Earlier this month Lambda Legal hosted its West Coast Liberty Awards, an event honoring those who have made significant contributions toward the advancement of the organization’s vision of equality. Hosted by Cheyenne Jackson, the occasion honored Rep. Henry Waxman, actor Dan Bucatinsky, activist Bamby Salcedo, who gave a moving acceptance speech on trans rights, and the creators and executive producer of ABC Family’s The Fosters.
In celebration of the occasion, The Advocate asked these honorees for their reasons for pride. We also asked many of the public figures in attendance, including Jason Collins, Madison Hildebrand, Sherri Saum, Candis Cayne, Sen. Ted Lieu, Jamie Gray Hyder, Jennifer Leitham, and Julia Frost, to reflect on achievements of their own and accomplishments by LGBT people in general that make them feel proud.
Images courtesy of Lamda Legal.
Reason 1: Gays Win at Teen Choice Awards!
Peter Paige (executive producer, The Fosters, pictured right)
The thing I am most proud about, as it relates to Pride and The Fosters, is the Teen Choice Award. When we won the Teen Choice Award, as silly as this may sound, I literally thought, We are all doing our job. Everything we are fighting for is happening. There’s the proof, right there. … The idea that the generation behind us would embrace this family without question … to them, it’s a family that they understand and they recognize.
Reason 2: Teens Promote LGBT Tolerance to Parents!
Bradley Bredeweg (executive producer, The Fosters, pictured left)
Just the other day, I received an email over Facebook from a woman who said, “I was a staunch Republican, Christian woman. I found your show because of my daughter. You have changed my mind about gays and lesbians because of the family that you put on the air.” And it took me a moment to step back and really take that in: the impact that this family is having on changing minds.
Reason 3: Loving Families!
Madison Hildebrand (Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing)
The biggest impact that was positive when I came out was watching my family struggle with that. … Everyone’s on a different time schedule [for acceptance], and each of my family members went through their own. And now, today, we’re closer than ever before. To watch them grow, because I had to change, and be public about [my sexual orientation], was an unexpected benefit.