VOICES 2018



Ruth Ellis Center to Award Margaret Cho Annual Legacy Award Youth Impact Awards to be presented to Jack Antonoff, Billy Porter, Zeke Thomas


DETROIT, MICHIGAN — Iconic stand-up comedian and actress Margaret Cho has been selected by the Ruth Ellis Center to receive the Legacy Award at its annual VOICES gala 7 p.m. Sept. 27, 2018, at Sound Board Theater inside Motor City Casino Hotel. This year’s event, produced by EMMY, Pea- body & NAACAP-nominated Michael Matuza, will also present inaugural Youth Impact Awards to The Ally Coalition to be accepted by GRAMMY winning recording artists Jack Antonoff & Andrew Dost; Billy Porter, winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his role as Lola in Kinky Boots; and Zeke Thomas, the activist/music producer/DJ son of legendary Detroit Pistons Hall of Fame Point Guard Isiah Thomas.


The Ruth Ellis Legacy Award “honors individuals who embody the spirit, grace and generosity of the nonprofit organization’s namesake, an African-American lesbian who opened her home and heart to members of the LGBTQ community in Detroit as early as the 1930s.”


Margaret Cho has long been active in social justice causes, including anti-racism, anti-bullying and homeless and gay rights campaigns. Her advocacy work has been recognized by organizations such as: the ACLU, National Organization for Women, GLAAD and PFLAG.
“I’m incredibly honored to receive this award and the filming is impeccable,” said Cho. “My spirits have been so low regarding the current polifical climate and this accolade reminds me there is so much to rejoice in, to band together and celebrate. The light is here if we seek it. “

Lily Tomlin received the inaugural Legacy Award at VOICES last year.

Meanwhile, the Youth Impact Awards recognize individuals or organizations who are “providing visibility, inspiration and hope to LGBTQ young people nationwide.”


As one of REC’s most vocal national supporters, The Ally Coalition played a critical role in making the Ruth Ellis Health and Wellness Center a reality for hundreds of LGBTQ youth in metro Detroit.


Andrew Dost, a native of Michigan and current Traverse City resident, is best known for his work in the band Fun. winning Best New Artist and Song of the Year (We Are Young) at 2013 GRAMMYS.


Jack Antonoff is a three time GRAMMY winner and Golden Globe nominee for his work in Fun. and as a writer/producer of Taylor Swift’s album 1989. Antonoff has written and produced with Swift, Lorde, St. Vincent, Carly Rae Jepsen and his band Bleachers has released two critically acclaimed and popular albums Strange Desire and Gone Now on RCA Records. Antonoff produced the soundtrack for 20th Century Fox’s romantic comedy Love Simon – the first major studio film to focus on a gay teenager.


Billy Porter, who currently stars as Pray Tell on FX’s television drama series “Pose,” is an outspoken advocate for racial justice and LGBTQ issues who received GLAAD’s 2017 Vito Russo Award in recognition of the positive impact he’s made in his professional career.

Zeke Thomas has inspired young people across the country by becoming an activist for male survivors of sexual assault after sharing his own story of trauma and recovery with “The Cut” and “Good Morn- ing America” in 2017. He also executive produced a documentary, “Untold,” that gives black male survivors a platform to share their own stories.

The VOICES Gala is Ruth Ellis’ signature event, which provides critical funding to the organization’s operations while also recognizing its many dedicated supporters. Incorporated in 1999, The Ruth Ellis Center works to build positive futures with LGBTQ young people experiencing barriers to housing, health and wellness. Roughly four hundred guests including community members, volunteers, staff, youth, and sponsors are expected to attend. A VIP reception will take place before the main event at 6 p.m. Artists subject to change.

Thursday, September 27th, 2018
Sound Board Theater
2901 Grand River Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201

VIP Reception 6:00 PM
Main Event 7:00 PM


Purchase Voices Tickets
Sponsor Voices
Silent Auction Inclusion