Katy Perry, America Ferrera, & Lena Dunham Turned HRC Gala Into A Protest

Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images.
The Human Rights Campaign 2017 Los Angeles Gala Dinner was a celebration, but it was also a protest against LGBTQ hate. As the president of the Human Rights Campaign, Chad H. Griffin, told the crowd, "together, we're going to ensure that the hate that is Donald Trump is also temporary."
Together, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization was also honoring America Ferrera and Katy Perry who offered up powerful speeches that focused on the hope of a more open-minded future.
The night also included a few confessions with Ally for Equality Award recipient America Ferrera admitting in a powerful speech that she sometimes wants to hide under her bed but knows she, like all of us, must go on. Katy Perry, who picked up the National Equality Award, also revealed that she didn't just kiss a girl and like it, but did a bit more. A lady never kisses and tells, though.
Hillary Clinton wasn't there physically, but she was there in spirit. Clinton supporters like Perry, Ferrera, and Lena Dunham, along with the former Democratic nominee for Vice President Tim Kaine, who delivered the night's keynote address, were all there to let their voices be heard. Dunham even joked, "It feels nice to hear the initials HRC." It also felt nice to see so much hopefulness in one room.
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Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images.
When Lena Dunahm took the stage to honor her friend America Ferrera to an overwhelming round of applause she was quick to joke that this was "the only room in America where I'm gonna get that." It helped, she remarked, that this particular room was "really my demographic both sexually and emotionally."

All jokes aside, Dunham had some sweet things to say about Ferrera's friendship, which she said changed her life. "She has galvanized me politically. She has motivated me personally," Dunham said. "She has taught me more just through the way that she lives in the world than 18 years of private education ever did."

If that wasn't enough, Dunham made it clear Ferrera, "the ideal freedom fighter," would be "wasting her talents is she doesn't both direct a Best Picture nominee and run for office." No pressure, America, no pressure at all.
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America Ferrera was touched by Dunham's speech and offered some kinds words for the woman she calls "sister, mentor and friend." More importantly, though, we learned that Ferrera has a vision board and it totally came true.
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Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images.
In her speech, America Ferrera let it be known that she didn't expect an award for her work on before of the LGBTQ+ community, she was just doing what's right.

"Anything I ever did for the rights of this community I did because I believe — with every fiber of my being — that my liberation is bound up in the liberation of my LGBTQ brothers and sisters," she said. "And in the liberation of my black brothers and sisters, and in the liberation of immigrants, and refugees, and Muslims, and Sikhs, and women all over the world, and the incarcerated, and the criminalized, and the uneducated, and the poor, and the hungry, and, and, and, and, and."
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Lena commemorated the night on Instagram, sharing a photo of herself and America on the red carpet. "It's SO like me to go str8 for the lips," Lena wrote. "And it's so like America to make me feel safe by kissing me BACK."

America posted the photo also, with the caption, "...and I liked it." So on message.
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Katy Perry's bestie Shannon Woodward helped honor her friend and gave us all #friendshipgoals. She also reminded us how much we all love belting out Perry's songs in "cars, showers and various videoke bars."

"We're hear to honor her for her voice," Woodward said. "Not just as a master of her craft, but for her longstanding dedication to human rights."
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Perry reminded fans of her little song called "I Kissed A Girl," perhaps you've heard of it? Well, turns out, she did like it and she actually did more than that. Like, a lady she wasn't interested in kissing or telling. She also wasn't sure how to "reconcile that with a gospel singing girl raised in youth groups that were pro-conversion camps."

Perry said she knew she was curious and even then "knew sexuality wasn't as black and white as this [Rosario] dress. And honestly, I haven't always gotten it right but in 2008 when that song came out I knew that I started a conversation and a lot of the world seemed curious enough to sing along, too."
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Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images.
While Perry admitted that she doesn't have the answers to how to combat hate, she did have some suggestions, including that we need to create "a safe space for us to ask questions of ourselves and others and to keep the conversation going."

What she did know, though, was that the "loudest voice in the room or on your TV set" isn't always the right one, a jab at the current president, perhaps? It's that small voice, in Perry's opinion, that pushes you to "discover who you are is a trusted friend."
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After his keynote speech, Tim Kaine spent a little time hanging out with "advocates for equality" like Lena Dunham.

The Virginia senator also took to Twitter to promise that he would continue to do his part: "I'll keep working to protect LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in education, housing, credit, and employment."