The votes have been tallied, and CultureMap readers have declared a winner: The Black Tie Dinner was the most glamorous gala of 2013. This is the second year in a row the celebrity-studded affair received top honors in our CulturePoll.
Black Tie devotees turned out in droves, and the big-deal fundraiser received a whopping 78 percent of the votes. House of DIFFA and Dallas Opera First Night came in a distant second and third, earning 7 and 6 percent of the votes, respectively. Other finalists included Command Performance La Fete du Ballet, Untitled: Art Ball 2013, Bespoke, Cattle Baron’s Ball, Two x Two for AIDS and Art, and Crystal Charity Ball.
This year, State Sen. Wendy Davis surprised the more than 3,000 Black Tie supporters with a rousing speech. Following Davis was Zach Wahls, the 22-year-old recipient of the 2013 Elizabeth Birch Equality Award, who spoke articulately about his being raised by two loving mothers and how his speech in front of the Iowa House Judiciary Committee changed the trajectory of his life.
Fellow award winners included Dallas Voice writer David Taffet, honored with the 2013 Kuchling Humanitarian Award, and darling Happily Divorced co-stars Fran Drescher and Peter Marc Jacobson, who received the 2013 Media Award. Then Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black brought down the house before diva Patti LaBelle ever had a chance.
In its history, the Black Tie Dinner has distributed more than $17 million to North Texas LGBT-supportive organizations and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Next year’s gala is set for November 15, 2014.