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[Photos] Atlanta HRC Gala Dinner draws hundreds to fund national fight

Matthew Morrison at HRC Dinner

The Human Rights Campaign hosted its annual Atlanta dinner on Saturday, May 4, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel to raise funds for the country's largest national LGBT advocacy organization.

The dinner began with a performance from Serenbe Playhouse’s production of “Hair.”

Recent victories, including the repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” and state victories across the country, made the annual dinner more of a celebration than in previous years.

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Annual Atlanta HRC Dinner raises funds for national fight

Atlanta HRC Dinner

At a recent reception at the upscale STK restaurant and bar in Midtown, dozens of Human Rights Campaign members gathered to network, socialize and bid on some silent auction items while they sipped cocktails.

The members and supporters were just weeks away from the annual Atlanta Gala Dinner, set for May 4 at the Hyatt Regency, and several members excitedly received their nametags noting they are officially members of the dinner committee.

About an hour into the party, dinner co-chairs Andrew Land and Kaitlin Porter stood atop a counter and toasted everyone for coming out. Porter announced the dinner is almost sold out so people need to buy their tickets now.

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HRC to honor ‘Glee’ star at upcoming Atlanta gala

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The Human Rights Campaign will honor TV and Broadway actor Matthew Morrison at the upcoming Atlanta HRC Gala Dinner, set for May 4 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.

Morrison, a seasoned Broadway performer as well as a talented musician, is best known for his recurring role as Will Schuester on Fox's hot show “Glee.” He will receive HRC’s Ally for Equality Award.

“We recognize Matthew Morrison, a star in music, theatre, and television, for his public commitment to LGBT equality, and in particular to LGBT young people,” HRC President Chad Griffin said today via a prepared statement. “We are proud to honor him with the Ally for Equality Award and thank him for standing up for LGBT people everywhere.”

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GLAAD plans second Atlanta Gala to honor community leaders

Fran Drescher

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation will host its second annual gala Oct. 6 to recognize local LGBT leaders who’ve done work to advance social change.

Some 28 honorees, including GA Voice Editor Laura Douglas-Brown, will receive awards.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by GLAAD and this award is shared with all of the staff who work so hard on GA Voice every day,” Douglas-Brown says.

Other honorees include Q100 morning DJ Bert Weiss, actress Fran Drescher, local fundraising drag troupe Armorettes and nightlife stalwart Blake’s on the Park (see sidebar for full list of honorees).

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PFLAG Atlanta goes ‘Out with the Stars’

PFLAG awards gala

Atlanta’s chapter of Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians & Gays will host its first-ever “Out with the Stars” awards dinner on Saturday, June 23, to honor educators, students, parents and nonprofits that have advocated acceptance and tolerance for gays and lesbians in Atlanta.

“This event is our chance to say ‘thank you’ to them for all they do,” said Conal Charles, co-president of PFLAG Atlanta.

The gala at Labella at Lambert Place will double as a fundraiser for PFLAG Atlanta, which celebrates its 26th year of service to the community this year. PFLAG Atlanta was founded in 1986 to give parents of LGBT children a network of support.

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‘Precious’ storyteller to appear at Atlanta HRC dinner

Director Lee Daniels

After surviving a stifling childhood where he was teased for being gay and trapped in the closet, Lee Daniels had no desire to bring his fear and insecurity with him to Hollywood.

“My nightmare was being closeted until I was 18,” says Daniels, the Oscar-nominated director of “Precious,” who will be attending the Atlanta HRC Dinner May 14, themed “Our Stories.”

“I was bullied, and I know that feeling of really wanting to kill yourself and feeling alone,” he says. “I don't think that we're doing enough to deal with the kids that are being bullied. I know that we think that we are, but I just don't think we're doing enough.”

Daniels is passionate about creating a less hostile landscape for LGBT youth, even as he credits his rough upbringing with his success as a filmmaker.

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HRC Dinner features Mo’Nique, celebrates ‘Our Stories’

Atlanta HRC Gala and Dinner preview

Festive as it has been over the past two decades, the Atlanta Human Rights Campaign Dinner has not always been a celebration. Many years, it’s been a place where LGBT Georgians lick the wounds caused by legislative setbacks and vow to persevere through daunting challenges.

The 24th annual Atlanta HRC Dinner, which takes place May 14 at the Marriott Marquis, promises to be a party.

It’s hard to imagine not having an exceptionally good time in a room where actress, talk show host and comedian Mo’Nique is standing behind a microphone, as she will be when she accepts the Ally for Equality Award at the black-tie dinner. And for the second year in a row, LGBT activists and HRC supporters will celebrate a major federal victory for the movement: the recent repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.