GLAAD celebrated its 25th Anniversary this past weekend with a Los Angeles ceremony, where actress Amber Heard presented former GLAAD president Richard Jennings with the first-ever GLAAD Founders Award. The young starlet has now since made headlines for speaking publicly about being an out actress, and her decision to place herself "on the right side of history."
As one of Hollywood emerging young talents, Heard has already starred in dozens of film and tv roles, including hits like Pineapple Express, Zombieland, and The Stepfather. Her star is set to rise even further with leading roles in the upcoming Drive Angry opposite Nicolas Cage, and as Johnny Depp's love interest in The Rum Diary, but she can now add the title of "advocate" to her growing resume.
In a red-carpet interview with AfterEllen.com, when asked about the importance of appearing at GLAAD's event, Heard said that she is "acutely aware of the role that the media plays in influencing public opinion and influencing society, and with that awareness comes the burden of responsibility."
Heard continued, saying "I hate the idea of a label just as much as anyone else but I’m with who I’m with, I love who I love... I think that the injustice of people staying in the closet is more than I can bear with a clear conscience and I couldn’t sleep at night if I was a part of that problem, if I was part of the lies."
The actress was also passionate when discussing the role of advocacy organizations in effecting change and inspiring people to leave the closet behind, saying that "GLAAD is one of the many reasons that I, as a 24-year-old, can come out." She explained further that "organizations like GLAAD make that possible because if it weren’t for opinions being changed, people being influenced, people being engaged to do the right thing, then there would be no prerogative for anyone to come out."
GLAAD looks forward to continuing to work with Heard as she shares her story with the world.