Photo Call: Ellen DeGeneres, Kerry Washington, Andrew Rannells, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum at the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards

News   Photo Call: Ellen DeGeneres, Kerry Washington, Andrew Rannells, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum at the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards
GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, presented the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards March 21 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.

Recipients were announced in 16 of this year's 31 media categories.

The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media "for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community and the issues that affect their lives," according to press notes.

Ellen DeGeneres presented Kerry Washington with GLAAD's Vanguard Award, given to media professionals "who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community."

In her acceptance speech Washington said, "I don't decide to play the characters I play as a political choice. Yet the characters I play often do become political statements. Because having your story told as a woman, as a person of color, as a lesbian, as a trans person, or as any member of any disenfranchised community, is sadly often still a radical idea. There is so much power in storytelling, and there is enormous power in inclusive storytelling, in inclusive representations. That is why the work of GLAAD is so important. We need more LGBT representation in the media. We need more LGBT characters and more LGBT storytelling. We need more diverse LGBT representation. And by that, I mean lots of different kinds of LGBT people living all different kinds of lives. And this is big—we need more employment of LGBT people in front of and behind the camera. "We can't say that we believe in each other's fundamental humanity, and then turn a blind eye to the reality of each other's existence, and the truth of each other's hearts. We must be allies and we must be allies in this business, because to be represented is to be humanized, and as long as anyone anywhere is being made to feel less human, our very definition of humanity is at stake, and we are all vulnerable. We must see each other, all of us. And we must see ourselves, all of us. And we have to continue to be bold and break new ground until that is just how it is, until we are no longer 'firsts' and 'exceptions' and 'rare' and 'unique.' In the real world, being an 'other' is the norm. In the real world, the only norm is uniqueness, and our media must reflect that. Thank you, GLAAD, for fighting the good fight."

The New York GLAAD Media Awards ceremony will take place May 9 at the Waldorf Astoria New York.

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