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A Man For All Seasons

Photo by Janet Rogers, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

Lea DeLaria Exceeds Expectations at Pride Lecture

Keynote speakers sometimes can enlighten, bore or delight an audience. Then, there are speakers who totally captivate the audience.

As speaker for the 2016 Pride Lecture at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, “Lea DeLaria: A Man For All Seasons,” DeLaria captivated the audience with gut-wrenching jokes, heartbreaking personal experiences and practical ways to unify the LGBT community.

DeLaria mesmerized the audience by employing her numerous gifts, including her comedic talents. She was the first openly gay comic to perform on American television, appearing in 1993 on The Arsenio Hall Show.

She drew upon her acting experiences to engage the audience. DeLaria is an award-winning actor who has starred in television, stage and film, portraying police lieutenants, PE teachers and the lesbian who inappropriately hits on straight women. Several of her TV credits are: “Awkward,” “Californication,” “The Oblongs,” “One Life to Live,” “Law and Order: SVU,” “Will and Grace,” “Friends” and “Matlock.”

She also showcased her musical talents. DeLaria also is an accomplished Jazz musician with six critically acclaimed records and has sung in every major concert hall in the world. She has appeared in musicals and plays both on and off Broadway. She also stars as Big Boo on “Orange Is The New Black.”

The Division of Diversity and Inclusion sponsors the annual lecture – now in its ninth year – and has brought thought leaders from across the country and globe, including Dustin Lance Black, Laverne Cox and Ari Shapiro.


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