DALLAS The theme was understanding at the Black Tie Dinner in Dallas Saturday night.

The 31st annual event at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel attracted more than 3,000 people to the nation's biggest fundraiser dedicated to the the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

Chaz Bono was there to accept the 2012 Elizabeth Birch Equality Award. TV star Meredith Baxter gave the keynote address. She recently revealed that she is a lesbian.

It's helpful to come out, Baxter said. Besides the growth personally I've experienced in coming out and saying, 'OK... that's who I am. Embrace that. Talk about that.'

The Black Tie Dinners started in 1982, raising a total of more than $15 million over the years. The money goes to groups that support empowerment and education.

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