The inaugural Diversity Honors, co-presented by the Harvey Milk Foundation and The Pride Center at Equality Park and hosted by the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, raised more than $50,000 and recognized national and South Florida leaders who have made a significant impact on improving the quality of life for the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community.
This milestone event paid tribute to Judy and Dennis Shepard, LGBT civil rights activists and co-founders of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, who received the Harvey Milk Honors Medal award from Stuart Milk, nephew of the late civil rights icon, Harvey Milk (1930-1978). Emceed by WSVN-TV’s Craig Stevens, Diversity Honors also recognized South Florida leaders who have made a significant impact on improving the quality of life for the LGBT community: international recording artist Deborah Cox, President and Founder of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Rand Hoch, nationally recognized teen activist and honorary co-founder of the Transkids Purple Rainbow Foundation Jazz Jennings, worldwide celebrity entertainer Elaine Lancaster (James Davis), CEO of Planned Parenthood of South Florida Lillian Tamayo, 11th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida Miami Judge William Thomas and Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Dean Trantalis. Two unannounced lifetime achievement awards were presented to columnist and publisher Norm Kent and iconic cabaret performer Joey Arias.
The impressive evening of recognition with 350 guests included a festive cocktail reception, headline entertainment by Joey Arias, plus a gravity-defying performance by Cirque Dreams and the national anthem by Casandra Ortiz.