The Vanguard Award that Taylor Swift is set to receive is presented to people who made a difference in promoting the acceptance of LGBTQ people.
What We Know:
- Last year, the singer wrote an open letter, which Swift shared on social media, to Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander. In it, Swift urged the Republican senator to support the Equality Act in order to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
- The Equality Act is an act to protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination in employment, housing, and other public accommodations. Swift created a petition on change.org and asked her fans to support the cause. She wrote in the petition, “our country’s lack of protection for its own citizens ensures that LGBTQ people must live in fear that their lives could be turned upside down by an employer or landlord who is homophobic or transphobic…The fact that, legally, some people are completely at the mercy of the hatred and bigotry of others is disgusting and unacceptable. Let’s show our pride by demanding that, on a national level, our laws truly treat all of our citizens equally.”
- In June 2019, Swift released the single “You Need To Calm Down” and in the lyrics she included “Why are you mad when you could be GLAAD?”
- GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis told People in a statement why Swift deserves the awards: “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.”
- Janet Mock will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, which is often presented to an LGBTQ media professional who made a significant difference in promoting LGBTQ acceptance. Mock became the first transgender woman of color to write and direct a TV show episode. Last year during the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York, Mock and the cast of Pose received the award for Outstanding Drama Series.
- Ellis said the reason why Mock is getting this award is because she 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.”
- In 2014, Mock released her first book, Redefining Realness. In the memoir, Mock opened up about hardships she faced throughout her life growing up as an LGBTQ person in America.
Last year, Beyonce and Jay Z received the Vanguard for their ongoing support of the LGBTQ community.