growing up, from our earliest consciousness we were told, often covertly, at almost every turn to believe that who we were, who we knew we were, was somehow wrong. Something broken, something flawed, something simple, and yet, we’re here today,” Lombardo said.
Two Trevor Project counselors spoke, detailing their experiences helping LGBTQ youth. “Our callers’ problems aren’t LGBTQ problems. At the end of the day, it’s just another human being reaching out for help,” counselor Tara Tucker said. “We’re all just human beings trying to be okay in our own skin, and when we have a society that teaches our youth to hate themselves for being who they are, that is not an LGBTQ problem, that’s a humanity problem.”
When Jennings received her award, she explained she picked the name “Jazz” in honor of Disney Princess Jasmine. Bird called her up on stage towards the end of the night, presenting the teen with a genie lamp necklace. “I can’t promise that there’s a genie inside it, but hopefully it brings you many, many good wishes for the rest of your life,” Bird said.
The night concluded with Burgess singing Disney’s “Circle of Life,” accompanied by a slew of background singers.
Other notable presenters included Tony Hale, Amy Adams and Pauley Perrette.