2017 Special Guests and Awards

Grammy Award Winner


2017 HRC Ally for Equality Award

An accomplished and Award-winning actress, Martha Plimpton has achieved success across stage, screen and television.


Plimpton can currently be seen starring in ABC’s comedy series “The Real O’Neal’s.” For her work in the television series “Raising Hope,” she was nominated for an Emmy® Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and twice for a Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Comedy. Her memorable TV appearances include “The Good Wife,” for which she won the Emmy® Award," “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” for which she earned an Emmy® Award nomination and “How to Make it in America.”


Plimpton has appeared in over 30 films including “The Goonies,” “The Mosquito Coast,” “Running on Empty,” “Beautiful Girls,” “Parenthood,” “200 Cigarettes,” “Pecker,” “Eye of God” and “Small Town Murder Songs.” She will next be seen in the film adaptation of the musical of “Hello Again” opposite Audra McDonald.


On stage, Plimpton’s work has garnered three consecutive Tony® Award nominations. In 2014, she starred alongside John Lithgow and Glenn Close in the Broadway revival of Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance. Previously, she starred alongside Stockard Channing in Pal Joey for the Roundabout Theatre Company, garnering her third Tony® Award nomination in as many years, as well as a Drama Desk nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical and a Drama League nomination. In 2008, Plimpton starred in Top Girls for the Manhattan Theatre Club and received Tony® and Drama Desk Award nominations, and in 2007, Plimpton appeared in Tom Stoppard's nine hour trilogy, The Coast of Utopia at Lincoln Center Theater, for which she earned a Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award and Tony® Award nomination.


Plimpton starred in the UK premiere of Jon Robin Baitz’s acclaimed play, Other Desert Cities alongside Sinéad Cusack, Peter Egan, Clare Higgins and Daniel Lapaine at The Old Vic in London. Company opposite Patti LuPone and Stephen Colbert, Shakespeare in the Park's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shining City, The False Servant (Drama League nomination), HurlyBurly, Hobson's Choice (Obie Award, Lortel nomination) and Lincoln Center Theater production of Shakespeare's Cymbeline. She is also a proud member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Ensemble since 1998, where she has appeared in Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie, Stephen Jeffries The Libertine opposite John Malkovich, and made her directing debut there with Absolution in 2001.

2017 HRC Leadership Award

Awarded to Champions of the HRC Mission

Britt Kornmann is a Financial Advisor with Ameriprise Financial. Her advocacy work began with her firm where she chaired their LGBT ERG for almost a decade. During that time she helped set standards for underwriting trans clients, built the framework for training Advisors on the complexities of working with the LGBTQ community, and successfully lobbied for permanent life insurance availability for clients living with HIV. She recently put in force the first policy for one of her clients here in Houston, making it the first policy approved for a person living with HIV and AIDS in the entire industry.

After starting her practice in Austin, Britt moved back to Houston in 2005 and quickly became involved with the community. She has since volunteered with dozens of local and national LGBTQ and progressive organizations in various capacities but HRC has always been "home" in regards to her volunteer work. With the local HRC Houston Steering Committee Britt has served as the Digital Communications Chair, Membership Outreach Chair, Federal Club Chair, Steering Committee Chair, and Federal Club Council Chair. Additionally, Britt served as the National Federal Club Chair while serving on the HRC Board of Governors for one year and as the National Major Donor Chair for 2 of her 4 years on the National Board of Directors for HRCs Foundation. While Britt's term on the board ended last fall, she continues to stay engaged both locally and nationally with HRC and for a variety of progressive causes.

At just 34 years old, Britt has already raised more than $2 million for progressive causes and candidates and continues to lead others to do the same.

Britt and her wife, Erin split time between Houston and D.C. and spend most moments not working traveling the globe. They recently started a website, Lens4Change.com that promotes advocacy through travel and highlights causes they choose to support along the way.

HRC John Walzel Equality Award

Awarded to Champions of LGBTQ Equality

Monica Roberts, AKA the TransGriot (Gree-oh) is a native Houstonian, two time GLAAD award nominated blogger, writer, lecturer, thought leader and an award winning Houston-based trans human rights advocate for nearly two decades. She works to foster understanding and acceptance of trans people inside and outside communities of color.

She has lobbied numerous times at the federal, state (KY,TX) and local level for trans and other human rights issues since 1998 and was a founding board member of the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition (NTAC) and served as its Political Director from 1999-2002.  

Monica served on the Fairness Campaign and C-FAIR boards from 2004-2010 while living in Louisville and currently serves on the boards of the Trans Persons of Color Coalition (TPOCC) , Black Transwomen, Inc, and Trans United Fund in addition to serving on Mayor Sylvester Turner's LGBT Advisory Board. 

In addition to being a sought after speaker and panelist for various conferences and colleges,  she's the founding editor of  the influential blog TransGriot now moving into its second decade of operation.   Her writing has appeared at the Bilerico Project, Ebony.com, The Huffington Post , Black Girl Dangerous and the Advocate.   

Her long list of awards includes becoming in 2015 the first African American trans person ever to be honored by Fantasia Fair with the Virginia Prince Transgender Pioneer Award, in 2016 receiving a GLAAD Special Recognition Award for TransGriot's 10th anniversary, and becoming the first trans person ever to win Harvard's Phillips Brooks House Assn. Robert Coles Call of Service Award