We’re very excited to present actors Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz with 2019 National Leadership Awards! Anthony and Wilson currently co-star on the award-winning CBS series Star Trek: Discovery, where they play the first openly gay couple in the Star Trek universe. The Task Force applauds Anthony and Wilson for fiercely increasing LGBTQ visibility.
Anthony Rapp has been acting and singing professionally since he was nine years old. With an extensive list of achievements, Rapp is best known for originating the role of ‘Mark Cohen’ in the Tony award-winning musical, Rent. Rapp was also recently seen on CBS’s The Good Fight, and Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, and three independent features: Do You Take This Man, Opening Night, and the LGBTQ thriller BWOY, which he also produced. A writer as well, Rapp penned Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent detailing his struggle to balance the demands of life in the theater with his responsibility to his family during his mother’s battle with cancer. He adapted the book into a one-man show which he has performed on numerous stages.
Wilson Cruz first won the hearts of audiences across the world in 1994 by playing the first openly gay teenager on network television in his award-winning performance on ABC’s My So Called Life. Cruz is also known for starring as Angel in the Tony award winning musical Rent. Other acting credits include Ally Mcbeal, Grey’s Anatomy, Party of Five, The West Wing, Noah’s Arc, He’s Just Not That Into You, and Nixon, among many others. Cruz refers to himself as an ‘actorvist’ and he’s a passionate advocate for LGBTQ youth, especially youth of color. He currently serves on the board of GLSEN and devotes considerable time supporting other LGBTQ causes as well.
The National LGBTQ Task Force is proud to present our 23rd annual Gala theme: Fifty Years of Fierce!
Fierce celebrates the intensity and passion with which the LGBTQ community has loved and lost, fought and thrived in the fifty years since Stonewall.
Fierce describes the activists, drag queens and kings, the leather daddies and biker babes, the gender-queer fashionistas and transgender stars.
Fierce is the power in which we live our lives and the progress we’ve made in the fight for our rights to exist as we choose.
On July 18, the National LGBTQ Task Force proudly presented the LGBTQ Community Fund at The Miami Foundation with a check for $206,000, representing a significant portion of the proceeds raised at the Gala and it’s sister event Winter Party Festival. That makes more than $3.1 million raised and given back since 2005, money that has funded over 80 like-minded nonprofit organizations in South Florida, and played an essential role empowering and elevating the community. Now more than ever, this money plays a vital role in the community, and it’s only possible with your generosity and support. THANK YOU!
We are very proud to present Dr. Gisela P. Vega with the 2019 Eddy McIntyre Community Service Award! Dr. Vega has more than 25 years of higher education experience. She is currently serving as the Director of the LGBTQ Student Center at the University of Miami. Before accepting her current post, she has worked at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Institute for Shipboard Education with Semester at Sea, Northeastern University in Boston, and Florida International University.
Dr. V, as many of her students and friends call her, has worked tirelessly to create what she calls our LGBTQIA+ familia. Over the course of her career, she has advised countless LGBTQ youth, helped put gender and sexual orientation issues at the forefront of college campuses, and moved many to action through her tireless advocacy. She’s passionate about diversity education, social justice, leadership, mentoring, and addressing issues of access and choice in higher education. Providing students with personalized attention is at the heart of her years of service in higher education.
Gisela is an engaged civic leader in the community. She is currently on the board of Aqua Foundation for Women, where she’s reshaped their scholarship and mentorship programs. She currently serves on the board of trustees for the National LGBTQ Scholarship Fund at the Point Foundation. Previously she has volunteered with numerous community organizations, including Equality Florida, OUTshine Film Festival, SAVE, Pridelines, Safe Schools South Florida, Lambda Living, and the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Gisela also serves on the executive board of her beloved church, Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ, a historic church in South Florida.
Originally from Chicago, Gisela now lives in Miami with her wife Madelin, step-daughter Emy, and their dog Roxy.
Produced by Bonnelly Films.