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With the sad passing of screen legend Elizabeth Taylor Wednesday, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has “lost an extraordinary ally in the movement for full equality,” GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement Wednesday.
“At a time when so many living with HIV/AIDS were invisible, Dame Taylor fearlessly raised her voice to speak out against injustice,” Barrios said. “Dame Taylor was an icon not only in Hollywood, but in the LGBT community where she worked to ensure that everyone was treated with the respect and dignity we all deserve.”
In 2000, GLAAD awarded Taylor the Vanguard Award for her work to increase the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community.
For the past several years, she also has served as an underwriter for the GLAAD Media Awards Young Adult Program, where hundreds of young LGBT adults and allies attend the event.
“Why shouldn’t gay people be able to live as open and freely as everybody else?” she asked in her acceptance speech at the 11th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. “What it comes down to, ultimately, is love. How can anything bad come out of love? The bad stuff comes out of mistrust, misunderstanding and, God knows, from hate and from ignorance.”
The Human Rights Campaign also is remembering Taylor for her work combating AIDS.
“We are deeply saddened by the death of Elizabeth Taylor,” HRC President Joe Solmonese said in a statement. “Ms. Taylor was a true ally to the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community. She was one of the first public voices to speak up about the AIDS crisis while many others stayed silent in the 1980s and she helped raise millions of dollars to fight the disease. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family, and to all those whose lives have been positively impacted by the life and work of Elizabeth Taylor.”
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