Logo’s Trailblazer Honors Will Recognize Pioneers of LGBT Equality, Including Cyndi Lauper: Friday, June 23

What do Cyndi Lauper, Will & Grace creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, Debra Messing, RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Valentina, activist and author Cleve Jones, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi all have in common?

They’re trailblazers of the LGBT community—using their prominence in society to spread a message of love, acceptance and equality.

Logo’s fourth Trailblazer Honors special taped Thursday, June 22, at the historic Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City (famous in the LGBT community for being a progressive, welcoming house of worship) and will air Friday, June 23 at 9 p.m.

Trailblazing Honors, unlike other award shows of its ilk, isn’t just about celebrating star power—it’s about celebrating the power stars have to change the world for the better.

Logo’s tentpole event, which culminates Pride month along with the New York City Pride Parade, presents “Trailblazing Honors” to three individuals or entities who have made outstanding contributions to the LGBT community. Past honorees include activist Harvey Fierstein, Edie Windsor, Judy and Dennis Shepard, the Obama Administration and the cast of Orange Is the New Black.

This year, Logo recognized Cyndi Lauper, Will & Grace’s Mutchnick and Kohan, and the late Alvin Ailey as honorees. The ceremony will include musical performances inspired by these leaders, as well as presenter speeches celebrating the tireless work of these honorees.

Last year, the event occurred barely a week after the Pulse massacre, the tragic mass shooting at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, which claimed 49 lives. Logo’s ceremony was a chance for the community to rally after such a guttural wound; presenters encouraged their LGBT family to stay strong and to never stop fighting for peace. RuPaul held a moment of silence for the victims, and then charged up the audience with a fiery speech.

Watch RuPaul’s speech from the 2016 Trailblazer Honors:

This year, we can expect the same tenor from our honorees and presenters as they take the stage to speak for LGBT equality, acting as a microphone for those whose voices are quelled. Although the LGBT community received tremendous support after the Pulse tragedy from allies around the world—including Viacom, which donated funds to families of survivors and raise awareness on popular network shows—the fight is far from over.

So, what’s it mean to be a trailblazer?

“I’m trying to be the best version of myself I can be,” said Mutchnick, one of the co-creators of Will & Grace. “I feel like that’s my job as a gay man in the world right now.”

Will & Grace was a pioneer for LGBT visibility on network TV—Mutchnick and Kohan introduced some of the first openly gay leading characters in leading roles on primetime television.

Honoree Cyndi Lauper used her fame as a Grammy, Emmy, and Tony-winning star to launch the True Colors Fund, which provides housing and other resources for LGBT youth.

“It is truly an honor to be recognized as a trailblazer by Logo,” said Lauper. “I am family to the LGBTQ community, and it has been one of the greatest privileges of my life to stand arm-in-arm with the people I love and care about as we push towards equality.”

The special will be simulcast on Logo and VH1 Friday, June 23 at 9 p.m.

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