On September 17, The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) honored Billy Porter, Dr. Anthony Fauci, amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and Sandra Thurman with the Elizabeth Taylor Commitment to End AIDS Award at The Elizabeth Taylor Ball to End AIDS fundraising gala.
Rising singer-songwriter, Jake Wesley Rogers performed at the event. The evening was generously supported by Presenting Sponsor, Gilead Sciences, Inc. Additional sponsors for the event were Diamond Sponsor BVLGARI and American Airlines, ETAF’s official airline.
During his speech, Billy Porter shared, “I came out in 1985. It was at the beginning of the AIDS crisis. We’ve been fighting for our lives ever since and I am proud to stand here, but I will say that in 2007, I had a secret – a secret that was so shameful that I held it in for 14 years. I had all the information, I was supposed to know better, and I got this anyway. But let me explain to you that shame, shame, my darling shame, is a silent killer. And I ain’t going out like that. Make no mistake. There is a war going on. We are at war for not only the soul of our nation, but the soul of humanity itself. I am honored, and I am humbled to be in the presence of all you warriors, and I promise to be a warrior in the fight to end AIDS for as long as I have breath in my body.”
Additional VIP attendees included Jacqueline Bisset, Christine Chiu, Paris Jackson, Rita Ora, Rodney Peete, Darren Star, Quinn Tivey, Justin Tranter, Taika Waititi, Laela Wilding, Naomi Wilding, Tarquin Wilding, and more.
The Elizabeth Taylor Ball to End AIDS included a seated dinner, an exciting live auction in partnership with Christie’s featuring unique works of art and luxury experiences with Lydia Fenet serving as auctioneer, and a live performance by Jake Wesley Rogers. Daniel O’Day, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Gilead Sciences, Inc., presented the event honorees with the Elizabeth Taylor Commitment to End AIDS Award. Guests were given a first-time up-close look at exclusive items from The Elizabeth Taylor Archive including highlights from Elizabeth Taylor’s personal life, film career, and humanitarian legacy. This year marks the 30th anniversary of The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.
The Host Committee included Dr. Gabriel & Christine Chiu, Colin Farrell, Aileen Getty, Sir Elton John & David Furnish, Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Ireland, Earvin “Magic” & Cookie Johnson, Daniel O’Day, Elizabeth Segerstrom and Barbra Streisand.
The Benefit Committee included Wallis Annenberg, Angela Bassett, Carole Bayer Sager, Kate Burton, Alexandra Daddario, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Danai Gurira, Paris Jackson, Christian Lacroix, Judith Light, Catherine Opie & Julie Burleigh, Zac Posen, Zachary Quinto, Lorraine Schwartz, Omar Sharif Jr., Kerry Brown & Stacey Sher, Darren Star, Kimberly Steward, Lauren & Benedikt Taschen and Vanessa Williams.