Weekend Roundup: Inside The 2017 GLAAD Gala San Francisco

Ross Matthews celebrates achievements in the LGBTQ community at the GLAAD Gala San Francisco
Ross Matthews celebrates achievements in the LGBTQ community at the GLAAD Gala San Francisco

The San Francisco LGBTQ community certainly knows how to throw a party. Never was this more evident than at the GLAAD Gala on Saturday night at the City View at Metreon. The Ketel One vodka flowed freely as did the dollars during the live auction. It was an evening of acceptance that honored outstanding contributions made to the LGBTQ community. The event began at 5:30 p.m. with cocktails and a silent auction on the patio overlooking Yerba Buena Gardens. At 7 p.m. guests were invited into the Metreon space which was set with a stage and circular tables forming a U-shape around it. Draped fabric in blues, grays, and whites decorated the space and adorned the elegant tables.

The table set up at the Gala
The table set up at the Gala

The evening was hosted by Ross Matthews, a prominent figure and television personality known for his position on equality for all. Several awards were presented: Sam Altman, the founder and president of Y-Combinator, was presented the Ric Weiland Award, and Don Lemon, CNN anchor, received the Davidson/Valentini Award from his CNN colleague, Von Jones. The awards celebrated the recipients work in tech and media and their ability to make a positive difference in promoting the rights of LGBTQ.

Lemon was emotional during his acceptance speech, starting it out by saying, “I have been a gay black man all my life. And so, I ain’t scared of nobody.” He praised his mother and said how he spent much of his life proving the people who doubted him wrong—watch the entire speech in the video above. Special guest appearances included 13 Reasons Why actors actors Katherine Langford and Tommy Dorfman, songwriter Justin Tranter, singer/songwriter Julia Michaels, celebrity DJ, Zeke Thomas, GLAAD President & CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis, and California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.

The Ketel One Vodka movable bar
The Ketel One Vodka market cart

Photo Credit: Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images for Ketel One Vodka

Guests were treated to a delicious meal starting with a crisp green salad with hazelnuts and shaved radishes. The main course was a succulent roast chicken and dessert was a trio of miniatures: raspberry macarons, creme brûlée, and chocolate pot de creme. An ice bucket was placed in the center of each table and carafes of pretty pink Cosmos were sipped by the revelers. After the program the party shifted into a nightclub with lounges surrounding a square-shaped bar and dancing late into the night.