Brave teens Constance McMillen and Derrick Martin to be honored at Lifeworks event on Saturday
One of my favorite events all year occurs of the Saturday evening of LA Pride weekend: Life Out Loud.
It’s always so well-attended and filled with fascinating people and benefits Lifeworks Mentoring, a group which offers one on one, peer and group mentoring opportunities for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth ages 14-24. It is now under the umbrella of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.
Last year, Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black gave an inspiring speech that left a lot of us deeply moved. This year’s honorees are just as deserving: high school students Constance McMillen and Derrick Martin who fought to bring same-sex dates to their respective proms and paid quite a price.
Derrick (pictured below with boyfriend Richard Goodman) was kicked out of the house by his parents for taking his public stance. I will be anxious to see how he is doing and what his plans for the future are.
As for Constance, I got the chance to chat with this impressive Mississippi teen at the GLAAD Media Awards at a time when she seemed to be coping well with all the publicity surrounding the awfulness of her school canceling its prom rather than let her bring a girl. Then parents threw a private prom and did not include Constance.
“My hometown is horrible – the [lack of] support that they’ve shown is horrible,” she told me then. “But from across the world, it’s absolutely amazing how much support I’ve had. That’s really what keeps me going.”
This year’s Life Out Loud event takes place from 5-8 p.m. at Sunset Gower Studios. Click HERE for more information and to order tickets.