Special Guests

The San Francisco Bay Area HRC Gala honors those who work tirelessly for LGBTQ equality. With inspiring speakers, moving moments, live entertainment, and so much more, here is a snapshot of what you can expect to see at this year’s Gala!

 
 
Shea Diamond

Live Performance by Shea Diamond

“The struggle looks different for different people. But this music is for everyone.” So testifies Shea Diamond, who, with a gritty mix of sounds that digs into everything from R&B, rock and hip-hop to blues, folk and gospel, makes music that speaks to the universal experience while sharing from her very personal one.

Shea (pronounced she-uh) has always had to fight to live her truth. Indeed, she has fought to live her very sheness. As a black transgender woman, that’s just what she does every time she walks out into the world-- representing herself and amplifying the voices and experiences of her community. But now after all of her struggle, this game-changing new singer-songwriter is living her dream with Seen It All, her soulful and soulbaring debut EP (Asylum Records) that was executive-produced by hit songwriter Justin Tranter.

 
Laura Alber

Corporate Equality Award — Williams-Sonoma Inc.

Special guest, Laura Alber, CEO of Williams-Sonoma Inc., will be accepting the Corporate Equality Award on behalf of the company.

Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2018 Corporate Equality Index is the national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees.

In the 2018 CEI report, 609 major businesses — spanning nearly every industry and geography — earned a top score of 100 percent and the distinction of “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality.”

 
Nico Santos

HRC Visibility Award — Nico Santos

With a combination of his sarcastic wit, outrageous sensibility and snarky commentary, Nico Santos has the rare ability to charm every audience he encounters.

Santos was most recently seen in Warner Brother’s “Crazy Rich Asians” alongside an all-Asian cast including Constance Wu, Henry Golding and Ken Jeong. The film instantly became a cultural phenomenon, as well the highest-grossing romantic comedy in the past decade. He is currently starring as Mateo in the fourth season of NBC’s hit comedy “Superstore.

Born and raised in the Philippines, Santos assimilated to American culture rather quickly by living in California by way of Portland, Ore. He started doing stand-up comedy in San Francisco, and in just a short amount of time had become a popular fixture in the Bay Area comedy scene with his acute observations and quirky characters.

 
Garrard Conley Headshot.jpg
 

Garrard Conley

Garrard Conley is the author of the memoir Boy Erased (Penguin 2016), now a major motion pictureBoy Erased was nominated for a Lamdba Literary Award and was featured as a top 2016 nonfiction book by O Magazine, Buzzfeed Books, and Shelf Awareness, among others. It has now been translated in over a dozen languages.

Conley is also a producer and creator of the podcast UnErased, which explores the history of conversion therapy in America through interviews, historical documents, and archive materials provided by the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C.

A survivor of conversion therapy, Conley is an activist and speaker for Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau, lecturing at schools and venues across the country on radical compassion, writing through trauma, and growing up gay in the complicated South. He works with other activists to help end conversion therapy in the United States and abroad.

 
DJ Chris B

Music by dj christopher b

For over 15 years, dj christopher b has been providing the soundtrack for fabulous events and huge parties at some of the world's hottest venues such as: The EndUp, Lookout, BeatBox, FRESH at Ruby Skye, Mezzanine, SoundFactory, Public Works, Eden - San Diego, Bent - Portland, REAL BAD events RECOVERY & REACH, and DAYWASH - the hottest finale party of Sydney Mardi Gras.

Christopher gets the crowd going year after year at major outdoor events like San Francisco Pride & Flagging in the Park. Winning the national "Next Top DJ" Contest on G.I.R.L. Radio led him to play for the LIQUID Pool Party during Gay Days at Disney World in Orlando. And Christopher's podcast reaches an ever-growing global audience of dedicated fans.