Watch Cher Praise House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at VH1 Trailblazer Honors

The celebration of female empowerment also honored Ava DuVernay, Tarana Burke, and Margaret Atwood.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was among the vanguards recognized at this year’s VH1 Trailblazer Honors, and Cher made a very special appearance to introduce her.

Commemorating International Women’s Day, the hourlong television special aired last night on VH1 and Logo.

“Since the day our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, our country has been run almost exclusively by old white men,” Cher told the crowd. “Thankfully, because of Nancy and other strong women, this is changing.”

“Nancy’s a fighter. She won’t back down,” the icon continued. “When I see Trump spew his hatred and tell his gazillion lies, I get pissed off, but I also feel really uneasy. Then I see Nancy come on TV, and I think, it’s all good, Nancy’s in the house.”

“Nancy has dedicated her career to being a fierce advocate for the underdog—for women, for the LGBTQ community, and for the poor. She’s the highest-ranking woman ever in American politics, and because of her and other strong women like her, soon there will be a woman president.”

“When I grow up,” Cher concluded, “I want to be just like her.”

In her acceptance speech, Pelosi, 78, reaffirmed her commitment to passing the Equality Act, “because we want to end discrimination against the LGBTQ community.”

The Equality Act, previously introduced in the House by gay Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, explicitly outlawing discrimination against LGBTQ citizens.

The Trailblazer ceremony was held last month at the Wilshire Ebell Theater, a National Historic Landmark and extension of the Ebell of Los Angeles, a 125-year-old organization founded by women for women.

VH1 Trailblazer Honors will celebrate today’s most respected politicians, entertainers, artists, activists, allies and icons who have dedicated their time and steadfast commitments to the women’s movement and beyond,” the network stated in a press release. “Centered around this year’s incredible breakthroughs in female empowerment and human rights, the annual event will feature the landmark achievements of its honorees.”

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay, #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, and Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood were also recognized at this year’s event.

Bisexual recording artist Rita Ora kicked off the ceremony with a performance of her anthem “Soul Survivor,” and Elle King later performed “Baby Outlaw.”

Mindy Kaling, Bridget Kelly, Samira Wiley, Luvvie Ajayi, Diane Warren, Alysa Liu, Catt Sadler, Alyssa Milano, Anita Hill, Jennifer Delgado, Heidi Pratt, Ashley Wahler, and Antoinette Harris were among the presenters and attendees.

Pelosi, who led her Democratic party to regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the November 2018 midterm elections, returned to the speakership position she lost after Republicans took the House in 2010.

As House Democratic Leader, Pelosi revealed the support of more than 100 LGBTQ leaders and advocates as part of her campaign to reclaim the speakership. This endorsement letter emphasized the San Francisco congresswoman’s “tireless” work for LGBTQ rights, including her efforts to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic and pass hate crimes legislation.

Pelosi served as the 52nd Speaker of the House from 2007 to 2011, becoming the first woman to hold the position and the highest-ranking female politician in U.S. history.

Pelosi memorably visited the workroom last year on an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars.

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