Jake Wesley Rogers wows the crowd at the Elizabeth Taylor Commitment to End AIDS Award

On September 17, The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) honored Billy PorterDr. Anthony FauciamfAR, 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 BissetChristine ChiuParis JacksonRita OraRodney PeeteDarren StarQuinn TiveyJustin TranterTaika WaititiLaela WildingNaomi WildingTarquin 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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