Photo Credit: Getty on behalf of The Trevor Project. Lauren Morelli and Samira Wiley.
On Monday night our favourite couple, The Handmaid’s Tale actress Samira Wiley and her wife, OITNB writer and producer Lauren Morelli, joined a host of stars and LGBTQ luminaries for The Trevor Project’s annual New York TrevorLIVE fundraising gala at Cipriani Wall Street.
The Trevor Project is the America’s largest non-profit crisis intervention and suicide prevention organization, focused on ending suicide among LGBTQ youth by providing crisis intervention, peer to peer social network support and accredited services and programs. The gala helped raise more than $2 million for their vital work.
Out US Olympians Gus Kenworthy and Adam Rippon hosted TrevorLIVE, which honored Emmy Award-winning screenwriter, producer and actor Lena Waithe and writer, director and producer Greg Berlanti with the Trevor Hero Award.
Image Credit: Getty on behalf of The Trevor Project. Olympians Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy.
Compassion was the theme of the acceptance speeches, with Waithe telling the audience “I’m really moved by the stories I’m hearing and the faces I’m seeing and all the love. But don’t treat each other like this just in this room. We need to take it out into the world.”
“It’s our job to make sure all queer people are human. They weren’t born to be perfect. They were born to be whole.”
Image Credit: Getty on behalf of The Trevor Project. Trevor Hero Award honouree Lena Waithe
Love, Simon director Greg Berlanti moved the audience with a profound 16 minute acceptance speech about the power of compassion and the effect it’s had on his life.
Image Credit: Getty on behalf of The Trevor Project. Greg Berlanti accepting the Trevor Hero Award.
Rita Ora closed out the show with a special acoustic performance of her songs Anywhere and I Will Never Let You Down before performing her controversial single Girls with the cast of Viceland’s My House, a show about the queer ballroom voguing scene.
On its release, Girls was criticised by LGBT performers, including singer Hayley Kiyoko, for trivialising queer women’s relationships. The wave of criticism forced Ora on to Twitter to explain lyrics such as “Sometimes, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls/Red wine, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls” by outing herself as bisexual.
At TrevlorLIVE she told the audience “I really love the LGBTQ community, the most compassionate group of people in the world.”
“You’re all very near and dear to my heart, and the stories I heard tonight, I’m never going to forget.”
Image Credit: Getty on behalf of The Trevor Project. Rita Ora performing Girls with Viceland's My House cast members.
The Trevor Project CEO and Executive Director Amit Paley sent a message of support to LGBTQ young people everywhere, saying “There may be people who don’t accept you for who you are, but there are other people who will not only accept you but celebrate you.”
The Trevor Project is currently campaigning to have conversion therapy banned across America with their 50 Bills 50 States initiative and Paley said in her speech “This dangerous and discredited practice is still legal today in 37 states and we will not rest until this form of torture is stopped everywhere … You are beautiful just the way you are and you are not alone.”
Image Credit: Getty on behalf of The Trevor Project. Natasha Lyonne, Samira Wiley and Lauren Morelli
Image Credit: Getty on behalf of The Trevor Project. Rita Ora.