Los Angeles LGBT Center Hosts Over 1,000 LGBTQ+ Youth, Families to 31st Anniversary Models of Pride Festival in South LA
Presented by Glamazon L.A.—Amazon’s LGBTQ+ Affinity Group
LOS ANGELES, October 16, 2023 — Over the weekend, the Los Angeles LGBT Center celebrated the Models of Pride summit with more than 1,000 LGBTQ+ youth and their allies, for a day of community, education, and celebration at the Wallis Annenberg California Science Center in South Los Angeles.
Hosted by Emmy Award winning social media star, Ruba Wilson aka RubasWorld—LGBTQ+ activist and entertainer Dylan Mulvaney was on hand to accept the Model of Pride Award, an honor given each year to a positive role model uplifting LGBTQ+ youth. Mulvaney sat down for the day’s keynote conversation with the Center’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Phillip Picardi. Later, Mulvaney returned to the stage to present the Youth Leader of Pride Award to Iziaih Choquette, a proud Center alum with a burgeoning career advocating for queer youth experiencing homelessness.
Mulvaney was joined by trailblazing pop icon Hayley Kiyoko, who received the Artist of Pride Award for her bold representation in music. Kiyoko performed an electrifying set for the audience, followed by a Q&A with the star’s superfans.
Also joining the event were the House of Marc Jacobs, a ballroom group that opened the stage program, and Queerchata, a Latinx dance ensemble that closed the day.
Key Quotes from Models of Pride Talent:
Dylan Mulvaney on accepting her authentic self:
“To see you all already living in your truth is the greatest gift ever. I remember when I went into high school, trying to be more masculine or shed my flamboyant sides. I remember this kid who also went to my high school came out to his parents and said, ‘I’m gay, but I’m not Dylan Mulvaney-level gay.’ And I was so embarrassed, but now I think it’s kind of epic to be Dylan Mulvaney-level gay.”
Dylan Mulvaney’s advice to queer youth:
“Any chance for innocence that you still have, hold on to it for dear life. Because they want to take it from you—do not let them. And in those hard moments where you have to stand up for yourself, know that everyone in this room has your back. I really think that y’all are going to change the world, and we just have to make sure that we get you there.”
Dylan Mulvaney on being labeled “cringe”:
“I’ve seen a lot of people comment, like, ‘Oh, this is such a facade,’ or, ‘She’s putting this thing on,’ or, you know, ‘This is such fabricated joy.’ And I think it’s because they can’t actually comprehend a trans person being happy or finding success or love. I just want to look back at my life at the end of this and think about all the happy moments, not the horrible ones. So, the more that I can laugh, the moreI can smile and not take anything too seriously in a world that is very serious, that’s a win.”
Hayley Kiyoko on queer representation:
“I want to encourage you to continue to love yourselves, to show up for yourselves, to show up for one another, because you are so worthy and deserving of love. And I am rooting for you. And if you have a dream, I am encouraging you today to chase that dream, because that is how we move the needle forward for representation and that is how we continue to inspire more generations of queer people to chase their dreams and thrive.”
Hayley Kiyoko on overcoming the fear of coming out:
“As queer people, we come out many times. We come out to ourselves, and then we’re coming out to family members, and we’re coming out to friends, we’re coming out to the world. And so I think for me, I just kept coming out. And every time I came out, I would cry. And I’d be like, ‘I’m gay!’ and I’d cry. But every time I did it, it was easier. And I loved myself more and more and more. So I encourage you, if you’re scared, to just practice it. Because it’s like self love. When we practice self love and self compassion, we actually start to believe it.”
Hayley Kiyoko’s advice to young people finding their identity:“My advice would be to be gentle with yourselves. I think a lot of us ask ‘Who am I?’ and just expect the answer tomorrow. But I think it’s just about cultivating that conversation with yourself and learning what brings you the most joy and happiness in life. So I just encourage you to be gentle with yourself in your journey of discovering who you are and who you want to be.”
A unique intergenerational experience curated specifically for LA’s students, parents, and education professionals, Models of Pride returned for its 31st annual installment this year as a completely refreshed event, transforming the long-running LGBTQ+ youth summit into a celebratory—and completely free—festival of love, acceptance and joy.
Workshops ranged from “Voguing 101” by the House of Marc Jacobs to “Drag Queen Story Hour,” and a free makeup shopping spree sponsored by NYX Cosmetics. Adult-geared sessions include “Proud Children, Proud Parents” to “Affirmative Mental Health Strategies” and “LGBTQ College Access” with representation from 30 California higher education institutions.
Presented by Glamazon L.A.—Amazon’s LGBTQ+ Affinity Group, Models of Pride is also made possible by Senior Sponsors Comcast NBCUniversal & Telemundo, Waymo and U.S. Bank. Sophomore sponsors are Edison International and Omnicom Group. Freshman sponsors are JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Kipling. Official Airline Partner is American Airlines.
About the Los Angeles LGBT Center
Since 1969 the Los Angeles LGBT Center has cared for, championed, and celebrated LGBT individuals and families in Los Angeles and beyond. Today the Center’s nearly 800 employees provide services for more LGBT people than any other organization in the world, offering programs, services, and global advocacy that span four broad categories: Health, Social Services and Housing, Culture and Education, Leadership and Advocacy. We are an unstoppable force in the fight against bigotry and the struggle to build a better world; a world in which LGBT people thrive as healthy, equal, and complete members of society. Learn more at lalgbtcenter.org.