The Family Equality Council held their annual Los Angeles Awards dinner at The Beverly Hilton Hotel over the weekend, honoring Glee and Modern Family. The FEC is dedicated to supporting LGBT families, which means helping same-sex couples with everything from adoptions to helping with housing and creating safer spaces for children in schools. Their work is vital to our community and, every year, they celebrate public figures and media that are helping in their efforts to make our families normalized and celebrated.
Both Glee and Modern Family were celebrated for their contributions to positive mainstream images of LGBT parents and parenting of queer kids. Modern Family‘s Abraham Higginbotham and Steven Levitan and Glee creator Ryan Murphy accepted the awards, thrilled to be a part of furthering the conversation and Ryan noting how he used to get network notes like “no fur coat on the cheerleader,” which is apparently some kind of secret lesbian statement. (Ryan also joked that the series finale of Glee would be called “No One is Left to Come Out.”)
The night’s other honorees included Katy Heyning and Judi Trampf, the couple who sued the state of Wisconsin for discrimination and won. The newlyweds spoke about finding out about the ruling while at a Cher concert. (Of course they did!)
Out comic Sandra Bernhard hosted the dinner, delivering some stand-up about her life with partner, Sara Switzer, and her teenage daughter, who loves Amy Poehler and Lana del Ray, much to Sandra’s chagrin. Sandra joked that her manager asked if she should marry Sara, and Sandra said “Crunch the numbers,” ultimately deciding she wouldn’t get “enough return on investment.”
Attendees raised over $600,000 for the FEC
Out actresses Sarah Paulson and Dot-Marie Jones were on hand to present as well, with Sarah saying that she hopes Ryan will bring her onto the next American Horror Story alongside Lady Gaga.
Annise Parker was honored by out actor, and fellow Houstonian, Matt Bomer. Annise’s family (which includes five children and her wife, Kathy) shared video messages, speaking of how they don’t know a smarter, more loving woman than the beloved Mayor of Houston.
We were on the purple carpet to speak with some of the night’s guests, including Annise and Dot.
Here’s a gallery of some of the night’s best moments, including one of the final performances from the Glee cast, including Lea Michele, Darren Criss, Chord Overstreet, Alex Newell, Becca Tobin, Jenna Ushkowitz, Harry Shum Jr. (Sadly, no Naya, Heather or Dianna in attendance!)
When you hear about couples like Krista and Jami Contreras, whose six-day-old baby was refused treatment at a Michigan doctor, it’s the Family Equality Council that steps in to help. Or for Jason Hanna and Joe Riggs, who were barred from being able to adopt their own newborn twins in their home state of Texas. For LGBT families, the FEC is an important and necessary resource, and it’s fantastic to see so many people in the industry supporting them, and vice versa.