The Hollywood Palladium was packed to the brim Saturday with some of the entertainment industry's biggest names. The occasion? TrevorLive, an annual fundraising event for the Trevor Project, the nation's leading organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBT youth.
The Advocate stopped by the red carpet of TrevorLive and talked to some of the stars and allies who came to show their support. Since the focus of the event was encouragement for LGBT youth during hard times, we asked everyone one simple question: "What are your favorite words of wisdom to live by whenever you are feeling down?"
"My number 1 piece of advice to any queer youth, especially those in the closet, is to find someone in your community who is an ally to you and you know who is going to support you because even if you are in an incredibly small, conservative place, there are people that really care and want to help you," said YouTuber Raymond Braun. "As soon as you can start to open up and share your experiences and say how you are feeling with someone else, you're going to get that affirmation and support."
"I read a quote recently from Mary Oliver, which was something about 'when someone gave me darkness, it took me a long time to realize that this too was also a gift,'" said Hannah Hart, the popular out YouTuber who loves knowing that the Internet provides safe spaces for LGBT youth. "It's really about taking events in our lives, negative events in our lives, and overcoming them and pulling through them because you'll be so much stronger for it."
Greg Louganis and Johnny Chaillot
"The best piece of advice is from my mom: In time, you'll know your worth," said iconic Olympic diver Greg Louganis, who attended TrevorLive with his husband, Johnny Chaillot, by his side.
Lawrence and Gregory Zarian
"You will never have to be alone again, because there is someone just like you," said television style correspondent Lawrence Zarian, who came with his twin brother, Gregory Zarian.
"In life you get to choose what you participate in, and every year we come to support the Trevor Project," he said of why it's important to him to raise awareness of the Trevor Project's work for suicide prevention. "Trevor Project gives our youth hope. It gives them someone to call. It gives them a place to go so they're not alone."
Singer-songwriter Eli Lieb attended TrevorLive not only to show his support for queer youth, but to perform a special song written by Boy George.
"There's never been a storm that didn't end," said TrevorLive presenter and actress Niecy Nash, from Fox's hit comedy Scream Queens and HBO's Getting On. "It will not last forever, the hard parts."
"Push through!" said singer and former Glee cast member Alex Newell, who is a TrevorLive regular, having performed at the event in years past. "I've always been told to push through and perservere because no one can steal your joy, honestly, at the end of the day."
"We have to learn to accept," he said of what needs to change for LGBT youth to achieve greater mainstream acceptance. "Tolerance and acceptance need to just go through the roof. Be optimistic to learn about what someone else might be going through and what their mind is and see their walk of life. I feel we're always so judging of everyone before we even meet them, and not accepting them. I feel like if we accept everyone, it's going to be a happier world."
"Listen to James Brown's 'I Feel Good,'" said Looking star Daniel Franzese. "It's kind of hard to do that and feel sad. Or skip. You can't skip and be sad!"
"Regardless of LGBT or straight, a lot of adolescents feel lonely," he said. "I think that hopefully one day we'll have full equality, but I don't think that Trevor's work will ever be done, becaause there will always be a kid that needs to hear that they're special."
"When you're younger, I think things seem like they're your entire world, and even if it's a small group of friends or one school, there's a giant world beyond that, and I think it's important to remember that," said Scandal and Orange Is the New Black actor Matt McGorry, who attended TrevorLive for the second time. "You just got to make it to be a little older, you know? Give it some time, and things will get better. You'll find people who are like you who have been bullied for the same things that you have, and people who will love you for exactly who you are. You won't have to change and you won't have to lie about who you are."
"Find your people," advised gay actor Dan Bucatinsky, of Scandal fame. "Whether it's one person or a group of them, there is somebody out there, whether you need to find them online or on the phone or a friend that you've always counted on, find your people. You can't always rely on your family, but you can always rely on someone who is going to support you no matter what."
"I just tell myself that I have to stay strong, keep moving forward, and the most important thing is that I love myself, and once I get to that happy place where I love myself, then I spread that love toward other people," said Jazz Jennings, trans activist and star of I Am Jazz.
Besides being an attendee, Jennings was also one of the honorees of the night, recognized with the Youth Innovator Award. "The Trevor Project is amazing. They're really making a difference for LGBTQ youth out there, including myself, and I'm so grateful," she said.
"I love Trevor Project," said NCIS actress and proud straight ally Pauley Perrette. "I'm very involved with them. The work that everyone there and what we're all doing is literally saving lives of LGBT kids, and it's just such an excellent resource. Not only do we want to support all these kids and this organization, but we just want to keep this going and get the word out. It's a resource that is out there for LGBT kids that are hurting. We need every child to have this phone number. Everyone. To know that they can call, and there's people that are going to love them and support them no matter who they are."
"I have Romans 12:21 tattooed on my finger," she continued, sharing her favorite words of wisdom. "'Never be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.' It's been a mantra of my life that even when bad things happen, to use that as a catalyst to continue to go do good in the world."