Miss A Columnist

Samar Marwan is a San Francisco native who 'hella' loves exploring the city by the Bay. Her passions include food, dance, writing, and all things indie. Samar’s upbringing by refugee parents and frequent trips overseas became the root of her passion for human rights activism. She is currently a Communications student at San Francisco State University, working towards a career in broadcast and print media. She's on a mission to positively and dramatically impact the lives of six individuals. Follow her on Twitter @HellaSamar

Recap: 2014 GLAAD Gala San Francisco: Game Changers


Taryn Manning (Photo Credit: GLAAD)

On September 13, 2014 the oh so fabulous city by the Bay hosted the 2014 GLAAD Gala San Francisco: Game Changers. The gala is unique in that it recognizes local movers and shakers who are dramatically changing history through LGBT discourse.

Sponsors included Ketel One Vodka, Southwest Airlines, Hilton, and Wells Fargo. The celebratory night was hosted at the Hilton San Francisco by Orange Is The New Black star, Taryn Manning. It was Manning’s first time hosting anything of the sort. “GLAAD gives people the support to live the life that they love and breaking barriers.


Meghan McCain (Photo Credit: Samar Marwan)

Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is dedicated to promoting acceptance and equality of LGBT people. GLAAD uses it’s power in the media and entertainment to challenge the wrongs and celebrating the rights, including the right to marry the one you love.

Previous host of the GLAAD awards and The Fosters star, Peter Paige presented the Presidential Local Hero Award. “GLAAD is there to talk about positive images of LGBT in the media and to call people out when they’re being not so positive. I believe entertainment and media have the power to change hearts and minds, and that’s why the work of GLAAD can not be underestimated.” The award was presented to Prop 8 Plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier. The adorable and courageous couple made history when they won the battle in making same-sex marriage legal.

Kris Perry and Sandy Stier (Photo Credit: GLAAD)

Kris Perry and Sandy Stier (Photo Credit: GLAAD)

YoutTube personalities, Tyler Oakley and Hannah Hart presented the Ric Weiland Award to Google and YouTube Who has made significant progress for the LGBT community through technology and media. The daughter of Senator John McCain and board member of GLAAD, Meghan McCain served as the fundraiser for the evening. Funds went to support GLAAD’s anti-bullying campaign, #spiritday the largest and most visible anti-bullying campaign in the world that supports LGBT youth. The campaign was started 4 years ago in response to the bullying and suicide of out teenager, Tyler Clementi. On October 16th celebrities and allies around the world wear purple to take a stand against bullying.

Jarron Collins and Rick Welts (Photo Credit: Warriors)

Jarron Collins and Rick Welts (Photo Credit: Warriors)

Outstanding musical performances included YouTube sensation Eli Lieb, Glee star Alex Newell, Stephan Jenkins and pop star Neon Hitch. Neon Hitch described a game changer is “a person who takes their freedom, owns their freedom, and letting nobody get in the way of that freedom.”

Eli Lieb (Photo Credit: GLAAD)

Eli Lieb (Photo Credit: GLAAD)

Jarron Collins presented Rick Welts, President & COO of the Warriors with GLAAD’s Davidson/Valentini Award. Jarron is the assistant coach of the Golden State Warriors, “We need to do away with negative stereotypes that effect the LGBT community. It’s important to build bridges and build acceptance in our world.”  Jarron’s twin brother was the first openly out NBA player noted how significant personal impact GLAAD has had, “the overwhelming positive support that my brother reached through organizations like GLAAD just shows that were moving forward as a society as a whole.”

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