Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and leading news network CNN were honored at the ninth annual Trevor New York gala on June 29 at Capitale in New York City. The event proceeds will benefit The Trevor Project, the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.
Black, screenwriter of the two-time Academy Award-winning biopic "Milk," was honored with The Trevor Hero Award. This award annually honors an individual who, through his or her example, support, volunteerism and/or occupation, is an inspiration to LGBTQ youth. In addition to his groundbreaking work on the "Milk" screenplay, Black has become an influential and articulate supporter of LGBTQ youth, even vocalizing his support for the next generation in his Oscar acceptance speech.
"It's a privilege to be honored by The Trevor Project because its priorities are my own. Its tireless efforts to create and maintain life lines for at risk youth, and its commitment to ensuring all young people are valued, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity are literally lifesaving," said Black. "It is so important that this country's youth know that a brighter future filled with equal rights, equal-opportunity, and full acceptance lie ahead. As Harvey Milk so often said, 'We gotta give 'em hope,' and The Trevor Project is filling that need."
CNN, a news network that has paved the way for comprehensive, accurate and timely coverage of news events, was honored with The Trevor Commitment Award. This award annually recognizes a company or organization that, through its policies, initiatives and other efforts, demonstrates a commitment to LGBTQ causes and is a prominent, public example of corporate acceptance of individuals regardless of sexual orientation. CNN has been at the forefront of covering issues affecting the LGBTQ community, consistently doing so both fairly and factually.
"Dustin Lance Black and CNN serve as inspirations to LGBTQ youth, and have set important precedents for their colleagues by showcasing diversity and promoting inclusivity," said Charles Robbins, executive director and CEO, The Trevor Project. "Both recipients are more than deserving of these distinctions and we couldn't be happier to present them with these honors."
Trevor New York annually brings together top entertainers and supporters of The Trevor Project for an evening of comedy, musical performances and special honorees. The event helps raise the financial resources necessary to fund The Trevor Project's programs including its free and confidential helpline, in-school workshops, community outreach and educational resources.
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its free and confidential helpline, in-school workshops, educational materials, online resources and advocacy. The organization was founded in 1998 by three filmmakers whose film, "Trevor," a comedy/drama about a gay teenager who attempts suicide, received the 1994 Academy Award for Best Short Film (Live Action).
Black won the 2008 Academy AwardR and honors from the Writers Guild of America, Boston Society of Film Critics, Hollywood Film Festival, Independent Spirit Awards, and the San Francisco Film Critics Circle, among others, for his original screenplay for "Milk," the Gus Van Sant-directed
biopic of the late LGBT rights advocate Harvey Milk. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture and won a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film - Wide Release. The film earned an Academy Award for Best Actor for Sean Penn in the title role. Black also served as a writer and co-executive producer on HBO's EmmyR and Golden Globe-nominated series "Big
Love." In addition to working on "Big Love" for the past five years, Black also wrote the screenplay for "Pedro," a film about the life and legacy of famed "Real World" cast member Pedro Zamora. Black is currently writing and is set to direct the feature film, "What's Wrong with Virginia," starring Jennifer Connelly and Liam Neeson, which will begin production this summer.