Most fundraisers rely on one celebrity guest to up the excitement, but Black Tie Dinner has always been a little bit extra.
The glamorous, all-night extravaganza, co-chaired by Brad Pritchett and Terry Loftis and held at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Dallas, welcomed five in-person celebs and two more by video, for a program that ran the gamut from anticipatory to reflective to an all-out party.
It began with a cocktail hour where guests could browse the silent auction offerings before heading into the ballroom for a filet and snapper dinner. D.J. "Shangela" Pierce strutted through the crowd, performing a mega mix of his top hits and setting the tone for the celebratory evening.
Pierce is best known for starring in the Emmy-nominated HBO series We’re Here and Emmy Award-winning reality series RuPaul’s Drag Race, and was honored later in the evening with the Vanguard Award for his contributions to the LGBTQ community and for leading a movement of drag across American to positively transform hearts and minds throughout the country.
Black Tie Dinner officially renamed the Ally for Equality Award the Dale Hansen Ally for Equality Award, for the media personality's years of support and positive impact on the LGBTQ community. A tearful speech from Dale Hansen himself brought the crowd to their feet.
This recipient of this year's award was Michelle Visage, an actress, producer, media personality, and television host who is best known for serving as a permanent judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race. She graciously accepted it with pre-recorded remarks.
Bobby Berk, a design expert and Emmy-nominated TV host best known for transforming lives and living spaces on the hit Netflix series Queer Eye, was honored with the Media Award, which is presented to an individual or industry leader who has demonstrated a solid commitment to bringing public and media attention to major LGBTQ issues.
The Elizabeth Birch Equality Award recipient was Niecy Nash, an Emmy Award-winning actress and comedian best known for her roles in Reno 911! and Claws. She delivered one of the most powerful speeches of the evening, quoting her mother with "Pull up, push through, and never look like what you’re going through" after revealing she had been in the hospital for an undisclosed illness until that very morning.
The annual Kuchling Humanitarian Award was presented to Veletta Lill and Chris Luna for their positive impact on the North Texas LGBTQ community. Both served on the Dallas City Council, where they were integral in helping to pass city ordinances critical to the protection of the LGBTQ+ rights.
Receiving this year's Visibility Award via video was actress, writer, and producer Josie Totah, who courageously came out as transgender in 2018 and is currently playing the popular cheerleader Lexi in Peacock's Saved by the Bell.
Following his passing this year, North Texas resident Jon Erdos received the Richard Weaver Volunteer Award for his countless contributions to Black Tie Dinner. He leaves behind a legacy worthy of celebration.
Comedian Dana Goldberg returned as the entertaining host of Black Tie Dinner’s luxury auction and Beyond the Tie Appeal, generating a record-breaking $150,000-plus in the ballroom.
Singer, songwriter, and choreographer Todrick Hall performed a melody of his greatest hits and debuted an original song to close out the night — before the After Black after-party started, of course.
The nonprofit Black Tie Dinner raises funds for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) supportive organizations serving North Texas through a premier event of empowerment, education, and entertainment in partnership with the community.
From its origins as a small fundraising dinner among friends in 1982, Black Tie Dinner has grown into the largest fundraising dinner in the nation for the LGBTQ community.
Each year, Black Tie Dinner selects up to 20 nonprofit organizations from North Texas as local beneficiaries of its fundraising, as well as the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as its national beneficiary. To date, Black Tie Dinner has distributed nearly $26 million dollars to a wide variety of organizations serving the needs of the LGBTQ community.
The 2021 final beneficiary distribution amount will be announced at the Wrap Party presented by Lexus on Thursday, November 18.
For additional information about Black Tie Dinner, the Wrap Party, and to see a full list of 2021 beneficiaries, visit blacktie.org.