Stars Speak Out in Support of Trans Youth at 2021 GLAAD Media Awards

"To the trans youth watching right now... despite all of the attacks that might be happening against you, you are divine."

Here’s what you missed on Glee the 32nd annual GLAAD Media Awards.

The 2021 installment of GLAAD’s annual awards honoring the best in LGBTQ media premiered virtually this Thursday (April 8) on YouTube. Despite logistical limitations brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the show was as lively as ever, with commentary from host Niecy Nash and performances by artists like Rebecca Black; Jessica Betts, Nash’s wife; and Chika. The cast of Glee reunited for a special tribute to the late Naya Rivera, and newly out Nickelodeon star and People cover girl JoJo Siwa even made an appearance.

Plenty of outstanding movies, television shows, and celebs received top honors, including PopTV’s Schitt’s Creek, CBS’s Star Trek: Discovery, HBO’s We’re Here, and more. But one of the most special themes of night was how many stars stood up for transgender youth as Republicans lawmakers across the country target their access to gender-affirming health care and student athletics.

In her co-acceptance speech for the Outstanding Documentary Award for Disclosure, last year’s groundbreaking Netflix doc exploring the history of trans representation in film, Laverne Cox shared an inspiring message to trans youth.
 

“We are looking for people to move beyond acceptance to radical acceptance, to radical self-love,” the Orange Is the New Black alum told viewers. “To the trans youth watching right now, we want you to know that you’re anointed, that despite all of the attacks that might be happening against you, you are divine. You deserve to be. You are here for a reason. You must survive to fulfill that divine purpose. I love you!”

The trend continued later in the ceremony with out soccer stars Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger of the U.S. Women’s National Team, who presented the award for Outstanding Film – Wide Release to Clea Duvall’s Happiest Season.

“As LGBTQ athletes and new, super tired moms, we really wanted to stand up for the youngest members of our community,” the duo said. “The two of us — and Uncle Kyle [Krieger] — are speaking out on behalf of all of the trans student athletes out there. Trans students want the opportunity to play sports for the same reason other kids do: to be a part of a team where they feel like they belong. We shouldn’t discriminate against kids and ban them from playing because they’re transgender.”

Amen to that! Watch the hour-long ceremony below, and check out the full list of winners on GLAAD’s website.
 

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.
@_sammanzella