Pictured, clockwise from top left: Thomas Roberts and The Advocate's Matthew Breen; Subhi Nahas; Alex Newell; RuPaul; Tiq Milan, Candis Cayne, and Janet Mock; the cast of RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars; Bob the Drag queen and Harvey Fierstein; Emma Stone. (Getty/Courtesy of Logo)
The third annual LGBT "Trailblazer Honors" took place in New York on Thursday to honor LGBT pioneers. This year, the ceremony was dedicated to those impacted by the Orlando tragedy.
The honorees at this year's event included tennis champion Billie Jean King, actor Harvey Fierstein, gay Syrian refugee Subhi Nahas, transgender trailblazers Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, and our sister publication, The Advocate.
Special video messages were shown throughout the emtionally-charged event, including a message from vice president Joe Biden, who honored the Orlando victims, and spoke out against recent anti-LGBT legislation:
"Each of you gives meaning to Harvey Milk's words, 'Hope never remains silent.' And we need you. We need all of you. Because as we celebrate a year of equality in marriage, draconian state laws deny transgender Americans basic civil rights. And in nearly 70 countries, it's a crime. It's a crime to be who you are. And because the freedom to live freely means being free from bullying, free from harassment, and free from violence," Biden said in his message.
A special "We Are Orlando" video tribute opened the event, and Lance Bass and Thomas Roberts presented the Trailblazer Award to The Advocate, which celebrates its 50th year as the leading LGBT news publication. Editor-in-chief Matthew Breen made an incredibly moving speech on the outlet's behalf. Watch Breen's acceptance speech, below:
Legendary actor Joel Grey, accompanied by Bob the Drag Queen, also took the stage to honor Harvey Fierstein, who produced iconic LGBT-themed works such as Torch Song Trilogy and La Cage aux Folles. Later, the cast of RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race performed a surprise rendition of "I Am What I Am" for Fierstein.
Singers Mary Lambert and Rachel Platten also gave heartfelt tributes in remembrance of the lives lost in the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
The "Trailblazer Honors" airs on Saturday, June 25 at 8 p.m. on VH1 and Logo