Family Equality Council Celebrates Going Places in Los Angeles
K. Pearson Brown and Wanda Sykes at “Going Places.”
Los Angeles, October 18, 2009 — Lesbian moms, gay dads and supporters of LGBT families came together to raise $275,000 for Family Equality Council at the organization’s annual Going Places event, held this year at historic Union Station in Los Angeles on October 17. The organization honored comedienne Wanda Sykes for her visibility as a lesbian mother and awarded the Leffew Family, stars of nearly 70 YouTube videos, for sharing their LGBT family stories with the world.
Ranked among Entertainment Weekly’s 25 Funniest People in America and known to the world as “Barb” on CBS’s The New Adventures of Old Christine, Sykes came out publicly in November 2008 at a rally in Las Vegas where she took a stand against the Proposition 8 anti-gay marriage initiative in California. Sykes announced at the rally that she had legally married her spouse Alex a month before the passage of Prop 8.
In April 2009, with the birth of her twins Olivia Lou and Lucas Claude, Sykes became a highly visible representative of the LGBT parenting community.
Sykes told the crowd of 275 at Going Places that she vowed to use her new late night program, The Wanda Sykes Show, set to debut this fall on FOX, as a forum to educate others about LGBT families. “I will talk about my kids and my wife, and I will continue to call her my wife,” she said. “Let’s continue to put up a fight for our rights, and hopefully I won’t embarrass you, but mama likes to drink,” she joked.
Also honored at the event were Jay and Bryan Leffew and their children Daniel and Selena, known as the Leffew family, who began sharing videos of their family on YouTube after the passage of Prop 8 in order to help spread the word that LGBT families were just like every family and deserving of equal rights.
Jay and Bryan told the crowd of the many touching letters they receive in response to their videos from gay people worldwide who are inspired by their family. “They write to us saying ‘You have achieved what I never thought I could have as a gay person,’” said Jay.
The couple promised they will continue to post videos and use the power of the blogsphere to promote visibility and understanding of LGBT families and show others that “building a family is possible for everyone.”
Family Equality Council executive director Jennifer Chrisler echoed the Leffew family’s sentiments stating that the organization will continue to show affirming images of LGBT families so that “nobody thinks it is impossible, improbable or immoral for us to have families.”
The funds raised at the event, sponsored by HBO, will go toward the organization’s mission “to ensure equality for LGBT families by building community, changing hearts and minds, and advancing social justice for all families.”
Lesbian Moms, moms-to-be and their friends celebrate “Going Places,” raising $275,000 for Family Equality Council.
This article reprinted with permission by SheWired. The photos and captions only appear on this blog.