A room full of pioneers for the LGBT community were gathered last night for Logo’s Trailblazer Honors, a celebration of the advances the LGBT community has made in equality and the people who have worked to make it happen.
Honorees recognized for their contributions to the fight for equality included Matthew Shepard Foundation founders Judy and Dennis Shepard, Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees founder Arsham Parsi, PFLAG pioneers Marsha Aizumi and Sheila Lopez, social influencer Connor Franta, and civil rights leader Bayard Rustin.
Check out the acceptance speeches given by some of the honorees below.
Judy Shepard echoed the words of President Obama in her acceptance speech and said, “As long as there is one person in this country — or even in this world — that is afraid to be who they are or afraid to be themselves, there is so much work left to do.”
Arsham Parsi shared an adage from his native language, Farsi: “Sometimes an enemy can be a catalyst for goodness to struggle that much harder.”
YouTube star Connor Franta thanked his fans for the overwhelming support he received after coming out publicly this year. “We have an amazing community and I feel nothing but pride to be a part of that,” he said.
Walter Naegle accepted the honor on behalf of his late partner Bayard Rustin: “Bayard understood that for any minority to achieve progress, they would need to form alliances and build coalitions, and he would be so pleased to see how the LGBT movement bass done just that. Like the movement for African-American civil rights, it has grown from being a protest movement to a powerful political movement in a relatively short time.”