The presence of pop culture in the LGBTQ community has always helped fuel the discussion of equality and brought issues like transgender rights into the mainstream. Jennifer Hudson is the latest in a long line of celebrity allies – from Liza Minnelli to Cher – to advocate for the gay community with the release of her new music video “I Still Love You” and current ambassadorship of Turn It Up for Change, the W Hotel’s and Human Rights Campaign’s marriage equality initiative.
Blogger Perez Hilton, drag queens Lady Bunny and Miss Fame and model/singer Amanda Lepore were among the guests at the most recent Turn It Up for Change event at the W Hotel in Union Square. With the decision of marriage equality just around the corner, the question of where to go from here was on everyone’s lips.
Hilton, sporting a Happy Hippie hoodie in support of singer Miley Cyrus’s homeless LGBTQ youth foundation, spoke briefly with us about the message the Supreme Court’s impending decision will send:
“If [marriage equality] happens now, it will really send a powerful message to the entire country, not just about the issue of marriage, but of equality as a whole,” said Hilton. “In many states, LGBT people can still be fired just for being LGBT. There’s a lot of issues we need to work on.”
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Following the screening of “I Still Love You,” which portrays a father deciding to attend his gay son’s wedding, Bravo TV host and personality Andy Cohen led a panel discussion on the video and marriage equality with guests including directors Tabitha Denholm and Molly Schoit and transgender model Claudia Charriez, who appears in the video.
“Directing a video like this is about finding and seeing that it’s okay to be this way, but we as a society still have a long way to go” said Shoit when asked about her, Denholm’s and Hudson’s vision for the video.
Charriez, having transitioned herself at 14, noted some transgender progress when asked about Caitlyn Jenner’s recent transition, but, like her fellow panelists, knows there are still bumps in the road in terms of societal acceptance.
“I’m thankful [Jenner’s transition] has opened dialogue, but the conversation can’t begin and end there,” she said. “We must address other issues in the transgender community, like families abandoning transgeder youth, before we glorify anything else.”
In their continued support of marriage equality and gay rights, The W Hotel will be donating $1 to the Human Rights Campaign for every tweet and retweet of “I Still Love You.” Watch the music video below:
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