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Diversity Honors Returns to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood March 9

Billy Porter will be receiving a Harvey Milk Champion Medal

Diversity Honors, the globally renowned celebration that benefits Harvey Milk Foundation and The Pride Center at Equality Park,  exclusively hosted by Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, is thrilled to announce the fabulous, out and proud Emmy, Tony and Grammy Award-winning, and Golden Globe-nominated, actor, singer, director, composer, playwright and activist Billy Porter will be receiving a Harvey Milk Champion Medal. 

When we spoke to Billy, he said:Harvey Milk lived authentically and courageously. He continues to inspire all in the LGBTQ+ community to stand up and speak out for our liberation – which is why I’m honored to receive the Harvey Milk Medal. I am looking forward to the 8th Annual Diversity Awards and supporting the important work of the Harvey Milk Foundation and The Pride Center at Equality Park.” 

The foundation will also bestow Harvey Milk Medals to:

Belinda Carlisle (L), Spencer Battiest (R)

Music pioneer, multiple Grammy Award-winner and LGBTQ+ activist Belinda Carlisle, who when we asked her about her honor she told Hotspots “This for me was such a huge surprise that I got emotional just thinking about what this means, to be honored by the Harvey Milk Foundation.  I remember the first case of HIV/AIDS in Hollywood, I remember the terror, losing my friends and the stigma attached to this disease that no one really knew anything about. I remember the fight for marriage equality. For me, involving myself in the LGBTQ+ community was a no brainer. You don’t think – you just do whatever you need to do – so I always did and will always continue to do so! To be able to support the Harvey Milk Foundation and its global influence at the Diversity Awards on March 9, means even more knowing my son will be there with me. I was actually blessed with a gay son – and when ‘Duke’ came out to me at 14, the first thing I thought was “what kind of world will he have to face.”  So, of course as a mother, I stepped up and wanted to be involved with supporting him and other LGBTQ+ people around America and the world. Harvey Milk’s legacy as a pioneer and inspirational leader continues to have a profound impact on millions through the work of the Milk Foundation, so to be bestowed with their award named after Harvey is an immeasurable honor. 

Native American (Seminole/Choctaw) award-winning singer/songwriter, producer and actor Spencer Battiest who when he spoke to Hotspots said:  I am honored and humbled to be recognized by the Harvey Milk Foundation at this year’s Diversity Honors. As a queer indigenous entertainer, we are often overlooked for our work and contributions. To be acknowledged by my peers and the broader LGBTQ+ community is incredibly meaningful.

This award not only celebrates my personal journey, but also reflects the strength and resilience of an inclusive community that thrives on diversity and love. It stands as a testament to the progress we’ve made and the work that still lies ahead. I am inspired to continue living authentically and I am grateful for Diversity Honors shedding light on two spirit and indigenous LGBTQ+ people.” 

Mark Hunter Seymour (L), Tatiana Williams (R)

Entrepreneur Mark Hunter Seymour will receive The Pride Center at Equality Park Alan Schubert Award. Mark is not only an advertiser but a friend to Hotspots and when we asked him about this honor he said: “I am so proud of the Hunters Nightclubs legacy. For the last 42 years we have created an all welcoming, safe, and fun environment where members of the LGBTQ plus community can gather, relax, and feel free being themselves, without judgement. Being the recipient of the Alan Schubert Award of Excellence, I am honored, thrilled and humbled.”

In addition, Tatiana Williams (Founder and Executive Director of Trans Inclusive) and the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida will receive Diversity Honors awards on Saturday, March 9, at 7pm.

“Diversity Honors celebrates the vision of Harvey Milk and the dream for a better tomorrow filled with the hope for equality and a world without hate,” said Susan Renneisen, vice president of community affairs and special events for Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. “We are honored to produce this event, in support of the Harvey Milk Foundation and The Pride Center at Equality Park, which recognizes those who are transforming lives by living authentically and advancing inclusiveness. Billy Porter, Belinda Carlisle and Spencer Battiest along with a host of local honorees are well-deserving of this salute for all they do to make the world a more united place for everyone.” 

The cocktail chic event will be a night to remember beginning with an elaborate cocktail reception featuring entertainment by Miss Bouvee. A seated dining experience in the Grand Ballroom will immediately follow with musical entertainment by international singer/songwriter Debby Holiday presented by STOLI and the awards presentation. The celebration continues with the STOLI “Spirit of Change” after-party poolside at The Guitar Hotel where guests can look forward to STOLI espresso martinis, mermaids, magicians and more.

The night also signifies the unveiling of a bold new face and global rebrand for STOLI, a world-renowned premium vodka brand and a longtime sponsor of Diversity Honors. The vodka leader will launch its “Spirit of Change” campaign in celebration of transformative people such as this year’s award recipients.

Diversity Honors is a collaborative effort that will continue to keep South Florida on the international stage of LGBTQ+ rights and activism in honor of Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States who was assassinated shortly after winning a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and has since gone on to become an icon and beacon of light for the global LGBTQ+ community. This year marks the 46th anniversary of Harvey Milk’s historic election.

Over the years, Diversity Honors has paid tribute to an impressive roster of honorees including TV personality and best-selling author Meghan McCain, civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, president and founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation and co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America with Cesar Chavez, Judy and Dennis Shepard, Bollywood star Celina Jaitly, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Gay-Straight Alliance,  transgender  YouTube  viral  inspiration  Ryland  Whittington, transgender  teen activist Jazz Jennings, singer/actress Deborah Cox, drag TV star and entrepreneur Latrice Royale, Judge Rand Hoch, Phill Wilson, founder of the Black AIDS Institute, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Congressman Ted Deutch, and Mayor Dean Trantalis, among others.

Diversity Honors is exclusively hosted by Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, with Platinum Sponsor DMK – Danne Montague-King, Diamond Sponsors Stoli Vodka and Seminole Coconut Creek Casino, supporting sponsors Davidoff of Geneva, GPR | Goodman Public Relations, Dex Imaging and Ludwig Framemakers and media sponsors HOTspots Happening Out, OutClique and OutSFL!

Tickets are $250 per person, and can be purchased at: www.DiversityHonors.org.

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