By Billie Rama, Managing Editor, CBSNewYork.com
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It was a star-studded, poignant evening in Chelsea Monday as the Family Equality Council celebrated its 11th annual Night at the Pier.READ MORE: Westfield Home Invasion, Sexual Assault Suspect In Custody
The gala was hosted by Grammy-award winning singer Gloria Estefan and her husband Emilio and included performances by the cast of Broadway’s On Your Feet!, Tony-award winner Jessie Mueller of Waitress and Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter Sara Bareilles.
The event highlighted the struggles of LGBTQ families and also celebrated advances they’ve made toward legal equality over the past year.
Honorees included Nick Scandalios, Executive Vice President of the Nederlander Organization and award-winning filmmaker, animator and botanist Sharon Shattuck.
Shattuck received the 2016 Hostetter-Habib Family Award for her commitment to advocating for equality as a member of Family Equality Council’s Outspoken Generation program, as well as her professional work, which includes her feature film debut, “From This Day Forward,” a moving portrayal of growing up with a transgender parent.
“I hope that by telling my family’s story, we can continue to open hearts and minds to rainbow families,” Shattuck said.
“Our daughter sought to transform shame and embarrassment into a story of love and resilience,” said Shattuck’s parents Trisha and Marcia.
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Bareilles opened the show with her hit song “Brave” that she wrote in honor of a friend who was struggling to come out.
“I wrote this song because I wanted to encourage my friend to be her authentic self,” said Bareilles. “This song ended up as a very personal tribute to a dear friend and has kind of taken on a life of its own and I am very grateful to be a part of the journey.”
Mueller performed a song from Waitress called “Everything Changes,” about her character meeting her newborn baby for the first time. “We thought this was the perfect song for tonight for all the parents and want-to-be parents out there,” said Mueller.
The cast of On Your Feet! ended the evening with a medley of songs from the show about the life and career of Gloria and Emilio Estefan. Gloria Estefan spoke about her own life-changing, near fatal bus crash in 1990 and quoted one of her songs, “Coming Out Of The Dark,” that she wrote with her husband during her recovery.
“Love is all it takes, no matter what we face,” said Estefan.
“I want to thank each and every person that sent me prayers, good thoughts and good wishes. Their energy … I felt that energy around me and that’s what I really learned, even though I was raised in a Catholic school, this is where I learned the power of prayer when I felt everyone’s incredible love coming through” said Estefan.MORE NEWS: Police Open Fire, Arrest Man Threatening People With Stolen Kitchen Knives In Lower Manhattan
The event raised $1 million for the FEC which connects, supports, and represents the three million parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer in this country and their six million children.