• Joey Amato

Unleashed LGBTQ Showcases Outstanding Talent and Draws in Massive Support



Unleashed LGBTQ, the interactive, virtual event tailored to the powerful and connected LGBTQ+ professional community, recently concluded its successful inaugural event with a huge turnout of support from event attendees. After watching the final round of speakers, which included headliner superstar Carmen Carrera, attendees joined in for one more mix-and-mingle Unleashed LGBTQ Happy Hour virtual cocktail party to close the event.

Headliners throughout the event included Carrera, comedian Matteo Lane, football star Michael Sam, Pennsylvania State Rep. Brian Sims, UK-based travel gurus The Globetrotter Guys and many, many more. Each day of the event featured a full schedule of speakers and panels, highlighted by guest moderators from top media outlets, such as Daniel Reynolds of The Advocate, Brian Schultz of Forbes.com and Eileen Shapiro of Get Out Magazine to name a few. As the event was 100% virtual, attendees were able to participate from around the globe, with attendees from the U.S, Canada, Australia, the U.K., India and more showing up to support the professional and powerful LGBTQ+ community.

"Travel is a surprisingly complex concept, and LGBTQ travel even more so,” said travel, food and lifestyle journalist and event moderator Brandon Schultz of Forbes.com. “The pandemic adds a layer we've never before experienced in modern travel, so it was fascinating to have an honest conversation with The Globetrotter Guys about all of these concurrent considerations."

“We were amazed at the caliber of performers and partnerships we were able to drum up for the first-ever Unleashed LGBTQ,” said Unleashed LGBTQ creator, Wesley Smoot. “We accomplished so much thanks to the support we received from media outlets such as Metro Source and The Advocate, partnerships with Gilead Sciences and iHeart Radio among others and panels featuring businesses like Grindr and Addicted. We never expected such an outpouring of support in our first year. We’re very honored that our speakers and partners saw the value in being involved with Unleashed LGBTQ, and we know we have a great foundation of partnerships to build on for the future. We were very flattered to be regarded as a gay ‘SXSW’ by the media, and with Unleashed LGBTQ 2022 to be an in-person event, our strong network of media and business partners will give us the confidence we need to put on a spectacular show.” Each day of Unleashed LGBTQ started with a focus on business, marketing, entrepreneurship and non-profit opportunities. Some interview highlights included Pennsylvania State Rep. Brian Sims sharing his plans to run for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania; TomBoyX founder Fran Dunaway telling that their gender neutral-style underwear is produced exclusively in women-owned U.S. factories; and Commando co-founder Steve Levin discussing the need for outside-the-box thinking in terms of LGBTQ+ marketing campaigns.


Every evening transitioned to a fun networking atmosphere with an Unleashed LGBTQ Virtual Happy Hour, musical showcases, funny interviews and even a voguing dance tutorial led by HBO “Legendary” star Gravity Balmain. One special night even featured comedian Matteo Lane singing in a gorgeous, live, cabaret-style showcase called “One Night at the Bon Soir”. In a touching moment, Lane and his accompanist, Henry Koperski, revealed that the performance was the first time they had been together in the same room since the start of the pandemic. Overall, the highly successful, activity-packed weekend was filled with thoughtful conversation, professional development advice and great networking opportunities for all who attended.



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