America Ferrera and Katy Perry’s passionate HRC speeches reveal their journey toward activism – Los Angeles Times

Onstage accepting the Human Rights Campaign’s Ally for Equality Award, America Ferrera shared a personal story about searching for representation as a young Latino girl in America. “I didn’t grow up seeing a lot of examples of short, brown, chubby, poor daughters of immigrant parents [who] grow up to be successful actresses and loud activists,” Ferrera said. “I had to use my imagination most of the time.”

Thankfully for Ferrera, she found friends and mentors who encouraged her to use her talent and find her own voice. “One of those teachers is in the room with us tonight,” the actress revealed, flashing a huge smile at the audience. “My high school drama teacher, Sue Freitag.

“In my senior year of high school, when I struggled with feelings of depression and isolation, [Freitag] created a safe space for me,” Ferrera said. “I will never forget the first time she invited me to eat my cold pad thai with her in the drama theater room. It was the first time that entire year I felt like I was gonna make it through high school. ”

HRC, the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, hosted its annual gala at the J.W. Marriott hotel in downtown Los Angeles to honor Ferrera and musician Katy Perry for their work as allies and equality advocates both on camera and off. Ferrera, a child of Honduran immigrants, received three standing ovations during her speech, which touched on representation, social activism and inclusion.

America Ferrera and Katy Perry’s passionate HRC speeches reveal their journey toward activism – Los Angeles Times