Hillary Clinton was in Manhattan on Thursday night to receive the Trailblazing Award from the New York LGBT Center. But in her speech, she revealed the chose the event over opening-night tickets to see Bette Midler in Hello Dolly!
“I really struggled,” Clinton revealed, but said “being with all of you is a little bit like being at a very stylish family reunion.”
Clinton delivered a heartfelt address about the work the center does and the need to fight to maintain the progress our community has made. “That the progress that we fought for, that many of you were on the front lines of, and that we’ve celebrated and maybe even taken for granted, may not be as secure as we once expected.”
She also referenced the plight of homosexuals in Chechnya.
“When government authorities were confronted with these reports their response was chilling. They said you cannot arrest or repress people who do not exist. The United States government, yes, this government, should demand an end to the persecution of innocent people across the world.” But, Clinton admitted, “I think we have to face the fact that we might not ever be able to count on this administration to lead on LGBT issues.”
She called on the community “to resist, insist, persist, and enlist and make sure our voices and our goals are heard.”
In a lighter moment, she also thanked fellow honoree Marc Jacobs for once putting her face on a shirt.
“I was flattered. But, of course, you know I’m the fashion icon of all time.” And we have the pantsuits to prove it, Madam Secretary.
The event, which also saw Edie Windsor, Huma Abedin, Jeffrey Adler, Simon Doonan, Lana Wachowski and Arianna Huffington in attendance, raised more than $1.75 million for the center.
h/t: Page Six