January 7, 2020 at 5:22 pm PST | by John Paul King
GLAAD to honor Taylor Swift and Janet Mock at 2020 Media Awards

Images via GLAAD

GLAAD has announced that Taylor Swift and Janet Mock will be among the honorees when it presents its 31st annual Media Awards later this year.

The world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization released a press statement on Tuesday saying that that it will honor global superstar Taylor Swift and award-winning director, producer, writer, and advocate Janet Mock at the GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton on Thursday, April 16, 2020.

Swift, an award-winning singer, songwriter, producer and musician, will receive GLAAD’s Vanguard Award, which is presented to allies who have made a significant difference in promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people. GLAAD cites Swift’s use of her platform “to elevate the issues of the LGBTQ community and advocate for the acceptance of LGBTQ people everywhere,” calling attention to her political advocacy, her charitable contributions, and her use of music (such as the single “You Need to Calm Down”) to promote LGBTQ acceptance and equality.

Previous Vanguard Award honorees include Beyoncé and JAY-Z, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Kerry Washington, Cher, Janet Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Antonio Banderas, Demi Lovato, Whoopi Goldberg, and Patricia Arquette.

Mock, a director, producer, writer, author, and advocate, has been tapped for the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, which is presented to a LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting LGBTQ acceptance, and is named after the legendary casting director who devoted his life to raising awareness in the entertainment industry about the discrimination faced by LGBTQ people as well as people living with HIV. Known for her work as a writer, director and producer on Ryan Murphy’s FX series “Pose” (for which she made history as the first trans woman of color to write and direct an episode of television), Mock is being honored in addition for her “trailblazing accomplisgments” as a feminist, LGBTQ and trans activist, from her rise through the ranks at People.com to the publication of her 2014 book “Redefining Realness.”

Previous Stephen F. Kolzak honorees include Laverne Cox, Jim Parsons, Ellen DeGeneres, Troye Sivan, Ruby Rose, Chaz Bono, Wanda Sykes, Steve Warren, Melissa Etheridge, and Sir Ian McKellen.

In the statement, GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said, “From boldly standing up against anti-LGBTQ elected officials to shining attention on the urgent need to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination through the Equality Act, Taylor Swift proudly uses her unique ability to influence pop culture to promote LGBTQ acceptance. In a time of political and cultural division, Taylor creates music that unites and calls on her massive fan following to speak up and call for change.”

Of Mock, she said, “Janet Mock is a trailblazing force for diverse and inclusive storytelling who has raised the bar for LGBTQ representation in Hollywood. She tells stories that need to be told, including those of transgender people and people of color, in revolutionary and eye-opening ways that inspire and enrich. Her passion for inclusive storytelling, combined with her undeniable talents in writing, directing, and producing, will continue to create a Hollywood where voices and stories that have been left out of the conversation are placed front and center where they belong.”

Nominees for the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards will be announced on Wednesday, January 8, 2020. Events will be held in New York on Thursday, March 19, 2020 and Los Angeles on Thursday, April 16, 2020. Visit http://glaad.org/mediaawards for more information.





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