On Thursday, VH1 held the 2018 Trailblazer Honors at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York to recognize individuals and organizations for their contributions to social justice initiatives and minority empowerment.
The late James Baldwin, the American Civil Liberties Union, writer and director Ryan Murphy and the parents of Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin all received awards. Among the attendees were Janet Mock, Bebe Rexha, the cast of Pose, the top four of RuPaul’s Drag Race and many more activists and influencers.
Here are five standout moments from the show:
Asia O’Hara walks the red carpet in all black
Alongside her fellow top four queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10, Asia O’Hara donned an all-black look with her face completely covered, presumably influenced by the threat she had received and recently opened up about on Twitter. “Sometimes beauty comes cloaked in darkness and despair,” she wrote.
Malcolm Jenkins speaks up with utter silence
Just before presenting Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin with an award for their work with the Black Lives Matter movement and the creation of the Trayvon Martin Foundation, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins held up a sequence of signs to send a message about peaceful protest.
Trailblazer attendees leave their seats to take a stand
The cameras turned to the long tables of attendees to feature some of the trailblazers, including first openly transgender U.S. state legislator Danica Roem and the couple involved in the Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, David Mullins and Charlie Crag, speaking on their initiatives and sharing messages of encouragement to everyone fighting at home.
Pose stars present honorary award to Ryan Murphy
Pose stars Dominique Jackson and MJ Rodriguez strutted down to center stage arm-in-arm with co-writer Janet Mock to present the show’s creator and TV titan Ryan Murphy with one of the night’s honorary awards for his commitment to minority representation in mainstream media, including the largest cast of transgender actors ever in his new ballroom-centered story.
Bebe Rexha ends the evening with “Meant to Be”
In her second performance of the night, Rexha closed the show with a performance of her Florida Georgia Line collaboration “Meant to Be,” which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The 2018 Trailblazer Honors will air on Thursday at 9:30 p.m. ET on VH1.