The black tie gala took place Saturday, October 31st at 7:00 pm, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis (265 Peachtree Center Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30303).
Other honorees included Nevada’s District 4 Senator Kelvin Atkinson for Gentleman of the Year; Congressman John Lewis for Gentleman of Alliance; 135th Street Agency Publicist Vaughn Alvarez for Gentleman of Promise; Marck Angel for Gentleman of Artistry; and Founder & CEO of 4US Sports Dedrick Tillerson for Gentlemen of Service.
Guests enjoyed an exclusive live performance from Atlanta’s very own Algebra Blessett, who performed her hit single “Nobody But You” along with other great sultry soul classics.
The evening culminated with a passionate speech by the Founders Juan & Gee Session-Smalls. They founded The Gentlemen’s Foundation with the intentions of eradicating the ‘gay stigma’ perpetuated by societal norms and decreasing the prevalence of depression and suicide among Black and other minority LGBTQ youth.
“This movement is about loving yourself and your truth; about standing together stronger as a community,” says Gee. “It’s about accepting ourselves for who we are so others can have the opportunity to embraces us as well.”
Originating in 2011, the Gentlemen’s Ball celebrates the accomplishments of gay and transgendered men who have demonstrated a commitment to social change through the enhancement of the quality of life within the minority LGBTQ community.
All proceeds go towards the TGF’s flagship program, Men: Practicing, Affirming + Celebrating Their Truth (mPact2), which is a holistic empowerment mentoring program for young men ages 18-25.
It places an emphasis on guiding mentees towards their full potential in the areas of education, character development, and philanthropy. The program provides positive mentors, promotes spiritual and mental health betterment, and enhances the leadership capabilities of its mentees.
About the Founders
Husbands Juan and Gee Session-Smalls are the founders of The Gentlemen’s Foundation, Inc. Juan & Gee has been recognized by various organizations for their work within the community, receiving awards such as: The Vision Community Foundation’s Community Award, The Good Life Power Couple Award and the The G-List Society’s 50 Most Influential & Inspirational Black LGBT Personalities of 2012, 2013 & 2014.
Their life mission emphasizes equality, solidarity, love, and inclusion for the advancement of the LGBTQ community.
Event Photo Gallery