During the Los Angeles ceremony for the 34th GLAAD Media Awards, President and CEO of GLAAD Sarah Kate Ellis said the words, “There is no LGBTQ without the T” — and on Thursday night that statement couldn’t be any more accurate.
On the eve of Transgender Day of Visibility (March 31), the trans community stood tall and stood proud at the annual ceremony honoring media for fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues. Among the big winners of the night was Chase Joynt‘s documentary Framing Agnes, which received the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary. After being presented with the award by Vanessa Williams and Michelle Visage, Joynt was joined on staged by Angelica Ross, Jules Gill-Peterson, Zackary Drucker, Brian Michael Smith, and Jen Richards to accept the award.
Richards later posted a photo of this amazing moment on Instagram with the caption: “A stage full of trans people accepting an GLAAD Award for [Framing Agnes], a film that celebrates and interrogates trans visibility and gives voice to a whole community of actual trans people in LA in the 1950’s. We have always been here. We will always will be.”
Smith also took the stage to accepted the award for Outstanding Drama Series alongside his 9-1-1 Lone Star co-stars Ronen Rubinstein and Rafael L. Silva. After taking a moment to soak in the winning moment as a Black trans man, he shared the same sentiment as Richards as he talked about trans representation.
“I’m also deeply proud of everyone in the Lone Star fam, who’ve been committed to telling inclusive stories from day one,” Smith later wrote on Instagram. He thanked the show’s producers, writers, crew, and “incomparable cast mates for bringing so much their own truth, life and light to their characters and using their voices and platforms to further advocate for equality for our communities.”
“My heart is full and last night was another reminder that no matter what we are up against, our love, our joy and our art will prevail,” he said.
Throughout the evening the bolstering of trans voices continued as Ts Madison, Isis King, Geena Rocero, Trace Lysette, Zaya Wade, and others attended and participated in the ceremony. Madison also joined Bros writer and star Billy Eichner when he accepted the award for Outstanding Film – Wide Release the stage alongside co-stars Guy Branum and Dot Marie-Jones.
Allies and advocates continued the support of trans commuity and the communnity as a whole as the night went on. Christina Aguilera, who was honored with GLAAD’s Advocate for Change Award, was presented with the award by Club Q Survivor, Michael Anderson. “I have a big problem with injustice, particularly towards the trans community that has faced so much hardship,” said Aguilera. “So I always hoped I could use my music to speak up for others who didn’t have a voice. That’s why I am so grateful to GLAAD for this award, and for the work you do to get the LGBTQ community heard.”