June 21, 2024

Shonda Rhimes, Lena Waithe and Matt Bomer will each be honored by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) at this year’s National Dinner. The big event will take place on October 14 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.

The “Bridgerton” showrunner will be presented with the National Equality Award, recognizing her efforts to publicly stand up for the LGBTQ community, while Waithe will receive the Visibility Award, which recognizes LGBTQ+ leaders that represent living openly and authentically in all facets of her life.

“I am honored to be receiving this award from an organization that does so much to combat
oppression, exclusion and hate,” said Rhimes. “I am proud to be an ally in this fight.”

Waithe shares, “Centering the intersection of queerness and Blackness has been at the forefront of my work and drives me to continue to share Black queer stories for myself, my community and the
world. I am unapologetically Black, queer and a woman—telling intersectional stories that spotlight our authentic experiences is a crucial path towards a future where equal protection and equal opportunity is not a privilege, but a guarantee.”

Bomer will be honored with the Impact Award, which recognizes members of the LGBTQ+ community that are dedicated to championing and advocating for queer issues in every corner of their life.

“I am honored to be receiving the Impact Award from the Human Rights Campaign,” said Matt
Bomer. “LGBTQ+ people are facing an all-out-assault on our basic rights—putting us in harm’s
way and trying to push us out of the public eye. But we won’t go back. There is still so much
more to be done to reach equality for the LGBTQ+ community and I’m so grateful to have HRC
as a partner in this advocacy work.”

Additional honorees include Grayson McFerrin, Libby Gonzales, Hobbes Chukumba, and Daniel Trujillo, the four transgender teens and children who organized Trans Youth Prom.

The HRC has also added a new event to the weekend, the Equality Convention. Taking place before the dinner, Friday, October 13, 2023, in Washington, D.C., the convention will bring together political and cultural voices, as well as volunteer and movement leaders from across the country.

HRC officially declared a state of emergency for LGBTQ+ people in the United States
for the first time in its more than 40-year history in June after witnessing a spike in anti-LGBTQ+ legislative assaults across state houses — more than 525 bills were introduced in 41 states just in 2023.

“This weekend will be about convening bold, dynamic and powerful voices in a pivotal time for the LGBTQ+ movement—Shonda, Lena and Matt are pioneers in their field and deserve to be celebrated for the immeasurable contributions they’ve made to the LGBTQ+ community. And with next generation leaders like Libby, Grayson, Daniel and Hobbes, I know our future is brighter than ever,” said Kelley Robinson, Human Rights Campaign president. “The National Dinner is a time to bask in the beauty of what it means to be queer, but also to clearly communicate to our community, and the world, how we must intentionally show up for the year ahead of us. The LGBTQ+ community is living in a state of emergency—full stop. It is up to all of us to combat this hate and show anti-LGBTQ+ extremists the growing power of our community—and in 2024, the unharnessed power of the LGBTQ+ vote.”

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