Tanya Saracho is “Beyond Grateful” to Be Honored at Lambda Legal’s 2019 West Coast Liberty Awards (Exclusive)

The “Vida” star spoke to Celeb Secrets at the star-studded gala about her impactful recognition ahead of Pride Month.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 30: Tanya Saracho accepts the Liberty Award onstage during the West Coast Liberty Awards at SLS Hotel on May 30, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Lambda Legal )

To kick off Pride Month, Lambda Legal hosted their West Coast Liberty Awards last week (May 30) at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. The nation’s oldest and largest LGBTQ+ legal organization honored Starz (accepted by EVP and General Council Audrey Lee) and Vida creator and showrunner Tanya Saracho with a star-studded event that has still left us speechless.

For those of you who don’t know, Lambda Legal is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that continues to be one of the greatest allies of the LGBTQ+ community with the most significant impact on protecting and advancing the rights of LGBT people and those with HIV.

Saracho is “beyond grateful” for being recognized by Lambda Legal as she’s always supported the organization for their work with the immigrant population. “I am an immigrant. I am not a citizen so the work they do means a lot. Especially as Latinx queers, we get other eyes as it is. I just love how they hold us up and give us access to a lot of resources,” Saracho tells Celeb Secrets exclusively.

“[Being recognized] meant a lot,” she continues. “It always feels really weird when people notice you and to be recognized, it feels strange but wonderful.”

Saracho is thankful that Vida opened many doors for the Latinx community and hopes to continue doing so for the younger Latinx generation who one day aspires to work in the film, television and entertainment industry. In fact, she’s writing another series called Brujas which also empowers and brings awareness to Latinx and Afro-Latinos.

“Growing up, I had the voices of my parents ‘calladita te ves mas bonita’ [you’re beautiful when you don’t talk] and all the traditional phrases Latino parents grew up saying,” says Saracho. “However, it came a point where I said, ‘with all due respect shut those voices down’ because society is going to be telling you the same thing. So don’t listen, don’t listen to the voices and just keep going because that’s a great feed of itself.”

Multiple Vida cast members as well as other celebrity guests came to support the series’ showrunner, including Ser Anzoategui, Carlos Miranda, Chelsea Rendon, Mara Wilson, Kathryn Blaque, Rhea Butcher, San Cha, Dylan Thomas Cotter, Rodolfo Garcia, Erika Heidewald & Frida Sahlin, Kandie, Oscar Olima, Danny Rose, Alex Schmider, Cathy Diane Tomlin, and Kit Williams. 

Chelsea Rendon couldn’t wait to express her gratitude and excitement to us on the red carpet, stating how it’s so beautiful and important to support each other in everything. “I think Tanya [Saracho] is amazing and I will support her in anything, even if it’s mopping the floor,” says Rendon.

In addition to honoring Starz and Saracho, the ceremony was hosted by stand-up comic, actor, and writer Cameron Esposito and featured a special performance by Brian Justin Crum. From a cocktail reception to a silent auction, the event concluded in the best way possible — a rousing performance of Crum’s “Never Enough” and his new single, “Circles.”

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MAY 30: (L-R) Tonatiuh, Ser Anzoategui, Chelsea Rendon, Tanya Saracho, Starz EVP and General Council Audrey Lee, Carlos Miranda, and Adrian Gonzalez attend the West Coast Liberty Awards at SLS Hotel on May 30, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Lambda Legal )Ser AnzoateguiChelsea Rendon

Lambda Legal doesn’t charge their clients for legal representation or advocacy, and they receive no government funding. They depend on contributions from supporters around the country, which you can make today by visiting their official website here.

Written by Lupe LLerenas

Lupe LLerenas formerly known as 'Lupe Looove' has built her work around all things entertainment. She loves writing, listening to music and discovering new things. When she's not prepping for an interview, chasing a story on social media or covering an event, you can find Lupe roaming the streets of Los Angeles with her phone in hand. Stay connected with Lupe on all social media platforms @LupeLLerenas.