Society / Featured Parties

Star Power and Inspiration Make this Texas Black Tie Dinner the Nation’s Largest LGBTQ Fundraiser

$21 Million and Counting Raised

BY // 11.21.17

Striking the perfect balance between entertainment and inspiration is a skill that Black Tie Dinner has honed over the 36 years since its inception. Over the years, the event has brought local and national figures such as Maya Angelou, Geena Davis, Lily Tomlin and Connie Britton to Dallas. It has also raised more than $21 million for local and national beneficiaries.

The nation’s largest LGBTQ fundraising dinner was as uplifting as ever this November, as it brought together thousands of well-heeled patrons with a bounty of remarkable speakers, award recipients and performers.  

Taking over the ballroom of the Sheraton in Downtown Dallas, Black Tie Dinner devised an evening equal parts empowering and fun. The non-profit organization recognized equality-driven luminaries, including Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally, who was presented with the Ally for Equality Award by doting husband, Tom Kirdahy; and Rev. Eric Folkerth of Northaven Methodist Church, a believer in the “separation of church and hate,” who was presented with the Kuchling Humanitarian Award.

Other memorable moments included moving speeches from equality trailblazers Eric Fanning, the featured speaker of the evening, the 22nd Secretary of the Army and the first openly gay head of any service in the US Military; and Jess Herbst, Mayor of New Hope, and the first openly transgender elected official in Texas history.

While the evening was filled with emotional points like these, the mood was nothing short of optimistic – it is, after all, the most successful dinner in the country supporting the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

On the entertainment front, Black Tie Dinner welcomed Grace Stockdale of Waitress for a sneak preview of the broadway show (you’ll be able to catch more when Dallas Summer Musicals brings Waitress to North Texas next year), and closed the program with an electric performance by Tyler Glenn, singer and former lead vocalist of Neon Trees.

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