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GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, is set to honor Taylor Swift at the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards on April 16, 2020. The singer will receive the prestigious Vanguard Award, which celebrates allies who have made a difference in promoting acceptance of the LGBTQ community.
“From boldly standing up against anti-LGBTQ elected officials to shining attention on the urgent need to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination through the Equality Act, Taylor Swift proudly uses her unique ability to influence pop culture to promote LGBTQ acceptance,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “In a time of political and cultural division, Taylor creates music that unites and calls on her massive fan following to speak up and call for change.”
At the beginning of LGBTQ Pride month in June 2019, Swift penned a letter to Sen. Lamar Alexander, a U.S. Senator from Tennessee, asking him to support the Equality Act, which would protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination in employment, housing and other public accommodations. Swift also created a Change.org petition in which she urged her fans to support the Equality Act.
Swift’s anthem “You Need to Calm Down” is featured on her seventh studio album, Lover. Ellen DeGeneres, Adam Lambert, Ryan Reynolds, Laverne Cox, RuPaul, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, the Queer Eye cast, Billy Porter, Ciara and Adam Rippon are among the many guests stars who appear in the anti-hate-themed video.
The singer also performed the hit alongside some of the video’s stars at the MTV Video Music Awards last August and won both the coveted Video of the Year award and the Video for Good award. During her acceptance speech, Swift called out the Trump Administration for failing to acknowledge her petition for the Equality Act.
Previous recipients of the Vanguard Award include Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Kerry Washington, Cher, Janet Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Antonio Banderas, Demi Lovato, Whoopi Goldberg and Patricia Arquette.
Meanwhile, Pose star Janet Mock will also be honored at the ceremony with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, which is presented to an LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting LGBTQ acceptance. Mock is best known for her work as a writer, director and producer on Ryan Murphy’s FX series. Mock also made history for being the first trans woman of color to write and direct an episode of television with Pose‘s “Love Is the Message” script.
“Janet Mock is a trailblazing force for diverse and inclusive storytelling who has raised the bar for LGBTQ representation in Hollywood,” said Ellis. “She tells stories that need to be told, including those of transgender people and people of color, in revolutionary and eye-opening ways that inspire and enrich. Her passion for inclusive storytelling, combined with her undeniable talents in writing, directing and producing, will continue to create a Hollywood where voices and stories that have been left out of the conversation are placed front and center where they belong.”
Previous recipients of the Stephen F. Kolzak Award include Laverne Cox, Jim Parsons, Ellen DeGeneres, Troye Sivan, Ruby Rose, Chaz Bono, Wanda Sykes, Steve Warren, Melissa Etheridge and Sir Ian McKellen.
Mock, a dedicated feminist activist, also penned and released two books including her 2014 memoir Redefining Realness — the book debuted on the New York Times best-sellers list — and 2017’s Surpassing Certainty, which focused on the years she was not public about being trans.
Mock has been recognized for her trailblazing accomplishments with a myriad of honors, including being featured on Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list and The Hollywood Reporter ‘s Women in Entertainment Power 100.
Last June, Mock also signed a three-year multimillion-dollar pact at Netflix, making her the first out trans storyteller in history to call the creative shots at a major content company. As part of the agreement, Mock will join Murphy’s series Hollywood — the first project produced under Murphy’s mega-deal with Netflix — as an executive producer and director. She’ll also continue working on Pose, which was renewed for a third season on FX. The Netflix deal will enable Mock to create programs that employ and highlight communities that have historically been underrepresented by Hollywood, including the trans community and communities of color.
The 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards, presented by Gilead, Hyundai and Ketel One Family-Made Vodka, will take place in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton on Thursday, April 16. Additional honorees will be announced on a later date.
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