After reopening its recently renovated and refreshed home just two months ago, The Center hosted an appropriately lavish celebration last night at Cipriani Wall Street toasting pillars of the LGBT community including actor Jeffrey Tambor, president of MTV and Logo Stephen Friedman, and COO of Combs Enterprises Brian Offutt. Sprinkled inside the former New York Stock Exchange home were actors Neil Patrick Harris, Mary-Louise Parker, and Alan Cumming; a bevy of models including Xiao Wen Ju, Devon Windsor, and Jarah Mariano; and designers such as Narciso Rodriguez, Alexis Bittar (who’s also a newly minted board member), Chris Benz, and Courtney Crangi with Jenna Lyons.
In a crowd filled with so many powerful icons, including Edie Windsor who pioneered the marriage equality movement in the landmark Supreme Court case, what were guests most excited about? “Jeffrey Tambor!” exclaimed Lyons in head-to-toe J.Crew and sporting a new cropped do. Crangi added, “This is a big deal as The Center is such a big part of our culture.” Tambor’s Transparent costar Judith Light, looking resplendent in a Nina Ricci frock punctuated by sparkling earrings from Verdura, beamed over her costar’s award and recalled her fondest memory. “He and I go back a long, long way,” mused Light. “I worked with Jeffrey Tambor at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater and have the most extraordinary memories of him in this one play that we did. It was a Feydeau farce called Cat Among the Pigeons. I would stand behind the set and look at the audience; he was so funny that the audience was practically falling out of the balcony. But he’s an extraordinary human being too. His devotion to this part and this work has been unparalleled.” The work Light referred to is Tambor’s Transparent performance in which he plays a trans woman. “Jeffrey Tambor has really gone out of his way and embodied a part of the LGBT community that I think sometimes doesn’t have such a strong platform for speaking. It’s worth celebrating,” said Chris Benz, creative director of Bill Blass.
Also worth celebrating were the $ 1 million dollars raised last night between the private donations and live auction items which included a walk-on role in Transparent and tickets to the MTV Video Music Awards this summer. But the main focus on the night was The Center’s new youth programs. “I’ve known about The Center for 24 years and utilized it,” said Bittar in a summery suit. “Tonight, they’re talking about the first-ever teen LGBT outpatient treating addiction in the USA. First ever.” Serving youths between the ages of fourteen and 22, “it’s such an important need in the gay community where addiction of all types is prevalent.”
With 300,000 visitors to The Center every year, Tambor was thrilled with the large turnout and the donations but felt that there’s always room for improvement. “This is a very, very important event,” said the actor. “The awards are tremendous but we’re here to raise awareness. To bring light and awareness takes money. And the revolution takes money. I’m here to be a part of that.”
The post Neil Patrick Harris, Narciso Rodriguez, Jenna Lyons, and More Come out to Celebrate The Center 2015 Dinner appeared first on Vogue.
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