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Out 100
attends the 2016 OUT100 Gala at Metropolitan West on November 10, 2016 in New York City.

Last night, Out Magazine held their annual “Out 100 Gala”, taken place at the beautiful Metropolitan West.  With the past year being particularly tough on the LGBT community, this was a fantastic event for so many amazing pioneers to come together and highlight the progress we have made overall in 2016.  The event was emotional at times, yet there was an element of hope that resonated throughout.

Out 100
attends the 2016 OUT100 Gala at Metropolitan West on November 10, 2016 in New York City.

Attendees of The Out 100 Gala highlighted the myriad of amazing people that encompass this community as a whole. Everyone from CNN’s Don Lemon, RuPaul’s Drag Race Superstars Bob The Drag Queen, Milk and Pearl, “Glee’s” Alex Newell, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Vincent Rodriguez and more were there to celebrate progress, diversity, love and more as we come to the close of another calendar year for the LGBT world.

Out 100
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 10: Journalist Don Lemon attends the 2016 OUT100 Gala at Metropolitan West on November 10, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Here Media) *** Local Caption *** Don Lemon

The best and biggest moment for me last night was meeting the Pulse Nightclub heroes, who were being honored as part of the Out 100.  For me, it was a very emotional moment, as that is the biggest tragedy our community has ever seen, yet all of them had such high hopes for us going forward as they have seen the worst of what could happen and are embracing our hopeful future. One of the heroes, Angel Colon, who after being shot six times at Pulse back in June, has recovered wonderfully and was all smiles with his friends last night.  The radiance that boomed from all of them is a reminder that even in the bleakest of times, there is hope for all of us.

Out 100
Credit: Getty

During the ceremony, Out Magazine’s Editor in Chief Aaron Hicklin provided a fantastic message of hope for all of us in the room regarding the recent events of Donald Trump’s unfortunate presidency.  He highlighted many people in the room, including White House LGBT champions, trans-model Tracey Norman, and a beautiful black and white presentation featuring members of the Out 100, with words of hope from each as it went on.  It was really beautiful and poignant throughout, and an event that I will not forget for a very long time.

Want to know more on who is on The Out 100? Check out their official site.