Adam Lambert and Melissa Etheridge help Family Equality Council dinner become hottest ticket in town – $571,000 raised
It seems like just two years ago that the Family Equality Council dinner was this nice event sprinkled with a few celebrities.
It’s suddenly become one of the hot tickets on the calendar.
I attended last night event at the Globe Theatre at Universal Studios and it was jam-packed with celebrities including Adam Lambert, Darren Criss, Melissa Etheridge, George Takei, Pauley Perrette, Melissa Etheridge, Amber Riley, Scott Foley, Ryan Murphy, Tuc Watkins, Alex Newell, Alec Mapa, Jason Collins, Dan Bucatinsky, Peter Paige, Busy Phillips, Aisha Tyler, and Tim Allen, among others.
Lambert was a revelation as he came out and sang a powerful version of Mad World accompanied by just a piano. Later, Riley belted out Who You Are as photos of LGBT families flashed on the large screens in the room.
Then there was Etheridge who told funny stories, reflected on the past 20 years of LGBT progress then played her guitar and played her new song Uprising of Love.
Alec Mapa was the evening’s hilarious host and Criss opened up the evening with a musical performance then was a huge hit with the crowd as he joined castmate Newell to auction off a tour of the set of Glee plus lunch and more.
‘Its once in a lifetime opportunity so dont f*ck up and miss it!’ Darren said before adding: ‘Are there kids here?’
He had been a bit of a potty mouth earlier when he announced to the crowd that the bar was way outside in lobby: ‘It’s horsesh*t! C’mon!’
But his auction skills helped the event raise a record $571,000!
Darren, who introduced Glee boss Murphy, snuck in a suggestion that maybe he could play a corpse on American Horror Story sometime!
The evening honored Jennifer Tyrrell, the mom who was her son’s Cub Scouts leader until she was kicked out because of her is a lesbian. She launched a Change.org petition that is seen as the impetus for the Boy Scouts changing their rules to allow gay scouts. They continue to ban gay leaders, however.
Presenter Zach Wahls praised Tyrrell’s “refusal to accept discrimination” and said: “Jennifer is what courage looks like … she stood up for parents who are LGBTQ everywhere.”
Tyrrell received a rousing standing ovation from the crowd that brought her to tears.
“Wow, I wasn’t expecting that actually,” she said as she wiped away tears.
“You deserve it!” yelled one audience member as the crowd again erupted in applause.
Tyrrell talks about all that has happened in the two years since she launched her fight and said: ‘Wheels of change are in motion … we are at a critical turning point in history and we can’t stop now. I’m proud to be a small part of that. I’m proof that one voice can make a difference.’
Also honored were Peter Paige and Brad Bredeweg, creators and executive producers of the ABC Family hit The Fosters.
Paige, clearly honored by the award, said straight away: ‘I’m not going to get through this without crying.’
He was tearful because he was deeply moved by who he called ‘the real heroes of this fight’ like Tyrrell.
Paige said The Fosters, which features a lesbian couple as the head of a large family of kids – including some foster kids – is a ‘long, long overdue reflection of the world we see around us.’
The writer-producer-director and one-time Queer as Folk star said he is ‘baffled’ that the Far Right could be threatened by anything that was happening in the room and said such opposition to LGBT families ‘is appalling and it has to stop. That’s why we’re all here tonight.’
I’ll have more from the Family Equality Council event, including red carpet interviews, tonight and tomorrow.
I’ve got to go have brunch with my parents!