LGBTQ activist Michael Kearns, along with three other gay rights trailblazers, will be honored by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti at the LGBT Heritage Month celebration, hosted by L.A. City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, on Tuesday.
For over four decades Kearns has advocated for LGBTQ rights with his writing—both on the stage and on the page. Kearns is the recipient of Publishing Triangle’s Robert Chesley Lifetime Achievement Playwriting Award and recently was honored by Celebration Theatre with the Chuck Rowland Pioneer Award for groundbreaking and distinguished achievements in LGBT playwriting. The award presentation is set for Wednesday at 10 a.m. in the Los Angeles City Council Chamber, 200 N. Spring St., in downtown Los Angeles.
Kearns is Hollywood’s first openly gay actor and the first HIV-positive actor to reveal his status. Kearns is currently associated with QueerWise, Skylight Theatre, Housing Works and Spoken Interludes Next.
On Sunday, June 4, “Michael Kearns & Other Outies” will premiere at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica where Kearns has been a regular for the past 27 years. Along with five of his fellow performers, the theatrical piece will look through the present GLBTQ window with a series of self-written pieces as well as a few “golden oldies,” Kearns said.
“With achieving equality (to a degree), the GLBTQ community takes on responsibility,” Kearns said. “A trailblazer, like an artist, possesses a prescience that looks to the future while contextualizing the present. The work that I do with members of the Spoken Word collective, QueerWise, is a case in point. I sensed that we, many of us fifty-plus, know a lived-in landscape from which to explore GLBTQ issues and much, much more. As it has evolved, QueerWise has now begun to urgently look at the future, especially in the perniciousness and precariousness of today’s America.”