GLAAD announced that it will honor award-winning director, producer, writer, and advocate Janet Mock with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 16, 2020. The 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards are presented by Gilead, Hyundai, and Ketel One Family-Made Vodka.
The Stephen F. Kolzak Award is presented to a LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting LGBTQ acceptance. The award is named after a 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. 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.
“Janet Mock is a trailblazing force for diverse and inclusive storytelling who has raised the bar for LGBTQ representation in Hollywood,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate 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. 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.”
Janet Mock is 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 with the landmark script, “Love Is the Message.” Mock and the cast of Pose received the award for “Outstanding Drama Series” at the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York in 2019.
A feminist activist tackling stigma through storytelling, Mock broke ground in 2014 with the release of her first book Redefining Realness, a pioneering and profound memoir that debuted on the New York Times bestsellers list in 2014. Her second book, Surpassing Certainty, was released in 2017 and focused on the years in her life when she was not public about being trans.
Mock began her media career at People.com, where she worked for five years climbing the ranks at Time Inc. from Staff Writer to Staff Editor upon her departure in 2012. She has since produced the HBO documentary The Trans List, where she conducted all interviews and worked with Timothy Greenfield-Sanders to highlight the stories of eleven transgender Americans. Mock also created the column “Beauty Beyond Binaries” for Allure, which broke ground by exploring pretty privilege and the intersection of beauty and identity.
Throughout her career, Mock has been recognized for her trailblazing accomplishments. TIME named her to its 100 Most Influential People list, The Hollywood Reporter named her one of its 2019 “Women in Entertainment Power 100,” Ebony listed her on its Ebony 100, Vanity Fair named her on its “New Establishment” list, while the PEN Center USA honored her with an Award of Honor during the 2017 Literary Awards.
In June 2019, Mock signed a groundbreaking three-year multimillion-dollar pact at Netflix, making her the first out trans storyteller in history to call the creative shots at a major content company. As part of the agreement, Mock will serve as an executive producer, writer, and director on Netflix’s forthcoming series “Hollywood.” The Netflix deal will enable Mock to create programs that employ and highlight communities that have historically been underrepresented by Hollywood, including the trans community and communities of color.
GLAAD also announced that it will honor Taylor Swift with the Vanguard Award at the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles on April 16, 2020. Nominees for the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards will be announced on Wednesday, January 8. Additional honorees for the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York will be announced soon.
For more information about the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards, please visit www.glaad.org/mediaawards/31.