The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America’s largest LGBTQ rights organization, has announced that Representative Lucy McBath, actress Cynthia Erivo, and writer Ryan O’Connell will headline this year’s HRC Atlanta Gala Dinner. Rep. McBath will speak at the gala, while Erivo and O’Connell will be honored with awards.
Rep. McBath made history as the first Black woman to be elected to Georgia’s 6th District and has a solid pro-LGBTQ record, including speaking out against Trump’s military ban and fighting for the Equality Act. In 2017, she joined Gold Star father Khizr Khan, HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride, DREAMer Astrid Silva, international disability rights activist Anatasia Somoza, and daughter of undocumented parents Karla Ortiz, to create a united message of hope for resistance against the Trump administration.
“From speaking out against the Trump-Pence administration’s discriminatory trans military ban to fighting for the Equality Act, Rep. Lucy McBath continues to be a tireless advocate and ally to the LGBTQ community,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “By working to achieve crucial non-discrimination protections for our community, Rep. McBath is a key leader in our effort for full federal equality, and we are honored to welcome her to the 2019 HRC Atlanta Gala Dinner.”
Erivo will be honored with the HRC Ally for Equality Award at the ceremony for her work to uplift the LGBTQ community. The award-winning actress and singer/songwriter has been an advocate and ally for the LGBTQ community by speaking out against the transgender military ban and honoring the victims of the Orlando Pulse Nightclub massacre.
“Cynthia Erivo is a mutli-talented artist who is using her platform to lift up the LBGTQ community,” Griffin said. “One the page, stage, screen, and beyond, Cynthia Erivo is leaving her mark on American culture while proudly standing with us as a fierce ally and advocate. We are excited to honor Cynthia Erivo with the HRC Ally for Equality Award at the 2019 HRC Atlanta Gala Dinner.”
HRC will also honor O’Connell with the HRC Visibility Award. O’Connell is a gay man with cerebral palsy and is best known for his acting, writing, and producing. He has been an advocate not only for the LGBTQ community but also for those living with disabilities. Netflix’s new show Special was based on his 2015 memoir I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves and his experience navigating sexuality and disability. He has also worked on shows Awkward and Will & Grace.
“Ryan O’Connell is an incredibly gifted artist and activist who is inspiring LGBTQ young people, people living with disabilities, and so many others across the country,” Griffin said. “As a writer, actor, producer, and advocate, Ryan O’Connell is changing countless hearts and minds by boldly speaking out for fairness and equality. We are proud to honor Ryan O’Connell with the HRC Visibility Award at the 2019 HRC Atlanta Gala Dinner.”
The 2019 HRC Atlanta Gala Dinner will be held on Saturday, May 4 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. The event brings together HRC’s most active local members and supporters to raise funds to fight for LGBTQ equality. To buy tickets or learn more, visit https://hrcatlanta.com/gala-dinner.