At the 10th Annual Live Out Loud Young Trailblazers Gala, actor Michael Urie set the tone when he talked about discovering “Angels in America” in a gay bookstore when he was seventeen and his older sister took him on a trip to the gay area of Dallas. Having starred in this season’s off Broadway revival of Tony Kushner’s gay fantasia, Urie’s experience speaks to the spirit of Live Out Loud, the organization which connects gay youth with role models and leaders in the LGBT community.
This year’s gala at The TimesCenter honored those who continue to pave the way for LGBT youth, Hal Rubenstein (fashion director of InStyle), Daryl Roth (producer of Daryl Roth Productions), Stuart Elliott, (advertising columnist for The New York Times) and Ralph Rucci (fashion designer, Chado Ralph Rucci). The outstanding and outrageous Andre Leon Tally accepted the award for Rucci who was out of town.
But more than the fashionistas, the gala celebrated four high school seniors for the work they have done to achieve positive change in their communities. The recipients, Layne Gianakos, Derek Demeri, Nicholas Gumas and Micahel Torres were awarded $2,500 each toward their college education. In accepting his award, Nicholas Gumas spoke about his inspiration, Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign, and his goal of becoming the Democratic Leader in the United States Senate. Whether their goals involved changing the climate (Derek Demeri), raising awareness of LGBT issues (Layne Gianakos), or writing movies about people who are marginalized (Michael Torres), these scholarship recipients expressed the youthful exuberance that invigorates their communities as well as our own.
… Isa Goldberg