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. “Scandal” actress Kerry Washington took the stage to accept GLAAD’s Vanguard Award, given to someone in the entertainment industry who has helped push LGBT rights forward. It’s been awarded to people like Drew Barrymore, Josh Hutcherson, Jennifer Lopez, and Jennifer Aniston.
She gets it right.
“Now you would think that those of us who are kept from our full rights of citizenship would band together and fight the good fight. But history tells us that no, often we don’t. Women, poor people, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, trans people, intersex people — we have been pitted against each other and made to feel like there are limited seats at the table for those of us who fall into the category of ‘other.’
There is so much power in storytelling, and there is enormous power in inclusive storytelling, in inclusive representation. … We must be allies, and we must be allied 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. We must continue to 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.”