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Taylor Swift to be honored with GLAAD’s Vanguard Award

2020-01-07

The LGBTQ community wants Taylor Swift to know that they are really GLAAD to have her as a powerful ally.

GLADD, the world’s largest media advocacy organization, has announced that the “Shake it Off” singer will receive the prestigious Vanguard Award at the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles on April 16.

Swift, the 28th non-LGBTQ celebrity to receive the award, will join an impressive list of names including Cher, Charlize Theron and Britney Spears.

JUST ANNOUNCED: @janetmock will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award and @taylorswift13 will receive the Vanguard Award at the #GLAADawards in Los Angeles on April 16th!

Read more: https://t.co/cyZTZ74VcM pic.twitter.com/YbjiuPohC0

According to the organization, the Vanguard Award is presented to "allies who have made a significant difference in promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people."

“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,” Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD’s president and CEO, said in a statement shared with the Daily News.

“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,” she added.

Last June, the popstar posted on Instagram an open letter to GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander, of Tenn., urging him to support the Equality Act, legislation that would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in the U.S.

A few weeks later, Tay Tay released her much-hyped single “You Need to Come Down” with a surprise appearance at the Stonewall Inn in New York. The single became arguably the year’s most talked-about songs to empower LGBTQ acceptance and equality and to condemn bullying, “Cause shade never made anybody less gay,” she sings.

Donations to GLAAD went up significantly after the song dropped.

Although the timing of her embracing of the LGBTQ community — Pride month during the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots — was viewed by some in the community as opportunistic, Swift explained that she “didn’t realize until recently that I could advocate for a community that I’m not a part of,” she told Vogue in August.

Swift is not the only name to be celebrated by GLAAD for accelerating positive LGBTQ visibility. Director, producer and writer Janet Mock will also be honored at the event.

One of the masterminds behind Ryan Murphy’s FX series “Pose,” Mock will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, which is “presented to a LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting LGBTQ acceptance.”


“Janet Mock is a trailblazing force for diverse and inclusive storytelling who has raised the bar for LGBTQ representation in Hollywood,” said Ellis. “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.”

In June, 2019 the fierce equality advocate made herstory by becoming the first out transgender woman to be in charge creatively at a major studio. She signed a three-year multimillion-dollar contract with Netflix, which will enable her “to create programs that employ and highlight communities that have historically been underrepresented by Hollywood, including the trans community and communities of color.,” GLAAD said in a statement.

“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,” said Ellis.