Pop star Katy Perry and Superstore actress America Ferrera were both honored Saturday evening at the Human Rights Campaign’s 2017 Los Angeles Gala Dinner for their work in support of LGBT equality.
Westworld’s Shannon Woodward presented Perry with HRC’s National Equality Award. Girls star Lena Dunham was also on hand to present Ferrera with the Ally for Equality Award.
“We have to create a safe space for us to ask questions of ourselves and others and to keep the conversation going,” said Perry in her acceptance speech. “Because the loudest voice in the room or on your TV set isn’t always right. But that little voice inside of you, pushing you to discover who you are, is a trusted friend.”
“It’s time to lead with empathy and grace and compassion now more than ever to find the unity we need now,” the “Chained to the Rhythm” singer continued. “I’ll never cease to be a champion, an ally, a spotlight, and a loving voice for all LGBTQ-identifying people.”
Ferrera’s rousing speech brought the crowd to its feet. “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,” said the Ugly Betty alum. “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.”
“America Ferrera has shown an unwavering commitment to advancing equality for all people and sets a stirring example for others to follow,” said HRC president Chad Griffin in a previous statement.
Regarding HRC’s decision to honor Perry, Griffin added, “Her compelling advocacy, from the stage to the campaign trail, has had a profound effect on the lives of LGBTQ people—and, in particular, young people. Katy’s message of inclusion and equality continues to inspire us and the world.”
Watch their full speeches at HRC’s official Facebook page.