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Paramount+’s Star Trek: Discovery will be honored by Outright International, a global human rights organization centered on improving the lives of LGBTIQ people, at its annual Celebration of Courage Awards and Gala on June 5.
This year marks the 27th iteration of the event, and one of the evening’s three honors — the Outspoken Award — will go to the queer members of the cast and production team of the Paramount+ series. This particular award is designed to recognize outspoken leadership and allyship that has contributed to advancing the rights and visibility of LGBTIQ people around the world.
BeBe Zahara Benet — inaugural RuPaul’s Drag Race winner, star of TLC’s Dragnificent and subject of the award-winning documentary Being BeBe — will serve as the event’s host, and Star Trek: Discovery cast members Wilson Cruz and Blu del Barrio are both scheduled to attend the ceremony at Pier Sixty in New York during Pride Month.
“Put simply, the LGBTIQ cast and producers of Discovery — in partnership with the franchise and network — give important visibility, voice and platform to the millions of queer people around the world that have no visibility, voice and platform or cannot use them because of discrimination and risk to their personal safety,” Elise Colomer-Cheadle, director of development at Outright International, said in a statement shared with The Hollywood Reporter. “Those involved in Star Trek: Discovery make it clear to Outright that we share similar values: to build and sustain a welcoming community that respects individuals’ different and shared identities and perspectives — and specifically, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.”
Though notable strides have been made with regard to diverse, inclusive representation on screen, discrimination and systemic barriers still exist behind the scenes, and there is still danger in outwardly presenting outside of heteronormativity — especially in the public space of the entertainment industry. The queer cast members and producers of Star Trek: Discovery are being celebrated for their courage in championing the spectrum of sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions.
“Through the show, the LGBTIQ community is being seen and heard in the ways we want to be seen and heard, as our truest selves, as the heroes of our own stories and our own fight for dignity and equality,” cast member and “actorvist” Cruz said in a statement.
Founded in 1990, Outright International has staff in more than a dozen countries and works with the United Nations (where it holds consultative status and serves as the secretariat of the UN LGBTI Core Group), regional human rights monitoring bodies, civil society organizations and corporate and philanthropic partners to strengthen the capacity of the LGBTIQ human rights movement — and advocate for inclusion and equality.
“Outright International’s enduring commitment to advancing equality and efforts to help end discrimination inspires me to no end — as an immigrant and an activist,” Zahara Benet said in a statement. “I’m honored to have the great opportunity to host this year’s annual gala in New York City to celebrate those fighting for LGBTQ rights for individuals around the world. Together, we will champion in the next era of rule-breakers and change makers.”
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