Equality California Celebrates 20th Anniversary With Star-Studded Gala
By Daniel Reynolds
Equality California presents the 20th Los Angeles Equality Awards.
(Pictured: Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur, Transparent creator and honoree Jill Soloway, and Transparent actress and presenter Alexandria Billings)
It was a banner year for Equality California. The organization celebrated its 20th anniversary of fighting for LGTBQ equality in the Golden State with a star-studded gala at the J.W. Marriott at LA Live. Over 1,200 people filled the ballroom at the Los Angeles venue to hear the speeches of Equality Award honorees Andreas Meyer (Equality Leadership Award), political commentator Ana Navarro (Ally Leadership Award), Amy Quartarolo and Latham & Watkins LLP (Community Leadership Award), and Transparent creator Jill Soloway (Equality Visibility Award), who delivered a moving speech about LGBTQ erasure in history.
Among the guests were a number of public figures, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Kim Anh, Alexanda Billings (Transparent), Shangela, Billie Lee (Vanderpump Rules), Isis King (When They See Us), Ariana Madix (Vanderpump Rules), Tom Sandoval (Vanderpump Rules), Frankie Grande, Jai Rodriguez (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy), Mikalah Gordon (American Idol), Elliot Fletcher (Shameless), Jake Borelli (Grey’s Anatomy), Kelsey Scott (How to Get Away With Murder), singer Brandon Stansell, Rain Valdez (Transparent), comedian Bruce Vilanch, Candis Cayne, Kimora Blac (RuPaul’s Drag Race), Ronnie Butler Jr., J. Alexander (America’s Next Top Model), producer Joe Lewis (Transparent), producer Michael Nardelli (Dark/Web), Danielle Bisutti (Insidious: The Last Key), California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, State Controller Betty Yee, Rep. Jimmy Gomez, Rep. Judy Chu, Assemblymember Evan Low, West Hollywood Councilmember John Heilman, Los Angeles Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, and State Sen. Scott Wiener.
Kim Petras closed the evening with a performance of her hits “I Don’t Want It at All” and “Heart to Break." See some of the red carpet photography from the evening by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images in the following slides. Learn more about the work of Equality California at www.eqca.org.