Chicago, IL —
This year's Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Chicago auction and dinner gala program, "Make Equality Count" kicked off with Alex Newell on stage performing and wowing the crowd. Adams plays the role of Wade Adams, a male-to-female transgender teenager who expresses her female identity through music, in "Glee."
Jennifer Beals at the Chicago HRC Gala credit :: lucas chen
Throughout the gala, the theme focused on this year's political election and the importance of using the vote to amplify the individual personal voice.
Kathy Guzman, senior editor of the L Stop, introduced the winner of this year's HRC Ally for Equality Award, Jennifer Beals. The 48-year-old Beals played the role of Alexandra "Alex" Owens in the 1983 film Flashdance, detective Teresa Colvin in the local series "The Chicago Code" and as Bette Porter on the Showtime drama series The L Word. She earned an NAACP Image Award and a Golden Globe Award nomination for the former and has appeared in more than 50 films.
Born on the south side of Chicago, Beals received a thundering standing applause from the hometown crowd as she took the stage.
Speaking of her experiences on working with the L Word, "I think that you are my ally and my teachers," she told the attendees.
Continuing on the theme of the evening, "Love is both a sword and shield," Beals explained. "How much courage it takes to live your life authentically."
"The L is not separate from the G or the B or the T. I want to thank you all for being my teachers. I want to thank you all for being my ally," she recapped.
"I long for the day when the ally award will be obsolete because we will be allies together."