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CENSURED MONTANA STATE REP. ZOOEY ZEPHYR AND OKLAHOMA STATE REP. MAUREE TURNER RECEIVE STANDING OVATION AND DELIVER REMARKS AT GLAAD MEDIA AWARDS IN NEW YORK
- Last updated: May 24, 2023
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE SENDS HEARTFELT MESSAGE TO TRANS YOUTH AND SPEAKS SOLIDARITY WITH WRITERS ON STRIKE
Video Courtesy: GLAAD
New York, NY – Monday, May 15, 2023 – GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, held the 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City on Saturday, which acknowledges exceptional representation across all media, from tv, film, music, to journalism and more.
In addition to honoring media for fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues on stage, GLAAD’s Board Chair Liz Jenkins introduced LGBTQ lawmakers who have had their voices silenced in the state legislatures where they serve. Recognizing the rise in anti-LGBTQ violence and rhetoric across the country, including over 500 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced so far in 2023, GLAAD proudly welcomed transgender Montana State Representative Zooey Zephyr, as well as queer and nonbinary Oklahoma State Representative Mauree Turner, to spotlight the critical role we all have in representing our communities with the power of the vote.
The two also introduced GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. Ellis welcomed Rep. Zephyr’s fiancée Erin Reed to the stage to congratulate the couple on their recent engagement. Reed is a notable trans legislative researcher, content creator and activist.
Photo (L-R): OK. Rep. Mauree Turner, Independent Journalist Erin Reed, MT. Rep. Zooey Zephyr, GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD Board Chair Liz Jenkins
Both representatives were targeted and silenced this past legislative session, censured by their extremist colleagues for speaking up or supporting their transgender constituents.
Rep. Mauree Turner: “I am the culmination of the things bigots hate the most: a Queer Black nonbinary Muslim elected official. What they say is: you don’t get access to the same Oklahoma as the rest of us because I don’t like you. And what I say is: leave your homegrown bigotry at home. I was lucky to have a mother who said I see you, I will always advocate for you. But even with that support I didn’t think I was going to make it through middle school, let alone high school. Now it’s the same bullies with different tactics. But I did not give up when I was 12 or 15, and I’m not going to give up now. I want trans youth, trans youth of color, and all youth to hear this: I know how heavy and scary it is right now. I’ve been there.”
Rep. Zooey Zephyr: “Trans people have always been here and we always will be. And not just our lives, but our resilience, our joy, and our love is forever. You cannot legislate trans people out of existence any more than you can legislate away joy and love. If we root ourselves in that love, and root ourselves in community, we are sure to win. We already are.”
Additionally, Karine Jean-Pierre took to the GLAAD Media Awards stage to share remarks on the power of representation and how visibility in media impacts social and cultural change. As a mother, Jean-Pierre shared words of love to trans youth, which she characterized as the same words she said she imparts onto her eight-year-old when facing challenging life situations:
“You have one job and one job only: it’s to be a good person, to be kind, and to never let anyone tell you who you are or who you can be. To every trans person out there: No one should have to be brave to be themselves. You are perfect just the way you are. You are loved. And we have your back. I want the same for you that I want for my daughter – to dream big, and to never, ever let anyone tell you who you are.”
Jean-Pierre also signaled support for the writer’s strike in Hollywood, saying in part:
“I sincerely hope the writers’ strike in Hollywood gets resolved and the writers are given a fair deal they deserve as soon as possible. This is an iconic, meaningful American industry. And we need the writers and all the workers and everyone involved to tell the stories of our nation and the stories of all of us.”
Video Courtesy: GLAAD
Photos Courtesy: Getty Images
About the GLAAD Media Awards: The 34th GLAAD Media Awards honor media for fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues. Since its inception in 1990, the GLAAD Media Awards have grown to be the most visible annual LGBTQ awards show in the world, sending powerful messages of acceptance to audiences globally. The 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are presented by Gilead Sciences, Inc., Hyundai, and Ketel One Family Made Vodka. GLAAD is also grateful to Major Sponsor Delta Air Lines and Official Sponsor Sony Music Group.
The nominees for the 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards were published, released, or broadcast between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022. For a full list of nominees, click here.
On socials please follow @GLAAD and #glaadawards
The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies, which fund GLAAD’s work to accelerate LGBTQ acceptance, will be held in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton on Thursday, March 30, 2023 and in New York at the Hilton Midtown on Saturday, May 13, 2023. GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis serves as Executive Producer of the GLAAD Media Awards, alongside GLAAD staff Rich Ferraro and Anthony Allen Ramos. with Wendy Shanker serving as Head Writer.
About GLAAD: GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.
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