The Spectrum Center’s Pink Carpet Gala event happened this past Friday at Hill Auditorium, and both I and my colleague Kayla Silverstein enjoyed it thoroughly.
Since she already gave it such a raving review of the event, I would like to just provide my own personal experiences with the show, because it really was all that Kayla said it was, and more.
The speeches were incredible. Absolutely inspiring. Especially as a gay identified student here on campus that has spent a lot of time in the Spectrum Center and learned so much from the volunteers and employees that work so hard there. I am proud to have been able to celebrate so many milestones in my past three years here with the Spectrum Center. Their programming took me to the National Equality March in 2009, MBLGTACC 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin, gave me the opportunity to participate on an executive level with the planning of MBLGTACC 2011 here at the UofM, and has helped me become the proud Gay man I am today. This event meant so means so much to the community because it was the first ever office on a college campus to deal with LGBT issues, and as the co-founder and first publicly out gay person in Michigan, the speech of Jim Toy was the most hard hitting for me. This man is a legend in the LGBT activism world, and it is an honor to have met him on numerous occasions.
The speeches of Chris Armstrong and his father also brought me and most of the people around me to tears. It wasn’t so long ago that Chris was being targeted and slandered, and his family is so moved that our campus stood up and supported Chris in such a huge way. I’ve known Chris ever since my freshman year. He is a fantastic individual and it makes me proud to have been there with him, standing on the diag and at Gayz Craze with him. Andrew Shirvell approached me one time during his time here on campus, and him knowing my name and face before he met me was a little terrifying, so I can only imagine how Chris felt. UofM has proven once again exactly what the Michigan Difference is and that we will stand by our own.
Anyway, to the performers, since that what I’m really supposed to write about. Gavin Creel is amazing. I have to admit, I knew nothing about any of the performers before Friday (I’m more of what I like to call an “Old Gay” in that I listen to people like Patti Lupone, Bette Midler, Bernadette Peters, Dick Van Dyke). I absolutely loved Gavin Creel though. This man, I believe, was THE performer of the night. He sang Something’s Coming from West Side Story and I swear I couldn’t stop gripping the arm of the person next to me. He was amazing.
Everyone that performed was amazing. I think Kayla pretty much sums up how I feel about the other performers, and about how the crowd felt in her review, so I won’t make you read it all again. I really just wanted to report how amazing it felt to be in such a large crowd of LGBTQA people with highly supportive performers and University of Michigan faculty members. The love available in this community is really like nothing else you can ever experience. Plus, we throw the BEST parties!
Stay tuned for more about the Spectrum Birthday Weekend! (And of course by stay tuned I mean read my other review!)
Sending you love and light,