The 2018 Vanguard Awards Sparkled And Shined!
But, What Was The Missing Puzzle Piece Of The Event?
Oh my God, so I was absolutely blessed by my employers at Instinct Magazine to check out the latest LGBTQ gala in Los Angeles, the Vanguard Awards, which donates to the almighty Los Angeles LGBTQ Center. It was completely bizarre to get that up close with the A-List of LGBTQ+ celebrities and allies. I’m totally itching to tell you all about my experience…and what I believe is truly missing from the event. Let’s dive in!
Okay, so I first enter the fabulous Beverly Hilton Hotel and am completely feeling like a princess. Make up is on, I’m in a suit for the first time, and nothing seems like it can go wrong. (Yep, that’s me in the photograph above! Thanks H&M for having affordable suits on deck!) I had the fantastic opportunity to interview the celebrity guests as they entered the banquet hall. Was I nervous? Absolutely not! I don’t necessarily aspire to be an on-camera interviewer, so I was pumped to go in there and take a quick thirty second Instagram story with a goofy question. Trust me, not being nervous was a thrill; because the rest of the people in line next to me were fidgeting and sweating because they considered this moment a make-or-break for their blossoming careers. Rather than asking some hard hitting questions, I felt a goofy question such as: Who is getting the drunkest here tonight? Or – Did you bring any weed? We’re acceptable and garnered a reaction from anyone I spoke too.
Stars and some question marks downed the red (nee: black) carpet of the Vanguard Awards. First was the ever-so-lovely Transgender Icon, Cassandra Cass, (stay tuned for our eventual Instinct Exclusive with Cass) followed by a handful of move makers for the LGBTQ community who definitely don’t acquire enough attention in the public eye; although they may want to remain hidden.
It was an absolute delight to see Flava Flav’s former love, Brigitte Nielsen, who just had a friggin’ baby at 54-years-old! She looked fantastic and spoke to everyone on the red carpet. Seriously, as a huge Flavor of Love fan, I was GAGGED! The Los Angeles Lakers’ (that’s Basketball, folks) Jason Collins promoted the first ever LGBTQ Night hosted by the Lakers which will commence on October 4th, Love, Simon’s Nick Robinson was probably the most attractive man to walk pass me. Comedian Sarah Jones made sure everyone knows where to purchase tickets to her one-woman show while giving us a laugh. Laith Ashley may be the sexiest man I’ve ever seen before. The evening’s hosts: Kelly Ripa + her husband, Mark Consuelos, are like; the hottest couple in the entire world and genuinely had everyone in the building laughing throughout the night!
The trio everyone could barely keep their eyes off of was America’s Homecoming Queen, YouTuber Gigi Gorgeous, along with her partner, Nats Getty and Getty’s Fashion Designer brother, August Getty, who definitely had the greatest reaction to my bizarre red carpet questions. You can check out our interaction below:
The Gettys were there as their mother, Ariadne Getty, was presented an award for her generosity to the LGBTQ community. You could tell the matriarch was terrified to be on a public stage, but she received the greatest applause from the crowd and had everyone on their feet. Of course, Ricky Martin was stunning and jaw-droppingly beautiful, but there was more in the room to be devoured than his hips.
Through my experience attending the gala, I couldn’t help but wonder why. We were honoring the gracious celebrities and athletes who had donated and promoted the Los Angeles LGBTQ Center – all of whom gave moving speeches. BUT, I kept anticipating that story. You know, the one where someone who has actually been tested at the LGBTQ Center – or to have been saved, was going to be presented an award on stage.
I have been regularly getting tested at free STD clinics since I was 15-years-old, beginning at the Broadway Youth Center (now Center on Halsted) in Chicago, Illinois. I’ve been sitting in the waiting area nervous, received treatment after a poor judgement call, I’ve witnessed a young, transgender girl seemingly bulldoze the waiting area after receiving traumatizing news, and so much more. These are the stories I was waiting to hear, not a coming out story for someone who one could say has had an easy life.
I’ve received help from the counselors at LGBTQ Centers while I was in high school, college, and the like. There are so many others who have. The LGBTQ Centers go beyond simply testing and I implore the Vanguard Awards to have the exact people the Center helps to be presented and applauded. I couldn’t help realizing while we were discussing those who are aided by the Center are on the street, or in a poor living arrangement, or are even going out with their friends with a negative bank account at that moment. I’m aware without any donations and public attention, there wouldn’t be any LGBTQ Centers to speak of, but in the future: May we please shine light on to those who have legit used their services? Show the people who they are fighting for!
Check out some photographs from the event below! Don’t forget to check out Instinct Magazine’s Instagram to see some more highlights from the red carpet!
Writer’s Note: This is the opinion of only one Instinct Magazine Contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself nor fellow Contributors.