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.

The Elizabeth Taylor Ball To End AIDS on September 17, 2021 in West Hollywood, California. | Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images

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."

(L-R) Billy Porter (L) speaks onstage during The Elizabeth Taylor Ball To End AIDS on September 17, 2021 in West Hollywood, California. | Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)

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.

Jacqueline Bisset attends The Elizabeth Taylor Ball To End AIDS on September 17, 2021 in West Hollywood, California. | Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images

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.

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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.

(L-R) Jake Wesley Rogers and Billy Porter onstage during The Elizabeth Taylor Ball To End AIDS on September 17, 2021 in West Hollywood, California. | Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images

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.

ABOUT ETAF

Working to achieve Elizabeth Taylor's commitment to an AIDS-free world, The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) is rooted in our values of health equity and social justice. 2021 marks our 30th Anniversary, and we continue to deepen our impact by helping underserved people living with or affected by HIV and AIDS. Through our cornerstone advocacy initiative HIV Is Not A Crime, we are fighting to modernize HIV laws, so that people living with HIV can no longer be charged and branded as criminals because of their status. Along with support and sufficient resources for HIV education, prevention and treatment, we now have the necessary tools to stop the spread of HIV and to end AIDS. www.etaf.org

ABOUT GILEAD SCIENCES

Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops, and commercializes innovative medicines in areas of unmet medical need. Gilead is dedicated to transforming and simplifying care for people with life-threatening illnesses around the world. We also recognize that it takes more than medicine to address challenges patients and communities face in accessing the best possible care, and we know that passion for scientific discovery alone — and that Gilead alone — cannot solve these challenges. Gilead applies the same values of partnership, integrity, and dedication to our work tackling the social and structural challenges that patients, healthcare providers and other partners must overcome to identify and elevate the best possible solutions.

ABOUT BVLGARI

Bvlgari was founded in Rome in 1884 as a jewelry shop and quickly established a reputation for Italian excellence with exquisite craftsmanship and magnificent jewelry creations. The Company's international success has evolved into a global and diversified luxury purveyor of products and services ranging from fine jewels and watches to accessories, perfumes and hotels, with an unrivalled network of outlets in the world's most exclusive areas. Since 2011 Bvlgari is part of the LVMH Group. The Company promotes numerous cultural sponsorship projects, and since 2009 has joined Save the Children in education and emergency situation programs to help the most vulnerable children around the world. Bvlgari proudly supports The Elizabeth Taylor Ball as the actress has been a loyal Bvlgari patron all over her life, with the Maison's most exquisite creations intertwining her sentimental life and generous charitable initiatives. www.bulgari.com

ABOUT AMERICAN AIRLINES

American Airlines Group (NASDAQ: AAL) is the holding company for American Airlines. Together with regional partners operating as American Eagle, American offers an average of nearly 6,700 flights per day to nearly 350 destinations in more than 50 countries. American is a founding member of the Oneworld alliance, whose members and members-elect serve nearly 1,000 destinations with 14,250 daily flights to 150 countries. This year, American Airlines Group Inc. topped Fortune Magazine's list of best business turnarounds, and its stock joined the S&P 500 index. Connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir and at Facebook.com/AmericanAirlines

American Airlines is the official airline of The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.

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LGBTQ+ Healthcare Issues

The Dobbs decision, otherwise known as the court case that overturned Roe v. Wade, has resulted in confusing medical situations for many patients. On top of affecting access to abortions for straight, cisgender women, it presents heightened risks for LGBTQ+ healthcare as a whole. Flipping the switch on reproductive rights and privacy rights is a far-reaching act that makes quality care harder to find for an already underserved community.

As the fight against the Dobbs decision continues, it’s important to shed light on the full breadth of its impact. We’ll discuss specific ways that the decision can affect LGBTQ+ healthcare and offer strategies for overcoming these challenges.

How the Right to Bodily Privacy Affects LGBTQ+ Healthcare

When the original Roe v. Wade decision was made, the bodily privacy of people across the United States was protected. Now that bodily autonomy is no longer guaranteed, the LGBTQ+ community must brace itself for a potential loss of healthcare rights beyond abortions. This includes services like feminizing and masculinizing hormone therapy (particularly for transgender youth) that conservative lawmakers have been fighting against this year, as well as transition-related procedures. Without privacy, gender-affirming care may be difficult to access without documentation of sex as “proof” of gender.

As essential services for the LGBTQ+ community become more difficult to access, perhaps the most immediate effect we’ll see is eroding trust between healthcare providers and LGBTQ+ patients. When providers aren’t working in the best interest of patients — just like in cases of children and rape victims denied abortions — patients may further avoid preventative care in a community that already faces discrimination in doctor’s offices.

The Dobbs Decision Isn’t Just a Women’s Issue

While the Dobbs decision is often framed as a women's issue — specifically, one that affects cisgender women — it impacts the transgender and non-binary community just as much. All people who are capable of carrying a pregnancy to term have lost at least some ability to choose whether or not to give birth in the U.S.

For transgender and non-binary individuals, this decision comes with the added complexity of body dysmorphia. Without abortion rights, pregnant trans men and some non-binary people may be forced to see their bodies change, and be treated as women by healthcare providers and society as a result.

The Dobbs decision also opens up the possibility for government bodies to determine when life begins — and perhaps even to add legal protections for zygotes and embryos. This puts contraceptives at risk, which could make it more difficult to access gender-affirming care while getting the right contraceptives based on sex for LGBTQ+ individuals.

Overturning Reproductive Rights Puts IVF at Risk

Queer couples that dream of having their own children often have limited options beyond adoption. One such option is in vitro fertilization, or IVF, which involves implanting a fertilized egg into a uterus.

While IVF isn’t directly affected by the Dobbs decision, it could fall into a legal gray area depending on when states determine that life begins. Texas, for example, is already barring abortions as early as six weeks. To reduce embryo destruction, which often occurs when patients no longer want more children, limits could be placed on the number of eggs that can be frozen at once.

Any restrictions on IVF will also affect the availability of surrogacy as an option for building a family.

How Can LGBTQ+ Individuals Overcome Healthcare Barriers?

While the Dobbs decision may primarily impact abortion rights today, its potential to worsen LGBTQ+ healthcare as a whole is jarring. So how can the community be prepared?

If you’re struggling to find LGBTQ+-friendly providers near you, using telemedicine now can be an incredibly effective way to start developing strong relationships with far-away healthcare professionals. Telemedicine eliminates the barrier of geography and can be especially helpful for accessing inclusive primary care and therapy. Be sure to check if your insurance provider covers telemedicine.

If you’re seriously concerned about healthcare access in your area — especially if the Dobbs decision affects your whole state or you need regular in-person services that may be at risk — it may be time to consider moving now. While not everyone has the privilege to do so, relocating gives you the ability to settle in areas where lawmakers better serve your needs. However, this decision shouldn’t be taken lightly, so preparing and making progress on a moving checklist now can help you avoid issues later.

The Dobbs Decision Isn’t LGBTQ+-Friendly

The Supreme Court of the United States has proven the power of its conservative majority with the overturning of Roe v. Wade. However, the effects of the Dobbs decision don’t stop at affecting cisgender women’s abortion rights. In states with bans, it also leads to forced birth for trans men and non-binary individuals. Plus, the Dobbs decision increases the risk of other rights, like hormone therapy and IVF, being taken away.

Taking steps now, whether it’s choosing a virtual provider or considering a move, can help you improve your healthcare situation in the future.