Acclaimed Star of Broadway’s Kinky Boots Will Serve as Master of Ceremonies and Help Celebrate Five of New York’s Most Inspiring Young Leaders
Billy Porter will headline the thirteenth annual Trailblazers Benefit Gala hosted by Live Out Loud, an nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring, nurturing and empowering LGBTQ youth to build a successful future by connecting them to positive role models and affirmative experiences in the LGBTQ community. On Monday, April 28, Porter will join more than 500 leaders in business, arts, politics, and more, to honor individuals that have made a positive impact among the LGBT youth community and recognize several remarkable young LGBT leaders with college scholarships. Proceeds of the event will go toward furthering educational programming for LGBTQ youth.
Live Out Loud inspires, nurtures and empowers LGBTQ youth to build a successful future by connecting them to positive role models and affirmative experiences in the LGBTQ community. By providing youth with opportunities to interact with adults who understand the realities of living openly as a member of the LGBTQ community, Live Out Loud helps young people to achieve academic success, healthy relationships, rewarding careers, and a fulfilling life. Live Out Loud forges these crucial connections through innovative, hands-on initiatives that include: bringing positive LGBTQ role models into classrooms and schools; bringing LGBTQ youth into workplaces to meet LGBTQ professionals from all walks of life; and providing financial and mentoring support to young scholars and leaders.
“It will be my great pleasure to shine the spotlight on perseverance and the potential these young leaders have to find their own voices in this world,” noted Porter, whose artistic talents are equaled only by his passionate support for LGBTQ rights. “I celebrate Live Out Loud for their important work and will be proud to stand among them at this gala, and continue to stand for the power of equality.”
Porter is a Tony® and Grammy® Award-winning singer, composer, actor, playwright and director from Pittsburgh, PA. As a recording artist, Porter’s solo albums include his first CD, Untitled, on A&M records and his sophomore album, At the Corner of Broadway + Soul – LIVE, on Sh-K-Boom Records. Billy’s Back on Broadway, Porter’s highly anticipated debut on Concord Records, is scheduled for release April 8, 2014. Porter currently stars as “Lola” in the smash hit Broadway musical Kinky Boots, for which he won the 2013 Drama Desk and Tony Awards for Best Actor in a Musical. Porter is also a graduate of The Professional Program In Screenwriting at UCLA and is an adjunct professor at his alma mater Carnegie Mellon University’s School Of Drama, where he has directed productions of Company and Letters From ‘Nam.
He will be joined this year by Gala Chairs Tim Allen, Eugene Rabinovich and Chuck James. Honorary Chairs include Lea DeLaria, Michael Urie, Jordan Roth & Richie Jackson, Kim & Lexi Stolz, BD Wong,David Hallberg, Clodagh, Daryl Roth and The Honorable Christine Quinn. Honorees include Ariel Foxman, editor at InStyle Magazine and Playwright, Terrance McNally.
“The LGBT community continues to change public opinion and we have seen dramatic changes made in the past several years – including, and importantly, last year’s overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act and the great many states that are debating the legalization of same-sex marriage,” said Leo Preziosi, Jr., founder and executive director of Live Out Loud. “Together, we must all focus on what’s possible – on what the world can and one day will look like for LGBTQ youth. That is why we enable adult members of our community to reach out to the younger generation and play an active role in their lives to show them that they are valued and that their dreams can be realized.”
In the tradition of Live Out Loud‘s commitment to energize and enable LGBTQ youth to live the life of their dreams, five college-bound high school seniors from the NY Tri-state area will be awarded $5,000 scholarships at the event for their demonstrated outstanding leadership.
Live Out Loud helps LGBTQ students in New York City and the tri-state area by connecting them with role models and leaders in the LGBT community who are passionate about their life’s work and committed to sharing their stories, insight and advice with the next generation. Among Live Out Loud‘s many hallmark programs is a partnership with international ad agency Deutsch Inc. called “Gay It Forward“, a groundbreaking PSA campaign for one of their signature programs, The Homecoming Project, which brings successful LGBT adults back to their high schools to share their stories with current students.
Sponsors of the Thirteenth Annual Young Trailblazers Gala include: Bank of America Merrill Lynch,Bloomingdale’s, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Inc., Carolina Herrera, Coach, Donny Deutsch, Abraham & Golda Foxman, Ariel Foxman, Fund in the Sun, Helmut Lang, IPG, Johnson & Johnson, Nancy & Howard Marks, Max Mara, Mindspark, Neiman Marcus, PwC, Daryl and Steven Roth Foundation, Theory, Lizzie & Jonathan M. Tisch, TJ Maxx/Marshalls/Homegoods, Tory Burch, and Viacom.
Tickets start at $250, and multiple sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information, contact Kristine Bruch at 212-228-7446 or visit www.liveoutloud.info.