The worlds of film, fashion and musical theater will come together in support of queer youth this Sunday in Los Angeles.
The Trevor Project, a national advocacy group focused on LGBTQ youth suicide prevention, will honor designer-director Tom Ford and singer-actress Kristin Chenoweth at the 2017 TrevorLIVE gala. Ford, 56, will accept the organization’s Hero Award, while Chenoweth, 49, will take home the Icon Award at the Dec. 3 gala, which will be held at the Beverly Hilton.
This year, the event comes at a time when many in the LGBTQ community are feeling uncertain about their future in the current political climate. Amit Paley, who is the Trevor Project’s CEO and executive director, told HuffPost that the divide has made his organization’s mission more relevant than ever.
“The day after last year’s presidential election, our call volume more than doubled in a 24-hour period of time, and the need for our services continues to grow,” he said.
The mood at Sunday’s ceremony, however, will be more celebratory and less bureaucratic.
“We also want to make sure the event sends a message of love and support to LGBTQ youth across the country,” Paley said, “so they know that they should be proud of who they are and that they are never alone.”
Of the organization’s decision to honor Ford, Paley said, “Tom is someone who has lent his platform through fashion and film since the very beginning to affirm LGBTQ people. For young LGBTQ people who might be struggling that kind of representation is incredibly important.”
Chenoweth, he added, is “someone we absolutely adore who has always been an outspoken advocate for our community.” The Tony winner, who recently celebrated her 20th year on the Broadway stage, has sent “messages of support [that] mean not only the world to LGBTQ adults, but LGBTQ youth who need to hear them now, more than ever,” he said.
In an email statement, Ford said he has “always been impressed” by the Trevor Project, which he called “an incredible, life-affirming organization.”
“We need their support now more than ever,” Ford said, “and I am honored to be part of this important cause.”
Chenoweth expressed deep admiration for Ford, whom she called a “great artist,” as well as for Saturday’s host organization.
“[Ford and I] have similar beliefs and come from a place that loves everybody,” she said. “I’ve tried to show it to the world through my music, and Mr. Ford certainly does it through his designs and filmmaking.”