Written By: Jayden Hollywood
On Sunday December 7th, The Gentleman’s Foundation Inc. (TGF) hosted The Gentleman’s Ball. TGF is a non-profit organization, dedicated to strengthening the quality of life, leadership ability, and mental & physical health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) individuals; particularly those in the African-American and other minority communities. They offer support, primarily in the form of grants and increased public awareness, to other charitable and non-profit organizations that share the same mission or whose programs have similar goals.
The event was hosted by Karamo Brown, best known for being the first openly gay black male on MTV’s hit show The Real World: Philadelphia, originally airing in 2004-2005. Brown was an excellent host and did a great job of keeping the audience engaged and entertained! Other keynote speakers included Brodney McClinton, Marion Lessinton, and Paul Thomas. The Gentleman of Service award went to Holiday Simmons, who serves as the forefront of Lambda Legal. This organization is the oldest and largest national legal organization dedicated to providing civil rights for the LGBT community as well as those living with HIV. Television executive, Carlos King received the Gentleman of Excellence Award. Many know Mr. King for his ground-breaking production work behind many of our favorite reality TV shows such as The Real Housewives of Atlanta, The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Hollywood Divas, and many more. Celebrated couple, David and Tre’Darrius Anderson, received the Gentleman of Promise Award. After having their wedding televised on “My Teenage Wedding,” the Andersons went on to create “Guys With Pride,” an organization dedicated to supporting LGBT-related causes like Marriage Equality. The most anticipated of them all, The 2014 Gentleman of the Year Award, was awarded to educator and writer, Darnell Moore!
The performances for the evening were truly phenomenal. Singer, Phylle, gave the audience a sultry performance, involving a pair of background singers as well as hip-hop dancers, while performing his hit single, “I Love Him.” Poet, Del Antonio, serenaded the audience with his poem entitled, “Gentleman.” In this piece he speaks about no longer pretending to be the bad boy, and becoming vulnerable and sensitive as a true gentleman can be. The event’s headliner, artist Rahsaad Patterson, executed a truly heartfelt performance, proving that his album, bleuphoria, is definitely worth purchasing! The entire audience began to move to the dance floor to groove to the sounds of Patterson.
Transitioning from auditory artistic expression to a more visual showcase, So You Think You Can Dance contestant; Mitchell Kelly, graced the stage with an extraordinary performance. The elegant leaps and twists truly evoked emotion from the audience. He received a standing ovation at the conclusion of his performance.
The Marriot catering staff served a truly immaculate dinner. Guests were served a house salad with a choice of dressing for an appetizer. For the entrée, the staff bestowed a plate of a savory grilled chicken, broccoli, and sweet potatoes. Last, and certainly not least, apple pie as served for dessert (my personal favorite). The superb dinner, alongside the speakers, innovative decorations, award winners, performers, and dapper guests made this event a huge success! We at Kontrol Magazine are very proud of The Gentleman’s Foundation Inc. chairmen, Juan and Gee Session-Smalls, for putting together such a positive and stellar event for the LGBT community.
Jayden Hollywood, DC native, has had his sight set on being in the entertainment industry since the tender age of five. He put this passion into motion by performing in church plays, and later became a leading role in many school productions. Throughout the years, while still exploring his love for acting , Mr. Hollywood also developed a new interest—Event Coordination. Since 2009, Jayden has effectively directed and coordinated several fashion shows and large events leading to his current title of Fashion Coordinator of Kontrol Magazine. Jayden believes that once you have your eyes and heart set on a goal, the work to accomplish it ultimately seems more than worth it