Pinay transgender rights advocate among high profile speakers at human rights gala

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Oct. 27, 2014

WASHINGTON – The 18th annual Human Rights Campaign (HRC) National Dinner brings together over 3,000 of its members, friends, family and allies for an evening of celebration and inspiration in Washington, DC.

It attracts the nation’s top entertainers and politicians to take part in an elegant dinner with live entertainment and thought-provoking speakers and guests.

Former President Bill Clinton, Elton John, Jennifer Hudson, and transgender Filipina Geena Rocero came together in DC with one goal in mind: to advocate for LGBTQ rights and equality.

Clinton, who was Saturday’s keynote speaker, said that despite the LGBTQ’s community’s gains in the recent years, the lines of gender and race in politics could still cast a shadow in the coming years.

Clinton said, “The biggest threat to the future of our children and grandchildren is the poison of identity politics that preaches that our differences are far more important than our common humanity.”

Pop diva Jennifer Hudson not only performed at the annual black tie dinner but also added her voice to the campaign for equality.

Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish were honored with HRC’s National Equality Award. He told the audience that they can use his ability in creating “calm amongst chaos” to help the abused.

“For all you people who come tonight and spent money being so generous; use me as much as you can,” said Elton John, “I will go to Nigeria, I will go Uganda. I’m not afraid to go anywhere.”

Wearing a Carmen Marc Valvo gown and Rafe Totengco purse, transgender model, advocate and founder of Gender Proud Geena Rocero vowed to campaign for equality for the LGBTQ people.

Rocero said, “Gender Proud and HRC Global are committed to working with partners across the globe to harness your energy and support for equality, to strengthen the global equality movement and improve the lives of LGBT people wherever they may live.”

Meantime, outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder trumpeted the Justice Department’s announcement last Saturday, which states that the agency would expand recognition of same-gender marriage licenses to an additional six states, bringing the total of those recognized by the Obama administration to 32.

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