PHOTOS: GLAAD Atlanta launches new program, hosts advocates and stars

All eyes were on the South last night as the LGBT community assembled for GLAAD Atlanta, a celebration of national and local leaders advancing LGBT equality through the media.

The event served as a launching pad for GLAAD’s Southern Stories Program. Southern Stories aims to drive cultural change in the American south by sharing first-hand accounts of family, faith, sports, patriotism and more. The project will work with statewide and on-the-ground advocates' ongoing initiatives to elevate the experiences of LGBT people in six of the nation's southern states by amplifying the stories of LGBT people thriving and struggling in the south.

GLAAD Atlanta, hosted by comedian Fortune Feimster of Chelsea Lately, and feautring a musical performance by Frenchie Davis, was filled with community building, exceptional honorees, inspiring speeches, and special guests. The event, which raises critical funds in support of GLAAD’s year-round work to rewrite the script for LGBT equality, featured a special surprise appearance by football player Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted to the NFL.

Wilson Cruz was also in attendance, who first became known for his portrayal of Rickie Vasquez in My So-Called Life and now appears in Fox's Red Band Society.

Among the star-speckled crowd were the evening's recognized activists. One such guest was Daniel Pierce, a 20-year-old gay man who has turned the horrific reaction to his coming out into a drive for advocacy. He is now on the Board of Directors of Lost-n-Found Youth in Atlanta

Other recognized guests were David and Tina Long, anti-bullying advocates, and Sage Lovell, transgender student trailblazer and homecoming queen.

To see more photos from GLAAD Atlanta, check out this morning's article from the Georgia Voice.