Lorri Jean, CEO of the L.A. LGBT Center, called out President Donald Trump in a stirring speech on Saturday at the Center’s 48th Anniversary Gala Vanguard Awards celebration.
“To put it in Tweet language, our country is now led by a lying sociopath,” Jean said. “This has prompted an uprising by an unprecedented coalition of people who are concerned about the fate of our nation. People of every kind and every party who care deeply about building America’s well-being and fostering the human potential available to all of us, regardless of factors that should never be used to divide us, like sexual orientation and gender identity, race, immigration status.”
Others who spoke at the event, which raised $1 million for the LGBT Center, were host Jimmy Kimmel, presenter Shonda Rhimes and honorees Ariel Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett.
Kimmel praised the Center’s work and took a funny dig at Trump.
“Obviously they’re relying on you for help because we don’t necessarily get it from our government,” he said. “The president, of course is an advocate for traditional marriage, which is the union of one wealthy man and one terrified Slovenian [woman] — it’s what Jesus intended.”
Jarrett, former senior advisor to President Obama, said she accepted her award “on behalf of so many people in the Obama administration who fought and who pushed and who put their shoulder on that arc of the moral universe—with your help—towards justice.”
Emanuel, who is co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor (WME), the entertainment agency. promised to promote LGBT equality and paid tribute to his cousin who died from AIDS-related complications.
“I leave you with a promise. A promise to use my role to tell true stories of this community and of every community…A promise to speak up where I see injustice…And to never wait to do the right thing.”
TV producer Rhimes called for better representation of LGBT people on TV.
“Everyone has the right to see themselves on the screen, and I think it’s really dangerous when that doesn’t happen. There is a tendency to marginalize or stereotype when these types of characters aren’t seen. People deserve realistic portrayals.”