5 LGBT things you need to know today, March 22

1. A recently passed nondiscrimination ordinance extending protections to LGBT people in Charlotte has spurred the entire state legislature into a special session. Lawmakers will spend $42,000 per day to act be...

5 LGBT things you need to know today, Jan. 9

1. Big day for marriage equality in two different courts today!2. Openly gay football player Michael Sam is reportedly engaged.3. A Dublin priest came out as gay during Mass...and received a standing ov...
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Atlanta HRC Dinner tells ‘Our Stories’ to inspire fight for LGBT rights

Actress Mo'Nique was awarded the 'Ally for Equality' honor at the 2011 Atlanta Human Rights Campaign Gala Dinner

“Our Stories,” the theme for this year’s Atlanta Human Rights Campaign Gala Dinner, proved fitting May 14 as hundreds packed the ballroom at the Marriott Marquis for the annual black-tie fundraiser for the nation’s largest LGBT advocacy group.

From national award winners to local honorees and HRC members, personal stories wove a compelling narrative of the power of coming out and the need for full equality for LGBT Americans.

Filmmaker Lee Daniels, who is gay and an adoptive father, summed up the evening succinctly when he told the cheering audience, “I am not asking for special rights, I am not asking for civil rights, I just want my fucking rights — my human rights.”

Daniels directed “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire” and attended the Atlanta dinner to present HRC’s national Ally for Equality award to talk show host and actress Mo’Nique, who won an Academy Award for her role in the film.

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[Video] 2011 Atlanta Human Rights Campaign Gala Dinner

“Our Stories,” the theme for this year’s Atlanta Human Rights Campaign Gala Dinner, proved fitting May 14 as hundreds packed the ballroom at the Marriott Marquis for the annual black-tie fundraiser for the nation’s largest LGBT advocacy group.

From national award winners to local honorees and HRC members, personal stories wove a compelling narrative of the power of coming out and the need for full equality for LGBT Americans.

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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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‘Precious’ director to speak at Atlanta HRC Dinner

Director Lee Daniels will speak at this year's HRC Atlanta Gala

The Atlanta chapter of the Human Rights Campaign announced today that director and producer Lee Daniels has joined the speaking line-up for this year's Atlanta Gala Dinner on May 14.

Daniels, who directed Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, will join Academy Award-winning actress Mo'Nique, who will receive the organization's Ally for Equality Award at the dinner. Mo'Nique won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Precious.

According to HRC:

Daniels' background is filled with bold stories as real and gritty as the narratives from the films he creates. By the age of 21, Daniels had founded and was running his own health care agency, providing nurses to private homes and hospitals; he was simultaneously trying to be a screenwriter. After selling his health care business and giving up screenwriting, Daniels began managing actors such as Loretta Divine, Michael Shannon, Natasha Kinsky, and Aishwarya Rai. He turned to producing as a natural result of trying to find and create great material for his clients; the organic leap to directing came soon after. Daniels received the HRC National Visibility Award this past October at the HRC National Dinner in Washington, DC.