Following the cancellations of GLAAD‘s annual Media Awards ceremonies in New York and Los Angeles, the LGBTQ media advocacy organization shifted its plans. To help raise money for CenterLink’s network of LGBTQ community centers, which provide social and health services to more than 1.9 million people annually, GLAAD tapped a number of celebrities for a live-streamed fundraiser event, Together in Pride: You Are Not Alone.
Kesha and Melissa Etheridge are set to perform during the virtual gathering. Other special guests will include Billy Eichner, Matt Bomer, Lilly Singh, Adam Lambert, Bebe Rexha, Dan Levy, Mj Rodriguez, Wilson Cruz, Kathy Griffin, Gigi Gorgeous, Nats Getty, Michelle Visage, Javier Muñoz, Sean Hayes, Sharon Stone, and Tatiana Maslany. Additional names, including a host, will be announced later on.
Together in Pride, which seeks to highlight the response to COVID-19 from the LGBTQ community, will be live-streamed across GLAAD’s YouTube channel and Facebook Live on Sunday, April 26 at 8 p.m. ET.
Earlier this year, GLAAD joined other LGBTQ organizations in urging the United States government to address the “heightened vulnerability” of the LGBTQ community to COVID-19, in addition to advocating for those living with HIV and AIDS. According to GLAAD, LGBTQ generally experience “higher rates of cancer, HIV, and tobacco use,” while many others face discrimination in medical settings.
Denise Spivak, the interim CEO of CenterLink, says LGBTQ centers have “continued to provide vital connectivity and services” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“At a time when some LGBTQ people could be isolating in homes that are not affirming, GLAAD is bringing together the biggest LGBTQ stars and allies to send messages of love, support and acceptance,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement. “So many LGBTQ people, especially our youth, depend on support from local community centers around the country, and during this time of financial distress, we must come together as a community to ensure that all LGBTQ organizations can continue their life-saving work.”
The New York GLAAD Media Awards was scheduled to commence on March 19 with American Horror Story architect Ryan Murphy receiving the Vito Russo Award, which is set aside for an LGBTQ media individual who made significant strides towards acceptance for the community. The Los Angeles event, which was planned to honor Taylor Swift with another specialty honor, was set for April 16.
Because of the spread of coronavirus in the U.S., GLAAD made the decision to cancel these ceremonies. As a result, the organization could lose upwards of $2 million, according to Ellis. “They are our biggest fundraising events and they help support a lot of our programming,” she told Variety. However, many of the Media Awards corporate sponsors, Ellis confirmed, did not pull their financial support.
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