The ceremony will be hosted by advocate and Pose star Angelica Ross. Former South Bend mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and his husband Chasten will be honored with the Equality Trailblazer Award while Ross will honor Netflix’s groundbreaking documentary Disclosure, which sheds a glaring light on the history of Hollywood’s misguided — and harmful — representation of the trans community on film and TV. In addition, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will pay tribute to the late, great U.S. Representative John Lewis, a civil rights legend and longtime ally to the LGBTQ+ community.
The broadcast will also include musical performances by legendary Melissa Etheridge, Betty Who, Alex Newell, Shea Diamond and Robin S. Additional honorees and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks. The event will stream live at 6pm PST on a private website for ticketed attendees.
“2020 has challenged the LGBTQ+ community in ways we could never have imagined, but challenging times create heroes, and we cannot wait to come together virtually and celebrate some of this year’s heroes,” said Equality California Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur. “The Equality Awards are a critical opportunity for members of our community to honor the leaders and organizations whose selfless work helps to advance LGBTQ+ civil rights and social justice.”
Zbur added, “Over the past year, Pete and Chasten Buttigieg have transformed American politics forever. Netflix’s groundbreaking documentary Disclosure shed much-needed light on the power of transgender representation in film and television. And we lost a true giant — and an unwavering ally — in Congressman John Lewis, whose life and legacy we are proud to honor with a tribute from Speaker Pelosi.”
The “Golden State Equality Awards” will start with regional pre-show cocktail hours celebrating the LGBTQ+ and allied communities in Sacramento, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and Palm Springs. During this time, the organization will recognize additional honorees including California State Treasurer Fiona Ma, California Legislative Black Caucus Chair Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber, former California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus Chair Assemblymember Evan Low, former California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California CEO & President Jodi Hicks, TransLatin@ Coalition President Bamby Salcedo, Founding Director of the Williams Institute at UCLA Law Brad Sears, trans advocate Evan Minton, trans advocate Connor Maddocks and frontline healthcare and grocery store workers from Desert Regional Medical Center, Eisenhower Health and UFCW Local 1167.